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Adam Cheyer

Artificial Intelligence / Human Computer Interaction


Delegated Computing: Orchestrating Distributed Computations

The vision guiding my research conceptualizes a world where a population of networked programs and devices, each providing services and data, cooperate and compete to perform tasks for each other and for human users. One challenge is how to encourage flexible cooperation in an environment where components offering new, perhaps unanticipated services can join in at any time. Computational elements must be able to express needs, tasks, and services at various levels of abstraction without hardcoding explicitly how the task should be accomplished or by whom. The decisions regarding which components will participate on a task are themselves arrived at in a cooperative, distributed fashion. This is the essence of delegated computing. Recent work focuses on applying these principles to business-to-business integration and supply chain contexts, enabling dynamic communities of enterprises and trading partners arranged in flexible networks to exchange information, products and services.

Delegated Computing: Helping People Work Better

If we assume that such a computational cloud exists, we can ask how human users will interact with the services contained inside. In today's computing world, users typically work with a single application or website at a time, and are responsible for explicitly driving any sharing of data or task by the applications (e.g., by cut and paste). In a delegated view of human-computer interaction, users describe their objectives (at an appropriate level of detail) and the entire community of component services assembles itself to handle the request, without the user needing to know which participants are involved. As agents capable of performing new services join the party, what the user can say and do expands accordingly.

In terms of human-computer interaction styles, we are pursuing forms of delegated communication that meet the following criteria: Users should be able to interact with an agent community in whatever way is the most productive and natural to them; this may include standard GUI devices (e.g., mouse, scroll bars), natural language, speech, drawing, pointing, etc. They should be able to access and task the agents from anywhere: their desktop, a telephone, their phone and their desktop together, any web browser, and through physical interactions with the real world. Agent interactions should adapt based on the set of input and output modalities the user has available. In addition, multiple users should be able to work together on a common task, directing groups of software components. As humans and agents collaborate, some agents should be capable of filling various social roles in the interaction: subordinate, colleague, advisor; most components remain invisible in the interaction process.





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(510) 388-2121

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Latest News

September, 2016 - Selected to UCLA's "Optimist" Campaign

September 13, 2016 - "It's not about A/B, it's about AI"

July 1, 2016 - Keynote speaker at The Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders

  • Adam spoke to 4,500 of the top high-school students in the country. [Video of Talk].

June 30, 2016 - 150 Million Members

  • Change.org announces a new set of tools to enable the community to crowdfund action on any issue on the petition site. Ben Rattray also announced that membership has surpassed 150 million people; it's been just over a year since the 100 million mark was passed.

June 6, 2016 - Great Article about Viv

  • John Battelle has written one of the most insightful article I've seen about Viv.

May 24, 2016 - Pioneers Festival: Viv, World-Changing AI Unveiled

  • At Pioneers Festival, Adam and Dag gave an extended look at Viv, a next generation assistant that will be open to the world's developers to extend. See the video here.
    • Want to see a bit more of Viv's magic? Here's some functionality that wasn't shown on stage... [video]

May 10, 2016 - Panelist at Computer Human Interaction (CHI) conference

  • Adam will join a panel on "A Future for Personal Assistants ", with incredible co-panelists: Phil Cohen, VP Advanced Technology at VoiceBox; Eric Horvitz, Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft; Steve Whittaker, Professor at UC Santa Cruz; and Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and chief science officer for Affectiva.

May 9, 2016 - First demonstration of Viv at TechCrunch Disrupt

April 30, 2016 - Speaker at Go Youth Conference

  • Adam presented "Thoughts on Entrepreneurship" to 500 attendees of the Go Youth conference in Lisbon. With unemployment at 40% for working-age population under 35, the speakers of this exceptional conference conveyed important messages and tips to the young people of Portugal.

April 22, 2016 - Sentient Technologies named one of the best places to work in the Bay Area

  • Sentient Technologies was named #12 (out of 400 considered) for best small business in San Francisco. Read the details here.

March 31, 2016 - Keynote Speaker at Strata Conference

  • Adam will speak to 5,000 attendees of Strata, O'Reilly's largest conference, presenting a talk entitled "Practical AI in the Real World".

March 16, 2016 - External Keynote Speaker at Intel Spoken Language Technology Summit

  • Adam will present a talk entitled "The Age of the Assistant is Upon Us" at Intel.

