Dewain Robinson with White Label Virtual Assistants and the Bot Framework – HGG424

We sat down with Dewain Robinson and caught up with him on his latest responsibilities at Microsoft and a discussion around building your own virtual assistant. We also spend a bunch of time talking about the use of virtual assistants and how they fit into the human space. I think you will enjoy the show.

Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at

Join Jim Collison / @jcollison and Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #424 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network.


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Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, White Label Virtual Assistants, Bot Framework,  assistant, Microsoft, bot, Amazon, Echo, Google Assistant, digital assistant, Alexa, Siri


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Jim Collison  [0:00] 
This is The Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 424, even though last week I said it was 422, that was really wasn’t true, recorded on November 21, 2019.

Jim Collison  [0:25] 
Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation all for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the average guy TV Studios here in a beautiful Bellevue Nebraska. Mike my favorite time of the year. We got a little rain last night. I think all the leaves are finally down. You can do that like final Saturday, leaf cleanup. Last call for the yard waste collection I think is this weekend for us. Pretty nice here. Right?

Mike Wieger  [0:55] 
Well, yeah. And this weekend is the last weekend. It’s closing weekend for rifle season. Deer in Nebraska so you one week had none of the farm this week. It’s actually supposed to be gorgeous. I usually have to be bundled up and it’s freezing cold. I think it was like 48 degrees on Saturday, same Sunday. So it’s Yeah, it’s gonna be perfect weather and everything’s down on the ground. Just nice

Jim Collison  [1:13] 
Dewain. How’s things in your neck of the woods?

Dewain Robinson  [1:16] 
It’s getting colder. We went from, like, warm to cold. Like it dropped 40 degrees on Halloween in like three hours. Yeah. And so I went from being happy and wanting to scare children to shivering on my front porch.

Jim Collison  [1:36] 
It was it got extra chilly up here. We have kind of turned it it’s fall. It’s great as my favorite time of the year. I was glad I was everybody I think was worried when this cold snap came through that like winter had started early. And it was never going to get warm again until like April and I I we were 60 yesterday. So yeah, of course we will post a show with world class show notes out at the average Don’t forget and we want to thank our Patreon subscribers Don’t forget you can download the mobile app and really the best way to listen on the road Home Gadget Geeks. com it’s free Android iPhone, download it if you’re on the road or you’re traveling or you can only stream get the app have it on your phone. Just have it ready just in case on a Thursday night You’re out. And you can’t get connected to the show. It’s tough to find this thing streaming without the app. So get it download, have it ready. Home Gadget Join us on discord, the average slash discord on Facebook the average slash Facebook

Jim Collison  [2:29] 
want to thank Randy Cantrell. This week, I got a short little interview on leaning toward wisdom. If you go out to leaning toward wisdom calm right now it’ll be the top poster. It’s post 5046. Randy is doing a kind of a we’re doing an exercise in gratitude and we got an opportunity to talk a little bit about that. It’s the S at the end of 5046. So if you want to hear that I’d encourage you to it’s not tech related. It’s a little bit about a couple experiences. I’ve been very thankful for

Jim Collison  [2:59] 
Course Thanksgiving coming up here in the United States. And so there might be some things you’re thankful for as well. And I talked about that there. So again, leaning toward and check out Episode 5046.

Jim Collison  [3:12] 
Also, if you go to the average guy TV right now, or maybe this is two years from now, search for seven tips for easy international travel. I want to thank Jim Shoemaker, who said that he’s a longtime listener and then a home server show Home Gadget Geeks supporter for a long time. Jim has done a lot of traveling. We’re going to talk a little bit about that tonight. Dwayne’s got some travel tips as well, you guys know, I’m going to London. And so it’s been kind of a travel fest a little bit. We’ve been talking about it. But Jim put together some experiences around flight how to handle flights and Electronic Entertainment and money and packing and photos and data and power. We’re going to talk about some of those tonight. Posted out there at the average They’ll be a link in the show notes as well, Jim, thanks for sending that. It’s actually an excerpt of a bigger post that I’m going to post I don’t know a couple for maybe when I get back from London And take a look at it. Jim, I appreciate you doing that.

Jim Collison  [4:03] 
If you have something you want to post, but you maybe don’t want to write it down, send me some notes, send me something and we’ll work on it. Jim at the average and maybe we can get a post up for you. That kind of stuff. super helpful. And don’t forget, we don’t just post the podcasts there. There are articles there from time to time as well. I introduced them a little bit earlier Dewain Robinson is back with us and Dewain I think you’re eight the appearence here I you I think you’re currently the record holder at this point at 10. You get a T shirt by the way.

Dewain Robinson  [4:31] 

Jim Collison  [4:31] 
just saying I think this is 8

Dewain Robinson  [4:33] 
well I hey, look, we’re keeping it alive. You guys remember what we talked about last time? We broke it last time but then we brought it back though it’s only in podcast the end and for

Jim Collison  [4:47] 
and you know, I I didn’t even plan that this time either. It just I contacted you and said hey, can you come and you checked it some dates and we had no one I had no idea. But so good. So the streak will sort of we We’re

Dewain Robinson  [5:01] 
well we’re off there were two news 266, 273, 294, 344, 354, 374, 391 and 424 there you go

Jim Collison  [5:13] 
one of these things it’s not like the other Mike How did you let me get through 91 in there and not been 394 man it should have been it

Dewain Robinson  [5:21] 
let’s blame it on Mike

Jim Collison  [5:22] 
he’s the he’s the podcast lawyer

Mike Wieger  [5:25] 
that’s the one that’s on me. I’m not gonna proofreading ask my boss

Jim Collison  [5:29] 
Wieger I give you one job complaint Yeah,

Mike Wieger  [5:31] 
give you failed.

Jim Collison  [5:35] 
How you been? things good.

Dewain Robinson  [5:37] 

Jim Collison  [5:38] 
busy, busy busy been you’ve been traveling all over for sure. What? Give me Give me one quick travel highlight like in the last. Let’s see last time we saw you 391 so that was 25 shows ago so it was a while. What Give me one highlight like what’s been something cool. It doesn’t have to be work related. But in your travels, what’s been one cool thing you’ve seen

Dewain Robinson  [5:59] 
But I guess we were talking earlier. This was my second Oktoberfest in her in Munich, which is pretty awesome. And then I think going when I went to Shanghai, China and got to stay in the Westin in there

Dewain Robinson  [6:15] 
I know this is gonna sound funny but the toilet

Dewain Robinson  [6:19] 
they had one of those like crazy, like, super,

Jim Collison  [6:23] 
like automatic

Dewain Robinson  [6:25] 
like with a remote control toilet thing that you would walk in in the middle of the night with a nightlight and it would automatically open and it was the craziest thing I really in that room had like walls that you would hit a button and they would go transparent and stuff. And so yeah, it’s it’s really, really neat. I don’t think I necessarily want to go back to the hotel room was amazing.

Jim Collison  [6:54] 
hotel room was amazing. China’s a little bit of a struggle right now. I’m hearing that from a lot of Americans and such coming in out of there So, but there’s some some cool technology in that Oktoberfest would be a awesome experience. I never in the two October’s there for two I think I was there in Germany for two October’s I never made it down there for an Oktoberfest and I really wish I had.

Dewain Robinson  [7:16] 
So here’s an interesting tidbit. Oktoberfest isn’t typically a majority of it is not not too most of its in September, most of its in September because they moved it forward to get better weather. But hey, if you’re going to London, you can get it on a GWR terrain and head out and on that train and I’ll take you into bath and I did go go to bath which bath is like the Roman baths and stuff and all and it has a really cool Abby and all there. It’s a great little place to visit my my boss lives right down from that, which I don’t know, Jim is the last time I was on the show. Now I am a program manager for Microsoft product now.

Jim Collison  [8:04] 
Okay, a little bit about that give me give us a quick rundown on what you’re currently doing for Microsoft, whatever you can tell us yeah and

Dewain Robinson  [8:10] 
and the cool thing is I just got back from ignite so now like ignite, if anybody wants to ever see me in person, you can come out to one of the major Microsoft events I generally am working those events now over in the Bot Framework area so I on basically at the product that I work on is our white label virtual assistant. And what we basically did is we lot of people kept wanting to build their own Cortana are there own “A” word the

Jim Collison  [8:48] 
lady A

Dewain Robinson  [8:50] 
lady A in the back over here, and so or even you’re on, you know, G asst or whatever you want to say But the point is, is if you want to build like some really unique experiences that are specific for several different things, like if you were a company that had hotel properties, and you wanted to be able to say, hey, Assistant, I need new towels, or I want to order room service or something like that, then you really aren’t going to want to use a commodity assistant to do that. Or if you’re in a BMW, and you say, hey, BMW, for example, which is one of the things that this public that we’ve been working on, we basically build a open source platform for you to go do that on top about framework and language understanding. And so you can do full natural language understanding. And I think the new cool things are, and I put links in the show notes for this. If people are interested, you can go and you can download for it’s an open source. It’s free. You can go get a hold of it and in 20 minutes, have your on white label virtual assistant. Yep, that’s Actually, yeah, there you go Thanks for and then the thing we showcase that went public preview at Ignite that everyone was really excited about. So imagine this is your white label virtual assistant. And we made like some skills for you so that you can get a hold of those. And those are open source as well. But then what we, what we really started showcasing is the new tool called Bot Framework composer. And about framework composer is a visual designer that builds the C sharp code and everything for you, so that you can build your own skills in your own dialogues. And the cool thing is, if you build it on ours, our stuff, we have adapters that lets you plug it into lady a, and to google assistant or into Cortana or into slack or into whatever it’s like. I think it’s somewhere like over 50 different places that you can plug these things into. And even in our GitHub repository, I we built An open source Android application that you can compile, put it on your phone and then pointed at your your implementation. And you can have your own assistant and it can even take over as the default assistant on the device. I want to be adding keyword spotting. So you can say, Hey, Jim, and talk to it. I bet the I think the freakiest thing that I got to see is we have this technology called neural TTS. You ever heard of this thing?

