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  Michael Tjalve

   Assistant Professor

   Department of Linguistics

   University of Washington

   Guggenheim Hall 4th Floor

   Seattle, WA 98195

   Email: mtjalve at uw.edu

Research interests:

  • AI equity, societal impact of AI, and ethical innovation

  • Technologies for humanitarian action

  • Conversational AI and language as an interface

  • Cross-language speech recognition and accent variation modeling

  • Experimental phonetics

About me

I have been working in the field of conversational AI for the past twenty years - both in industry and academia.

My primary occupation is on the Tech for Social Impact team within Microsoft Philanthropies where I work as Chief AI Architect/Director of Innovation, partnering with nonprofits and humanitarian organizations on applying a wide range of technologies to help address the big challenges they're working on today. You can read more about our work here: microsoft.com/nonprofits.

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 a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a board member and technology advisor to World Humanitarian Forum and to Spreeha Foundation. I have been a member of faculty in the Department of Linguistics since 2009 where I teach in the CLMS program.

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