March 14, 2016 - Panelist at South By Southwest Conference

  • Adam will participate in the panel "Can AI Systems Really 'Think'?" with amazing co-panelists: John Markoff, Sr. Writer for the NYTimes; Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence; and Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and chief science officer for Affectiva.

March 2, 2016 - Speaker and Panelist at XPrize Event

  • Adam was a speaker and a panelist on Artificial Intelligence at an event hosted by the XPrize group. Other participants included Tom Gruber of Apple, Scott Phoenix of Vicarious, Nigel Duffy of Sentient Technologies, and Yann LeCun of Facebook. Larry Page and Ray Kurzweil of Google were attendees of the event.

Feb 24, 2016 - External Keynote Speaker at SAP's d-Kom Developer Conference

  • Adam will speak to 2000 attendees at the SAP d-Kom Developer Conference, held at the Santa Clara convention center.

Feb 16, 2016 - New Patent Issued on Security through Voice Authentication

  • Adam is the inventor of a new patent granted to Apple. A news story was written up in the Mercury News.

Jan 14, 2016 - Guest Lecture at Stanford Business Class

Nov 17, 2015 - An Evening with Adam Cheyer, Brandeis '88

  • Adam will speak at a Brandeis University Alumni meeting, to be held November 17th at the Bentley Reserve.

Nov 12, 2015 - Speaker at O'Reilly Next Economy Conference

  • Adam participated on a panel on The Future of Personal Assistants at the Next Economy Conference. Other speakers at the conference included Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; David Plouffe, Board member of Uber; Ev Williams, CEO of Medium and former CEO of Twitter; Steward Butterfield, co-Founder of Slack; Yancey Strickler, CEO of Kickstarter; and many more.

Nov 7, 2015 - Featured Speaker at Draper University

Sep 11, 2015 - Siri Butts In at Whitehouse Press Briefing

  • Siri decided to "butt in" on a whitehouse press briefing and speak out loud what Press Secretary Josh Earnest was only thinking... [Video].

Sep 9, 2015 - Headline Speaker at Berkeley Innovation Week

  • Adam will be a speaker in front of 200 CAL Berkeley students as part of CAL Berkeley Innovation Week. Other presenters will include Cal alum founders of Apple, Tesla, Oculus, Warby Parker, Nextdoor, Kabam, and TubeMogul.

Sep 2, 2015 - Featured in Huffington Post Article

Aug 26, 2015 - Speaking at Churchill Club

  • Adam will be a panelist at the Churchill Club's event entitled "A.I. Startups - Where are the Opportunities?". Other members of the panel include Nigel Duffy (CTO of Sentient), Alex Lebrun (Facebook/wit.ai), and Norman Winarsky (President, SRI Ventures).

August 2015 - Excerpt published of Chapter from "Mad Men of Mobile"

Jun 4, 2015 - 100 Million People are Taking Action on Change.org

  • Over the last eight years, Change.org has grown into the world's largest empowerment platform. Today, more than 100 million people from 196 countries have come to Change.org to create the change they want to see at local, national and global levels. See some [Statistics] about who the 100M people are and what they have accomplished.

Jun 3, 2015 - The AI Debates at Future Mobile 2015

  • Adam will participate in a panel entitled "The AI Debates" at Future:Mobile 2015. Other panelists include Peter Norvig of Google, Andrew Ng of Baidu, and Babak Hodjat of Sentient.

Jun 1, 2015 - Opening Keynote at EmTech Digital

Mar 27, 2015 - Speaking to Students as part of the Broadening Participation in Data Mining (BPDM) Initiative

  • Adam will be interviewed by students as part of the Broadening Participation in Data Mining (BPDM) Initiative. The mission of the group is to encourage minorities and women to continue into grad school and study data mining and its related branches.