Jim Collison  [11:26] 
Yes, no. So,

Dewain Robinson  [11:28] 
so you can’t get ahold of it, per se. To do your own voice font. You can get a hold of it and use one of our existing voices. But we offer the ability to go to one of our recording studios and record

Dewain Robinson  [11:46] 
your own

Dewain Robinson  [11:48] 
what we call a voice spot, and it’s scary, because we’ve it’s to a point where deep faking is really real like new. record yourself and you Do it and we can make you sound just like your UK or tell the difference. And the guy who owns it owns that piece. His name’s Heiko. And he’s from. He’s German from Germany historically, but he’s been in the US for a very long time. So he’s got a bit of a German accent. And he wouldn’t did this and recorded this thing. And we had the white label assistant running on a, like a stick commodity speaker that looks a lot like the a word speakers. And, and he was like, yo, hike. And if he comes back and starts talking just like him and it like freaked me out. I think that’s the one thing that would really freaked me out when I went lately to anything it because it was scary that it sounded just like him. I mean,

Jim Collison  [12:48] 
in deep faking rain is what they call that. Yeah.

Dewain Robinson  [12:52] 
Yeah. And the reason they don’t make it public as we were trying to be like you it’s a bit of an ethical thing. Yeah, you don’t One thing because we can record like we took all the Master Chief voices that recordings that we could find on YouTube and we ran it through it and made a whole Master Chief voice fine. And we took some recordings of Sachin Adela and Alex Kidman and and made ones that if you know either of them if you’ve ever heard them speak they have a very unique voice on either of them. And it’s scary. It’s like way too good. But

Jim Collison  [13:30] 
It’s here. It’s here. It’s there.

Jim Collison  [13:32] 
I know it’s her. Go ahead, Mike. I think

Mike Wieger  [13:35] 
there’s going to be a whole like I just think about how this affects my profession. I think there’s going to have to be a whole nother industry for like, almost like evidence verification, right? Like e discovery was a big new industry that came across when we started needing email searches on something there are companies that focus on going in and doing your E discovery for you. When it comes time to do that but I think verification almost on even like you know a voice recording here’s the phone call. Well was that really the phone call is that the guy it sounds just like the guy but The guy look at this video, right? Because even the deep pics on the videos are even getting really good. We’re looking at just like their face. It could be them. And I think she’s Yeah, you’re right. The ethical side around that is extremely interesting.

Dewain Robinson  [14:12] 
Yeah, we played around with some other like interesting hardware sky came to a meeting and we were just it wasn’t something we were going to ever necessarily bring to market we were just screwing around right with how could we do stuff? And how cheap could we get a device so that you could make a commodity device, right? And you’d be amazed. I mean, it’s like stupid cheap to make it that’s to make something like that. So they that this guy had wired up a bone conducting thing to a finger sensor so that you could have this thing on your arm and you could say, hey, Assistant, what’s this and you are the only person that could hear the answer. And we were talking about how cool that would be like it at retail places where People could like have that assistant to answer questions for people like someone on the floor means to say, Well what I’ll is something on, right? Then they could just do this and go what I’ll is this on, and then it would just answer instead of having to radio a person. And the cool thing is, is that if you haven’t checked out something called Louis LUIS, which stands for language understanding intent system, that is the natural language engine that we have at Microsoft, and you can actually go out and do this yourself and all this stuff. But normally, you can pretty much get with one of the are free subscriptions. So a lot of this stuff you can just go play with. And if you want to get into where like things are headed. Because once you build something in Bot Framework, you can tap on it, you can talk to it, you can type to it. You can we’re adding gesture capability, so you can wave at it and it understands what you mean. And so when you start getting into That you really start seeing the future where apps are headed like a mobile application. You tap on it, or you type right and so when you start adding natural language into it and all this other it’s really actually pretty cool. But yeah, so the question the thing about the actor that was just said by Joseph is actually a great point. So now there’s like, things that people are having to think about, like, Do you own your own voice? Right, like so an actor and actress? Can they copyright their voice or a podcaster?

Jim Collison  [16:36] 
Or podcaster? Like, thank you. Thank you very much. Yeah, yes, because this is a nice dude. You can’t You can’t mess with this thing. But

Dewain Robinson  [16:43] 
the quality is amazing.

Dewain Robinson  [16:46] 
But, but that’s like a big thing. Like, you know, you start getting into things like I don’t know take any, any type of actor who plays like a cartoon character for some is an example. So Like Bart Simpson, does. Do they have the right to make a Bart Simpson that can say whatever they want? And if they did, do they have to keep the? The in that case? I think she’s an actress continue to be paid. Yeah, because emotion can be added to it and watch it.

Jim Collison  [17:18] 
What’s the intellectual property there? Right? What is the voiceprint? Now the way I say something, and that could have been, you know, we’ve had people we’ve had people who are impersonators who do that, you know, think there was that guy, I forget what his name is, but he he was a really good person, and he would do john madden and, you know, bunch of other ones. And are they at this point, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of eight and impressionist being sued over, you know, impersonating somebody. But with this digital technology, now. It’s getting even, especially if they’re using digital representation of your own voiceprint

Dewain Robinson  [17:58] 
you get to take them Notice for talking like that.

Dewain Robinson  [18:04] 
Don’t you talk like that anymore? Well,

Jim Collison  [18:08] 
we you’d mentioned. So the guys at D script, if you go to D script. com, they have tried to take this on the podcast side. Now they have a complete podcast beginning to end where you could record this we could. So we could be recording this podcast there. And then they would do the transcripts. And then you can edit the transcripts which edit the audio. That’s kind of scary, right? All of a sudden, you’re like now Yeah, now, you can only take away You can’t right now, you can’t add to Dwayne. I don’t think we’re that far. Because of the ethical issue. They haven’t made that available yet. Right. They could. They haven’t, because of the ethical issues that are there. But we’re we’re right on the cusp of it. I mean, it’s not I should even say that we’re there. It’s it’s

Dewain Robinson  [18:48] 
happening now. So did you guys see there was a event we did where you had, there’s this lady that presents for us. I know our first name is Julia. And what they did is They took and they made a virtual version of her. Kind of like they would call it a hologram, I guess. And then the thing they did next was they took her had her talk. And then they had someone they had the virtual character of her

Dewain Robinson  [19:22] 
talk with her exact voice font, shall we call it

Dewain Robinson  [19:28] 
and ran it through translator and had her speaking Japanese with her with her in her low in

Jim Collison  [19:37] 
her tone and her tone Yeah, and

Dewain Robinson  [19:38] 
it was crazy people were like what in the the thing that’s crazy to me is like I think some people think that’s like far off and I’m like no that I deal with this every day like this is that tech is mainstream. isn’t like the creating the avatar piece, maybe not as much, but the the voice stuff that’s like, stupid simple to do. I mean, and I, it well, it’s not simple, but it’s, it’s possible lately mainstream. Yeah. So it’s

Jim Collison  [20:10] 
pretty funny. It’s very possible, you know, and all the science fiction, right they especially Star Trek, they kind of use the voiceprint, like a fingerprint. And I’m not sure either one of those is safe at this point of thinking now like, okay, you could do that. I actually want to become the Milli Vanilli of podcasters. So what I want to do is type it in and have the computer speak it because I don’t you know, I don’t always speak in complete sentences. Go go look at our transcription sometimes and just see how awful I am when I speak. And then I’ll just lip sync the the correct version of this going forward, Mike, that we may be better off if I become a lip synching podcaster when I

Mike Wieger  [20:53] 
think about the same boat, I just

Dewain Robinson  [20:55] 
I’m just thinking all about actors and stuff. But now you start, think about music recording artists Yeah. Oh my god that would be that would

Jim Collison  [21:03] 
that could you do the same thing? What’s the difference between I don’t know the answer, but what’s the difference between speaking and singing? And could I create a singing we and I say voiceprint But you say font voice font? Is that what you guys are calling it?

