hello@pointsmade.net or 857-293-0578

Points Made forum and website is © 2019 as a collaboration between Banter TechnologiesTurn-Key Events, and Phillip Hunter.

Points Made Program

Points Made 2020 offers two full days of sessions on the central concepts and challenges of conversation design. Each morning features experienced and thoughtful practitioners sharing the tips and techniques they’ve accumulated, often the hard way! Afternoons will inspire as you engage in participatory discussions of the psychological, social, and emotional conversations with machines. Bring your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 3


8:00am - 5:00pm

10:00am - 10:30am

10:30am - 12:30pm



Part 1: Conversational Product Strategy

Lisa MichaudThe Human Behind the Curtain

The ideal objective of conversational AI should be to create effortless interaction with a system that exhibits human levels of understanding.  Modern AI marketing can make this task sound trivial; it portrays the algorithms as magic black boxes that can be deployed in minutes with minimal effort and learn new behaviors without human involvement. Technical and scientific realities are that the challenges of natural language interaction require human involvement at almost every stage until an application has matured into near-independence. How do we achieve alignment with consumers and customers when the popular depiction of AI undermines us?

Chris GeisonConversational Cars & Homes: Emerging Tech & Context-Driven Design

How does context inform the way we design conversational interfaces? Designing  ubiquitous interactions is a familiar idea, but we need to shift towards ubietous interactions that are grounded in a physical place. How do linguistic, cultural, psychological, temporal, and physical factors contribute to context? What research methods and design tools are available to assist context-driven design?

12:30pm - 1:30pm

1:30pm - 2:30pm


 KEYNOTE  Nick EnfieldConversation is Social Glue 

In this talk, Enfield will make the case that conversation is fundamentally grounded in the concept of joint commitment  via three core ideas. First, conversation is essentially collaborative in nature. For someone to play a speaker role, someone else must play the role of addressee. Second, playing a social role means committing to certain rights and duties. This means agreeing to be held accountable (and to hold others accountable) for acting in accordance with the relevant norms. And third, all conversations instantiate interpersonal relationships, whether they are shallow or deep, fleeting or enduring. When we look at conversation, we see that language is primarily not a messaging system but a kind of social glue.

3:00pm - 5:30pm

Part 2: Society and the Challenges of Conversational AI

Details coming soon!

5:30pm - 7:00pm

Networking Reception: Location TBA


Thursday, June 4

8:00 am - Noon

8:30am - 9:00am

9:00am - 11:30am


Welcome and Recap

Part 3: Conversation Design in Practice

Jenni McKienzieVoice: The “New” Modality

There’s a lot of enthusiastic new blood in conversation design with a variety of backgrounds making “discoveries” of things that have been well documented for years. Why are we reinventing the wheel? How do we give people the linguistic and HCI tools they need to supplement their general UX backgrounds? How do we bring current and future practitioners of conversation design up to speed quickly and consistently?

Creating natural conversational voice solutions takes a lot of careful work, but when good design, powerful language models, impressive recognition, and robust implementation all line up, it seems there's no limit to what today's voice solutions can provide. And yet, even the very best voice solutions are brittle. Conversations go off in the wrong direction all too often, even when the requests are fully specified and well formed. And it affects user trust in voice solutions and desire to use them.

Ann Thymé-GobbelConversational Technology is Brittle

Jonathan BloomDesigning for Right Now

How do we design for people right now, before all the promises of digital assistants come true? I propose creating a "holding environment" for them (to borrow from psychoanalysis), one that is imperfect but "good enough" and fosters discovery.

11:30am - 12:30pm

12:30pm - 1:30pm

2:00pm - 4:00pm


Details coming soon!

Part 4: What Does It Take to Design Good Conversations?

Details coming soon!

4:00pm - 4:30pm

Next Steps and Closing Comments