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Lingo Fest 2019

What is LingoFest?

Lingofest is an annual two-day conference that gathers technologists, students, and academicians who are interested in the emerging field of voice based technology (e.g., Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana). User Experience managers from companies like Amazon, Comcast, and Google will be leading discussions on the future of voice-activated technology.

This year, Lingofest is being held in conjunction with the fourth annual Digital Humanities Utah (DHU4) conference. DHU4 enables scholars in Utah and neighboring regions to dwell further on issues that are of concern to the digital humanities.

When and Where is LingoFest?

February 1- 2, 2019
Weber State University

Elizabeth Dee Shaw Stewart Stadium
3870 Stadium Way
Ogden, Utah  84408
Ogden Campus Map (SK in the map)


  • General Admission: $60
  • Student Admission: $40*

*Limited grants available. Contact Diana: 

$20 Optional DHU4 registration (lunch also included)


The Schedule

Friday, February 1 - All events will take place in Stewart Stadium on Weber State University's Ogden Campus

9:00 am - 9:30 am

Registration and Social

9:30 am - 10:15 am

Opening Talk & Discussion - Paul Cutsinger (Amazon)

10:15 am - 10:30 am


10:30 am - 11:15 am

Notes from the Field - Scot and Susan Westwater @ Pragmatic Digital

Now What? A Simple Roadmap for Catching the Next Big Wave 

Researchers are predicting that in 2018, voice assistant penetration will be around 27% in the US and that by 2022, that number will reach 55%.*   With that level of growth, it’s no question that voice is going to be the “next big thing.” It’s not hard to recognize the potential voice has for engaging and build relationships with users in a compelling and valuable way.  But now that the opportunity is clear, the road forward is not. Best practices are still evolving and there is still much experimentation as everyone tries to build the killer voice app. 

However, there are strategies and approaches that exist that can build a stable foundation for a voice-first future. In this talk, Scot and Susan Westwater from Pragmatic will share the strategies for identifying, creating and launching a voice skill.

11:15 am - 11:30 am

Networking Break

11:30 am - 11:45 am

Notes from The Field - Jackson Carson - UI/UX @ SnapEngage 

How does one’s UX design process change (if at all) from interface to interface? Specifically in chat versus Voice, what are the similarities and differences in the UX design process?

11:45 am - 12:00 pm

Notes from The Field - Ha-Hoa - Product design for Voice @ NPR

New Frontiers in Voice

How does one craft an end-to-end, go to market strategy for platform launches? What is the process look like when coordinating developers, tech writers, designers and data scientist to support a ubiquitous listening experience?

11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Lunch break

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Panel Discussion

The Craft of Designing for Conversational Usability

  • Lisa Falkson (Amazon)
  • Brielle Nickoloff, Witlingo
  • Ilana Shalowitz, Emmi
  • Kyree Holmes, Comcast 
  • Rebecca Evanhoe, Mobiquity

2:00 pm - 2:15 pm


2:15 pm - 3:10 pm

The Interview 
Ahmed interviewing Noelle LaCharite

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Networking Break

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

The Voice First Roundtable - Ilana Shalowitz - (Topic TBD)

4:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Networking Break

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Closing Lecture - Safiya Noble -- Algorithms of Oppression


Saturday, February 2 - All events will take place in Stewart Stadium on Weber State University's Ogden Campus

9:00 am - 9:30 am


9:30 am - 9:45 am

Welcome Remarks – Dean David Ferro (Weber State University)

9:45 am - 10:15 am

Notes from the Field – Kyree Holmes (Comcast)

10:15 am - 10:30 am

Networking Break

10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Workshop: Designing for Voice First

  • Neha Javalagi (Witlingo)
  • Brielle Nickoloff (Witlingo)

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Lunch Break

1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

Panel Discussion

Revisiting Marshall McLuhan in the age of Emojis, Voice Assistants, and Chatbots 

  • Moderator: Dr. Ahmed Bouzid
  • Dean David Ferro
  • Prof. Julia Panko, English
  • Prof. Luke Fernandez, Technology and Culture

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm

Networking Break

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Student Vision Essay Contest & Voice Experience Presentations and Demos

Prizes will include Amazon Echo Dots and Google Home Minis

4:00 pm

Closing Plenary Panel Discussion



Our Speakers


Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble

Author of Algorithms of Oppression
Professor at USC & Researcher on Gender and Race Bias in Media

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble is an Associate Professor at UCLA in the Departments of Information Studies and African American Studies, and a visiting faculty member to the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor in Department of Media and Cinema Studies and the Institute for Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2019, she will join the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford as a Senior Research Fellow.

She is the author of a best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines, entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press).

Safiya is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award. Her academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media impacts and intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and technology. She is regularly quoted for her expertise by national and international press on issues of algorithmic discrimination and technology bias, including The Guardian, the BBC, CNN International, USA Today, Wired, Time, and The New York Times, to name a few.

Dr. Noble is the co-editor of two edited volumes: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online and Emotions, Technology & Design. She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of the Commentary & Criticism section of the Journal of Feminist Media Studies. She is a member of several academic journal and advisory boards, including Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno where she was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2018.




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