Alon Lavie



BA and MS Computer Science, Israel Institute of Technology; Ph.D., Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

  • Specialties include; Machine Translation, Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, and Language Technology
  • Alon is the VP of Language Technologies at Unbabel, where he leads and manages the US AI lab based in Pittsburgh and provides strategic leadership for their AI R&D teams around the globe.
  • From June 2015 to March 2019, he was a senior manager at Amazon, where he led and managed the Amazon Machine Translation R&D group in Pittsburgh.
  • In 2009, Alon co-founded a technology start-up company named “Safaba Translation Solutions” and served as Chairman of the Board, President, and CTO. Safaba developed automated translation solutions for large global enterprises that allowed them to migrate and maintain large volumes of content in all the languages of their markets. Safaba’s approach focused on generating client-adapted high-quality translations using machine-learning-based technology. In late June 2015, Safaba was acquired by Amazon.
  • For almost 20 years (1996-2015), Alon was a Research Professor at the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His primary research interests and activities focus on Machine Translation (MT) and MT Evaluation. He spearheaded and led the development of the METEOR automated MT evaluation metric, and more recently, of the new neural metric COMET and quality analysis tool MT-Telescope. Additional interests include MT adaptation approaches with and without human feedback, applied to both high-resource language pairs and low-resource and minority languages. Quality estimation and methods for multi-engine MT system combination.
  • He served as the President of the International Association for Machine Translation (IAMT) (2013-2015). Before that, Alon was president of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA) (2008-2012) and was General Chair of the AMTA 2010 and 2012 conferences and the 2015 MT Summit conference. He is also a member of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), where he was president of SIGParse – ACL’s particular interest group on parsing (2008-2013).
  • In August 2021, at the 18th biennial Machine Translation Summit conference, Alon was honored to be awarded the 2021 “Makoto Nagao IAMT Award of Honour” for his contributions to the field of Machine Translation.
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