Michael Tjalve


  Affiliate Assistant Professor

  Department of Linguistics

  University of Washington

  Guggenheim Hall 4th Floor, Box 352425

  Seattle, WA 98195-2425

  Email: mtjalve at u.washington.edu





Research interests:

  • Conversational AI

  • Speech technology

  • Human-machine interaction and innovation for accessibility

  • AI for social good

  • Cross-language and multi-language speech recognition

  • Pronunciation variation and accent variation modeling

  • Experimental phonetics




About me

I have been working with speech and natural language technology for the past seventeen years - both in the industry and academia.

My primary occupation is at Microsoft where I manage the strategy, vision, and execution of Conversational AI products. Building on Microsoft's portfolio of speech and language technologies and Skype's bot platform, my focus is to push the boundary of what's possible today and turn disruptive innovation into engaging user experiences.

I received my PhD in Speech Technology from University College London. The topic of my dissertation is accent variation modeling and how to improve speech recognition accuracy for accented speakers. In short, my research offers a mechanism for automatically generating an idiodictionary, a user-specific pronunciation dictionary, at runtime based on accent features extracted directly from the user's speech.

I am co-founder and board member of AVIOS Seattle. The mission of AVIOS (Applied Voice Input/Output Society) is to promote practical applications of advanced speech technology. AVIOS has a number of chapters around the world actively engaged in the local speech technology community by organizing talks and networking events. We have now introduced a chapter in Seattle. If you want to hear more about the events, you can look here.

I have been a member of faculty in the Department of Linguistics since 2009 and I teach in the CLMS program.




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