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Virtually Speaking

Press Release: Next IT Announces Research and Innovation Appointments

Posted by Next IT on Jul 25, 2017 5:48:07 PM


Interdisciplinary team will accelerate development of new conversational AI and language understanding technologies

Spokane, Wash. (WA) July 25, 2017– Next IT, the provider of conversational AI for the Global 5000, today announced new appointments and promotions to its research and innovation team. The research and innovation team advance Next IT’s mission of ensuring that every enterprise succeeds with AI.

Joe Dumoulin has been appointed Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Ian Beaver has been named Lead Research Engineer, and Cynthia Freeman has joined the company’s software engineering group. Dr. George Luger, Professor of Computer Science, Linguistics, and Psychology at the University of New Mexico, will serve as Technology Advisor.

The expanded research and innovation team is comprised of experts from Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Psychology, and Linguistics who specialize in machine learning, optimization algorithms, diagnostic reasoning, stochastic modeling, and human-computer interactions such as gesture recognition and user-preference learning. The interdisciplinary approach is the cornerstone of Next IT’s approach to innovation. With an expanded R&D function, the company will accelerate development of new technologies that deliver results across industries and use cases.

“Next IT has always been at the forefront of conversational AI, but it’s essential to balance in-market success with ongoing research and development,” said Joe Dumoulin, Chief Technology Innovation Officer at Next IT. “I’m particularly proud of the caliber of experts we’ve assembled and pleased to tell customers they can expect nothing short of market-leading innovation from Next IT.”

Joe Dumoulin will serve as CTIO and work directly with Next IT President Tracy Malingo and Next IT customers and strategic partners on transformative innovations. Over the last ten years, Joe has inspired and led a team of developers and researchers to create and publish original research in the areas of human-computer multimodal interactions, user preference learning, and classifier combination for heterogeneous classification methods. Currently, his work centers around machine learning and optimization algorithms. During his 15 years at Next IT, he helped create some of the earliest commercially successful automated conversational applications in the conversational AI space and has been a significant influence on Next IT products and strategic direction.

Ian Beaver is now the Lead Research Engineer at Next IT. Ian has been at the center of cutting-edge AI research since 2005, publishing and presenting discoveries in the field of AI. His research on human-computer interactions including gesture recognition, applications for real-time user preference learning, and detecting and preventing miscommunication with multi-modal automated assistants are essential reading for AI developers. Ian holds a BS and MS in computer science and will complete his doctorate at the University of New Mexico in 2017.

As a software engineer, Cynthia Freeman will be joining existing team members and work on key conversational analysis tools for the company. Cynthia is working on completing her doctorate in computer science at the University of New Mexico researching causal structure learning, classifier combination for heterogeneous scoring methods, and data mining. She has contributed to 5 publications in the last two years, including one in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the top conference in AI.  Previously, she obtained her MS in Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington and a BS in Mathematics from Gonzaga University.

“To remain a major player in Artificial Intelligence centered applications, especially in human language understanding and conversation management, requires the assembly of top quality computer scientists. With Dumoulin, Beaver, and Freeman, as well as other quality software engineers, Next IT has created such a cohort,” explained Luger. “It is exciting and fun to be a technical advisor for Next IT, building quality software that is changing human computer communication.”

George Luger, Next IT’s new technology advisor, has been a Professor at the University of New Mexico Computer Science Department since 1979. A storied figure in artificial intelligence, George brings unparalleled expertise and a decades-long track record of innovation. His two master's degrees are in pure and applied mathematics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973, with a dissertation focusing on the computational modeling of human-problem solving performance in the tradition of Allen Newell and Herbert Simon. His AI book, Artificial Intelligence: Structures and Strategies for Complex Problem Solving (Addison-Wesley 2008) is now in its sixth edition.

To learn more about Next IT, please visit: http://nextit.com/

About Next IT

Next IT is the provider of conversational AI for the Global 5000. We propel businesses into the intelligence revolution with AI technologies that are enterprise ready on day one.

Our customers and strategic partners use our technology to build business-first AI solutions that put them a step ahead of their competition. By combining a proven cognitive platform with an advanced toolset spanning NLP, NLG and conversation analysis, we ensure that every enterprise succeeds with AI now and in the future.

Next IT is headquartered in Spokane, Washington.

Next IT. Where AI Means Business.  www.nextit.com

Topics: Press Release