Experience
Education
Bio
My entire professional career has been dedicated to a simple question: How can we use Information Technology to act more intelligently? In a commercial setting, where I spent most of my professional life, I had to apply this question to activities that make business sense such as creation of new productivity tools, products and services. Every advance in basic technologies created opportunities for intelligent business applications. In the 1980s, I led the design and implementation of the first production-quality automated Natural Language Processing system that handled international money transfer telexes for Citibank. When I joined Accenture in 1989, I created a lab that explored the use of multimedia for knowledge management and training. We also built early, pre-web prototypes of interactive multimedia-based eCommerce applications. In 1995, we released the world’s first eCommerce agent that shopped the web for music CDs. While the whole world was falling in love with eCommerce and predicting the demise of “brick and mortar,” we quickly realized that the physical world was not about to disappear. We coined the term uCommerce for Ubiquitous Commerce and built a number of demonstrations of services that use the combination of personal mobile devices and the surrounding environments. As we were building early examples of Ubiquitous Commerce, it became clear to us that these services would require complex automated intelligence based on detailed models of human behavior. Automated creation of such models requires an ability to fuse often ambiguous and noisy information from disparate sources, including physical sensors and the web. As a result, we created an Analytics and Intelligence group at Accenture Technology Labs which now includes several CMU graduates. My professional career started in Natural Language processing at Yale University where I got my Computer Science Ph.D. in 1979. More recently, I realized that the vision of ubiquitous intelligent services will not be fulfilled without significant advances in Language Technologies. At the end of 2006 I retired from my position as Global Director of Research and Chief Scientist at Accenture and joined the LTI faculty in April 2007.