Real Links for Artificial Intelligence

2nd Edition — Focused on Conversation

It’s been a crazy couple weeks of traveling and setting up talks. Last week I lost my laptop as I passed through security at Denver International Airport because I had hit a mental wall and my mind just wasn’t as fresh as it should have been. Luckily security picked it up and saved it for me. So, although I was bummed I couldn’t work, I ended up getting a needed break from the screen for a week.

I love meeting new people and seeing the world from their perspective, but there’s no doubt seven weeks on the road has been a bit grueling — especially considering I’m doing it without a home, living out of my car crashing on couches where available and camping outside otherwise. It has been both physically and mentally exhausting but the work is incredibly rewarding and I’m so happy to have y’all involved. Your support means the world to me — it’s what keeps me going when I think I want to stop :)

Despite the struggle, Real Links for Artificial Intelligence, 2nd Edition is finally here. This week’s edition focuses on language and conversation, which will play a major role in the future of Human-Computer Interactions.

I hope these links help you and your team, and if they do I’d love your help sharing this information and this subscription with others who might be interested in joining this list as well.

Thanks in advance, and enjoy!

Words and Rules

Steven Pinker, world-renowned linguist and former Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT, gives his outline of how language works within the mind.

How does language work? How do children learn their mother tongue? Why do languages change over time, making Shakespearean English difficult for us and Chaucer’s English almost incomprehensible? Why do languages have so many quirks and irregularities? Are they all fundamentally alike? How are new words created? Where in the brain does language reside?

Pinker makes sense of all of this with the help of a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. The idea extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind. This is a sparkling, eye-opening and utterly original book by one of the world’s leading cognitive scientists.

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What is Conversation?

Hugh Dubberly and Paul Pangaro take on the question “What is conversation?” This incredibly dense eight page report will shed light on conversation like you’ve never considered it before. By the end (probably after reading through it a few times) you’ll have a very fundamental understanding of human conversation, how it works, and why.

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How Cybernetics Connects Computing, the Counterculture, and Design

Cybernetics is “deeply inter-twingled” (to borrow Ted Nelson’s magical phrase) with the early development of personal computers, the 1960s counter-culture, and the rise of the design methods movement (which enjoyed a recent rebranding as “design thinking”).

Dubberly Design, let by Hugh Dubberly (also the co-creator of Apple’s Knowledge Navigator), has created an interactive social graph, a tool, showing how institutions, conferences, journalists, designers, computer-pioneers and many others are related to the cybernetics.

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Upcoming Events

Here are several events I have coming up that I’d love to see you at, if you’re in town and have some time open on your calendar.

9/26 — Boulder, CO
I’ll be speaking at Galvanize in Boulder, CO to a crowd after hours. The talk will go from 6–8 pm and be continued downtown afterwards, if anyone wants to stick around. If you’re in the area, I’d really love to have you there. Stoked to be back in Boulder, where I lived for a couple years!


9/28 — Livestream from Sweden
The first worldwide, free digital conference. No tickets, no travel costs — heavy carbon offset — and replay for free. Four times a year, huge digital conference-community, Swiss Made.


10/2 — Lincoln, NE
Once a month X Media Lab hosts events for technical leaders in Nebraska to get together, think creatively, and talk about the future. I’ll be doing a lightning talk about Designing Intelligence and holding Q&A afterwards to fill in the gaps.


10/7 — Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Chatbots Brazil community is growing rapidly every day as people look for the perfect place to exchange knowledge about chatbots. Today the community has more than 3,500 people and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

The goal of this conference is to foster interaction between community members and industry professionals — both national and international — in a day full of content, case studies and face-to-face interaction.


10/30 & 10.31 — Palo Alto, CA
From the creators of the industry leading Internet of Things World, UX Next will showcase the evolution and future direction of service enablement. Join 400+ tech disruptors, 50+ pioneering speakers and 50+ exhibitors who are disrupting and defining the next generation of services, devices and platforms.


Let’s Make Plans

The list above is just a few events that are already planned, but I’m booking up to six months out already and I’d love to make plans to visit you in your city. Here’s a more detailed view of my travels over the next month or two, but if you want more details or want to figure out a way to get me to your city, let’s make plans:

  • 9.20 to 9.29 — Denver/Boulder, CO
  • 9.30 to 10.4 — Omaha/Lincoln, NE
  • 10.5 to 10.19 — Saõ Paulo/Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • 10.20 to 10.28 — Omaha/Lincoln, NE (my hometown)
  • 10.29 to 11.8 — San Francisco/Palo Alto, CA
  • 11.13–11.17 — Chicago, IL (tentatively)

I’m also currently working to set up talks in Kansas City // Saint Louis // Minneapolis // Detroit // Nashville // Tampa // Miami and places in between. If you think we can make something happen, whether that be conference, Meetup event, private event with your team or just meeting one-on-one, please reach out at or DM me on social @realjoet!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks in advance for any connections you’re willing to extend. Looking forward to meeting all of you along the way!

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