Feb 20, 2015 - Viv Labs Closes B Round

Jan 22, 2015 - Reverse Q/A at RV Luminary Series

Jan 16, 2015 - Speaker at TedX (Gunn High School)

Dec 9, 2014 - Change.org Raises $25M from Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Jerry Yang, Richard Branson, Reid Hoffman, and many more

  • Change.org announced a new round of funding from numerous investors including: Code.org co-founders Ali and Hadi Partovi, HuffPo founder Arianna Huffington, Textmarks chairman Ariel Poler, A-Grade Invetments’ Ashton Kutcher & Guy Oseary, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Braintree founder Bryan Johnson, Google fellow Diane Tang, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, former Facebook and YouTube CFO Gideon Yu, Ooga Labs co-founder James Currier, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, retired JPMorgan Partners co-founder and managing partner Jeffrey Walker, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale, Twitter VP of global media Katie Stanton, Grokker founder Lorna Borenstein, Bebo co-founder Michael Birch, the Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler Family, Nicolas Berggruen, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Virgin group founder Richard Branson, Y Combinator president Sam Altman, MITS Fund’s Shawn Byers, and the Trawalla Foundation.
  • Read more: [TechCrunch Article]

Nov 24, 2014 - Genetic Finance rebrands as Sentient Technologies and Raises $103M

Nov 15, 2014 - Another Siri Patent Issued

  • Adam was co-author on a New Siri Patent that was issued today by the USPTO.

Nov 6, 2014 - Keynote Speaker at Listen 2014

Oct 1, 2014 - Presentation at BlackBox Connect

  • Adam will do a presentation at BlackBox Connect 2014, sharing insights with 27 founders of 16 companies from 15 different countries.

Aug 18, 2014 - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

  • Adam was nominated by Solina Chau to participate in raising awareness for ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge. He accepted the challenge and then passed the challenge on to Dag Kittlaus of Viv Labs, Nick D'Aloisio of Yahoo/Summly, and Antoine Blondeau of Genetic Finance.

Aug 12, 2014 - New Venture Revealed: Viv, "The Global Brain"

Aug 5, 2014 - New Siri Patent Issued

  • Adam was a co-author on a New Siri Patent that was issued today by the USPTO.

July 28, 2014 - Keynote Speech at AAAI

  • Adam will give the opening keynote speech for this year's Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) meeting in Quebec City.

    Siri: Back to the Future
    Siri is the virtual personal assistant resident inside hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Ask Siri to buy you a movie ticket, make a restaurant reservation, send a message or a tweet, or get the score of the big game and Siri will help you get the job done quickly and easily, through a conversational interaction. People often ask me, "What technology is really behind Siri" and "What's next for Siri?" As a former Apple employee, I'm not at liberty to talk about either of these questions. However, without saying anything related to Apple's system or roadmaps, I can describe the past, explaining what got left "on the cutting room floor" as Siri moved forward from research to commercialization up to an eventual acquisition by Apple. In this talk, I will present the technology and features behind a lineage of systems leading towards Apple's Siri: OAA, Vanguard, CALO, Active, the startup Siri. We will do it in reverse: the farther we go back in time, the more futuristic each version gets, with fantastic capabilities not available in any later version. As Steve Jobs famously said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards..."

July 25, 2014 - Presentation at Brandeis University

June 1, 2014 - Board Member at the Oakland Food Pantry

  • Adam has joined as a Board Member of The Oakland Food Pantry. Consider donating to this worthy organization. Every dollar donated supports $18 worth of healthy food given to those in need in the West Oakland area. This is possible because of the rock bottom low-overhead of this organization: there are no paid employees, only volunteers working hard to make a difference in people's lives..

May 15, 2014 - Speaker at Tech in Motion Event

May 14, 2014 - "The Power of Startups"

  • Adam was featured in a Blog Post talking about entrepreneurship and the power of startups.

May 5, 2014 - New Change.org Video: "Victories Every Day"

May 1, 2014 - Change.org Wins Webby Award

March 2014 - Three New Siri Patents Issued

March 15, 2014 - Keynote Speaker at GoYouth 2014

March 7, 2014 - Keynote Speaker at the Hult Prize SF

March 4, 2014 - Keynote Panelist at Mobile Voice 2014

  • Adam will be a member of the Keynote Panel entitled "A Conversation about Conversational Interfaces" at Mobile Voice Conference 2014. The other participants on the panel will include Patti Price (co-founder of Nuance, moderator), Barney Pell (co-founder of Powerset), and David Israel (Program Director in SRI's AI Center).

Jan 31, 2014 - Speaker at Entrepreneur's Summit 2014

  • Adam will speak on a panel called "Transforming an Industry" at the Credit Suisse Entrepreneur's Summit 2014, at Robert Redford's Sundance Resort in Utah.

