5 Quick Questions with Joe Toscano

Joe Toscano is an American author and designer whose expertise covers from Design Thinking to AI and machine ethics. He will be one of our guest speakers at the upcoming Copenhagen Chatbots & AI meetup.

We had a talk with Joe about his upcoming trip to Europe, where he will be visiting several cities spreading the word about his project Design Good and his passion for Machine Ethics. Joe’s contagious energy made the conversation a great one and we can’t wait to have him in Copenhagen!

Here is a sum-up of our talk!

We are thrilled to have you come to Denmark! Can you share with us what motivated your European trip?

I’m thrilled to be speaking with people in Europe about the work I’m doing for a couple reasons. For one, because it has a lot to do with the privacy and security of the Internet and I know that’s something a lot of Europeans are much more conscientious about than people in the United States. And for two, I just love Europe, in general — especially Copenhagen 😍

Can you tell us more about your project Design Good? A better future for technology sounds quite promising, what has inspired you to become and advocate for such a powerful cause?

Design Good is a 501(c)(3) non-profit I created to help the public push back on Big Tech appropriately. Being born in in a state that doesn’t understand technology as well as many other states do, I understand the fears these people have about what’s going on. However, I also understand the dangers involved if we take dramatic action without a better understanding. What I’m hoping to do is help people bridge the gap.

I hope to give the general public the language to understand what’s going on (without revealing the secrets) so that they can push back against Big Tech.

At the same time I will also leverage my professional expertise and influence on the web (I write for both InVision and AdWeek, as well as several other blogs) to help set standards and teach professionals best practices, in order to give them the tools to build the best products and the language to sell it to their boss.

I believe that creating demand on one side and giving the appropriate tools to those on the inside to meet those demands will synergistically catalyze this industry and our world into a better future, through technology.

For more info and to find out how you can help, check out designgood.tech — and please reach out if you’d like to be involved or if you know of ways to help. I believe this is one of the most important issues of our lifetimes, and I look forward to hearing from everyone what they think!

Chatbots is one of your areas of expertise, where do you see chatbots showing much promise for growth?

Right now I believe most chatbots are a bit of a gimmick. I believe we’re in the walkman era of chatbots — an experimentation phase, where most people are testing ideas to learn and/or creating tools just to keep up with the trends — and the iPod era is coming soon. So in this current stage I don’t see many that are very exciting, in my opinion.

However, what I do see that gives me hope for the future is conversation as an interaction model. This is something I work really hard to open people’s eyes to. It’s not a Messenger, WeChat, or any other messaging platform that relies on a logic tree that is going to create this revolution. Those are just stripped down apps and really nothing exciting.

These tools will become meaningful when voice starts to integrate into everything and we have an experience put together that reflects humans multi-modal experience of the world.

When I can speak to something and it responds to me as if I’m talking to a friend. When I can say something that needs a visual response and that thing pops up on a screen, unlike anything a human is capable of doing. When someone with motor impairments can operate a machine seamlessly. These are all experiences where conversation begins to make a meaningful change in the world.
We will get there, but we’re not there yet.

Creative AI powered solutions or very efficient solutions? Where will you put your money? Can you have both?

Pure efficiency is not human and more often than not people will put it down quickly because it lacks any connection to them. But on the other hand, pure creative is often whimsical and obnoxious. I believe the best tools will be creatively efficient.

Finally, who should come see you at Copenhagen Chatbots & AI? Who will benefit/learn the most? Who would you like to meet?

Anyone interested in understanding the future of technology. The presentation I’m going to give will be focused on chatbots, the complexity of creating a world-class experience, and the ethics behind it, but I hope to open up to much more in questioning and talking to everyone afterwards. 
There’s so much to talk about, and so little time!

If you would like to meet Joe in person to discuss more about these exciting topics join us in our next event at Copenhagen Chatbots and AI, you can signup for free in the link below 👇🏼

See ya on May 8th at 16:30! 👋