Pioneer Lecture Series: Entrepreneurship for Computer Science


Building the Plane in the Air

Many companies might be founded based on an ingenious design and plan that just needs to be executed well to be super successful. A group of geeks from CMU started M*Modal all convinced that conversational speech technology alone was the answer to most questions. Without any outside investment the company was started in 2002 and has provided the founders with a program in lifelong learning… from moving from technology to outcomes focus, from B2B to owning our customers, from private to public to private, all while building a business on the bleeding edge of the unique core speech and understanding technology of M*Modal. Today, with 8,000 employees worldwide, M*Modal serves doctors with clinical documentation and clinical decision support based on the most advanced artificial intelligence. And the founders – they still feel that they are building the plane in the air.

Michael Finke has served as President of M*Modal since August 2011. In this role, Michael leads company-wide functions that drive market leadership including corporate strategy and vision, partner collaboration, business development, and innovation in M*Modal’s technology-enabled portfolio. Michael co-founded M*Modal in 2001, bringing to market speech and natural language understanding technologies that were developed in connection with government national security initiatives. He served as Chairman and CEO of M*Modal until the company merged with MedQuist in 2011.  Prior to 2001, Michael was the co-founder and CTO of Interactive Systems, Inc. and held positions at IBM, the University of Karlsruhe, and Carnegie Mellon University. He earned his B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany and holds more than 30 patents in the field of speech recognition, natural language understanding, and applying AI in healthcare to contextualize clinical insights.

Faculty Hosts: Alexander Waibel / William Kaigler

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