Jan 9, 2014 - Blog Post by Tudor Tarlev

  • Tudor Tarlev is a young entrepreneur and COO at Dreamups, an exciting site that harnesses collective intelligence to make the world a better place by sharing knowledge on how to build and make things. I met with him for lunch, and he wrote a nice blog post of some of the takewaways from our discussion.

Dec 2013 - Mad Men Of Mobile

Dec 2013 - Siri Functionality

  • Check out this great video that goes through 50 interesting/useful Siri commands you many not know... YouTube: 50 Siri Commands

Dec 9th, 2013 - Honoring Doug Engelbart

  • Save the date! On the 45th anniversary of The Mother of All Demos, the Computer History Museum will host a reception and provide a Tribute to Doug's Life and Work. There will also be a discussion about the "Engelbart Challenge", moderated by New York Times author John Markoff. Adam will participate as a panelist as part of this.

Oct 2013 - What is Steve Wozniak's All-time Favorite App?

  • Speaking in London (and other places recently), when asked what his favorite app is of all time, the Apple co-founder cited the original Siri app as his favorite. Here's a recent video where he talks a little bit about this....

Oct 31, 2013 - Keynote at Web Summit in Dublin

  • Adam provided the closing keynote speech on the Developer Stage of Web Summit, a conference with more than 12,000 participants. The subject of the talk was "The Artificial Intelligence Behind Siri", giving a glimpse about topics such as SRI's CALO project, EPFL's Active Ontologies, and the early days of Siri, the startup. Adam also participated on a panel dedicated to remembering Doug Engelbart and discussing the future of his vision.

Oct 30, 2013 - Speaker at Pioneer's Festival in Vienna

The End of Search As We Know It - Welcome to the Age of the Virtual Personal Assistant

Two tech giants, two big names, two competitors -- Apple and Google have both invested heavily in the development of “virtual assistants”. Adam Cheyer, Founder of Siri, and Vishal Sharma, VP at Google in charge of Google Now will join together to speak about virtual assistants and the implications of this powerful technology for entrepreneurs and society.

We all know the iPhone’s personal assistant Siri. When it was first acquired by Apple in 2010, there was a huge buzz surrounding the potential of what in essence was an intelligent, handheld PA. Now distributed as part of the iPhone and iPad, an independent study found 87% of iPhone users make use of Siri at least once a month. But today, Siri has a competitor in Google Now, the highlighted feature of Google’s first phone, the MotoX. Google Now takes a proactive, personalized approach, delivering the right information to you at just the right time, without even having to ask for it. In this panel, the two speakers will talk about how the visions behind these two groundbreaking products are similar and how they differ, where they see Virtual Assistant technology heading, and how this will impact developers, entrepreneurs, and people everywhere.

Oct 23, 2013 - Keynote Presentation at STEM Week (Los Altos High School)

  • Adam spoke about Siri to parents and students of Los Altos Hight school, as part of STEM Week (Science Technology Engineering and Math), an initiative to inspire kids about science-related careers.
  • Article in the Los Altos Town Crier
The Birth of Siri: Inside the Science of Artificial Intelligence

Siri is the Virtual Personal Assistant resident inside of hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Ask Siri to buy you a movie ticket, make a restaurant reservation, send a text message or a tweet, set a reminder for when you get home, or get the score of the big game and Siri will help you get the job done quickly and easily. When Steve Jobs was asked about buying the startup company that made Siri, he famously said "Siri is not a search company. They're an AI company." What did he mean by this? In this session, we will peer into the history of Siri, learning about Siri's "parent" (CALO, the largest Artificial Intelligence project in US history), understanding the science and technology behind systems like Siri, and discussing how far Artificial Intelligence may reach in the future.

Sept 22, 2013 - Keynote Speaker for The Kairos Society's Startup Weekend Event

Sept 13, 2013 - Elected to SRI Alumni Hall of Fame

August 27, 2013 - Siri Co-Founders Reunited...

  • ... for a photoshoot. Here is a shot of the three Siri co-founders, Adam (VP Eng), Dag (CEO), and Tom (CTO).

July 24, 2013 - Guest Speaker at Blackbox Connect Summer Camp for International Entrepreneurs

  • BlackBox runs "BlackBox Connect", a 2-week "summer camp" for international entrepreneurs. Selected participants live at the famed "Blackbox Mansion" in Atherton CA, have the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs, and learn from some of the best minds in the Valley.

