The Many Ways We Will Soon Be Talking to Robots


What if in the near future the must-have gift for a one-year-old was a robot Teddy Bear that could be playmate, teacher, security guard – all in one? Would it be lauded as the wonder tool of early childhood development and childcare? Or would it be feared as way too creepy? And who would program what the robot said every day in every situation to that young mind – parents or some engineer? These are the kinds of questions that David Ewing Duncan explores in his new book Talking to Robots, Tales from Our Human-Robot Futures, and that he will lay out in conversation as our featured guest at our next What’s Next: New York.

Today many people have simple conversations and even the beginnings of emotional connections to our crude talking robots like Siri and Alexa. But Duncan interviewed a wide range of experts in artificial intelligence and robotics and then projected out an array of scenarios about how people might interact in extremely complex and emotional ways with machines in the near future. He will lay out some of the ways that are coming just ahead that we would be wise to prepare for right now. Many of the fundamental design questions that will shape what AI can and can not do are being made today within leading companies and startups that are pioneering this new world.

Duncan is a great guide to this new world. He’s an experienced journalist who has covered the world of technology and life sciences and has written 10 books that help open up the future to business and general audiences. He also understands the business side of these fields and will help us understand what companies are wrestling with right now and how government policies can help guide towards more optimal outcomes. Join us for what will be a fascinating conversation and come celebrate the launch of his new book. This event will be the first public event after the official launch that week and we expect a great crowd.

Capgemini and their Applied Innovation Exchange is our partner for this series. This event is free but requires advance registration through an invite. If you are interested in attending, email If you can’t attend in person, the event will be streamed here starting at 6:30pm ET.

Scheduled July 18, 2019 6:30 PM EST

What's Now: New York

A conversation among innovators at
The Applied Innovation Exchange

79 5th Avenue, 2nd FL , New York, NY 10003