Jeff Pulver to Present at ITEXPO 2018 BlockChain

Suzanne Bowen : Monetizing IP Communications
Suzanne Bowen
37 yrs in telecom, teaching, blog & grant writing, biz development, marketing, & PR. Favorite moments in life involve time w/ family & friends, networking, IP communications industry verticals & horizontals, running, traveling, foreign languages
| 1. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition..." Barack Obama ..... 2. "One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." By Thomas Sowell

Jeff Pulver to Present at ITEXPO 2018 BlockChain

Retro Jeff Pulver and friends from VON show 2007...see anyone you know?!

Jeff Pulver, who I can't help but follow every direction he takes because his name is one of the first I heard when I began playing with VoIP in the middle school classroom where I taught English, is known as the father of VoIP. He is chairman of several exciting startups and will present at the ITEXPO 2018 co-located BlockChain conference. He is chairman of Alchemist, a full-service blockchain advisory and investment company, specializing in token sales and end-to-end product development of blockchain applications. Alchemist, BTW, has been founders, advisors or investors in over 25 ICOs with a total market cap of over $80B, behind preeminent projects like Ethereum, tZERO, Lisk, Bancor and ZCash.

Can't wait to hear him and the other inspiring industry leaders like him during the Blockchain conference and all ITEXPO 2018 co-located conferences. Meanwhile, I'm sharing a transcript of Jeff Pulver's ITEXPO IDEA Showcase 2017 keynote presentation as well as and un-edited video recording.

..."When you have natural language interfaces, running with AI, what is it run over? It is riding on voice over IP. That's right, the technology which is inherently taken for granted which some of us didn't take for granted for years... that magical sauce is what is going to drive a trillion-dollar of business in the not-too-distant future...." Read on. Watch.

Jeff Pulver is in the House! At ITEXPO

It is the ability for us to converse once again. Conversation is something near and dear to every one of us, but it's been a very long time since conversation has been cool. We’ve been moving away from human interaction. We’ve really really moved more to digital, but as a kid growing up, I actually got my passion for communication as a young kid because I discovered amateur radio. Anyone here ever use amateur radio? So you guys know. It's like being able to have your friends basically in your radio. You turn on your radio. You find people talking. You can connect and disconnect and be able to find a community. When I discovered radio, I realized that you know the secret of loneliness is basically getting a ham radio license, where I could just connect with the world. That was my savior. That basically helped me understand communications design. 

To this day, I am grateful for it. Being able to reach out and just say “C Q” and then have the contact come back. The letter “C” and the letter “Q” in ham radio and in radio lingo that means “seek you.” Do you remember ICQ? That was actually invented and created by Yossi Vardi who was a ham operator, and one of his sons [Arik] helped to create the company [Mirablis that rolled out ICQ], and ICQ was actually created by amateur radio operators, creating an Internet CQ, the ability to seek contact. Those early days of messaging certainly provided a channel for us to connect with and to be and for me it was 1995 and the discovery of Internet phones. The first iPhone did not come out in 2007 from Apple. The first iPhone was available in 1995 by Vocaltec, an Israeli company.


Until not that long ago, they had the domain. But iPhone enabled the possibility for people to actually talk on the Internet without the need for a service provider and that was the first time in the history of the Internet that voice became an app, not a service. That distinguishing mark, as a hobbyist had actually enabled me to see things pretty clearly. As a ham operator those of you who are hams and those of you who are not, maybe you’ve seen too many episodes of “Mash” will remember Radar O'Reilly. As a kid what I used to love to do is to do phone patches, that is to connect the radio with the telephone and connect people from overseas back into wherever they wanted to reach. My parents never really cared whether I was calling in to New York City where we lived across the country when we had long distance. I just really was into that idea of patching, so in '95 I had a mailing list...I was running the iPhone mailing list as a hobbyist and I was really curious about what happens next.


Somebody asked a question, “Is it possible to interconnect a telephone and computer.


I said, “Yes. It does it off my home patch at work..” 


Then a month later I won something with the help of two friends one in Indonesia and one in Tokyo. We launched FreeWorldDialup. It was the world's first Internet telephony network, and it basically allowed people the way there was no jitter buffer, no echo cancellation, sounded like crap but it worked. It was proof positive that you let people try things out, magic can happen. In 1995, and you have 16 million people, it went viral. I learned a lot from that experience particularly how passionate I still was about communications.