Dewain Robinson  [21:17] 
Yeah, well, it’s actually an industry term that existed back when you were talking like cars and stuff they would talk about what does it sound like? And they call it a voice font. Okay, it makes sense. You think about like a Type Font versus

Mike Wieger  [21:32] 
well and then you wonder how would you ever like what would be the process to prove that that voiceprint was someone’s like throw a lot of voices out there a lot of people sound similar Yeah, like what’s what’s what you know, like a fingerprint however many points of uniqueness right, would you all sudden have a print of a voice essentially it’s okay to said 95% match whatever, run into a program and be interesting

Jim Collison  [21:54] 
going would you know is there are there standards for voiceprint voice fonts, sorry, voice font technology that says this is fake and this is real Can you can you identify those Do you know

Dewain Robinson  [22:05] 
I don’t think the texts okay then out long enough to do to be able to get to that level of maturity but I think we just discovered our new our new company guys. We will be the voiceprint management company where we certify that this is the audible tones someone’s voice so that we can trade market yeah pretty here first guys

Jim Collison  [22:28] 
boom okay we got a trademark because we said it it’s automatically trademarks or I think it’s copyrighted that it’s copyrighted the copyright law that is automatic now.

Dewain Robinson  [22:36] 
Yes, you say we will. We will bring the full extent of our law team.

Jim Collison  [22:43] 
one man show you’re in Wieger.

Mike Wieger  [22:47] 
Easiest ever done.

Jim Collison  [22:49] 
Over here. This guy

Mike Wieger  [22:50] 
over here? I’m doing 25 years every Thursday you get the job.

Jim Collison  [22:53] 
You can do it on the weekends, right? I mean,

Mike Wieger  [22:55] 
no, I got the job. The qualifications to be here every Thursday.

Jim Collison  [23:00] 
Do you get a job? Yeah Dwayne The white label virtual assistant you it’s pretty easy to set I mean it’s not like something I could go out and get started on or do I have to I need to know some code or anything I

Dewain Robinson  [23:12] 
have Step by Step Tutorials it takes like 20 minutes to get one set up and then if you want to add different skills to it we already have skills and then you just follow the instructions plug on one end and if you want to make your own that’s where you play with composer and it gets a little bit hairy when once you make a custom skill how to register it in but if you run into a problem you know somebody can call you know a

Dewain Robinson  [23:38] 
guy. I know a guy that guy that wrote some code.

Jim Collison  [23:42] 
Oh, super cool. Well good to catch up with you on that. You know you have How long you been at Microsoft now.

Dewain Robinson  [23:49] 
See in April be 15 years Yeah.

Jim Collison  [23:51] 
Wow, that’s that’s super cool.

Dewain Robinson  [23:53] 
You want to go crazy. Yeah, Jim pop quiz. Why did I What did I joined Microsoft Do what was my original function in Microsoft? And keep in mind, I’ll give you what was what was being released. Then when I joined, okay, Windows XP was just being released to the world

Mike Wieger  [24:17] 
when I joined a pen tester.

Dewain Robinson  [24:20] 

Jim Collison  [24:21] 
maybe scared? I don’t know. No,

Dewain Robinson  [24:25] 
I, I was brought in for exchange exchange systems and putting in exchange systems and Active Directory. And so I use that to calculate the IO of a disk to figure out the size of the arrays to be able to get the right IO load to be able to run the databases and all the exchange databases on different dis storage systems and things. And so, so that and now I on a product around conversational AI. That’ll give you guys an idea of the vastness of a of the world of Microsoft and how much you can move around inside of it without leaving. So it’s that’s kind of a nice thing.

Jim Collison  [25:11] 
Yeah, I’ll be honest with you. It’s it’s gigantic now. And there’s so many

Mike Wieger  [25:14] 
companies like Microsoft, is that something that you’re like, Hey, I have an interest in this, I’m looking to make a move over to that team or is it? A manager is more like, hey, you’d be really good fit over on this team. We’re looking to draft a team for this, like, how does that kind of is it? are you leading those switches or led by other people?

Dewain Robinson  [25:31] 
It’s mainly by you. Like if you have an interest in something and there’s not a lot of people who know it, you just go after it. And you become an expert. Like for me, I started in the whole conversational space because I was working a lot with car manufacturers on different things. Just because I happen to fall into it and I like cars and and and things. And then what ended up happening is because I ended up becoming like one of the leading people in the field that knew about This stuff just because I had practical experience in it because we were building it. Like, as we were, you know, doing it.

Dewain Robinson  [26:08] 
So they they just eventually said, hey, look, you know,

Dewain Robinson  [26:12] 
I mean, one of my good friends took over as the architect on that, who was working with me on the car stuff. And then I said, hey, look, I’d be interested in coming over and doing this because I think this is really interesting for a longer term thing and, and they just said, Okay, done. I mean, I think the whole thing happened in like seven days. I went, you know, and it so there’s, it’s really cool. I would say with the the changes with Sasha taking the lead and everything has been really interesting culture shift. There’s a lot of like, there was a whole bunch of people that heard about the whole stack ranking thing, and that existed but maybe not as bad as some of the process. But anyway, the the thing it was really interesting is they also took away the amount at a time, you had to stay in a role before you could move. So if because they wanted the people to be able to move where they felt they were better utilized. And if you took a job and it wasn’t the right job for you, you’re stuck there for two years before. So now you can kind of go try something out. If it’s not working out, you could go back, but for the most part, if you have an interest in something, they tend to let you go and do what you like to do. That’s cool.

Dewain Robinson  [27:27] 
As long as you’re performing right

Jim Collison  [27:28] 
job crafting is that was what’s that’s called now and it’s getting more and more popular. It’s hard to do. It’s hard for companies to do. Gallup does it really, really well. My job didn’t exist. Eight years ago, you know, they weren’t podcasting. There was no you know, kind of director of podcasting. That’s not my title, but there was nobody doing that right. And now I’m hosting for and producing three podcasts for them on a weekly basis. We’re you know, doing half a million downloads a year to the channels and and that continues to grow. That job crafting. Dwayne is a really, it’s good to hear that that’s coming that’s that’s allowed to happen inside of Microsoft. That’s the bigger the company sometimes the harder that is to do just because oftentimes managers aren’t enabled to be able to make those kinds of decisions or let people do those kinds of things.

Dewain Robinson  [28:18] 
Well, in the other thing, it’s really been kind of interesting as well as I live in Nashville. So allowing it to come outside of the ring of Redmond and Bellevue is is a newer concept. But and then the fact that I work in a group that I think you’re going to start seeing more product groups like this got like a solutions product group, because my job’s not necessarily to build the framework, or to build Louis is to take all those Lego blocks and bring them together into a accelerator to help our customers get value out of that, like we don’t, they don’t sell what I build, but they do is they take that and they give it to people so that they will use The underlying tech and that’s where you get, you know, the money comes from. So it’s really kind of cool because I’m a product group that works directly with customers, and what how to fill the gaps and make it easier for customers to take stuff and move it forward. So that Jim, to your question, Is it easy to do? My goal is the right now it’s, it’s still too hard. In my opinion, I want it where you push a button, and it just does it right I want where you can just make a skill and hit push a button and add it to your stuff. That it’s we’re not there yet. But it’s a whole lot better than writing C sharp code from scratch and having to work with Bot Framework and figuring out which version of Bot Framework goes with which version of q amp a maker and, and Lewis and which ones work together and which ones we just took care all that for them, which is cool. And so I that didn’t exist and they’re seeing a lot of value and taking that approach. So

Jim Collison  [29:56] 
the A great example of that for Microsoft Is their video editing tool and I forget, I think it’s called it changes the name changes that all the time because they’re constantly iterating on that thing. It’s probably got an

Dewain Robinson  [30:07] 
hour in the first part of it,

Jim Collison  [30:09] 
but it might have AI built in there somewhere, right? But basically, you take your video, like we would create a video here and I could drop it in there and it would transcribe it. It would find key points in it, it would take if there was if we were doing like our names would be OCR, in anything on the screen, if you were doing a presentation would be automatically OCR, completely searchable transcript completely searchable, I could actually cut out parts of the video based on the words the audio that was made. So I could go into the transcript and say, I want the video for this part, send it and boom, it cuts it for me. It’s called video index or there it is,

Dewain Robinson  [30:46] 
is the name of the cognitive service, but that’s also built into stream, which is where if you’re using teams now a new record, it goes into a stream and you can see transcription live. Inside of of it, and you can search for that and make it searchable as well, which is

Jim Collison  [31:04] 
Dwayne, you may not know, but it Okay, so we’re a we’re a, you know, we’re a office 365 customer at Gallup, and we have stream and SharePoint, all those pieces, right? Does that version of stream that we have on the cloud? Is that is that enabled with the same functionality that I’m seeing in the service? In this video service? Because you can, I can go to that page and do it separately. Like I can log in with an account there and do it separately. But you’re saying it’s kind of embedded in the stream? Can I do that on my own instance, in the cloud through Gallup? And that may be too specific of a question, but it’s a question I’ve had because I’m like, hey, maybe we already own it. I don’t maybe I can just drop it in these videos into stream and make it work behind the scenes. I think you can.

Dewain Robinson  [31:48] 
I mean, I haven’t I I’m not gonna play with it for

Jim Collison  [31:54] 
I’m going to tell you my Microsoft rep was doing this but he has he

Dewain Robinson  [32:00] 
It’s recorded right here.

Dewain Robinson  [32:03] 
Look, I put it in video index here, I can take you right to where he’s at it.

