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Human Language Technology

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Speaker Biographies

Alfred Spector

Alfred Spector, VP of Research and Special Initiatives

Alfred joined Google in November of 2007 and is responsible for the research across Google and also a growing collection of special initiatives - typically projects with high strategic value to the company, but somewhat outside the mainstream of current products.

Previously, Alfred was Vice President of Strategy and Technology for IBM’s Software Business. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Services and Software Research across IBM. He was also founder and CEO of Transarc Corporation, a pioneer in distributed transaction processing and wide-area file systems, and was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in highly reliable and scalable distributed computing.

Alfred received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford and his AB in Applied Mathematics from Harvard. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IEEE and ACM, and the recipient of the 2001 IEEE Computer Society’s Tsutomu Kanai Award for work in scalable architectures and distributed systems.

Mike Cohen

Mike Cohen, Manager - Speech Technology

Mike Cohen leads the speech technology efforts at Google. Prior to joining Google, Mike cofounded Nuance Communications and spent ten years helping build it into this market-leading speech technology company. He coauthored of the book Voice User Interface Design published by Addison-Wesley in 2004.

Franz Och

Franz Josef Och, Research Scientist Lead - Machine Translation

Franz Josef Och joined Google in 2004 as a research scientist, where he leads the machine translation group. He has been working on statistical machine translation since 1997.

Franz worked as a Research Scientist at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California from 2002 to 2004. His main research interests are statistical machine translation, natural language processing and machine learning. He has co-authored more than fifty scientific papers and has written several open-source software packages related to statistical natural language processing.

He received a PhD in Computer Science at the RWTH Aachen, Germany in 2002 and his Diploma Degree in Computer Science at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany in 1998.

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