I learned about regulation because it took six months and 300 phone companies filed a petition with the FCC. Basically to stop the sale Internet telephony software and to regulate people who made software as phone companies.


Then, through this mailing list, the VON Coalition was born, 110 companies who had never met through the ether and created a coalition that exists today all because of the possibilities that exist in that communication. That was my night job. I had a day job, and luckily, I got fired, and that saved my life. For me what I've seen with that it's about communicating, about connecting.


iPhone gave me the ability to talk on the Internet and then I got really involved with Twitter back in 2006. For me, I found Twitter to be the radio of the Internet. Forget about their price performance. Forget about it as some public company but what they offered was a chance and opportunity for us to talk. It was certainly a different conversation than what we would have face to face. If offered a voice for anyone just like radio to be heard by anyone and anyone in this case, their voice would be amplified. With amateur radio two people, and a third person could be listening for an hour, kick in and say, “Hello.” On Twitter, it happens spontaneously with no end point in mind. With amateur radio, we worry about propagation [Propagation prediction engine forecasts the minimum and maximum usable frequencies between two locations over a specified 24 hour.] We could be talking about high frequency bands.


On Internet, as long as you have connectivity, people from all over the world talk to you. It’s this art of the conversation that I actually find is going to come back in to vogue because the punchline of my entire presentation is that after the evolution, the one thing that actually becomes cool again is talking, so I've always believed that voice is the killer app. There are lots of other apps out there, but being able to have intimate conversation with somebody. You see them right to the eyes and talk to them and feel it. That's magic and the ability to actually understand that, that's the secret sauce.


For me, when I'm looking out for where we are going in the future today...I'm just curious how many people here are involved in building chatbots. A handful, maybe.


How many people here have ever used computer game? If you'd ever in your life played a video game, you've used a chatbot. By default, you played with the code with a predetermined outcome based on what you did based on If and else, and then that's it. So forget about the fancy name for chatbots of today. If you've ever played a game, you've actually interfaced with a chatbot. What's happening today after 20 years of Voice over IP, we've had a parallel of other developments going on, developments in deep learning, artificial intelligence with natural language, and certainly the computed power has just become phenomenal.


What we're seeing today is the rise of code known as conversational interfaces. These are things which be below your radar or above your radar with major platform companies from amazon and IBM and Slack and Kik and others are providing APIs. We are at the very early stages of what will be, but if you remember the Internet '94, '95, and '96, that Internet was mostly *brochures where you create a website. What do I put on a website? I don't know, my company, not very interactive, it's information.


Today many of the chatbots...if you go on Messenger, go to where they are,it's really information. You could say that it's a toy. It's a gimmick, but there's something there.

Just curious, how many people here use Alexa? How many people here are happy because they have Alexa? Anyone here use Google Home? Someone, a few. Well, but that's the beginning. There will come at time by the way when Alexa is listening to you, and she will butt into your compensation. I promise you. Right now, she just listens to you, but there will come a time when she will pivot. She [Alexa] will actually interject information. She will go from being passive to active voice. 


There will come a time when she's going to actually be a part of your conversation and what we are seeing as part of a fundamental shift in communication is the ability to communicate. So when you look at these chatbots, they're growing up so many chatbots that are being deployed today that are not brochures marketing commerce and those of you involved texting and call centers may have seen a sudden shift from voice call centers to message centers. 


It would blow your minds you have any of this message center how much of those messaging centers are being run by AI, how many millions of people every year are actually interacting with bots and not knowing it. That's where it starting right now with net mass majority of the conversation interfaces that re being deployed are in our message center. There are lot of brands that are doing this for fun, but you can look for opportunities to show what you can do. Where it goes to from there, you’re not going to recognize. I promise you; I might not get the timing right, but I estimate seven years [from February 2017] when you look back in 2017 see how you used the Internet then and compare that to seven years from now... you will feel you lived in prehistoric times. What I am seeing is an inflection point like we haven't seen in 1998.


It's a point in time where everything's going to change. I could be dramatic and tell you that every is going to die and websites will disappear, but I think they will. You see if you think about and you wanted to come to Florida to the conference... if you didn't have someone do it for you perhaps you went online to look for a good ticket price, look for a hotel... maybe to see who else is coming down. It took time. It's not like it took two nanoseconds. I spent 25 minutes of my own time, trying to figure where to stay and where to go and what flights to take. If you look at how we surf information out today and if you have a company website whether it is update or not, this information about you... if you're engaging in business with other people, you are sharing information cloud-based, some of it is private and some is public... if you think about how inefficient that all is... there will come a time real soon when almost every company that you want to business with will have a conversational interface associated with its domain. Perhaps several.


