Zachary Haynes, former Director of Global Business Development for Oxford University Press/Oxford Languages (Previously Oxford Dictionaries: The world’s leading dictionary publisher for over 150 years), has joined Babelscape.
Babelscape is a leading research start-up, spun out of the Sapienza University of Rome’s NLP Lab, and founded by Professor Roberto Navigli.
Navigli, a researcher, innovator, and entrepreneur; leads a team of developers that include multiple Ph.D. industrial engineers, to develop and distribute cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, multilingual semantic software. Their products improve natural language processing and understanding, by leveraging the latest research and techniques, (including machine and deep learning, symbolic AI, and neural networks).
While at Oxford University Press, Zachary Haynes was instrumental in pivoting Oxford Dictionaries rights and reprints business, towards emerging global digital licensing models. Transforming an English-first, lexical content business, into a global languages data aggregator and products/services leader.
From 2012 to 2022, Oxford Languages, in partnership with leading technology companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft; licensed dozens of the world’s most reputable dictionary brands including Duden, Sanseido, Mondadori, and Larousse. Oxford’s expertise enabled the digital transformation of these trusted print references, into consumer platforms and products at the forefront of the information technology explosion, including Google Search, Apple iPhone, Amazon Kindle, and Microsoft Word.
In 2012, Roberto earned his first of two European Research Council Grants (equivalent to the U.S. National Science Foundation) to create BabelNet: The world’s first multilingual inter-linked semantic knowledge base; by linking open-source repositories of information like WordNet and Wikipedia/Wikidata/Wiktionary, at the conceptual level. BabelNet, has been called the ‘Dictionary of the Future’, and is now the world’s largest encyclopedic resource, with more than 23 million entries, in over 500 languages.
Navigli’s two grants – aimed at bringing languages together and enabling multilingual disambiguation and Natural Language Understanding – have been selected among the ERC’s top 15 (of 10,000) most transformative for science.
“Everyone in the specialized world of language AI is familiar with Roberto’s profound, and prolific research breakthroughs. Working with his team to grow their mission — especially in the uncertain age of ChatGPT — while leveraging the capabilities of this powerful multilingual semantic network of knowledge, is a privilege…” – Zachary Haynes
“Zach’s success with expanding and aligning Oxford Dictionaries digital business and mission into global languages, his relationships with influential technology companies, and his passion, curiosity, and enthusiasm for the power of emerging advances in language models, makes him uniquely established to grow our business…” — Francesco Tucci (Babelscape, CEO)
About Babelscape: Babelscape is a deep-tech company focused on multilingual Natural Language Processing, with the mission of enabling multilinguality and understanding in applications which deal with text and speech. Thanks to research from the internationally renowned Natural Language Processing research group headed by prof. Roberto Navigli at the Sapienza University of Rome. Babelscape’s partners and clients include ADOBE, ATEX, EBSCO, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), non-profit research organizations, and public institutions.
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