There was a moment at the end of 2018 when two people who were destined to meet met. A relatively young startup called Lengoo was beginning its never-ending adventure of machine translation and had just been awarded a research grant to boost its ambitious endeavors. CEO Christopher Kränzler and his CPTO, Maurizio Bellemo, were driving the research project, and it was proving to be even more challenging than they anticipated. That’s when Chris received an out-of-the-blue job application. He got off a call with a young man who was finishing his studies and ran to Maurizio bursting with excitement. This young man, Ahmad Taie, was completing his Master’s thesis on their exact grant topic: The automation and training process for custom MT models.
Three years later, Ahmad ascends to the role of Lengoo’s CTO, the tech company launches its next-gen instant translation app Flow, and the people of Lengoo continue to realize an unwavering vision by daring to be different from other language service providers. They take their obsession with learning, in humans and machines, to new heights.
Bringing a fresh perspective to the CTO role
Teaching, tech, and people are Ahmad’s three big passions. So it’s no wonder that the relationship between humans and machines is one he wants to coexist harmoniously. As Lengoo’s new CTO, his role is split between people and talent management and ensuring the tech scale-up has high-performing technology that outshines the competition. Maurizio, the former CTO and CPO, will now dedicate his time as CPO to developing digital products that go hand in hand with their tech.
After growing up in Egypt and becoming fascinated in sci-fi and philosophy books like H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon, Taie went on to study electrical engineering. His first job was as a software engineer in the automotive industry but then AI took off, and his curiosity compelled him to pivot. After the master’s in computer science, he made his way into the Natural Language Processing side of machine learning and specialized in MT before joining Lengoo.
Taie’s unique experience, in contrast to his peers in software engineering, renders his perspective as CTO a special one. He and his team have two top-of-mind goals. The first is to ensure that Lengoo consistently improves and delivers value to its customers with the technology it offers today. And the second is simply to stay at the forefront of language technology and continue to innovate.
Meet the next-gen instant translator and the trail-blazing tech behind it
One of the first steps in Lengoo’s roadmap for an innovative ecosystem of applications is Flow, a next-generation instant translator. Unlike generic instant translators, Flow promises verified accuracy. It’s trained exclusively on each customer’s data – translation memories, term banks, customized NMT models – to create the best possible translation quality. This is thanks to Lengoo’s proprietary OS called HALOS®. The Human-Augmented Language Operating System constantly upgrades NMT models and improves the quality of Flow from the constant stream of A-grade professional translations. What does this mean for Lengoo? “It’s a way for us to give customers direct access to our technology and get them involved in developing it, as well as validating and checking the use of their language assets”, says Ahmad.
Beyond tomorrow: transforming the future of work
“Improvements in technology, in my opinion, should be all about making people’s lives better,” believes Ahmad.
It means tech needs to be everywhere when we want it but also nowhere that feels obtrusive. To do so, Lengoo will need to improve human-machine interaction interfaces, grant AI outputs a higher degree of flexibility, and go beyond the current limitations of text processing so the model’s knowledge input is more than the semantics of text. But how does this happen?
For Kränzler and his team, it’s through language data. “Learning is the most important aspect of AI, and the way we can provide education is through natural language. The field of natural language will play an integral role in teaching machines human knowledge while ensuring that the AI revolution will remain human-centric,” says Kränzler. This forms the basis for Lengoo’s long-term vision. A world where every worker has their own virtual AI partner with the skills to make you the best you can be at your job. If learning got us this far, it can allow us to create self-improving technology that preserves the essence of what it means to be human.