You yourself as an entity will be able to be a chat bot, or it may be called something else. You send out a request that I'm making a trip to Florida.


“Alexa, please book me my trip.”


She'll understand what that means and she's going to go out have conversations with other conversation bots to figure out what's best, based on your preferences and actually book your trip. That's not going to happen on the website. That's going to happen because the data is sitting in different cloud-based areas, where it's well-known where it is. It's not going to be visible to you. Websites will become vanity sites with markers on the highways that you were there. Websites are something you can use as a pointer but not necessarily for business anymore. The need for apps will dramatically go away. If you've ever talked to app developers, they will tell you there is a quick slide of how many downloads that are not happening .


In areas where chatbots are dominating today are taking over, taking over in droves. We're seeing the opportunity here is to be part of the bandwagon. The message I have for you today is you want to see what the hot space is. When you have natural language interfaces, running with AI, what is it run over? It is riding on voice over IP. That's right, the technology which is inherently taken for granted which some of us didn't take for granted for years... that magical sauce is what is going to drive a trillion-dollar of business in the not-too-distant future. I saw a demo the other day of someone who had a conversational interface connected to a PBX so no more IVR Hell. No more. Gone! Seriously gone. All of the sudden you now, you want to talk to somebody, you will talk to somebody.


It's like, “Hi! Welcome to How can I help you? “


“Can I talk to Jeff?”


“Who's calling please?”


Of course, you are talking to a bot. I get to decide if I want to talk to a person or not and then, the call will go through.


Kind of spooky, right? By the way, if you want information about the company, the bot can be programmed to do that and it will sound like whatever you want it to be, any voice.


We have evolved the technology in phoneme so much, that with a little stretching you can actually shoot to the moon and get anyone's voice there. You can record any friend, anybody and you can actually voice over anybody you want to be. Even just recorded voice that's naturally available... this changes everything so when you look to the future of communications, you understand how much time is being spent on wasted time on that task... multiply that times almost a billion people the eighty percent of the world that Facebook represents. There are almost 2 billion people* online with a lot of waste of time. Chatbots will change that. The evolution of communications is still underway and there's going to come a time where everything changes. So, if you think you have your web strategy done?


Sorry, if you think your app is the killer up forever, I’m sorry, it's not. I am not sorry really. The artificial intelligence part of this is just the beginning and though we live in a convosphere.. my friend's idea, I will borrow it from time to time... that's the environment where we talk one to one, one to many anyone and many to one, but in the new world we also have us to machines, machines to machines and machines back to us.


You know when we are wearing devices, and these devices are talking to each other and leaving us out of the conversation, is that a higher level of consciousness? Or are we just irrelevant?


I don't know, but that's happening now, too, and so when I look to the future of communications, I have never been so excited about where the future goes. When we have the ability that have deep learning to understand what in this world is happening, we get to actually get re-centered. We have a chance to actually have meaningful conversations with people again. Of course, when they are three people chatting in a room, don't be surprised if two other objects are robots cutting [into the conversation.]


If any of you have ever watched any science fiction in the past ten years, a lot of stuff that was visualized by Gene Roddenberry, H. G. Wells and many other people, [they referred to this] and that's happened. There is something to the fact that comic book writers can tell us where the future's going. We need to hire some of these people to create the magic that we want to rely on.'


It is happening in the labs, and over the next seven years, we're going to see the future unfold that's going to blow your mind. Forget about what you're used to. Every assumption you know is wrong. We belong to the future of disruption.


There is a lot of buzz about job loss in relation to artificial intelligence. There are things about ethics we have to figure out. There are a lot of things that haven't been figured out.


I am fearful about the dark side growing and so, I would like to work toward the light side of things. It is to understand that there are forces created than us that are involved in pushing us forward. Twenty years ago I never would've imagined what was going to happen in the evolution of Internet communications. You know, some people still struggle to make unified communications happen. It happens in some places. It doesn't happen in other places, but it's happening.


What's going to be unified in seven years is going to be us humans figuring out for the very first time how to talk to those robots and maybe how those robots will be organizing us. How information can now be shared in a very efficient way because don't forget when it's bot to bot communication, they are not speaking voice but they will communicate. Our ability to be in position to be more efficient and to figure out what how many minutes apart we will save for the deployment of these bots. You know we'll no longer be bored playing games on your iPhone.


