Jeff Adams CEO of Cobalt Speech & Language and Former Alexa ASR and NLU Teams – Voicebot Podcast Ep 59

Jeff Adams has spent more than two decades in the voice industry. During that time he worked for well recognized industry names that include Scansoft, Nuance and Amazon. At Nuance, he worked on the famous Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software. He left Nuance to take the VP of Research position at Yap which became a leader in voicemail transcription and was eventually acquired by Amazon. But, no one had any idea why the acquisition happened. Jeff walks through the initial secrecy around Amazon’s expectations of him and his team and his first visit to Seattle where the plans for Alexa were first revealed. His initial reaction was that voice recognition at a distance (far-field voice) wasn’t possible. Previous attempts had been unsuccessful.

At Amazon, Jeff led the original automated speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding (NLU) teams for Alexa where he is also listed as the author on 21 patents. Just before Alexa’s launch, he left Amazon to start Cobalt Speech & Language which helps companies solve the biggest technical challenges in voice technology. And, he shares why he doesn’t regret leaving before Amazon Echo started shipping to consumers. Jeff has undergraduate and graduated degrees in Math from Brigham Young, Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and the University of Oregon.

Show Notes – Jeff Adams Interview

You can listen to the podcast interview above or at any of the locations below.

Listen on Google Play Music

Tom Hebner Global Innovation Head for Nuance Talks 20 Years in Voice – Voicebot Podcast Ep 53

Voicebot Podcast Episode 32 – Dr. Ahmed Bouzid Talks About Working on the Alexa Team, Founding Witlingo and 20 Years of Voice Assistants

Rand Hindi CEO of Snips Talks Independent Voice Assistants, Privacy, Block Chain and ICO – Voicebot Podcast Ep 51