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Speech & NLP at Amazon — Unique Challenges, Unique Resources

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(Not a research talk.)

Amazon’s new speech & language group has an interesting set of tasks to work on. From aligning e-books and audiobooks, to indexing home-made video reviews of consumer products, and a dozen other applications in between, there is a lot to do for the industry’s newest research lab. Fortunately, the lab has access to a wealth of resources, from Amazon’s vast media holdings, to Amazon Mechanical Turk for annotation, to Amazon’s Web Service infrastructure, the environment has been compared to being a startup with infinite resources. In this presentation, I will summarize some of the tasks we are taking on, and some prospects for the future. I will also address opportunities for internships and employment with this new group, including some tips on what to expect when interviewing.

Bio

Jeff Adams has 18 years of experience in speech research management at a variety of firms. Under Jeff’s leadership, speech scientists at Kurzweil Applied Intelligence, Lernout and Hauspie, Dragon, ScanSoft, Nuance, and Yap achieved unprecedented breakthroughs in accuracy with leading-edge commercial large-vocabulary speech recognition products such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking, L&H VoiceXpress, Kurzweil Voice, Dictaphone EXSpeech & PowerScribe, and Yap’s state of the art voicemail ASR service. Jeff continues that tradition at Amazon, where he is leading efforts to build a new speech & language lab.

Jeff studied mathematics at Brigham Young University (B.S., summa cum laude, 1984), the University of California (M.A., 1989), and the University of Oregon. He worked as a mathematician for the Department of Defense for several years before applying his skills to speech recognition

This talk is part of the CUED Speech Group Seminars series.

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