Published: Oct. 22, 2018

Lisa Rutta is the Director of Ops and Technical Project Managment at SoundHound, a company that does music identification (Houndify) and has recently moved into speech recognition. While their headquarters is in California, they have recently opened a branch office in Boulder and are looking for more linguists to join their team of annotators. We are delighted to welcome Lisa to lead a LingCircle panel for us, where she will be joined by her SoundHound colleagues Angie Howard, Maisy Wieman, and Melissa Little! In addition, Lisa is also inviting interested parties to dinner at the SoundHound office, and will have interview slots on Tuesday.

Linguistic Roles in Speech Recognition Technology: Optimizing for Success
Monday, November 5th
Hellems 237

Abstract: At SoundHound, we strive for success at every level, starting with a critical focus on finding the best possible match in the folks we hire. This can be challenging when it comes to college candidates with very little or no industry experience, especially because the speech recognition industry is still in its infancy and not very well defined.  Arming linguistic college candidates with information about the skills and experience we look for, as well as details about the work we do, helps ensure success for both SoundHound and for our college linguist hires.  We will provide linguist and hiring manager first hand perspectives on career planning, resume writing, job search and interview tips, the typical work day and lessons learned.  

Some questions we plan to cover from our perspectives:
1.      What do you look for on a resume and during interviews?
2.      How and why did you choose your specific degree and career path?
3.      What are the qualifications needed to work in your field?
4.      What is a typical work day like for you?
5.      What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about your work?
6.      What do you wish you would have known before entering your career?

Speaker Biographies:

Lisa Rutta
Lisa is the Director, Ops and Technical Project Management at SoundHound.   She leads the Language Data Programs team at SoundHound which she has frown from the ground up. The team owns the data used to train SoundHound's machine learning speech system, including the curation, validation, annotation and transcription of text and recorded audio data.  Her team includes of language evaluators, degreed linguists and SQL/Unix/Python coders, and delivers projects that directly impact the performance, scale and the quality of our speech recognition and music discovery systems!  Lisa has a BS in Computer Science and Human Computer Interaction.  She shifted focus early in her career from software development to product and project management.  She has experience growing teams and processes at large companies with both consumer and business-business customers (Xerox, Intuit and Yahoo), and also at startups, such as SoundHound. 

Angie Howard
Angie Howard is a Computational Linguist at SoundHound. She has a M.A. in Computational Linguistics from San José State University and a B.A. in Linguistics with a minor in German from UCLA. During her undergraduate career she studied abroad in Ghana and Barbados where she did field work with pidgins and creoles. Now at SoundHound she works on multiple components of automatic speech recognition, such as text-to-phoneme algorithms and acoustic models. In her free time she enjoys east coast swing dancing and going to trivia nights.

Maisy Wieman
Maisy Wieman is a part of the Speech EngineeringTeam at SoundHound, where she uses machine learning and signal processing to model phonemes across different languages. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Her concentration was in signal processing, which she applies to her work in the context of speech enhancement. In addition to addressing recognition of noisy and reverberant audio, she designs and trains neural networks to perform accurate phoneme classification. The one thing she loves even more than the Fourier Transform is a good book, so when she's not tackling a new engineering challenge, she's usually curled up with a novel. 

Melissa Little
Melissa Little is a Senior Recruiter at SoundHound. Over her 20-year career in Silicon Valley, Melissa has been a financial software marketer, political consultant, book publicist, gaming public relations manager, and now a recruiter at SoundHound, the leading company in the voice AI industry!