AVIOS Board Members
President: K.W. (Bill) Scholz — Speech Technology
Dr. Scholz is a speech technology consultant with over 35 years of experience in research and product development in computer-based training and expert systems, as well as the design and development of service creation tools and the custom engineering of speech and multimodal applications for the telecommunications marketplace. He co-founded the Speech and Natural Language initiative at Unisys Corporation in the early 90’s and managed the design and development of an integrated tool suite for building dialog applications. Since 2006 he has been working as an independent consultant in speech technology with a primary focus on English-as-a-Second Language application development for Qooco, LTD in Beijing, China. He holds a doctoral degree in Cognitive Science from Indiana University.
Vice President: Thomas Schalk — SiriusXM
Tom Schalk, Ph.D., is Vice President of Voice Technology at SiriusXM, a leading provider of in-vehicle infotainment and driver assistance to global automobile manufacturers. Dr. Schalk guides research and development of multi-modal, in-vehicle, human-machine interfaces and user experiences that seek to simplify secondary driving tasks while minimizing the risk of driver distraction. Prior to SiriusXM, Dr. Schalk was the CTO of Philips Speech Processing. He has over twenty-five years of experience in the speech recognition industry. He received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and his BSEE from the George Washington University.
Executive Director: William Meisel — TMA Associates
William “Bill” Meisel is president of TMA Associates, a speech-industry consulting and publishing firm (www.tmaa.com). Meisel also writes Speech Strategy News newsletter (beginning in 1993), is co-organizer of the Conversational Interaction Conference (www.conversationalinteraction.com), and wrote a book for a general audience, The Software Society: Cultural and Economic Impact, in 2103. In the 1980s, he founded and ran a speech recognition technology company that lasted 21 years, after managing the Computer Science Division of an engineering firm. Meisel began his career as a professor of EE and CS at USC. He wrote an early technical book on machine learning, Computer-Oriented Approaches to Pattern Recognition , in 1972, has published over 20 papers, and is a frequent speaker at conferences. Meisel holds a B.S. in Engineering from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from USC.
Secretary: Sara Basson — Google
Sara Basson works at Google as “Accessibility Evangelist,” with the goal of making the experience of Googlers more accessible and usable, through enhancements to technologies and education and advocacy around accessibility. In previous roles, she worked at IBM Research on the Education Transformation initiative, to achieve better academic outcomes using personalized learning and analytics. In 2011, she completed an international assignment at IBM Research-India, where she was working on strategy, business, and user interface design issues for Spoken Web, a tool that created internet-like access for developing regions, using mobile phones and speech recognition. She has also served as principal investigator from IBM Research to drive improved educational access using speech technologies for university students with disabilities through the Liberated Learning consortium, working with 20 universities worldwide. Sara has more than 50 articles published on topics in speech technology and accessibility in technical journals, as well as a number of pending and issued patents. She was granted the title of Master Inventor in IBM Research in 2011.
Sara holds an M.B.A. in Management/Marketing from Stern School of Business, New York University, and a Ph.D. in Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also holds an Honorary Doctorate degree from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in recognition of her extensive activities using speech technologies to enhance accessibility in the educational arena.
Sara serves on the Executive Board of Directors of AVIOS, a speech technology applications professional organization; she served as President of the Board of Directors in 2000 -2001.
Treasurer: Marie Meteer — Brandeis University and Consultant
Dr. Marie Meteer is Associate Professor and Industry Liaison in the Computer Science Department at Brandeis University and has over 25 years experience in speech, language modeling, and dialog. She started her career as a research scientist BBN Technologies and over 20 years rose to VP of Commercial Speech before spinning out “EveryZing”, a digital media merchandising platform. Since 2009 she has been teaching and consulting in industries ranging from mobile application development to patent research.
Emmett Coin — ejTalk CEO/Industrial Poet, Principal
Deborah Dahl — Conversational Technologies, Principal
Michael Johnston — Interactions,
Lead Inventive Scientist
James Larson — Larson Technical Services, Vice President
Marie Meteer — Brandeis University,
Associate Professor and Consultant
Roberto Pieraccini — Jibo, Inc.,
Director of Advanced Conversational Technologies
Bruce Pollock — West Corporation,
Alexander Rudnicky — Carnegie Mellon University, Principal Systems Scientist, School of Computer Science
Dr. Nava Shaked — Business Technologies, Director
Phil Shinn — IVR Design Group. Principal
Lorin Wilde — IBM Watson Education Research, Senior Natural Language Processor