We are a team of industry pioneers & trailblazers creating custom speech technology solutions that help our customers reach beyond their goals.

Jeff Adams

CEO, Founder

Jeff Adams has been leading prominent speech & language technology research for more than 20 years.  Until 2009, he worked at Nuance / Dragon where he was responsible for developing and improving speech recognition for Nuance’s “Dragon” dictation software. He presided over many of the critical improvements in the 1990s and 2000s that brought this technology into the mainstream and enabled widespread consumer adoption.

After leaving Nuance, Jeff joined Yap, a company specializing in voicemail-to-text transcription. He assembled a strong team of 12 speech scientists who, within two brief years, were able to beat all competitors on an unbiased test set. They also matched the performance of a competitor who used (off-shore) human transcription. 

Yap's success caught the interest of Amazon who wanted to jump-start their new speech & language research lab. Upon acquisition, Jeff led efforts to build one of the industry-leading speech & language groups. His Amazon team developed products such as the Echo, Dash, and Fire TV.  Jeff left Amazon in 2014 to found Cobalt Speech and Language.


VP, Research

Andrew is an experienced research engineer with broad expertise in information system architecture, information theory, communication systems, signal processing, and quantum computing.  Prior to his time at Cobalt, Andrew spent 15 years at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  He led research projects on undersea laser communication and quantum cryptography and was a leading system engineer for free-space laser communication systems for NASA and the US Department of Defense.  Andrew earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering. At MIT, he was in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS), and was advised by Peter Shor, a leading theorist in quantum computing and information. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Brigham Young University.

Julie Sheffield

VP, Engineering

Julie has nearly 20 years of experience in the software industry, building enterprise platforms and applications, leading teams, and mentoring talented engineers. She began her career at BroadVision, where she helped define and create the first implementation of what would become the Java portlet specification.

Before joining the Cobalt leadership team, she was an Engineering Manager at Quick Base developing a platform that enables non-technical users to build sophisticated custom business applications. Julie loves finding solutions, making the complex seem simple, and creating software that empowers people to accomplish more than they ever thought possible.

Catherine Breslin

Director, Solutions Architect

Catherine is a machine learning scientist and consultant based in Cambridge UK. Since completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2008, she has commercial and academic experience of automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding and human-computer dialogue systems. Catherine is excited by the application of research to real-world problems involving speech and language at scale. Papers from her PhD and postdoc years are listed at Google Scholar, and some of her talks are available online at Skills Matter and CogX.

She is listed as one of Business Insider’s 100 coolest people in UK tech 2018, The Female Lead’s ‘20 in data 2017‘, named one of Silicon Republic’s data architects of the future in 2018, one of WeAreTheCity’s Inspirational Women and appeared in Stylist magazine’s Visible Women series.

Catherine is keen to get more women and girls interested in STEM, and co-founded the Cambridge branch of the British Science Association and Robogals. In her spare time, she enjoys running and photography.

You can find and contact her on Twitter @catherinebuk and Linked In.


Chief Scientist

 Stan is the Chief Scientist at Cobalt and takes a lead role in the technical approach on Cobalt projects.  Prior to Cobalt, Stan was a key speech scientist at Amazon. He was at Amazon for four years, contributing directly to acoustic modeling (AM) on the Echo as well as to other Amazon speech projects like Fire TV, Dash, and Shopping.  Stan worked three years at Yap, where he was a key contributor on Yap’s voicemail recognition platform.  Stan also worked in machine learning applications at NASA, General Dynamics, and NuTech Solutions.  Stan earned an M.S. in Computer Science at the Florida Institute of Technology.

SCott Earnshaw

General Counsel

Scott Earnshaw is a start-up attorney with substantial experience dealing in new technologies. He also has significant in-house legal experience. 

His focus has been on patent licensing, internet and emerging energy technologies. He has worked with sports leagues, financial services and mergers and acquisitions.