Machine Learning and Localization Technology Trailblazer Alon Lavie joins Phrase as New Vice President of AI Research

Appointment reinforces  the company’s commitment and continued leadership in defining the next generation of language technology.


Boston, USA, July 11,  2023
 – Phrase, the global leader in cloud-based localization software, today announced the appointment of localization industry leading authority Dr. Alon Lavie as its new Vice President of AI Research. Dr. Lavie will be joined by an expert team of machine learning engineers with whom he has worked for decades across different organizations. He and the team join Phrase at a significant juncture, as the company further extends its leadership in localization software, and continues to set a new standard for next-generation language technology.

Dr. Lavie’s extensive experience in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its application to language technologies, especially Large Language Models (LLMs) and Translation Quality Estimation, will further complement Phrase’s strong existing leadership team in these areas. The role will connect him with other notable recent hires with machine learning pedigree, namely Chief Product Officer, Simone Bohnenberger-Rich, PhD, appointed in February, and Director of Machine Translation, Yao Li. This collective expertise will be the driving force behind Phrase’s next generation of AI and ML capabilities.

“We are thrilled to welcome Alon, an influential leader in the localization industry and truly world-class talent in AI,” said Georg Ell, CEO at Phrase. “Alon brings with him a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical expertise which will play a critical role in shaping and delivering our vision and roadmap. Alon’s arrival further strengthens our already talented senior product team and is an exciting step in the continued development of our powerful AI and ML capabilities at Phrase. It highlights the importance we place on the future role of AI, Large Language Models, Machine Translation and Translation Quality Estimation to our advancement of the Phrase Localization Suite to define next-generation localization software. The combination of cutting-edge technology in an integrated platform, will empower our customers to leverage the immense potential that AI and LLMs hold in delivering real value to their business.”

Dr. Lavie has been at the leading edge of AI research in language technology for many years. He has just concluded a tenure as VP of Language Technologies at Unbabel, where he led the company’s U.S. AI lab based in Pittsburgh, and provided strategic leadership for the company’s broader AI R&D teams. Prior to this, he headed up the Amazon Machine Translation R&D group in Pittsburgh. Notably, earlier in his career, he co-founded and led a Machine Translation technology start-up, “Safaba Translation Solutions,” ultimately serving the company as President and Chairman of the Board, until its acquisition by Amazon in 2015.

Additionally, Dr. Lavie has been on the forefront of academic research in Machine Translation. His impressive academic credentials include 20 years of serving as Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Language Technology Institute (LTI) where he is now Consulting Professor.  His primary research has focused on Machine Translation and translation evaluation as well as related areas such as MT adaptation approaches with and without human feedback, quality estimation, and methods for multi-engine MT system combination.

Dr. Lavie has numerous affiliations and accolades, the most recent of which is the 2021 “Makoto Nagao IAMT Award of Honour.” This prestigious recognition was bestowed upon him at the 18th biennial Machine Translation Summit conference in August 2021, in acknowledgment of his significant contributions to the field of Machine Translation.

“The timing of my move is remarkable, as we navigate and explore the rapid rise of Large Language Models (LLMs) and Generative AI, among other groundbreaking industry trends,” said Lavie. “Given my life’s work, I am deeply passionate about the opportunities ahead of us as an industry of course, but specifically for Phrase and its clients. Phrase is clearly at the forefront of innovation and will undoubtedly drive the future of what’s possible in the localization technology space. Phrase has an impressive customer base, phenomenal products already in the market, and strong existing AI capabilities poised to drive a new level of innovation. Plus, Georg and all of the leadership are wholly committed to being an AI-first company. I’m tremendously excited to join Phrase at this point in time and our alignment toward the future of the industry could not be better.”

About Phrase
Phrase is a leading cloud-based localization solution that enables organizations of all sizes to open the door to global business through advanced automation and a broad variety of integrations. The Phrase localization Suite is equipped with the leading translation management system, a specialized platform for software and digital products, and it supports 500+ languages, 50+ file types, 30+ machine translation engines, and 50+ integrations. The enterprise-grade suite enables users to drive growth with a connected ecosystem of tools. Organizations like Uber, Shopify, Volkswagen, and thousands of others trust in Phrase and accelerate their global growth by giving people the content they need, in the language they speak. For further information visit www.phrase.com

Connect with Phrase: LinkedIn

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