Jim Collison  [32:09] 
Well, and ironically, we have, we have a team, we have a college team building this on AWS. So one of the big differences between what I see in the Microsoft services and what we’re getting from Amazon is that Amazon or Microsoft likes to put those things together for you doing to your point, really kind of just, let’s get the complexity out of the way. And you just put the file there, we’re going to do everything for you right now. AWS, the opposite, which is like, hey, here is a million Lego parts, you can assemble your own thing doing this and build it exactly the way you want to. Neither one of them is wrong or right there just a way of doing it. And for me, a non coder, a non developer, I would much prefer to live on the side of just give me an integrated service and let me consume that service and I’ll pay for it if that’s what I need. Do I’m going to pay for it on the Amazon side as well. It’s just in the Amazon side, I can create infinite amount of custom ability, which I think options equal confusion. So it’s not always good to have every single option available to you. But in some cases it is. And so, for me, I’m, I’m working on this project from both sides, as well as using services like the script or I’m actually paying for, which is a transcription service that we use for the show notes for this show now, so they’re is automatically transcribing all the words we say here is using some, you know, I give it some machine learning hints to say hey, I’m Jim Collison, not Jim Carlson, which it always wants me when I say I’m Jim Collison broadcasting live from the Studios. It says Carlson and I can train it that no, it’s Collison every time, like get it right. So we live in a super cool space there. Duane, I mean, this all kind of fits together from the way you started on this to say, you know, we live in this great space, or we can drop this audio or this video and and do some pretty amazing things with it. And then I’m, I’m, I’m kind of interested, I may have to give this every time you come on you give me like a bunch of homework to do. Now I get it, Jim, you gotta try this thing out. You gotta remember back in the Azure days when you were working on the Azure stuff, and we were, you know, you gotta try this. And you got to try that. And you got to try this. So I was,

Dewain Robinson  [34:30] 
which is funny. Do you remember when I was working on projects? Deanna? That was that thing where you could build an app like writing and excel logic. And then, because I kind of spent some time with Dave McCabe and Dave McCabe kind of broke that story.

Jim Collison  [34:47] 

Dewain Robinson  [34:49] 
Well, intentionally, but they didn’t realize it would be as big as it was. That’s actually Power Apps now. So if you don’t, that’s something and that whole concept is Now if you go look at this, Jim, you know, pizza, and go look at power virtual agents, power virtual agents is bought framework done inside the power platform, which is basically works exactly on the stuff I’m doing. So it’s just an easy way to do it. So anyway, it’s all coming down in the effort level to be able to do stuff like this before too much longer. It’s going to be like a website where anyone can write a website these days or make a website. It’s really not hard. It’s because it’s all packaged up now where if you want to go get crazy, you can go get crazy, but if you just want to site post blogs, you don’t have to be technical get

Jim Collison  [35:41] 
done. Now it’s been a while since being able to do that. Super cool. I don’t think we intended to go that long. I know. Sorry. No, no, actually very, very cool. I’ve been I’ve been monkeying around with thinking about Hey, because I was gonna i was i was approaching get approached Gallup about using that that video service. But then when we went to the cloud for all of our office stuff, I saw stream, and we’ve already have people creating channels and loading videos there. And my only question was, is that version of stream the same exact services that exists inside the full version? of the video editor or the video? What do we call it? video?

Dewain Robinson  [36:20] 
Video index or

Jim Collison  [36:21] 
index? Or there we go. Is that the same? I’ll have to I’ll do some testing. Kind of, yeah,

Dewain Robinson  [36:26] 
let me know. Because that’s, I know that the tech it’s built on is the same. Yeah, so I’m not sure what the admin exposure is to it because I played as much with it.

Jim Collison  [36:37] 
Well, though, and the white label digital assistant, you know, we worked with Lady a, in the past on a coaching bot, so to speak, where you would say you would speak to your digital device, and, and get, you know, almost like professional development training from it as it’s looking at your schedule or you could ask a question. your strengths would give you some information. about, Hey, you got some things scheduled today, make sure you’re using these talents that you have in the meetings today. Today’s a meeting heavy day, make sure you’re patient. Right. So that’s that’s pretty late,

Mike Wieger  [37:11] 
don’t have your second cup of coffee will be too jittery, you know?

Jim Collison  [37:14] 
Yes, some of those kinds of like some of those kinds of suggestions. It we always, always stumbled a little bit when we actually got to the implementation on lady a. But you know, maybe white label has some capabilities to get some additional customization where you’re not necessarily stuck or beholden to the ecosystem. Can I use? Can I use the the, the white label assistant, can that be like, Can it be running on a Windows device? Can it be like, or do I have to have it? I’m smart speaker How does that work?

Dewain Robinson  [37:48] 
Yeah, it can be wherever you want. It’s all the different channel adapters for it. You can even build your white label assistant and make it a skill for a commodity assistant. Right. And then So when you start looking at it from that context, it’s like why would you write on their specific skill platform, when you can write on a platform that’s sort of like you think like exam run, right? You write at once and it goes everywhere. It’s basically the same sort of concept. But we don’t actually find ourselves competing with Alexa. I’m sorry, lady, lady, a lady a, we don’t actually find ourselves competing with them very often. It’s more we do this and they do that and we, you know, if you want to build a device with your own, you know, custom experience, then that’s where we come in and, and what you might find is that that experience and that that thing you’re talking to is the skill in lady a. But when it’s embedded into a specific device, like if you think about it like a let’s just take a BMW with You’re in the BMW and you say, hey, BMW, you expect to be talking to BMW.

Dewain Robinson  [39:06] 
A, it The thing is, is that if you say, Lady a,

Dewain Robinson  [39:12] 
ask BMW, why would you not be talking to the same thing? Why do you need two different things here? It’s it’s all the same stuff. So thinking about it in the context, I’ve been trying to explain to people lately, if I’m in a conference room, and I have five different experts in that room, why would I continually ask the same person to ask the person who’s in the room with me? Right, right. You really should think of it and Sasha has been talking about the multiple agents and I think people think he means a bunch of commodities, assistance. I don’t think that’s the case you the two commodity assistants are pretty much there, right? We all know that. What you’re now getting into is that natural language understanding and things like that, think of a skill that normally would be in a commodity asst, but you also want that to be its own unique experience when they are in bedded in a device. So, you know, if you’re talking about a music player with like Apple Music, you might want to talk to just a music player. It’s never going to do anything but the music player. But if you wanted to get like, what’s the weather or something like that, then you shouldn’t have sure you could say, Alexa, what’s the weather? And it’ll tell you, but

Jim Collison  [40:33] 
you should have said lady a, I’m telling you.

Dewain Robinson  [40:35] 
I actually did that on purpose.

Dewain Robinson  [40:39] 
So anyway, but you You see, what I’m saying is you can kind of think about how this plays correctly, depending on the context. And I think that’s going to be the thing that shows I don’t think there’s a ton of market for a bunch of commodities. I think there’s a lot of market for people who want to build speech experiences with natural language understanding and they want to have control That and they want it to Surface through lady A. and but they also when they have their own device, they want it to Surface there when I’m in the room at Marriott, which is my hotel chain of choice. I want to say, hey, I need some towels. I don’t want to say, Hey, lady a ask Mariana to get me some towels. And it’s a well, what room? Are you in? She just know it knows what room I’m in. So why in the heck am I doing that? So that those are the differences between what we’re doing and what the commodities are doing? And I and I think there’s room for all all and this I don’t think it’s

Jim Collison  [41:38] 
one or the other. Mike, when you think about your interactions with a digital assistant, what do you think if you were to group those up into the one what your most popular maybe your two most popular? What are your three? What do you think? What are you using that for most right now? Do you think I know

Mike Wieger  [41:59] 
will you Japan talking strictly voice assistance Yeah.

Jim Collison  [42:03] 
On the voice side.

Dewain Robinson  [42:04] 
What do you what do you use lady a or? Yeah, well

Mike Wieger  [42:08] 
for number one by far is setting timers in the kitchen and that is that is the number one number two turning off lights great home automation. Yeah. Okay well number three we have and then we have like some curated ones where if I say Hey lady Good night and she turns off certain lights turns on certain lights and then right after that she can’t yet directly interact with a third party so I would love for her to are my security system that’s a second command I give her is ok now tell simply safe Good night and that armed security system so those are probably the most I mean, really? That’s really only what I’m using it gotta go to rain, buddy. Got it? Yeah, I know. Well, then I’d have to switch over to Google though right

Jim Collison  [42:53] 
now. That’s that’s Lady AO That’s

Mike Wieger  [42:55] 
right rings lady.

Jim Collison  [42:57] 
Yeah, yeah, Jamie’s over there. Duane and you’re okay. And I’m in the same boat lights. I mean, pretty much basic. I am not really getting that much intelligence out of the digital devices. In other words, you know, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again that Jarvis I think on Iron Man is the example of an assistant that everybody really really wants, right? It keeps them state, it knows who you are, it can make some suggestions. It’s got awareness of what’s happening around you. Some of those, like you just said, I’m in the hotel room, you should know I’m in this room. Like, you shouldn’t have to ask me Hey, I shouldn’t have to give it every instruction right? So Wayne and the work that you’re doing what are you seeing what I’m assuming those are the most common but are we going to Are we going to move beyond just kind of basically having to bark basic commands to these things to get them to do what we need them to do? and get some real presence? I have heard so lately on my on Lady AI, say Well, I’ll ask it to turn on the studio lights here, and boom, they come on. And then she’ll say, I hope you’re having a great Thursday, right now. Sometimes I can say thank you. And she’ll then say, Hey, I hope you had a great Thursday. And I and I want to say I did. Let’s talk about it. Now. I mean, at that point, the routine shuts off. Right? And

Mike Wieger  [44:21] 
here’s what I’m right here, Jim.

