SOSi announces AppTek investment
Reston, VA-based SOS International LLC (SOSi) announced on June 17 that its owners acquired a non-controlling interest in Applications Technology , LLC (AppTek), a leader in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Automatic Speech Recognition and Machine Translation. Under the agreement, SOSi becomes the exclusive reseller of AppTek products to U.S. federal, state, and local government entities. As part of the deal, Julian Setian, SOSi’s president and CEO, will become a member of AppTek’s board of directors.
“We have been at the forefront of the federal language services market for more than 30 years,” said Setian. “As our customers’ appetites for A.I. driven solutions have increased, this is the latest of a series of investments we’re making in market-leading commercial technologies that will disrupt the market and advance the mission capabilities of our customers.”
The U.S. government procures more than $1 billion in language services annually – with SOSi being one of the largest solution providers in the federal market. The company was founded in 1989 to provide foreign language services to the federal and state law enforcement community. It has since grown to become one of the U.S. Government’s leading mid-tier technology and service integrators. Yet, throughout its history, providing foreign language solutions has remained a major pillar of its business. Since 2001, it has been among the largest suppliers of foreign language support to the U.S. Military, and since 2015, it has managed a program to provide courtroom interpreters to the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review, requiring more than 1,000 simultaneous interpreters throughout the U.S. and its territories.
“We are continuing to focus on developing and delivering A.I. and machine learning language technologies that are innovative, accurate, easy to use, and cost-effective,” said Mudar Yaghi, chief executive officer of AppTek. “Given its history, SOSi is the perfect partner to help the federal government adopt the latest speech recognition and machine translation technology innovations.”
AppTek is a global leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning specializing in automatic speech recognition (ASR), machine translation (M.T.), and natural language understanding (NLU). Founded in 1990, it employs one of the most agile, talented teams of speech scientists, PhDs and research engineers in the world. Its proprietary technology has been licensed and built into scaled offerings by some of the largest companies in the market, including eBay, Ford, and others. It is one of only a handful of major speech technology platforms available in the market today.
AppTek’s Director of Scientific Research and Development is Dr. Hermann Ney, also a professor of computer science at RWTH Aachen University, one of the largest research institutes in this field in the world, and recipient of the distinguished 2019 James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Dr. Ney has worked on dynamic programming and discriminative training for speech recognition, on language modeling, and data-driven approaches to machine translation. His work has resulted in more than 700 conference and journal papers; he is one of the most cited machine translation scientists in Google Scholar. In 2005, Dr. Ney was the recipient of the Technical Achievement Award of the IEEE Signal Processing Society; in 2010, he was awarded a senior DIGITEO chair at LIMIS/CNRS in Paris, France; and in 2013, he received the award of honor of the International Association for Machine Translation. Dr. Ney is a fellow of both the IEEE and of the International Speech Communication Association.
With the global speech recognition market forecast to reach $32 billion in revenues by 2025, AppTek’s A.I.-fueled multilingual speech recognition and machine translation technologies have it poised for rapid growth. Its 30 years of technological expertise, patent-protected I.P. portfolio, and partnerships with key players in the industry offer a compelling competitive advantage. It has compiled one of the largest repositories of speech data for machine learning in existence in dozens of languages and dialects. Each data set has been used in the construction of AppTek’s industry-leading ASR and M.T. engines and is scientifically tested for performance. The scientific vetting of these ML training sets provides a standardization and predictability of performance that is unique in the marketplace.
“With technology, there’s often a huge difference between being first to market, and being the best in the market,” said John Avalos, SOSi’s chief operating officer. “With the AppTek deal, we aim to be both in a market that has a long way to go before it realizes the full potential of the latest speech technology.”