Hassan Sawaf

Hassan visiting the Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah, Summer 2020

Let’s hang out

Hassan was the project manager and lead developer of a project with Daimler Benz InterServices GmbH, which was introduced in 1996 as the first fully-automatic SITA messaging analysis system, automating communication between airports, airlines and federal authorities in Germany.

After his graduate studies, Hassan was a senior researcher at the University of Aachen (RWTH), and co-founder and CEO of the German company AIXPLAIN AG, a spin-off of the University of Aachen. In 2002 Hassan presented the first commercial speech-to-speech system to the public, translating spoken English from and into German and was featured in many publications in national newspapers as well as presentations in the national television news. AIXPLAIN’s assets were acquired by AppTek in November 2004.

Under his management as a COO and Chief Scientist in AppTek, the HLT team introduced in 2008 the first commercially available hybrid machine translation system. Under his leadership the HLT group also developed numerous automated speech recognition engines, covering languages like Arabic, Spanish, Farsi and many others, for Media Monitoring, Telephony applications and Handheld Devices. AppTek’s technical team and assets were acquired by SAIC November of 2010.

From November 2010 till January 2013, he lead as a Chief Scientist the research and development in machine learning and human language technology at SAIC. In March 2011, Walt Halvenstein, the CEO at this time, and his executive management team awarded Hassan the title of “SAIC Technical Fellow” for his work in technology and management, among other reasons for working on research in multilingual spoken dialogue systems for autonomous systems and robots.

April 2013, Hassan joined eBay as senior director and founded the Artificial Intelligence organization that pioneered the use of Machine Translation to enable Cross-Border Trade, and to support various teams with Computer Vision, Signal Processing, Natural Language Processing and Chatbot Technology.

After that, Hassan Sawaf joined Amazon 2016 till September 2019, where he acted as Director of Applied Science and Artificial Intelligence in Amazon Web Services and initiated and lead the genesis of various AI/ML services like Amazon Transcribe, Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Translate, Amazon Lex and more.

October 2019 till June 2020, Hassan joined Facebook as Director, Facebook AI, focusing on building AI/ML technology to enable new Augmented Reality experiences for existing and new products. That includes Computer Vision, Signal Processing and Speech and Language Processing and Understanding.

In June 2020, Hassan founded a new startup that focusses on building platforms to enable businesses to benefit machine learning and artificial intelligence more safely and effectively.

He also serves as an advisor and board member in companies and organizations of various sizes, and is engaged with the startup ecosystem as an angel investor.

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