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Lori L. Lorenz

Lori’s 15+ years of strategy experience, unique analysis, and master design skills enable her to beautifully and elegantly solve today’s business problems. She blends Human Centered Design with Scrum methodology leveraging powerful communication skills and managing day-to-day engagement with unique, wow-worthy results. Lori educates while facilitating groups and/or individuals using creative thinking to innovate a client’s business, products, and services. She brings her passion for excellence, entertaining visual communication, role-play behavioral prototyping, and effective organizational skills to ignite results for all her clients. She solved problems across many industries including, retail, fashion, early childhood development, finance, engineering, publishing, uranium refining, hospitality, education, and visual communications. She is the Master Designer and founder of Pixie Dust, L.L.C.

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley is a product owner and content technology strategist, currently leading the IBM Marketing Taxonomy Guild to revise and align taxonomy initiatives across the marketing ecosystem. He has experience working with and across documentation, support, training, and marketing content as an enterprise content technology strategist. He was one of the original architects and editors of the DITA standard, was named an OASIS Distinguished Contributor in 2017, and is currently co-chairing the Lightweight DITA subcommittee.

Dan Segal

Dan Segal is a Taxonomist on IBM’s Marketing Platforms team. His work focuses on the use of cognitive technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning for SEO and digital marketing. Dan has over 15 years of experience as a practitioner and consultant in the areas of taxonomy and ontology development, vocabulary management, semantic metadata, text analytics, and information retrieval. He holds BS and MLS degrees from Rutgers University.


Samantha Porter

Samantha is doctoral candidate in anthropology and a full time staff member in Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cites. Her research interests include the application of new and accessible technologies to archaeology and cultural heritage including 3D scanning, 3D printing, and virtual and augmented reality.

Capturing 3D Objects with the Camera You’ve Already Got

The technologies for engaging with 3d content through virtual reality and augmented reality are advancing at a rapid pace. While some of this content is “born digital” in a 3d modeling program, we often wish to capture the objects, spaces, and buildings around us for a virtual experience.

This workshop will provide a survey of reality capture technologies, their pros and cons, and advice on how to get started capturing your world for VR and AR. Attendees will have a chance to use software to build a 3d model from a set of photographs, using the photogrammetry process. It will also include an exploration of the ways to integrate captured 3d objects into other VR and AR workflows.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Knowledge of the technologies used for capturing objects, buildings, and landscapes for use in VR and AR
  • Create a 3D model from a set of photographs
  • Understand how to use your digital camera or smartphone to begin capturing 3d objects

Attendee Skill Level: No special skills needed – if you can take a photograph, you’re all set.

Marketing AI: How to Build a Keyword Ontology

This talk describes the what, why, how, and results of the IBM Keyword Ontology.


Keywords are the life’s blood of a marketing enterprise. Keyword research allows companies to learn the voice of their customers and tune their marketing messages for them.


Most marketing organizations struggle to find the right keywords for their teams. The words have to be relevant to their businesses and have enough query volume to indicate sufficient interest in a topic by their target audience.


At IBM we built a keyword ontology, which is a fancy name for a set of taxonomies related to the keywords our target audiences most often use in their search queries. We get keyword data from Google, and we organize it into topics for our topic taxonomy using technology we built using Watson Knowledge Studio. We also can arrange keywords by business unit, brands, and products. When you have all these attributes related in an ontology, there is no end to the way you can manage content using them.


For example, we have something called the web segment taxonomy. It controls the way we form our URLs for our web pages, among other things. Because it is based on the keyword ontology, we can ensure that new pages are built with the language of the customer in the URL. We can then align the URL semantics with the navigation labels, internal faceted search labels, bread crumbs, topic tags, social tags, and page headings. The more of these signals you can line up, the easier it is for your audience to find relevant content on your site through search and navigation.”

Takeaways: How to build practical AI systems for search and IA success.

