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E11: Conversational AI: Transformations and challenges with Marina Ashurkina

In this episode host, Oliver Lennon is joined by Marina Ashurkina, a distinguished professional with over 13 years of Conversational AI industry experience. Marina has made significant contributions to the development of voice technologies like Siri and has been involved in various startups working on multiple exciting projects including,, a conversation platform acquired by Google in 2016 (now Dialogflow). She has also co-authored a book with Mike McTear, due for release in early 2024.

The conversation delves into the practical aspects of AI and conversational design, exploring topics like regulations, the implications of hallucinations in large language models and the evolving complexity in building AI solutions. A significant focus is on the importance of prompt engineering and contextual understanding in developing these technologies. Marina and Oliver discuss the industry’s hype, the realities of implementing AI solutions and the future directions of Conversational AI, reflecting on the changes since the advent of platforms like Siri.

Marina’s background in linguistics and translation, her early career startups and her experience at Huawei and other companies provides a rich context for her insights. The episode is an enlightening discussion for anyone interested in the current state and future of Conversational AI.

About ‘The Syndeo Podcast’

The Syndeo Podcast, hosted by Oliver Lennon delves deep into all things Conversational AI with some of the sharpest brains from the most innovative companies in the world of Customer Experience (CX). These are not a series of interviews, but conversations – a regular discourse designed to provoke, educate and enlighten business professionals with insights, learning and guidance on leveraging conversational AI to deliver meaningful CX.

Available across all major podcast platforms.

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