Steve Wozniak discussing the landmark Apple ][ personal computer at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

How will voice and natural language understanding continue to change how we engage devices, services and systems across nearly every industry and interaction?

Steve Wozniak discussing the landmark Apple ][ personal computer at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
When Steve Wozniak talks, people listen. Never one to mince words (on cloud computing: “horrible problems” ahead), and an energetic life-force when it comes to tech prognostication — perhaps quenching our thirst for grandiose vision in a post-Jobs world — the Apple co-founder continues to grab the spotlight wherever he travels. Often that takes him to places such as Folsom State Prison where he was recently anointed mayor. He quickly promised his Twitter followers that “as mayor I will privatize the empty cells and clean this place up.”

Tonight, he will be speaking on a panel about something perhaps closer to his area of expertise: the future of voice and natural language technology. We’re sure to glean some interesting perspective from Woz and his fellow panelists on what might be in store for devices that leverage voice (like Apple Siri or Google Now), and how we will interact with them going forward.

The event, The Future of Conversing with Technology will be hosted by the Churchill Club tonight in Palo Alto, and also features Sheryl Connelly of Ford Motor Company, scientist Ron Kaplan and researcher Dan Miller.

Quentin Hardy, deputy technology editor for the  The New York Times, will moderate.

Within the past year, voice has become central to a rapidly unfolding transformation in how we engage our devices – akin to the way the mouse changed computing and the touch screen changed the mobile device. We’ve seen what’s possible with the advent of natural language understanding and voice-driven technologies, and deeply integrated voice “assistant” technologies, but we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s ultimately possible. There’s little question that seamless voice interactions long reserved for movies like Star Trek and Mission Impossible are coming soon to your living room, car, enterprise, healthcare system, and mobile device – if they’re not there already.

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Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear