Yelling at Robots: The End of Language As We Know It?

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Hosted by Luminary Labs

TimesCenter: Stage Two 242 W 41st St New York NY 10036

Bots have fast become part of our daily lives, at the ready to supply information and perform basic tasks. But what level of respect do we owe these helper bots? What are the implications of how we treat voice-recognition technology?

In this fireside chat, wordmasters Erin McKean, Michelle McSweeny, PhD, Ben Zimmer, and Sara Holoubek will comment on this new intersection of language and technology. They will explore topics such as why voice recognition is still so frustrating, how AI may be conditioning children to be rude, and how human speech must evolve to keep up with machines.

Audience takeaways:

  • A technical look at the AI technology powering voice recognition and virtual assistants, including why humans are often hiding behind the bots.
  • How human behavior is already adapting to this new technical reality.
  • Explore other languages we’re inventing, such as the language of virtual reality.
  • Why this matters to society.

Venue & Location

TimesCenter: Stage Two

242 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036

Social Media Week

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Yelling at Robots: The End of Language As We Know It?


  • Sara Holoubek


    Sara Holoubek

    Founder & CEO

    Luminary Labs

  • Erin McKean


    Erin McKean



  • Michelle McSweeney


    Michelle McSweeney

    Research Fellow

    Center for Spatial Research, Columbia University

  • Ben Zimmer


    Ben Zimmer

    Language Columnist

    Wall Street Journal