Larry Heck named Rhesa “Ray” S of Georgia Tech.

Atlanta, GA, July 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Larry Heck will join the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) on August 15e as professor, Rhesa “Ray” S. Farmer Chair and eminent researcher of the Georgia Research Alliance. Having obtained a master’s degree and a doctorate. Georgia Tech graduates, Heck returns to his alma mater after nearly 30 years in the industry, most recently as President and CEO of Viv Labs and Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics.

Since 2013, Heck has served on the ECE Advisory Board and currently chairs the board. When he arrives at Georgia Tech this summer, he will collaborate with researchers in a myriad of disciplines, including the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

“Georgia Tech is thrilled to have Larry Heck return to campus in a role that will impact various fields in an entirely new way,” said Raheem Beyah, Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair. “His graduate and doctoral studies here became the foundation for a career rich in artificial intelligence, speech and language processing, online algorithms and other fields. He will now advance these areas by expanding his exploration and preparing the next generation of leaders. ”

“I have been fortunate to have seen the evolution of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech over the years and I am delighted to be joining the school in this new role,” said Heck. “The ECE and the College of Engineering have strong strengths in academia and research. I look forward to building on ECE’s success in a rapidly evolving field of engineering, as well as participating in the larger innovation and startup ecosystem in Atlanta and Georgia.

Heck’s influence on shaping speech and language technologies is widely felt, especially with AI virtual assistants. He founded the Cortana ™ virtual assistant at Microsoft, led Samsung’s Bixby ™ virtual assistant in North America, served as a technical advisor to Yap Inc. (acquired by Amazon to launch the Alexa ™ virtual assistant) and has founded Google’s Deep Dialogue group, a research effort behind Google Assistant ™.

“Recruiting engineers and scientists of Larry’s caliber in Georgia is how we continue to raise the profile of our state as a premier center for academic research and entrepreneurship,” said Susan Shows. , president of the GRA. “Larry was a true pioneer of deep learning technology for speech processing and many other areas. He will be an exceptional addition to the Academy of GRA Eminent Scholars, which are the main drivers of research funding at Georgian universities.

In 1992, Heck began his career at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in acoustic research and later in speech with the Speech Technology and Research (STAR) Laboratory. He founded the SRI Speaker Recognition Group within the STAR Lab, where he created speaker verification / voice biometric technology which he ultimately transferred and developed into the award-winning Nuance Verifier ™ product. While at SRI, Heck worked with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and MIT Lincoln Labs to establish the NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluations (SRE), an international competition to encourage basic research and foster collaboration between researchers in speaker recognition. The NIST SRE has been held annually for the past 25 years and has had a profound influence on the field.

Heck joined Nuance Communications in 1998, as Vice President of R&D, where he led the research, advanced development and deployment of its engines for speech recognition, speech biometrics, spoken natural language processing and speech synthesis. In 1999, he led one of the world’s first deployments of a major industrial deep learning application with the Home Shopping Network. The Nuance Nuance Recognizer ™ speech recognition engine has won numerous awards, including being named the industry’s most accurate speech recognition engine for telephony in 2004. In the same year, it was named one of the “Top 10 Speech Industry Leaders” at SpeechTek ’04.

In 2005, Heck joined Yahoo !, where he served as vice president of search and advertising science. Its highly multidisciplinary team was responsible for the scientific development, analysis and deployment of Yahoo! web research, search monetization, content match advertising, and display advertising products. He was the co-founder of Yahoo! Labs and was co-creator and program chair of the first Yahoo! Tech Pulse Conference, an in-house, company-wide technical conference.

Heck joined Microsoft in 2009, eventually becoming its Chief Voice Products Scientist and Distinguished Engineer where he founded the virtual assistant Cortana ™ AI. He joined Google Research in 2014 to continue his work on AI virtual assistant technology. Since 2017, he has worked at Samsung Electronics where he created 3 world-class AI research centers (Silicon Valley, Toronto and Montreal), was President and CEO of Viv Labs and led the North Product teams. American companies around virtual AI. Bixby assistant.

Currently, Heck remains active on the advisory boards of several conversational AI startups, including Symbl.ai, XdMind, and Otter.ai.

In addition to his impressive roster of leadership positions in the industry, Heck has over 125 journal and conference publications and over 50 patents in the fields of AI and speech recognition. Heck is a member of the IEEE “for his leadership in the application of machine learning to the processing of spoken and textual language”. In 2017, he received the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering and the Texas Tech University Whitacre College of Engineering Distinguished Engineer Award.

Heck received his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 1989 and 1991, respectively, and his BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University.

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About the Georgia Research Alliance

The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) is helping Georgia university scientists do more research and start more businesses. By developing research and entrepreneurship capacity in public and private universities, GRA is growing Georgia’s economy by stimulating more investment in the state; develop a high-tech workforce; and strengthen Georgia’s reputation for innovation.

For 30 years, GRA has worked in partnership with the Georgia University System and the Georgia Department of Economic Development to create the businesses and jobs of Georgia’s future. Visit GRA.org for more information.

MEMBER UNIVERSITIES: Augusta University, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Mercer University, Morehouse School of Medicine, University of Georgia.

About the Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is one of the top 10 public research universities that develops leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.

The Institute offers degrees in business, computer science, design, engineering, liberal arts, and science. Its nearly 40,000 students representing 50 states and 149 countries study at the main Atlanta campus, campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning.

As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the country, conducting more than $ 1 billion in research per year for government, industry and the society.



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