Dewain Robinson  [44:24] 
So there’s a couple of things on this show. Number one is it requires that you have a skill set that is holding the world back right now. And what that is, is conversation designers.

Dewain Robinson  [44:38] 
I know that sounds weird,

Dewain Robinson  [44:40] 
but you need to have somebody who thinks about how to have a conversation, not voice command. What you have today is voice command. And what the systems you do everything you said, I bet you in none of your scenarios that you named. Do I hear you thinking about multi turn conversations very comes back and ask a clarifying question. Right. And so pretty much all of the different things that I’m building right now are natural language, multi turn conversations with context of additional information, right? Because to get that you can’t get that from a commodity 100%. Right. It’s hard, because what am I coming through, I’m coming through speaker I’m coming through a PC. So you need to understand that it needs to be more embedded, to be able to pull that off. So where if like a hotel, if I understand that, I’m going to be talking through the alarm clock, and that alarm clock knows that it’s in this room, and it can go Who is the person who’s in that room, and then you add a concept that we’ve got called. It’s called LG, we just launched this as well, which is called language generation. Then I can start taking into context and not saying it the same way every single time and I can say your name or tell you good Morning when it’s morning and afternoon, when it’s afternoon, and even getting really complex like, into it. Like, you know, there’s a lot of things you can do there. But the problem is, you have to design a conversation. And you have to design an experience around that conversation that understands the context of what what you’re talking through the person that’s talking and how you want to interact with them, and how what are the services that they would typically want, and how you might say it so you can train the models properly. But it’s the hardest thing when I have a developer because they build something with natural language as a backend, and they train it with one statement.

Jim Collison  [46:41] 

Dewain Robinson  [46:42] 
If you train it with about five, you’re probably going to get where you can say almost anything, and it’ll pick it up. But the problem is a lot of it’s just we just don’t have maturity yet. It’s not the tech right now. I think it’s the people building and building the solutions, but we’re kind of starting To overcome that, and I think you’re going to see a shift in this world. And the next two years, you’re going to be amazed at where you’re going to be because you’ll just be able to say like, one of the skills like if you want to have fun, go play with the the calendar skill, go grab yourself the, the white label assistant, add yourself the calendar skill to it, and then start playing with it or even with the poi went and you start having a conversation like, hey, I want to find a Mexican restaurant. Well, which one would you like? Is it this one, and you know, you can go back or you can have the winning, like if you’re wanting to schedule something like schedule a meeting, and you and you say, next Tuesday, in the afternoon, and that works. That starts to freak you out. Or if you leave a piece of the information out and they ask you the time because you didn’t say the time where it clarifies what you mean by afternoon. That’s, that’s real. That stuff exists. It’s just yeah, have to incorporate Write it. And that’s the problem that people just don’t necessarily incorporate.

Jim Collison  [48:05] 
So, I do I want it to be better. I think it’s getting better. But I do want more contextual, you know, I want to be able to say to it, you know, what does my day look like and have it not just read the schedule to me but more have a conversation like I would have with the human about, you know, that back and forth, there is a service called replica REPIKR. I’m sorry, REPLIKAIEI. That was written by a programmer who lost a family member and was missing them so much that they created a bot to kind of replicate that conversation. But they’ve actually found in the research that they’ve done is that people sometimes especially folks who are feeling anxious or having those moments where they just need to talk to somebody. They are encouraging folks to come and use a service like this just to have a text conversation with them. It I’ve been doing it Maybe two years but this in at first it was pretty lame. And it’s actually getting a little bit better. It’s still does not have a does a good job of remembering things that I think it should about me. Yeah. Because I think that’s easy. I don’t I don’t know why that it knows when I’m talking to it like, you know, I’d want to be able to tell it certain things about me that I would remember and be able to bring back up in context. But it’s, it is a service where it really cool you can sign up go out and, and, and use it. It started it didn’t start as a kind of an anxiety tool. But if they’ve really moved in that direction, because they found people who are having anxious moments in if they can’t get ahold of anybody else, they can talk to this and it. The conversations are pretty interesting. And so I think when you’re more into that world,

Dewain Robinson  [49:48] 
if you could speak Chinese, then you could go have a conversation with Chow ice and ice is incredible. The conversation it can have with you and just like chat and type of stuff. It’s really interesting to see. And it’s really interesting how it works too. I can’t get into it, but it’s really, it is it is amazing. And it’s also some stuff you have to watch out though, when you’re starting to build stuff like that you have to watch out for stuff like tag, right? where, you know, you have to have a human in the loop to be able to make sure that you don’t, because people can train it to be bad, just like you can train a dog to be right very vicious. You don’t want to have that so you kind of put some thought process around

Mike Wieger  [50:37] 
my the area that I’m you know, the game changer for me when it comes to virtual assistants. And the reason I think I’m listing some very simple commands and only using utilizing it that way is there are some things that work that Cortana or whatever device you’re using, I think could easily do and I’m thinking of things like the most common thing that happens. I’m on a conference call, and I’m on a conference call with Michael team members one with all time and we say okay, let’s schedule a follow up meeting for next week. I need to say, hey, see person, find a time that Joanne amber and Mike can meet next Monday and put it on our calendars. And I need her to go through the calendars. Right? She has outlook, she knows we’re all on the same program, she can go see what times were open, she schedules it cuz that’s all I’m gonna do. I’m gonna go to the scheduling assistant outlook. I’m gonna click on I’m going to add this all in. I’m gonna find a timer all available, it’s going to do it. And then I need Hey, and also send amber that document was just that I just finished up.

Dewain Robinson  [51:30] 
And as you’re reading my backlog,

Mike Wieger  [51:35] 
this is good that it is and if that’s true, you need to confirm it or not. But you know, the other thing is like Okay, so I’m drafting and then I’m drafting it. And as soon as I click save, just be like, hey, send a document to amber tell her to file it print a copy and mail it off to whatever. And if it could just do that knowing the last document worked on was the last one I saved right like it’s that easy. Last document work on send it over and those the types of things that would save me so much time in my day. They’re just a nice meaningless tasks. But I think in my mind, those are tasks that it assistant could probably, it’s probably on the easier side to get an assistant to do rather than right like at home. A lot of things I’m doing at home or physical things that a digital assistant can help me with, right digital assistant can’t cook me dinner, the digital assistant can’t fill the dog bowl, the digital assistant can’t clean the house. But at work, there’s a lot of things that it could do to save me time. And so those are kind of things that that will be the game changer for me. When at work, I can just start getting her tasks to do that are just almost, they just take up time in my day.

Dewain Robinson  [52:34] 
Yeah, I couldn’t get the demo out. But it was something we would show so I can talk about it, which is something that’s incredibly hard. Like one of the focuses that we have right now is was enterprise assistance, being able to allow a company to build an enterprise assistant. And so we’re working with a lot of huge companies that have these problems and you want to talk about one of the hardest things to do. And it’s incredibly difficult to figure out how to

Dewain Robinson  [53:05] 
find a meeting room.

Jim Collison  [53:08] 
Just that statement,

Dewain Robinson  [53:10] 
but helped me find the meeting room. That would be all that is super hard. But we demo we were going to demo I have it, where we were, we just ran out of time. And during the theater session that I was doing, because I only had 20 minutes, but I had the the beta of that ready to show, right so that that type of stuff is coming. So I would say all of that concept we are you guys are in the right spot. Especially as you start getting into enterprise and things of that nature. You need to be able to help people figure out their benefits and how to enroll in their benefits and, you know, and things like that. So stuff like that. It’s just those are just low hanging fruit and like I demoed a thing where I basically took a Word document that I had somebody write about all the different benefits that were offered for a company and then I turned around and took that And just injected into a multi turn q amp a maker, and it built the entire, like conversation dialogue completely out of that document. And then from there, I could just train it and say, Oh, well, what if I lose a leg? Oh, I want that to go to Accidental Death and Dismemberment. Just put it in there, right? And, or I need I want to retire. Okay, go to retirement plans, right. And it. So it’s just training at that point. And so it’s in that super, super simple, you don’t have to be a coder to do it. You just go in and go, Oh, well, somebody asked this question. I want it to go here. So I just add that question to the spot in this article, and it just doesn’t know. So and you’d be amazed at what you can say two things. Once you build it with the correct model.

Mike Wieger  [54:47] 
Well, there’s all this no lead to so when I’m thinking about the things that I would need the assistant to do when I say scheduled meeting, right. We use WebEx for a lot of our meetings or our zoom session. Like that, you know, I think of a company like Microsoft with your size and with the, you know, kind of how wide you guys are really you because when you think of these data, these data silos that you get into, right? If I asked Cortana to schedule a meeting, she’d be able to get the exchange all done right in Outlook, she would send out the invite, she’d probably be able to find me a meeting room for the physical people that are there. But she might not be able to access and put a WebEx link in there for me and utilize that. So I think for you guys, so is it really Maika? Hey, we could really own the whole pie here, right? We already have the whole enterprise thing figured out. And if we have the meetings, we have this, I’m thinking a company like Microsoft is probably perfectly positioned. Whereas a company like Amazon, for example, I don’t think Amazon could ever be as easily implemented as something like a Microsoft right so quick, versus a lady a lady at home is great. But in the office environment, her data and my work data are not even close to being in the same guy Data Silo.

