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World-leading Machine Translation expert Alon Lavie joins Unbabel


One of Pittsburgh’s most well known Machine Translation pioneers, Alon Lavie joins the AI-powered, human-refined customer service translation platform to spearhead the next stage of innovation

Pittsburgh and San Francisco, USA: 17th April 2019: Unbabel today announced the appointment of Alon Lavie as VP of Language Technologies to drive the next stage of Unbabel’s R&D from Pittsburgh, one of the world’s most active hubs of Machine Translation and Natural Language Processing research and applied technology.

Alon Lavie
Alon Lavie

Former president of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA) and the International Association for Machine Translation, recent Machine Translation Group Manager for Amazon Pittsburgh and a Research Professor at the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University for the past 20 years, Lavie joins just a year after Unbabel raised $23 million in series B funding.

Following Unbabel’s opening of its new San Francisco based headquarters dedicated to servicing the company’s growing number of US-based clients, Lavie will drive Unbabel’s research and development efforts in Pittsburgh in close cooperation with the company’s teams in Lisbon and San Francisco:

“There's a huge potential in Pittsburgh, with Carnegie Mellon University based here, one of the best Computer Science and language technology research centers in the world,” commented Lavie. “It means we have access to some of the best talent, many of whom still have active connections to CMU and the core research that’s coming out of it. Throughout my academic and startup career and my work at Amazon, we’ve always believed Pittsburgh to be a center of excellence in Machine Translation, and that is why I’ll be supporting the Unbabel exec team from here.”

Lavie believes that core Machine Translation technology has improved significantly in the past several years, and that Unbabel’s Customer Service Solution is a fantastic use case for it. “With multinational companies boasting customer bases throughout the world, the opportunity to use Machine Translation coupled with human feedback to provide a better level of customer support by solving the language barrier problem is exactly what we should be doing with the latest core technology,” he added.

“It's an extremely exciting time in the translation technology space and the Machine Translation space in particular,” commented Unbabel CEO Vasco Pedro. “With the current new neural technology combined with the human layer of translation, we’re breaking down language barriers and allowing our customers to provide better levels of customer service than ever before. With Alon joining us, we can continue to capitalize on the immense opportunity to make big progress in solving large enterprise problems in customer support. We welcome Alon’s 25 years of expertise in developing and influencing the global Machine Translation landscape, as well as the passion and enthusiasm we know he’ll bring to Unbabel. It’s an exciting next stage for us as we grow globally, while adding some fabulous brands to our portfolio.”

About Unbabel
Unbabel's Customer Service Solution allows modern enterprises to understand and be understood by their customers in dozens of languages.

Powered by state-of-the-art AI and refined by a global crowd of thousands, Unbabel helps global brands like, Facebook, Skyscanner, easyJet, Under Armour and Rovio remove language as a concern, increasing customer satisfaction and building a more efficient customer service operation in the process.

Backed by Scale Venture Partners, Notion, Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Samsung NEXT and Y Combinator, Unbabel is accelerating the shift to a world without language barriers.

For more information visit

For interview and commentary requests, please contact the following Unbabel media contacts:
UK & Europe: Edward Clark: +44 (0)203 697 6680,
US & Canada: Jennifer Reid: +1 778-772--0754,