June 2013 - Change.org Hits 40 Million Users, Up from 25M in January

May 22, 2013 - Speaker at Nokia Intelligent User Interface Panel

  • Adam shared the stage with several speakers as part of a panel on Intelligent User Interfaces: Barney Pell (former CEO and Co-Founder of Powerset, lead for local search at Microsoft Bing), David Israel (head of Natural Language group at SRI International), moderated by Patti Price (former director of the speech group at SRI, co-Founder of Nuance, co-Founder of BravoBrava).

April 17, 2013 - Speaker at USC's "The Leap" Entrepreneur Class

April 16, 2013 - Keynote Panelist at Mobile Voice 2013

Jan 22, 2013 - Huffington Post Reports on Siri's History

Jan 15, 2013 - Participant at XConomy's Session on Virtual Personal Assistants

  • Xconomy hosted an off-the-record, invite-only dinner for leading Bay Area technologists, executives, and investors in the emerging area of virtual personal assistants and (more broadly) new mobile and Web applications of AI. Many of the top experts in the field attended.

Dec 12, 2012 - Keynote speaker for XConomy's Mobile Madness NW Conference

  • In 2004, on the 10th Anniversary of the World Wide Web, Adam made 10 predictions for the next 10 years. In his keynote address at the Mobile Madness NW Conference, he will score how he did on his predictions, show how he used these predictions to help start several companies (Siri, Genetic Finance, and Change.org), and then he will make 5 more predictions for the next 5 years.

Dec 11, 2012 - Adam speaks to teens at Berkeley High School

  • Adam presented "Secrets of Success" to several groups at Berkeley High School, including the Entrepreneurship and Innovation class.

Dec 6, 2012 - Change.org Hits 25 Million Users, Becomes World's Largest Petition Platform

Nov 2, 2012 - Adam Selected as Brandeis Computer Science Entrepreneur of 2012

October 29-31, 2012 - Keynote Speaker at Pioneers Festival

  • Adam was the opening Keynote Speaker at the 2012 Pioneer's Festival, Europe's largest conference for Startups.
  • In the presentation, he rated himself on 10 predictions for the internet that he made in 2004, and then made 5 more predictions... (Summary).

September 2012 - Siri's Co-Creator, Adam Cheyer, Confirms He Has Left Apple

August 2012 - Roundtable Leader at the Influencer Series

  • Adam chaired two sessions at the August Influencer Series meeting, speaking on the subject of Mobile Artificial Intelligence, and leading an off-the-record discussion among a very high-quality group of invite-only leaders in the field.

June 2012 - iOS 6 Preview Shows Off Siri's New Capabilities and Languages

  • Apple Website - Sports. Restaurants. Movies. Facebook. Twitter. App Launching. Eyes Free. Now for 15 language variants (iPhone 4S and now on the iPad!)

June 8, 2012 - Xconomy's The Napa Summit: Keeping America Growing

May 2012 - MIT Technology Review writes an article about Siri's personality

April 25, 2012 - iPhone 4S continues at amazing rate, leads Apple to another unbelievable quarter (47.4% gross margin!)

Feb 5th, 2012 - Great article in NYTimes about Change.org

Jul 12, 2010 - Guest Lecturer at Singularity University

Apr 13, 2010 - Invited Lecture on "Mobile Internet Marketing" at San Francico State University.

Apr 22, 2010 - Presentation about Siri at Mobile Voice Conference in session: "Voice Interface on Mobile Phones".

Apr 13, 2010 - Invited Lecture on "Mobile Internet Marketing" at San Francico State University.

Mar 16, 2010 - Siri selected as the Most Innovative Web Technology at SXSW

Mar 11, 2010 - Siri featured on CBS SmartPlanet

Feb 25, 2010 - Invited Speaker Presentation at Ontolog Forum by Adam Cheyer and Tom Gruber

Feb 4, 2010 - Siri's First Public Launch

Jan 1, 2010 - Top 10 Victories for Change.org in 2009
Change.org, a website I helped start in 2005, had a great 2009 -- we now have more than 1 million members, and check out some of the real-world change our community helped bring about:

Adam Cheyer