Dewain Robinson  [55:59] 
Yeah, I think We can uniquely solve the problem because of the fact that we own that space. So vastly. Just to give you a good example, one of the hardest things about finding a meeting room is is there the metadata for it. So one of the things we had to push on is back in July, there was an update to the Office Graph that now you can go and you can run the people who like power show, look at get and get dash or set dash place. And now you can add things like, does it have an audio video system? Is it handicapped accessible, what floor is it on where the GPS coordinates of it? And so we have to be solving a problem to go back over to the office team and say, Hey, we need you to put this in. And this is where all that stuff gets driven. So I think yes, we will probably be the one that does the productivity assistance space really, really well. But part of part of our goal would be to make that commodity like we really want to get An open source way of doing this right I’m sure we’ll, we’ll have our what I would call commodity asst component. But we really also want to be able to make it where people who are running Office of 65 can build their own experience for their users. And I needed to be able to be able to ask a question like, I don’t know if, like, what is it give me the product documentation on this product for me that we sell, right or follow up on this opportunity? Or what opportunities do I need to follow up on? And yeah, I call that one, right, and then follow up in market that I called it, why do I have to do that at the end of the day, so. So this type of stuff i think is going to come? But just you know, it’s an interesting space. And I’m actually shocked that you guys wanted to talk about this as long as you want to talk about it, but

Mike Wieger  [57:51] 
I didn’t think so either. But as you kept talking about what you’re working on, I just keep thinking like man in our environment, and you another one who as you just said, What’s the product docs, I do? Think of, we’re a Salesforce shop, and how many times how many clicks it takes me when someone just asked me, Hey, what’s the status on this advisor, and I have to know where we’re at with legal docs and stuff. To go to Salesforce clicking the web browser type of men do this word assistant could easily mean that is probably one of these these queries of what is the status of blank, it just pulls it right pulling. That’s a bond, right?

Dewain Robinson  [58:20] 
My key want me to make you lose your mind. So another thing already

Mike Wieger  [58:24] 
exists. Don’t tell me

Dewain Robinson  [58:26] 
one of the things that we that we did, and we did it for like to see like, what’s the interest? So we built a beta version of it, IT Service Management connected to service now, okay. And we already know that the information exists. And as we add in, one of the things that will be one of the new features we’re working on right now, and all of the stuff we’re talking about, by the way, we put it on GitHub, you can see what’s in my backlog. You can see what I’m working on. That’s on purpose. But to give you an idea, we’re making it where you can do so. So like Azure Active Directory, single sign on to the bot, so it knows who you are. But once I have that, and I HAVE IT Service Management, you can say my computer’s broken, I can go pull that from your asset list, go figure out what computer you have, maybe try to help you fix whatever the problem is or what type of thing it is, and then get you to the right place. And one of the we also have the ability to hand off to a live person. So in the chat, so these are things that are different than commodity assistance. So you’re starting to see what I’m What I mean is that it’s not the same space if people think it’s the same space, because the way people think about tech is they think about their practical first use of it. But really, we’re kind of beyond that now. And in the way I I’ve been on the record before saying that I think mobile apps are dead. I really do you think mobile apps are where Windows apps were back in the late 90s at this point, sure that exist and they will continue to exist. But the way you build an application needs to be multi channel aware, it’s not just a phone, it might be an IoT device, it might, and you might interact with it differently, you might talk to it, this thing where you might tap on that thing. And so all of this stuff working together is the new modern application platform. And that’s really where, why I like what I’m doing, because I think we have a great platform. And I also think that we understand that this is the app of the future, you know, multiple ways to communicate with it like being able to wave at it, it understanding of running back different information through cognitive services, like in the implementation of our virtual assistant. It actually has sentiment analysis built into it. So you can go in and also content content moderator so if you start cussing, we can actually change the conversation to say I’m sorry, and gets in hand you over to a live agent, because of the way you said something. And so those type of things kind of coming together are really exciting and really cool. And that’s why I do what I do. And I’m glad you guys find it interesting. Because it’s like, it’s like, yeah, this is why we, when we go to ignite, I have a mile long line at our booth that people wanting to talk to us because now they’re starting to understand the power of a bot and a bot is an app and how important it is. And you also start seeing it leaders starting to really double down on this because they know this is you can kind of think of it that it replaces search as well because you can help people find things. And you can help figure out the context of what they’re talking about based upon what they said and natural language. So it’s, it’s actually kind of, like I said, it’s a really interesting space.

Dewain Robinson  [1:01:55] 
But I think it’s time now to move to Home gadgets?

Jim Collison  [1:02:02] 
Well, let’s be honest, we’ve got we’ve got an hour on this and i don’t i actually I don’t want to rush that part on it because I think doing this is super interesting for a lot of a lot of the listeners here are we’re, we’re in that tech space, and we’re thinking about these things. And I don’t I don’t think it’s, I think it’s a very, but I mean, I’m, as I’m sitting here I am thinking, you know, just thinking about the last nine weeks, I have played a technical support for our organization on Facebook. And as you were talking, you reminded me the q amp a maker, which I used back the last time you were in here, I actually loaded some stuff up and it’s fantastic. I’m sure it’s gotten better. And I was thinking, you know, what, if I could just replace myself for the most part on Facebook with a bot? Who knows, because I answer some of the same questions. Over and over where’s where’s this? Or Where’s that? How do I get this? Those are all pretty standard questions. And I’m pretty sure I could build an FAQ that would answer those kinds of things. Because I am the human FAQ. Right? That’s what I do. And I’m pretty sure I could have it handed off to me if I couldn’t figure it out. Right. All that’s there today. Right?

Dewain Robinson  [1:03:17] 
Could I could I do not today? But yeah, if you took so so the way that I would do that. So by the way, so Facebook Messenger has a chant, we have a channel adapter for that. So it’s just a channel.

Jim Collison  [1:03:28] 
What about what about groups? What about questions being answered? asked in a group,

Dewain Robinson  [1:03:34] 
depending on the depending on the environment that you’re talking about? Yes. So it depends. I’m not as familiar with the Facebook adopter, but go check it out. Sure. What I would tell you is some of the things that changed multi turn q amp a maker means that I can actually have a hierarchy have a conversation with multi term conversation, and I can even mark a piece of a conversation That it’s only within the context of this conversation to go to it. So that’s a concept of context aware. So if you start looking at what you can build with that, it gets really robust, really quick and what you can do so you could ask clarifying questions to get you to the specific article versus just different articles. So if you took virtual assistant, which is basically the piece of it, that’s the core, and you plug in the multitasking q&a maker into it, which I think today or tomorrow, we’re going to launch the version of it that supports multi tenant q&a maker, by the way, cool. That that would give you the ability to also dispatch to custom conversation. So you could say, hey, okay, it wasn’t something in this knowledge base, but I want to build something more complex to the side, but it’s still one bite, right? It’s still one thing I’m talking to. So that’s a concept of dispatching it’s almost like router The conversation based upon what makes sense. And then once you get into the multi into the q&a maker, you’d be able to ask the questions. But by going through this, we’ve already put in the telemetry stuff. So then Application Insights, you’ve got all the telemetry of what’s being said to the bot. So you could go and look and say, Hey, people are asking these questions. And I’m saying, I don’t know. So maybe I should add that, to my knowledge base to answer that question. So you don’t even have to get as complex as handed off to a live person because you don’t want to do that through live person for that particular scenario. But building something like that is like not hard. It’s actually pretty simple. And we’ve already given all the wiring for it. Okay.

Jim Collison  [1:05:44] 
Well, last time, we talked about this last time you were on, and I went out there and dug through q&a and actually loaded that we had information about, threw it in there and began testing it. And then I never came. Like I tested it on a Saturday with the kids in my high school internship program. never came back to it. And you said, this is a great reminder to me, it’s like, I need to go back in and check that out. And because it’s a perfect example of like, I can’t there’s a lot of things Mike, you know, in the crypto space, there’s a lot of things I can’t remember I’m working with so many different things now. There’s a lot of things I can’t remember I’d almost love my own where it learned with me. And then I could go back and ask questions later, like where the heck did I put that thing? Like what you know and and have it learn with me as I go in kind of create a backup brain basically, for me, I

Dewain Robinson  [1:06:36] 
want to make Jim Collison so

Jim Collison  [1:06:41] 
like me, and then I wouldn’t have to ever talk to anybody again. That would not be I’d be terrible.

