New Chief Design Officer and Advisors Will Continue to Drive Innovation at Otter.ai

. 3 min read

  • Product design veteran, Richard Ward, has been named chief design officer
  • AI speech trailblazers Adam Cheyer, the co-founder of Siri, and Larry Heck, the founder of Cortana, join the Otter.ai team as advisors

Los Altos, Calif. – June 16, 2021 – Today Otter.ai announced the appointment of Richard Ward to chief design officer and the additions of Adam Cheyer and Larry Heck as strategic technology advisors to the company. With these additions, the AI-powered collaborative note-taking and productivity company continues to build a team that will redefine the future of work.

“The last year has brought tremendous change to the way we collaborate, and we have the opportunity to create groundbreaking solutions to the challenges of remote and hybrid work that simply haven’t existed before,” said Sam Liang, CEO and founder of Otter.ai. “We are thrilled to have Richard Ward as our new chief design officer and are excited to be consulting with the two of the fathers of speech AI, Adam Cheyer and Larry Heck. These leaders will guide us as we continue to transform how people collaborate in meetings and at work.”  

Richard Ward joins the team after serving as the CEO of Metalab, a 150-person agency that has helped design user interfaces for iconic products like Slack, Uber, Vice, Headspace and Google. Prior to this role, Ward spent five years leading strategy and design projects at frog, best known for design work on the Apple Macintosh and Disney MagicBand, and holding positions of managing director and vice president of North America. Richard will be building and leading a world-class product design team to create the best product and user experience.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Otter.ai at this moment of unprecedented growth,” said Richard Ward, chief design officer of Otter.ai. “The notion of the workplace is changing rapidly, and Otter is ideally positioned to design entirely new ways for its millions of users worldwide to work and collaborate more efficiently. I look forward to working with, and building on, the incredible work our team has done to-date to further our growth.”

Artificial Intelligence experts, Adam Cheyer and Larry Heck, are advising the Otter.ai team as they bring the power of Speech and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies into meetings and team collaboration. Adam Cheyer has been a co-founder or founding member of four successful startups, including Siri, Viv Labs, Sentient and Change.org. He has decades of experience as an entrepreneur, investor, and engineering executive in AI and human-computer interfaces. Larry Heck has been at the forefront of voice and AI with a career history in many sub-disciplines of Artificial Intelligence, including speech and speaker recognition, NLP, dialogue systems, web search, online advertising, and acoustics. He is probably best known for his role as the founder of the Microsoft Cortana Personal Assistant and his early work in deep learning for speech processing.

"For almost 30 years, I have been exploring the application of speech recognition to enhance user productivity, through my work on Apple's Siri, Samsung Bixby, SRI's CALO project, and more. Otter.ai's technology is not just a compelling, time-saving productivity booster for individuals; it’s a serious advancement for team collaboration and efficiency," said Technical Advisor Adam Cheyer.

"I have spent much of my career on all aspects of Conversational AI,” said Technical Advisor Larry Heck. “While much of this industry to-date has focused on human-machine interactions with virtual personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, one of the most exciting frontiers of Conversational AI is in understanding human to human conversations in meetings. It is my great pleasure to serve as a Technical Advisor to Otter.ai as they take on this important opportunity in unlocking Conversational AI."

People passionate about powering the future of work can find information about open opportunities on Otter.ai/Careers.

About Otter.ai

Otter.ai builds products to improve team collaboration, engagement, and productivity. Using artificial intelligence, Otter.ai makes information from voice conversations instantly accessible and actionable by generating real-time meeting notes and audio that is secure, shareable and searchable. Otter.ai is backed by early investors in Google, DeepMind, Facebook and Tesla.

Contacts

Mitchell Woodrow, mitchell@otter.ai
US Media: otter@cutline.com
UK Media: otterpr@watersagency.com