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Cypher: The Deep-Learning Software That Will Help Siri, Alexa, and Cortana Hear You

This startup pivoted from cleaning up calls to helping machines discern speech

3 min read
Photo-illustration by Jan Stromme/Getty Images
Photo-illustration: Jan Stromme/Getty Images

imgPhoto-illustration: Jan Stromme/Getty Images

When John Walker founded Cypher four years ago, he had a simple premise: No one wants to waste time on a noisy phone call. So he built software for smartphones, incorporating a deep neural network, which could apply machine learning to deliver crystal-clear conversations devoid of background noise.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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