Boston Globe’s Scott Kirsner shared news yesterday via analyst Walt Tetschner that Google’s head of speech technology Mike Cohen left the company to work on another venture. Google was one of the first companies to start using voice recognition extensively in its products a few years ago, and the technology has now been incorporated into Android and Google’s online properties. Cohen was largely responsible for getting the speech product off the ground, which leaves this a big loss for Google—if deemed true. Kirsner tweeted:
Google's head of speech technology, Mike Cohen, has left $GOOG to work on new venture, analyst Walt Tetschner tells me. Not yet reported.—
Scott Kirsner (@ScottKirsner) May 21, 2012
Before Google, Cohen cofounded the popular Nuance Communications, and he spent 10 years working to make it one of the most key speech technology companies out there. According to many unconfirmed reports, Nuance is said to be powering Apple’s speech technology Siri, which was launched last October.
This is a sure loss for Google, because Cohen had tons of experience working with speech. I am sure his expertise would have continued to play a key roll in developing search technology on Android and for other new projects like Project Glass. The news of Cohen’s departure has not been confirmed, but we reached out to our contacts at Google for official word.