I’m delighted to announce that Ian Hodson, a domain expert who has been leading voice AI teams for the past 17 years, has joined Voysis. While Ian is perhaps best known for the 5+ years were he lead Google’s text-to-speech team, his career with Voice AI started some years prior to that, at a company called Rhetorical Systems.

Rhetorical Systems was the flagship voice AI company of the early 2000s. They were widely acknowledged for having the best text-to-speech system in the world, while being highly competitive in speech recognition and other areas too. The company was famous for it’s engineering excellence and scientific process, so much so that it still frequently comes up in conversation among domain experts, 13 years after it was acquired by Nuance.

Ian was the VP of Software Engineering at Rhetorical, and after the integration with Nuance was complete, Ian and two of his colleagues from Rhetorical teamed up to start a new voice AI company, called Phonetic Arts. Google quickly realized how exceptional Phonetic Arts was, and acquired them as voice AI became critical for their upcoming products.

Ian then led the team at Google for the following 5+ years, growing the team by several orders of magnitude, and establishing their platform as a core component across the spectrum of Google’s products: Google Maps, Google Assistant, Google Android, Google Home and others.

During my career I’ve come to know many of the domain experts in this space. Ian is renowned for his domain knowledge and mentoring skills and is regarded by many leading scientists and engineers as the very best at what he does. Ian’s breadth of in-domain experience at companies both small and large will no doubt have an impact on all aspects of Voysis.

We’re delighted to have Ian on the team, he has a deep appreciation and respect for the magnitude of the challenges that companies across all industries face in a ‘voice-first’ world, and will play a pivotal role in helping us solve it!