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The Voicebot Podcast

Sep 20, 2020

James Vlahos is the founder of Hereafter AI, a company that enables anyone to create a chatbot avatar of a real person. James' interest in chatbots started in the 1980s on a Commodore PET computer and was rekindled in 2015 when, as a reporter, he wrote a story about PullString's work on Hello Barbie. That led to him creating Dadbot, a chatbot that captured the memories and thoughts of his father that at the time was battling Stage IV cancer. 

After completing a book on tech's many decades of voice assistant innovation called Talk to Me, James founded Hereafter AI in 2019. We discuss what he learned from his early experience with rudimentary chabot designs of the 1980s and how his experience building a chatbot to memorialize his father offered unique insights into the tradeoffs of these types of endeavors. We cover a series of questions James has not been asked before and he offers some interesting insights that will be of value to any voice assistant designer. 

James earned a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. Over his career, he has written for many publications including The New York Times, GQ, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, National Geographic Adventure, and WIRED.