Mauna Inc

Remote, ny, sf, silicon valley, east bay
< 10 employees
< 10 engineers
$250k - $500k funding
Pre-series a

Mauna is a comprehensive platform that brings together a host of natural language and speech models in a declarative product. The core product is a framework for creating natural-sounding, intelligent and adaptive conversational agents without having to know a mixture of advanced AI, NLP, NLU, ASR, Neural TTS, SSML, etc.

Our technical thesis:

  1. In the near future, speech will become an important mode of interaction at par with what visual Uis are today.

  2. Tools for creating and consuming natural voice experiences are at the same stage as web browsers were 20 years ago.

  3. It's a hard engineering challenge to build such a platform that enables natural-sounding common-sensical voice interfaces while using mental models that an average javascript developer can understand.

Why join us?

  • If you dig hard CS problems, you'll love it here! We work on really hard problems ranging from designing DSLs to building performant ML models for affective speech generation.

  • If you dig light-hearted, zero-judgement environments, you'll love it here! We are a light-hearted, fast-paced and fun engineering team that appreciates diversity in opinion, candidness, ability to take risks and learn from mistakes but does not tolerate drama, politics or hubris.

  • If you dig being organized, you'll love it here! We are extremely particular about code hygiene and following best practices. We are a Mise en place coding shop and strictly follow our methodology.

Engineering at Mauna Inc

Engineering team and processes

The basic setup is this:

The first week of each cycle is spent with project leads and stakeholders defining the upcoming sprint. Despite a week being allocated, a sprint planning session should take no more than 2 hours and probably about 45 minutes if done correctly. It is an intentionally light week and many people may simply take the time off to paint or surf or whatever.

The sprint takes place during the remaining 3 weeks of the cycle. During this period, engineers will work on the Issues that were allocated to them during the sprint planning sessions. Because the team may be fully remote and distributed over time-zones, live meetings happen infrequently and most communication happens through the issue tracking system (which is faster to work with than e-mail). A shared kanban board like Trello is a sufficient issue tracking system, but a spreadsheet is probably not. Daily standups are discouraged; a basic pulse on the project can be obtained by reviewing issue tracking system updates.

Developers are encouraged to take the planning week off to allow their brain to recover from the previous sprint. There are no death marches. Developers don't work on the weekends. This all helps avoid burnout. Avoiding burnout is good for everyone.

Technical Challenges

Performance, Human conversation has an incredible pace of exchanging turns i.e. whose chance it is to speak at any point of the conversation. The brain performs this coordination in less than 300ms. We have to deliver generated output on that time scale or lower.

Controlled languages based Natural Language reasoning aka. simulating Common Sense

Projects you might work on
  • Continually collecting data and creating tests for natural language training to get insights about the Mauna platform and its usefulness and accuracy.

  • Creating high-level frameworks for representing natural language interfaces i.e. tools like AIML, SSML but built for composability and mimicking familiar mental models.

  • Optimizing the client SDK to achieve maximum throughput and minimize latency for the end consumer using aggressive caching, edge computing and parallelization.

Tech stack

Working at Mauna Inc

We are a light-hearted, fast-paced and fun engineering team that appreciates diversity in opinion, candidness, ability to take risks and learn from mistakes but does not tolerate drama, politics or hubris.

Perks & benefits
  • Generous Vacation
  • Pet Friendly
  • Company Retreats
  • Workshops/Conferences
  • Flexible Hours
  • Work from Home
Our Team by the Numbers

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