Ireland ‘could be hub for conversational AI technology’

Claim comes as details are revealed about this summer’s ConverCon

If Irish people are good at anything it is the ability to throw words together. Given our expertise at this, there is no reason why Ireland shouldn’t become a leading hub for conversational AI technology.

That is according to Paul Sweeney, co-founder of ConverCon, which returns to Dublin in September.

Leading experts from tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft are lined up to speak at this year's event. The gathering, the first of which was held in the Science Gallery last May, is doubling in length to a full day this time round and moving to Microsoft's shiny new offices in Sandyford.

Billed as “Europe’s first conversational interface conference,” ConverCon brings together many of the world’s leading players in the space to talk chatbots, messaging, digital assistants and more.


Mr Sweeney said an explosion of interest in bots and platforms such as Amazon Alexa, alongside the growth in different forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes the event a must-attend conference for those working in the sector.

The techie, who is also executive vice-president of product at Webio, an Irish start-up that uses AI to streamline inbound and outbound customer communications, said conversational interfaces are very much the key global technology trend of the moment.

“Conversational interfaces have the power to be transformational, but we have to be super practical about how we move towards implementing this on all levels within the industry,” he said.

This year’s event will address themes such as data ethics and the ethical AI; cultural and gender factors that should be factored into global deployment; and the surprisingly practical elements that have to be designed for great user experiences.

Among the speakers at the conference are Max Amordeluso, the so-called "lead evangelist" for Amazon Alexa in Europe. Other speakers include London city AI ambassador Catalina Butnaru, and Ajit Jaokar, principal data scientist at University of Oxford.

ConverCon takes place on September 6th, 2018.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist