About Us / Management / Mark Seligman, PhD

Mark Seligman, PhD


Dr. Mark Seligman is founder, President, and acting CEO of Spoken Translation, Inc. His background is a unique mixture of ivory tower and school of hard knocks: he is both an established researcher (with a PhD in computational linguistics from UC Berkeley, granted in 1991) and a Silicon Valley veteran (with technical and managerial participation in four high-tech start-ups under his belt).

His experience in industry began in 1983 as the founding software trainer at IntelliCorp, Inc., a forefront developer of artificial intelligence programming tools. He was lead trainer for seven years, supervising courses at Fortune 500 companies in the US, Japan, Singapore, and the UK, and overseeing the creation of dozens of artificial intelligence prototypes. In parallel, he pursued doctoral studies, with a dissertation on the automatic generation of multi-paragraph discourses. After graduation, he spent three years at ATR (Advanced Telecommunications Research) Institute International near Kyoto, Japan’s premier communications consortium, where he helped develop a Japanese-German version of the ASURA speech translation system and studied numerous aspects of speech-to-speech translation.

Returning to the US and industrial life in 1995, he created numerous training and Web materials related to automatic schedule optimization as a consultant at Red Pepper, Inc. and PeopleSoft, Inc. Meanwhile, he continued his academic career as a Research Associate at GETA (the Groupe d’Étude pour la Traduction Automatique) at the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France, and as invited advisor at DFKI (Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz) in Saarbrücken, Germany.

In 1997 and 1998, he proposed to CompuServe, Inc. that a “quick and dirty” speech translation system for English and French be created by adding dictation front ends and text-to-speech back ends to the company’s experimental chat translation system. The result was the first speech translation system anywhere demonstrating broad coverage with acceptable quality. Its successful presentation at professional meetings has been described in several peer-reviewed publications. In 1999, he presented another speech-to-speech system, this time for English and Japanese and featuring interactive disambiguation of lexical ambiguities, at a meeting of C-STAR (the Consortium for Speech Translation Advanced Research) in Taejon, Korea.

In 1998, Dr. Seligman became Manager of Technical Publications for Linguistic Products at Inxight Software, Inc., a Xerox spin-off aiming to commercialize linguistic and visualization programs developed at PARC. In early 2002, he left to establish Spoken Translation, Inc.