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Peter Toma

Developer of the first machine translation product


Peter Toma was a computer scientist, linguistics researcher and entrepreneur.

In 1956, Toma developed software for machine translation at the California Institute of Technology. The system translated Russian texts into English. Later, he worked at Georgetown University on the development of the Serna system, which was also for translating Russian to English.

In 1962, he founded a company which created the systems Autotran and Technotran. They were for translating Russian to English and specialized for translating content about atomic energy and medicine.

In the mid-1960s, Toma programmed the Systran prototype, with the support of the German Research Foundation.

In 1968, he founded Latsec, which developed Systran for the United States Air Force. It was intended to translate large-scale scientific documents from Russian into English during the Cold War.


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