CEO, Cobalt Speech & Language
Jeff left Amazon in September, 2014 to establish Cobalt Speech & Language, a new, independent, commercial speech & language lab. Jeff Adams has been managing top-level speech & language technology research for 20 years. Until 6 years ago, he worked at Nuance / Dragon, where he was responsible for developing & improving the speech recognition that went into Nuance’s “Dragon” dictation software. He presided over many of the key improvements in the 1990s and 2000s that brought this technology into the mainstream and enabled widespread adoption.
Jeff left Nuance in 2009 for Yap. Yap’s business was cloud-based speech recognition, primarily for the voicemail-to-text market. Under Jeff’s oversight, Yap built a world-class research group to go head-to-head against the much bigger companies that dominated the market, including at least one that used thousands of off-shore human transcribers.
Over a period of 2 1/2 years, Jeff assembled a remarkable team of 12 exceptionally talented & respected speech scientists, unprecedented for a small startup, and within a year or two, bested all of Yap’s competitors on an unbiased test set, and matched the performance of (off-shore) human transcription. That is the first and (so far) only known example of fully automatic speech recognition matching human performance. Yap’s success attracted the attention of Amazon, and Jeff and his team of 12 scientists moved to Amazon in 2011, forming the core of Amazon’s new speech & language research lab.
At Amazon, Jeff led efforts to build one of the industry’s leading speech & language groups. That team is building speech and language solutions such as Echo, Fire TV and Dash.
Jeff is the author of 25 patents and several published research papers.