Blog Home Industry Insights   •   June 6, 2019

Insights from the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing

Appen recently sponsored the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (iCASSP) in Brighton. Our VP of Business Development in Europe, Dorota Iskra, shares some insights from her experience there.

With an extensive background in speech and language technology, Dorota holds a PhD in Computer Science and Speech Recognition from the University of Birmingham. After focusing on the research side of this field for many years, she redirected her efforts to applications and language resources. Dorota has worked in the telecom and software development industries and, as Appen’s VP of Business Development in Europe, helps Appen’s customers improve their speech, natural language, and AI products with high-quality training data.

Hi Dorota, can you share a little bit about your background, the work you do at Appen, and how you became involved in the industry?

I discovered speech technology when I was working on my university degree. It seemed like a perfect combination of linguistics and math, two disciplines that I always found hard to choose between. I was so excited by the topic that I wanted to understand it better and decided to work toward a PhD in that field.

Dr. Dorota Iskra, VP of Business Development in Europe, Appen

After that, I took various roles that gradually moved my focus from research to applied research, then to applications, and finally to commercial projects. Now I’m in a role that is completely commercial. For the last seven years, I’ve been looking after Appen’s European customer base, serving our existing clients and growing our presence in the market. . So, over 20 years I’ve worked for several organizations in a variety of roles with one common denominator: speech and language technology, and more broadly, artificial intelligence (AI). I’m still fascinated by this technology – maybe even more so now, thanks to a number of technological breakthroughs and seeing its applications in daily life.

How many years have you attended iCASSP? What trends or shifts in the market have you noticed over the years?

Strange as it sounds, this was actually the first time that I have attended iCASSP, but I have atten