Dewain Robinson  [1:06:47] 
Yeah, so what I would say is, you know, start small and work your way bigger, but the back I need to go back to try it. With the multi turn stuff. I think it’ll go further than you could have. ever went before. And then the fact that we kind of put it where it’s way easier to do. As far as making it go live like we redid some documentation like massively redid our documentation with tutorial step by steps and stuff. So I think those type of things are kind of what I would recommend not to mention some of the things that we also did, which you guys will get a good kick out of, if you want to have fun. Go just deploy a virtual assistant, it will automatically deploy an FAQ and a personality. q&a maker goes go download, we have like a little file that you can download, which is basically the training to make your assistant have different types of personalities. And all you do is just go to q amp, a maker, the settings page and just add this file and all of a sudden now your bot has a personality like it as it’s crazy what you can ask it it’s over six thousand things trained in, like sing a song, you know? Are you a boy or girl? Will you marry me, I mean, like any other stuff that you think that you would do in a chit chat space. And and we’re going to go in the future, we’re really headed toward a place where that’s even going to get way more complex and more awesome, just right out of the box. So these things are just, I wouldn’t want to tell you think of it, like what we’re doing is building it where it’s modular. So you can make it what you want. And then you have the tools to go make your on gap fills. And if you want, you can edit our source code, or you can even contribute back.

Jim Collison  [1:08:35] 
Yeah, I’m not even sure I want an assistant for the for anybody else to deal with. I want something to help me remember, I mean, I’m dealing with so much information now. And I almost want to create my own FAQ site where I could just go and ask it questions. So like when I’m working on a project, I’m when I’m done, I dumped the project into this and say, Okay, here’s all the things. Here’s all the things I want you to remember because you You’ve written stuff that you go back to six months later. And you’re like, who wrote this and what? You know, you don’t you don’t even recognize your own stuff. It it may be helpful for me to train something as I go. And then other words use QA to train something. And then I just keep asking a question when I, when I’m unaware.

Dewain Robinson  [1:09:20] 
Yeah, well, and the cool thing is if you take the productivity skills that are out there for like, calendar, email and to do, you can add those in so you can say something to it, like remind me to go by 54 cases of beer tomorrow, it’ll it’ll put it into your Microsoft to do I mean, it’ll like figure that out. And I think I can’t remember if we have it in our future branch, or if it’s if it’s in the current master branch, but at one point we were playing with understanding that you set a food item and put it on your grocery list, like remind me to get eggs. I’ll put that on the grocery list because that’s a food on So, so stuff like that, you know, it’s not that you can’t do that with a commodity assistant. But imagine now this is the Jim assistant, right? You can, it can do what you want, you have full control of all the data to build it. And and everything and it just becomes fun. I mean, it really can be fun. The most fun, I think, was had by one of our dads, he’s a good friend of mine. We were testing sentiment analysis and determining when someone was upset. So he got to spend a week cussing at at it. And and he said that was the most fun and he’s had in his job in quite some time. So I was like, hey, yeah, your job is to cuss at it and he was multilingual. So he could he could throw some Spanish at it. And get it sounded much more vulgar in Spanish

Jim Collison  [1:10:45] 
like a stress bomb. I say like a stress assistant.

Mike Wieger  [1:10:49] 
And a combo of kind of like the voice font with an enterprise and implementation. You mentioned the gym. I’m thinking of a device on every single rack of equipment at a gym. walk up to it and say, Hey, what did I bench last week? And it tells me right cuz it knows that voice is Mike. Mike’s asking what I did last week and I told it last week, Hey, I just finished a set it, you know, to 75 or whatever. And then it just remembers that. What’s my next step? Like, what’s my next set? Yeah, like, Well, you know, but all that stuff, because that’s the biggest thing is everyone was like, what was a lifting last week? And I can

Jim Collison  [1:11:19] 
see these guys carrying around papers, you know, like genuine stuff all the time.

Mike Wieger  [1:11:24] 
That’s what I was doing with the paper and having a device there could be make it so simple, right?

Dewain Robinson  [1:11:31] 
Yeah. No, it’s, it’s cool. Yeah, no, that’s what I’m saying is things like that. Think about it. It’s a very specific thing. I would only be talking to you about this. Why the heck would you put lady a there, right? It makes no sense. Right? If If she’s there, you’re going to talk to her about playing music or setting, set a timer or something. Something like that, because that’s what you talk to a commodity about it when you’re talking about Surface. Specifically, where you want to say,

Dewain Robinson  [1:12:03] 
I don’t know, like, hey, in order to track right

Dewain Robinson  [1:12:07] 
up the speed to or change the degrees to 60% and, and give me an update and record my heart rate change, right or something like that, like, that’s very specific to that type of experience. So who’s arming that? Well right now I think we’re one of the few in the game that can that are actually playing this and, and interestingly enough, we’re not competing in places like music or, like, in all these different things, so we don’t have our own agenda and a sense and, and in some ways, it’s kind of good that Microsoft got out of that stuff because it opens markets that we don’t, where we can enable other people and not have to

Jim Collison  [1:12:55] 
appear network world of interest to

Dewain Robinson  [1:12:57] 
right. Yeah, so it makes us natural plays and stuff like that, you know?

Jim Collison  [1:13:02] 
So, but super interesting doing super interesting. And are you surprised? Like this? We we have this at the end of the show notes. Kind of like I want to talk about this at the end of the show. I don’t know, Mike, I have found this terribly interesting. not same. Yeah, no, I think this is super interesting. Duane, let’s just say this. We got about five minutes, maybe that maybe a little bit more. Okay. And I’m, I’m traveling to London, and you’ve been doing in two weeks, and you’ve been doing a ton of travel. I mentioned the beginning of the show, Jim Shoemaker Rota, in response to my London travel he sent me hates, he’s like, Hey, here’s the things I’ve learned. And we turn that into a blog post doing in your travel. Like if you could give me two things like I’m going to Europe. And you’re going to give me two pieces of advice from from a gadget standpoint of like, what can I not get wrong on this trip? What do I need to think about? What are those one, two or three pieces of advice that you give me?

Dewain Robinson  [1:13:57] 
Okay, so I have to ask a couple qualifying question. Yes.

Jim Collison  [1:14:00] 
Wait a minute. Are you a digital assistant? Are you real? Or is this have I reached a bot that you?

Dewain Robinson  [1:14:07] 
This is a real doing?

Jim Collison  [1:14:08] 
Okay. Because you could fake it. This could Yeah. Just switched over to the bot.

Dewain Robinson  [1:14:12] 
Yes. This is a yes. So, surprise everyone, this is actually an avatar, and we’re

Mike Wieger  [1:14:21] 
okay. So it wouldn’t be under NDA, but he is so we could get all the good information if he dumped all of his information to the bot and the bot told us you know, yeah.

Jim Collison  [1:14:31] 
I like it.

Dewain Robinson  [1:14:32] 
My question is your trip business, or personal hundred percent business? Hundred percent business? Okay. So from a business perspective, you’re, you’re going to be going, Okay, all right. And how are you flying? are you flying? Business Class, are you Oh, no,

Jim Collison  [1:14:53] 
I go, john. Okay. Okay.

Dewain Robinson  [1:14:56] 
Okay. So So there’s a couple of things you’re going to need. One of the things that I feel like you have to get down is thinking about that you’re going to be on on a plane and you need to have it. For me the thing I learned the hard way was and the reason I had put that raft power device in there which was my, my power brick here that I was going to tell people to go get. You still can’t. It’s not just about having a power brick, okay? Because if you take this one, which is a 30,000 milliamp power brick, and you take that and you go to China coming back, it’s going to be fun, really, because it exceeds what China will allow they only allow 26,500 which is one of the 26 400 is a popular size. So the the thing about this is that The fact that it is USB C, and it’s USB a, right. So the thing but it charges fast, it charges fast, and it can charge fast. So it’s 10,000 milligrams, but and I paid $26 and 99 cents for this thing. But the thing is, is that I what you’re looking for is topping up like you’re going to need that because that’s a long trip jump. So what’s going to happen is you’re going to have some devices that need to be topped up, and you don’t have a lot of time because you’re you need to be able to like top it up and go because you’re gonna be in the airport and you need to get on the plane. And so I would highly recommend that you have a smaller us like one of these type of battery packs. 10,000 milligrams is I think the sweet spot because you can charge up your iPad, you can run a laptop off of this thing depending on what kind of laptop you got, or just charge of your laptop and even if it’s like a trickle component, and then the good thing about it is if it goes completely dead, completely dead, you can charge it back fast because if you go and look at the charge times on the like this massive brick, it’s huge. It’s incredibly long. But this one, three hours and 16 minutes, it goes from zero to 100. So from zero to 80% is going to be a lot faster if you know much about battery impedance and things like that. And I’ve had to learn a lot with the Tesla so I would say that’s my most important thing to be in your bag is a good 10,000 milliamp battery pack.

Jim Collison  [1:17:42] 
I just it while you’re searching for the next thing, I just got a new laptop issued to me, US bc for power and docking station, which is super great at it and so, but that reminded me like we have some smaller like I’ve never had the capability in a laptop to do it that way. And now I’m I’m thinking Woo I have some smaller chargers I better. I better see what I can and can’t do with that thing kind of based on the on the batteries that I have.

Dewain Robinson  [1:18:09] 
Number two most important thing on travel. Yep.

Unknown Speaker  [1:18:13] 

Jim Collison  [1:18:14] 
headphones in and tell us what you’re showing there.

