Unbabel opens AI lab in US
The Portuguese machine assisted translation company Unbabel is to open an artificial intelligence centre in the US city of Pittsburgh next month.
The laboratory will be managed in the US by Alon Lavie, the company’s VP of Language Technologies who had been a senior manager for Amazon from 2015 to March 2019.
The announcement was made to the news agency Lusa by Unbabel CEO Vasco Pedro. Lavie quit his post at Amazon where he headed Google’s Machine Translation department to join a new AI team at Unbabel.
Unbabel offers automatic translation intelligence with human editors to high profile clients like Pinterest, change.org, Skyscanner and Weebly.
The choice of location in Pensilvania will also draw on the relationship Unbabel has with the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where Alon Lavie is a researcher at the Institute of Language Technology.
Vasco Pedro says that Lavie “is one of the world specialists in machine translation” and was his teacher at CMU.
“In the early stages the team will focus more on practical questions and applications that we are developing for corporate clients, but as we grow this will provide us with the capacity to deal with other problems,” he says.
The president and founder of the company which employs 220 staff said that what Unbabel has been doing up until now is still “at the very beginning” of what the company plans to do and the laboratory will help them to explore more ambitious future scenarios.
“We want to get to the point that one day language will be irrelevant when having a conversation. I hope that one day I can have my e-mail, WhatsApp and Voice communicating with anyone, anywhere and in any language,” Vasco Pedro explained.