AI Industry

Kaldi Creator Daniel Povey Joining Xiaomi in Beijing

Daniel Povey, the main developer of the widely used open-source speech recognition toolkit Kaldi, tweeted today that he is likely joining Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi at its Beijing headquarters to work on a next generation “PyTorch-y Kaldi.”

Daniel Povey, the main developer of the widely used open-source speech recognition toolkit Kaldi, tweeted today that he is likely joining Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi at its Beijing headquarters to work on a next generation “PyTorch-y Kaldi.”

Povey is a leader in voice recognition research, known for his contributions to speech recognition and language processing technologies. He and other researchers first created Kaldi as part of a Johns Hopkins University workshop in 2009. The open-source speech recognition toolkit supports linear transforms, MMI, boosted MMI and MCE discriminative training, feature-space discriminative training, and deep neural networks. It has been widely used among speech recognition researchers and developers.

It’s been an eventful year for Povey, and with more than a little controversy. The longtime John Hopkins University Professor of speech and language processing was fired after using bolt cutters to access a university building that had been barricaded by protesting students in May. Povey was subsequently said to be heading to Facebook, but quashed those plans in August, declaring his intention to continue his research with a Chinese tech company.

Povey told the Baltimore Sun his decision to reject the Facebook position and look abroad was motivated by the “victim group” culture at US universities and tech companies: “I will feel more relaxed among the Chinese because they don’t have American-style social justice warriors.”

Chinese media is reporting that Povey’s Xiaomi hiring is in the “final process.” Founded in 2010, Xiaomi focuses on mobile devices and advanced technologies. Its voice-activated smart assistant XiaoAI has been activated on 100 million devices since its release last year.


Journalist: Fangyu Cai | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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