About us

Uncovering business critical insights from Voice and Video Conversations.

About Talka

Talking is the bedrock of solid business relationships. Talka uncovers business-critical insights from Video and Voice Conversations.

We are a team of previous researchers at Google AI, Facebook AI, Deepmind, and other AI research institutions working on conversational understanding that got together to tackle the deep problem of understanding conversations and improving human communications where it adds a significant business value.

What is our ultimate mission and why are we doing this?

Humans are fundamentally social beings.

Talka improves human relationships by improving their communication patterns and mutual understanding. Communication is the bedrock of human relationships. In both business and personal settings.

We strive for impact and push the boundaries of what AI can do to improve that communication by focusing on the deep insights from conversational patterns. With better communication we will have fewer broken relationships both at work and on a personal level and ultimately more fulfilling lives.

Why is this hard?

93% of communication in face-to-face occurs beyond the content of the words. More than the text, it depends on the tone, inflection, body language, and a multitude of other conversational patterns beyond the content. Conversations are very nuanced and the signals are hard to detect. Existing products are only scratching the surface with their basic text and sentiment features.

Meet The Team

Norberto Guimarães

Co-founder and CEO

Norberto has 10 years of AI product experience including founding multiple startups. His previous AI company was acquired by Google. He was also the co-chair of Google's AI Research Conference for the ML track.

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Henry Zhou

Co-founder and AI Architect

Henry was one of the original authors of wav2vec, a framework for learning speech representations, while working at Facebook AI Research. He has previous worked on vision and multimodal learning while at NVIDIA. He enjoys hiking the Bay Area trails in his spare time.

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Wang Ling

Head of ML

Wang Ling is a PhD graduate from Carnegie Mellon University and Instituto Superior Técnico, where he developed the first wave of character-based neural models for Natural Language Processing and Machine Translation. He was one of the first employees to join Deepmind's Natural Language Processing team working on the generation of formal languages and developing better decoding algorithms for sequence generation tasks. He spends his spare time playing table tennis and reading lots of mangas.

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Zac Sun

ML Developer

Zac has previously been researching on Heterogeneous Cloud Inference Architecture and later joined Intel as Deep Learning Engineer focusing on inference acceleration on x86 architecture and custom silicon. He is a big fan of vintage film photography.

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Ray Huang

SW Developer

Ray has several years of experience as a software developer. He has helped build scalable backend systems that serve millions of users. He is also obtaining master 's degree in computer engineering at UofT as a part-time student.

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Hojin Yang

ML Developer

Hojin worked on research in Conversational Recommendation during his MASc at the University of Toronto. He enjoys participating in machine learning competitions; his team won 2nd place in both the 2018 and 2020 ACM RecSys Challenges. Before joining Talka AI, he worked at Layer6 AI as a machine learning intern. Hojin loves to explore Toronto's unique and multicultural neighbourhoods during his spare time.

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Sara Kemper

Software Developer Intern

Sara is currently studying Mechatronics Engineering at University of Waterloo. A couple years ago she deferred a year to pursue modelling and travelled all over the world to work with different brands. During this time, she got nominated for a Canadian Arts and Fashion Award. When she’s not working or developing side projects, she enjoy playing sports and going out to dinner with friends.

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Rain Wu

Software Developer Intern

Rain is working towards a BASc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto. He is an experienced software engineer with a background in the research industry. He's also worked in embedded software, FPGA and web development. His personal interests include photography and videography.

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Beatriz Santos

ML Operations Manager

Beatriz is managing a team of ML operators detecting nuances in human conversations. She originally studied visual arts, specializing in the field of painting. She is passionate about abstract art and concepts and enjoys experimenting with different visual languages. She is at ease with subjectivity and nuance, and very excited about the deeper insights Talka is able to detect in human conversations.

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Daniel Lee

Software Developer Intern

Daniel is studying Computer Science at University of Waterloo. He likes to explore different technologies for software development. In his free time, he likes to bike on a trail and play basketball with his friends.