Dewain Robinson  [1:18:18] 
This is Bose quiet comfort 35

Dewain Robinson  [1:18:23] 
these are for these have 21 hours of battery life. If you’re going to be on an international plane, and you don’t want to talk to people about their mail merges. Yeah. The most wonderful thing though you never wear a Microsoft shirt on a plane. Never. Yes, I’ve had someone tell me that. The second thing when it comes to headphones, these are the ones that are my favorite right now. Which are the jabber elite active 65 T’s

Mike Wieger  [1:18:57] 
I know. I’ve heard I’ve heard good things about But I’ve never talked someone actually has them.

Dewain Robinson  [1:19:01] 
Yeah, so now they just released a 75 T and I don’t I can’t speak to that one. But it looks like the 75 teams are going to take this to another level. But if you are like me, Jim, I have to take conference calls. And I have to get and I want to switch to and from an iPhone to an Android phone, I might want to pair up with a with a Surface or something. These are good because they work as as like a wireless headset very well for conference calls and stuff. They make a they’re not noise cancelling their noise isolating, but they are so good in the noise isolation that normally the lady has to get tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that it’s time for me to get a drink. And, and so I would say that that’s good. And the thing is, is I feel like you need both of these because this is also sleep bubble. You can over their headphones, you cannot sleep on a plane with us you can. And so I keep them both in my bag, I will use these a ton like walking around the airport getting on short flights. The big air phones Come with me if I’m going international because I need the time. And they sound better. I mean, and they’re also take more noise out because the noise cancelling the new bows, ones that have like it looks like a cylinder down the side versus minor flat on the side. So when you hold them to the side like this, you’ll see these are flat. There’s one that has like a cylinder that comes down, my boss has those. And he was taking a conference call on the show floor at Ignite and nobody could hear anyone but him and he couldn’t hear me talking to him was like

Dewain Robinson  [1:20:54] 
less than two feet away from me.

Jim Collison  [1:20:56] 
So what’s the what’s the Brand on us? What’s the model?

Dewain Robinson  [1:20:58] 
That’s the The new bows ones that it’s like you’ll see them they’re there over the ears and they have like a cylinder down the side. Those those are really good my like I said my boss has those the quiet comforts are the ones I have. Because those didn’t exist when I bought mine. But you won’t have to buy another set of headphones over the ears after you get a set of bows. It’s like the only reason you get rid of them is because something compelling happens on another one. But these like I said these are these weren’t expensive by the way these job rose. I think right now there are $189 for the active ones and the active ones are sweat resistant and stuff. I went ahead and got those but the 65 tees are even cheaper and you can get them and the beauty is the app works for both Android and for iOS and it has the hear through and all that stuff and and my biggest complaint with I know everybody I’ll say like the pod pros are better, they are better of question they’re better. But not if you have to use an Android device or a Windows device occasionally because they don’t support all the features don’t get supported and it’s it’s a pain in the butt, I just wish Apple would get over themselves on this and, and sell the things and get give you the support you need. So I again, that’s that’s most important thing and then I will give you a bonus thing and the bonus thing is you need to be very selective in what you need on this trip. And when I say that, I you know, I won’t go into the details of the Pro X situation because I we were going to talk about a Surface Pro x so we’ll come back and talk about that

Jim Collison  [1:22:49] 
but I’ll have you back on here in a couple weeks. But

Dewain Robinson  [1:22:51] 
the reality is, is very important for you to think about what you really need on the trip. Like having the break your back carrying massive amounts of compute and and things with you. Do you just need Netflix? You know, it’s a business trip. Do you just need outlook and Netflix? Do you really need everything? Like I carry an iPad Pro, and I have a Surface, the Surface Pro x and I have 15 different laptops, right? But the reality is, before I go on a trip, I actually start thinking about what am I going to do there? What is the purpose of the trip? And how light can I go? Because, and I’m finding that this whole concept for me, because I’m a bit of a road warrior, I will pay the money to have a machine that just sits in my laptop bag, or I’ll have like, I actually have varying scales of weight and power, depending on what I need to do. If I’m going to do excessive amounts of typing, then I’ll go one direction if I’m gonna if I need to like compile code or do something major with, you know, with video editing or running massive emulator. Or maybe I need to bring the Mac because it has a specific emulator. I need to run on it that I don’t duplicate what I bring when it comes to laptop. I just bring what I need. And then if I if I need extensive entertainment, I’ll bring an iPad. Yeah, um, but I don’t. I’m not a fan of the concept that the iPad can be a PC. It is a consumption device as it sits and it’s a great device. If you’re going on. If you’ve got the LTE one, go get yourself those jabber evolve. 75 do you know you guys know what I’m talking about? You get a jabber evolve 75 and a iPad Pro with LT and throw teams on it. And you have a mobile go anywhere. Do teams and you still got you other little computer sitting there? side where you can do your work or whatever and that thing just as teams and it is amazing and you do it that way, but you gotta think that’s what it’s for. So So what I would my point on that is just think about what you need so your bag doesn’t get too big and also think about the charger that has to go with it. So make sure that you can maybe maximize your chargers like when you go to there’s a I would recommend you go on Amazon and get yourself a power strip looking thing that probably has a couple of USB like it has USB up and down it and then it also has a few power outlets on it. You probably got one that you’re going to show me

Jim Collison  [1:25:40] 
Yeah, I did. I already bought one so you’ve got it. Yeah, it’s ready to go for the UK and then it’s got three plugs into USB 16 bucks on Amazon and, and yeah, I think I’m I think I’m ready to go. I can do just about everything that I need.

Dewain Robinson  [1:25:56] 
That’s going to be perfect because you’ll need that to do And then make sure that you Well, you’re not going to Europe, if you go to Europe, on your laptop, just go get one of those really cheap 37 like little clip on things that clips and converts it because your power adapter is going to do the conversion great. But those are the things I mean, those are the key things is make sure you can think about power, make sure you’ve got what you need, make sure you can do it fast and on the fly. And then and see some of the beauty of something like this is that when you throw a Mac in they charge right so you don’t necessarily have to charge this back up. If I could get my whole world to us bc then that would be a beautiful day. Um, but if I’m going to go like I’m going to go on vacation while you’re going, I’m going to go down to Orlando. Nice kids don’t know. And I’m and I’m going to bring the behemoth because I want to play games. Sure.

Jim Collison  [1:26:55] 
Well, you can’t. You don’t have to worry about the the piece there Mike Wieger solidity, your bandwidth for some reason I’m not sure really. Yeah, you just got really Duane, thanks you wanna behind the scenes here we’ll get you scheduled like we had a whole bunch of things we wanted to talk about and we got wrapped up in the Bot Framework and it was super cool. We’ll come back around have you back on here? December January sometime and cover those six. Couple reminders for everyone next week. In the United States is Thanksgiving. Mike is out hunting. My daughter Samantha will be guest appearing on the show on Friday night so no Thursday night is Thanksgiving. Take the night off. We won’t do that Friday night. Her and I and I somehow have to turn that podcast around. I leave at one on Saturday. I need to turn that podcast around and get on a plane will probably go early or watch Twitter at j Collison for show announcements of the live show on Friday going forward. couple of reminders then after that, of course I will be in London. The weeks are canceled. The week of the fifth heir Lawrence is back on the 12th in Joel from life from live door is coming in on the 19th so we have a whole bunch of stuff coming up and schedule get Duane back in there as well Paul Brand is joining us and so we’ve got an ain’t got g mass and line to back up again Mike talking some hardware Jay will be back so we’re excited about that as well. Just a couple reminders before we go don’t forget if you want to support some Patreon you can do that as well the average slash Patreon got plans out there available for if you want to do it even if you want to sponsor the show. I now have a sponsor the show for a month plan. If you want to go and do that, maybe you get some crazy idea you want us to talk about you. You can go to Patreon and check our sponsor the show plan that’s out there. I don’t ever expect anybody actually take me up on it. But if you one day I was just mess around on Patreon. I’m like, why not? I’ll just give it a try. So if you want to get that done, you can head out to Patreon. get that done, as well. Don’t worry Get the whole network the whole average guy that TV network powered by Maple Grove partners get secure reliable high speed hosting from people that you know and you trust WordPress optimized in I think Nobody does it better than Christian. No offense Azure and that in that case plan start as little as $10 Maple Grove. is the way to go and the place to find it. If and then don’t forget to download the app that’s available for you Home Gadget We are live every Thursday 8pm Central nine Eastern out here at the average guy. I said every Thursday, but you know, you know what I mean? It’s during the holidays. It gets a little sketchy. So just kind of keep up. We’ll be back. I’ll be back next Friday with my daughter and she’s super excited. She’s calling herself a professional podcast guest that’s what she’s doing. She besides mine. So she was on a while ago. She did really well, which was on Mike Don’t Don’t you think Sammy is fantastic. Yeah, she’s really good job.

Mike Wieger  [1:29:55] 
missing her next week. I wish she was the week after

Jim Collison  [1:29:58] 
she’s she was a little disappointed that we’ll have to have her on when you’re back cuz cuz she was a little disappointed you wouldn’t be here as well, but she’s been on to other podcasts in school. And she’s like, means I’m a professional podcast guest and she put them on Twitter, like Okay, sounds good. She’s actually really good. So she’ll be here next Friday. And with that will say goodnight

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