Lingofest 2018


Witlingo launches its inaugural Annual Lingofest Conference, January 25-26, 2018

The conference aims to pull in artists, humanists, social scientists to be actively engaged in the emergence of the Conversational Interface

Washington, DC, September 7, 2017  — Witlingo, a McLean, VA based company focused on delivering Voice First products and solutions, today announced that it is holding its inaugural Lingofest Conference to be held in Weber State University, in Ogden, Utah.  The conference will take pace on January 25th and January 26th, 2018, and will overlap with the Sundance Film Festival, which is taking place January 18th-January 28th.

According to Dr. Ahmed Bouzid, Founder and CEO of Witlingo and Co-Chair of the Ubiquitous Voice Society, “The aim of the conference is to promote interdisciplinary, cross-pollinated dialogs and conversations  between technology consumers, students, academics in the arts, the humanities and the social sciences, technologists, and entrepreneurs in information technology.”

“Technology is moving to a whole new level of disruption,” Dr. Bouzid added. “It’s time for us receivers of these mind-bending technologies to move away from our default role of passive, naive, cheerleading consumers, to users who have not only a much more discerning understanding of the impact these new technologies have on our lives but also have a proactive say in what technologies we want and what problems we want solved.  It’s time that we did away with the notion that the so-called “Market” will determine what customers want, given that such markets are now dominated by a handful of behemoths with mercantile agendas and deep pockets, and who have the power to manipulate what we are supposed to want and the muscle to impose on us what we are supposed to need and love.”

To promote the group’s mission, Dr. Bouzid has enlisted a steering committee composed of individual consumers, consumer advocates, students, social scientists, philosophers, artists, high school counselors, as well as technologists and entrepreneurs.

“There is a massive difference between waiting for what kind of new features fridges, washing machines, lawn mowers, TVs and so on companies will bring to the market,” said David Ferro, committee member and Dean of Engineering at Weber State University, “and the emergence of things that are far more disruptive, like self-driving cars, drones, ubiquitous smart phones, and voice based conversational technologies.  It’s a whole new ball game and we can’t afford to wait for the nature of consumer engagement to change at its own slow pace.  Tough questions are emerging and we can’t let companies with narrow agendas to make decisions that have monumental consequences on how we live our lives as healthy individual humans and robust communities and societies.”

Instead of the traditional talks and expert panels that are usually offered at Technology conferences, Lingofest will structure its event with the primary goal of engaging the attending audiences.  Sessions will consist in large roundtables, with a facilitator, two principals, and members of the audience all sitting and participating on equal footing.  The sessions will be video recorded and observations, thoughts, and recommendations from all participants, will be published in a book made available for free download the Witlingo website.


1. What is the conference about?

The aim of the conference is to promote interdisciplinary, cross-pollinated dialogs and about Human Language based conversation technology, that brings into the fold technology consumers, artists, students, academics, activists, civil servants, practitioners in the humanities and the social sciences, technologists, entrepreneurs, an venture capitalists.

2. Who should participate or attend?

We want this conference to be about the human ecosystem that thinks about, builds, consumes, and advocates or detracts from this emerging technology space. We want views from all ranges and from as many perspectives as possible.  This is not a conference that brings “experts” together who will pontificate with authority.  This is an emerging field and non one know much, if anything.   You are welcome if you are:

  • A Member of the general public and you are interested in the emerging world of conversational technology.  You can not only attend, but feel free to participate.
  • A Student
  • A disabled person
  • A senior citizen
  • An academician
  • A Humanist: a philosopher, a sociologist, s science and technology studies scholar and researcher, a science fiction writer, an artist
  • An entrepreneur
  • A Product Manager or Product Marketer: who thinks about new products and features and how delivers value to the market
  • A journalist/writer: individual bloggers are welcome
  • An engineer/technologist: those who work on the plumbing to make the products happen
  • An investor: those who want to finance the young start ups that are emerging

3. Why should I be interested in this?

The conference aims to accomplish the following:

  • Provide a forum for those who are usually excluded from tech conferences to be there, have a say, learn and teach others.
  • Educate each other
  • Enable startups to showcase their work and engage with potential partners and venture capitalists
  • Serve as a platform that enables voices that are usually confined to specialized Academic conferences to mingle with on the ground practitioners, and vice versa.
  • Showcase the Washington DC area to those who care about the new emerging technology and should consider coming here and set up shop in the Greater Metropolitan Washington, DC area.

4. Where can I go to see the full schedule and the exact venue?

The full program will be published in mid-October at:

5. How do I registrar/participate?

Registration will be opened in October, 2017.  In the meantime, if you would like to participate or just kept in the loop, please fill out the form below.