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Chris Attai

Software Developer Intern

Chris is currently working towards a Bachelor of Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He is passionate about coding and loves learning about new technologies. He previously worked at Cynorix as a software developer. Aside from coding, he also enjoys playing badminton, watching anime and playing video games.

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Dylan Wong

Software Developer Intern

Dylan is studying Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He is passionate about software design and development. Some of his other interests include pickup basketball, skiing, and golf.

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Caitlin Kwan

Software Developer Intern

Caitlin is studying Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. She is passionate about clean design, accessibility in education, and using technology to solve problems for social good. In her free time you can find her reading dystopian novels, learning a new skill, or writing educational comics for her school's MathSoc Cartoons project.

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Fran Kahng

Software Developer Intern

Fran is currently working towards a Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, and a BBA at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is passionate about working with new technologies and participating in business case comps. He enjoys experimenting with audio production, playing guitar, and cycling in his free time.

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Jordan Chow

Software Developer Intern

Jordan is a Mechatronics Engineering student at the University of Waterloo. He previously worked at Quest Software, specializing in web development. Jordan has a passion for learning new technologies. In his free time, he is currently learning Spanish and enjoys playing sports, watching tv and movies, and travelling.

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Tongzi Wu

ML Intern

Tongzi is studying Computer Science as an MScAC student in University of Toronto. She previously helped build search-related and gaming features for the Bing and XiaoIce open-domain chatbot at Microsoft. She is a big fan of video games, reading and cats.

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Zhongkang Guo

ML Intern

Zhongkang is currently a master’s student at the University of Toronto, studying Computer Science. He is dedicated to using technology to make human life better. He enjoys reading, running and watching movies. He also loves travelling and learning foreign languages.

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Bowen Wu

ML Ops Intern

Bowen is currently working towards a MASc of Computer Engineering in University of Toronto. He loves new technology and fascinated about how AI can change people’s life. Before joining Talka, he previously worked at Intel as an internal tools developer intern. In his spare time, he likes playing basketball and tennis, also he is also a movie lover.

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Joana Veloso

Human Conversations annotator

Joana is a Philosophy Major. She is part of the 10+ people annotation team. Talka allows her to maintain a connection to her interests in human cognition and the marvelous world of language and communication.

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Clara Lemos

Human Conversations annotator

Clara is an Electrical Engineer. She is currently pursuing a PostGraduate degree in Marketing Intelligence. She is also part of the 10+ human annotation team. Being a part of the annotation team provides her with a deeper understanding of human communication. Clara's hobbies include reading and learning new languages.

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Maria do Carmo

Human Conversations annotator

Mariana is studying psychology. She loves to learn new languages and travel - currently living in Italy to learn and study Italian. She likes to work at Talka because she can watch people's behavior and learn communication skills.

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Luiza Oliveira

Human Conversations annotator

Luiza is studying psychology. Being a part of the annotation team provides her with a better understanding of human behavior and communication, which she is very passionate about it. Her favorite hobbies are traveling and meeting new people.

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Lui Oliveira

User Experience Designer

Lui is a Product Designer who has been designing and exploring the world of user experience since 2013. She began her professional career by studying software development and web design, and she is passionate about video games and technology in general.

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Ziyu Wang

Technical Advisor

Ziyu earned his PhD from Oxford in Machine Learning and was one of the early employees of DeepMind working on Reinforcement Learning, Robotics and Bayesian Optimization. He recently hopped across the pond to Google Brain before deciding to pursue entrepeneurial ventures.

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Abid Mohsin

Tech go-to-market advisor

Abid has held various Go-To-Market leadership roles in technology companies, working deeply with Product teams to define and launch features. He was VP Sales for Rev.com, building five sales teams from the ground up. Prior to Rev, Abid managed an Enterprise Sales team at Google, was an early employee managing marketing at Upwork, and spent time in McKinsey. Currently he is helping launch new ideas inside X, Google’s moonshot factory.

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Where are we?

We are a born-global company. Our roots are in Silicon Valley as we were Google, Facebook AI and Deepmind researchers prior to founding Talka.

We’re headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area in Mountain View, California. We also have a subsidiary and teams working in Canada (Toronto), and another one in Europe (Portugal).