You actually will have more time to have more connections with people. I mention this in a conference I'm doing about Stars, Space and the Future. I have found that there is a level of spirituality in the world, and it's rising. There's a consciousness that's growing. I think it's all connected to how what's happening in terms of the use of these technologies.


I'm remiss to say that it's just one or the other. It's a combination of everything. When I look at where the future is... in many ways, it's never been so bright, never been so scary. Back in November, I got all these promotions for buying things leading up to and after Thanksgiving with Black Monday, Cyber Thursday, and Cyber Friday, I kept on thinking... wouldn't it be nice if somebody bought me a gift that I always wanted but nobody knows, a gift that I would never tell anybody that I want. Then I realized the one entity that really knows what I want is my browser. It knows what pages I'm going to clicking away. Maybe what lenses I'm looking for my camera clicking away. So I do predict that in the near future, your bot may be your best friend one day and will buy you a gift. Something that only it knows what you really want because it knows your habits. That could get you in trouble though. And chatbots when they change their name, it's not so much about the bot, but it is about code. I think we have an opportunity, by the way, to introduce a new computer language. I mean how many people here learned Basic when they were kids? Really? No one? I took it for granted.


I took it for granted that language was something we were going to learn. Somehow we stop evolving some languages. I hope in the near future, there will be a new language for bot creation, that's universal, that's not tied into anyone's back-end APIs so people can just write code whether they're seven years old or eighty-seven years old, you know, that people can write code that is meaningful for you. As much as Basic [computer language] was meaningful for us kids, growing up... for the generations are coming forward, being able to interconnect the intersections of AI computing in the conversation. I think the bot language is needed; hopefully, it will come forward.


So anyway I want to thank you for my time, for listening to me today. I'm Jeff Pulver. You can find more information about me on my website If you are passionate about the stars, I am always happy to have those conversations.


I’ll just leave on this note. This is a life lesson I learned since I got involved in this industry. A few years ago...if you haven't seen me in a while, it is because between 2012-2013, I figured out how to outsource about 120 pounds, and I outsourced it because when you say you lose something that it can kind of find you. I outsourced the weight, and then, I got into even better shape. It was actually seven hours before first ever organized race. I was sitting down having lunch with two friends in Tel Aviv, and I had a seizure. The seizure resulted from dehydration and low electrolytes. I didn't know that, but the physical impact of the seizure film in position where I dislocated my right shoulder, fractured two bones and severed muscles off my bone.


It took from a state of very good health to being basically dependent upon somebody. I couldn't button my shirt or tie my shoes. I started to think about life and started to understand that you can put anything you want. Sometimes you have to appreciate the moments to breathe and to be around the people you like and understand in some level that's all that matters. Maybe. So I dedicated my Instagram back then to sunrise and sunsets. If you are ever on Instagram, I'm jeffkenipulver. I spent my time starting to understand and appreciate that every moment matters. So I don't take anything for granted at all.


I try not to put off things that I could put off until tomorrow. I try to be present, and I learned mindfulness very hard way because right before this accident which took seven months to recover from and then I had PT for another few months... I was working on a conference and while I was flying on Oxycodone I put out an email to my friends saying, “Hey, I got hurt and I can't do this conference anymore. This is what happened to me.”


I got about 600 emails back. Every email I tried to reply, but I was in pain. I hit next, and there was another one. Then I finally closed my laptop and I realized that I had to heal. I realized that I actually had to focus on me and it took my entire life for me to get there. I leaned mindfulness by being in the position where I had to mindful to myself.


So I am really passionate about the future of communications, really passionate about where things are going; I have a great appreciation for every moment we have. Then some of the cliches you hear about growing up all of a sudden start to matter. For me, a lot of songs I used to listen to... the words now resonate with me deeply.


So I just want to wish you all great health, great opportunities to be at every moment that you can... be yourself and thank you for your time.


 *True...2 billion people in the world enjoy Facebook; whereas, there are over 3.5 billion using Internet in the world according to Statista. While we are at it 79 % of Americans use Facebook and 32 % use Instagram (2nd most popular in US). 31 % use Pinterest, 29 % LinkedIn and 24 % Twitter. 180 million people use Youtube in the US, more than any other country with Brazil, Russia, Japan, India, UK and Germany having anywhere between 69.5 to 31.3 million.  

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