Attendee Skill Level: Intermediate skill level. Some taxonomy, and IA experience required

Welcome Bot Overlords! Build an Interactive Bot Using JavaScript, Node and the Cloud

It’s easier than ever to quickly create bots to do your bidding using Microsoft’s Bot Builder SDK and Microsoft Azure. In this session we’ll learn how to use natural language processing using LUIS, JavaScript and Node.js to create an interactive bot that we can deploy to Skype, Facebook Messenger, SMS, and more! Even better, we’ll take advantage of Azure Bot Service which provides a self-contained bot infrastructure that you can even hook up to GitHub. What are you waiting for? It’s time to bring about the singularity!

Takeaways: Attendees will walk away with some working knowledge of using Azure to host bots, how to use the Microsoft Bot Builder SDK with JavaScript to create a basic bot, use “natural language processing” with LUIS to respond to users, and see how bots get wired up to 3rd party services and can be interacted with in real-time.

Prerequisite: This workshop will require attendees to either have an existing Azure account or a willingness to sign up for the Free trial which will not incur additional out-of-pocket costs (you will get a $200 credit for 30 days). This should be done before attending preferably:

To sign up for Azure, you must provide a credit card for verification and future billing. If you are an existing Azure customer, you can expect to pay less than $1 for the services we’ll use during the workshop (mainly Azure Storage) and they can be immediately deleted after the workshop is over.

Designing User-focused Conversations for Web Applications

Whether a chatbot, assistive pop-up, or even error messages, content and UX come together in conversation design. The most successful conversation experiences start and end with understanding your users, your brand and how the two work together.

Conversation design requires a deep understanding of your users and common schemas and helping your users know how to get started. It plays into areas of content design such as on boarding users, help content, SMS notifications, push notifications. It’s the essential element in letting a user know how to proceed or fix errors and celebrate accomplishments.

This workshop will walk through conversation designs beginning with identifying user needs, goals, and feelings followed by developing a user journey. We’ll use those elements to build if/then statements that lead design decisions to intercept users at key steps or business goals. Next, we’ll build conversation prototypes based on the user journey and validate our content through user testing. You’ll be ready to lead design conversations in your teams and build better user experiences.


  • Upon completion of this workshop, attendees will understand the conversation design process and key theories.
  • They will be able to identify user tasks and design appropriate interactions to meet their needs and emotional states.
  • Finally, they will be able to design conversation prototypes and validate through testing.

Attendee Skill Level:
Great for beginners and even better for intermediate content strategists and UX designers ready to take their website or app to the next level.

Give Your AI a 3D Home on the Web

Instructor will introduce each topic area, provide interactive demo, and coordinate breakout hands-on session with teams and individuals. There are eight topics.

  1. Start with an idea for a game or simulation.
  2. Consider the information architecture of different game designs.
  3. Review user input and device events.
  4. Open up a template 3D scene with lights, camera and a grid.
  5. Start adding geometry and data to the scene with functions and objects.
  6. Add an animated model and program it to interact with the environment.
  7. Get personal help designing and building your project for data, logic and animation functions.
  8. Optionally you can share your playable demo at then tape a show-and-tell for youtube.


  • Learn how to turn your idea into a working prototype.
  • Plan and build a demo showcasing 3D and A.I. on the web.
  • Get the code and the confidence to continue developing your project.
  • Developers will take away template code AR/VR shortcuts, and rapid prototyping process steps.

Attendee Skill Level: Be comfortable editing JavaScript and debugging with the browser console. Know the basics: variables, loops, and conditional statements.

GIS, Data Science & Python

GIS, Data Science & Python – Using python modules to explore and evaluate information and data with a geographical component. Basic GIS and machine learning modules will be introduced and applied to a geographical problem using open data.


  • Understand basic GIS and machine learning modules useful in python.
  • How to execute basic exploration of geographical data.
  • Some tips on using GIS modules.

Attendee skill level: Some basic understanding of python and programming. I can devote the first minutes helping people install the needed modules.

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