The team behind Excire

Excire Inc. is an American corporation dedicated to bringing useful AI technology to photographers.

The Excire technology is developed by the Pattern Recognition Company (PRC), a German AI firm started in 2005 as a spin-off of the University of Lübeck. PRC has an excellent team of computer scientists with extensive expertise in Machine Learning, Neural Networks, and Computer Vision and was using Neural Networks and Deep Learning long before these technologies became fashionable. Professor Thomas Martinetz, co-founder of PRC, is a well-known expert in Neural Networks.

CEO and PRC co-founder Erhardt Barth is a Computer Vision expert but also a photography enthusiast who earned his first money as a student with photography. As his image collection grew to over 100k, he realized the value of images decreases as their number increases, just because you often are not finding the images you are looking for. Then came CTO Thomas Käster who did his Ph.D. on AI-based image-retrieval and was keen to bring that in.

Moreover, PRC partnered with Nik Software, to work on various advanced research topics, and we are now happy to have key Nik people on board. All these factors lead to the development of the Excire technology and our passion for making AI useful for photographers.


Israel (Sol) Sonnenschein, CEO

Sol has managed successfully for almost three decades the worldwide market- and sales network development for various companies in different branches of industry. He was appointed as sales and business development manager by stock market corporations as well as small and middle sized companies. In addition he ran his own business for over a decade.

Thomas Käster, CTO

Thomas Käster holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Bielefeld. He is an expert in machine learning and computer vision and worked on an AI-based image-retrieval system during his PhD. Dr. Käster has a deep understanding of deep-learning technologies and professional software development.

Board of Directors

Ed Sanchez

Mr. Sanchez was a co-founder of Nik Software, a very successful software and technology company focused on photography applications. At Nik Software, Ed was Executive Vice President and member of the board of directors. He was directly responsible for business and strategic planning, budgeting, managing the operation and establishing and maintaining strategic relationships for the company. During Ed’s tenure at Nik Software the company developed, marketed, and distributed over 20 award-winning software products including Snapseed, which won Apple’s iPad app of the year award in 2011. In 2012 Nik Software was acquired by Google.

Erhardt Barth

Professor Barth is co-founder of the Pattern Recognition Company and Excire Inc. and CEO of PRC. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Munich, did post-doctoral work at NASA Ames, and is an internationally recognized expert in Computer Vision and Machine Learning. He founded and co-founded several companies including the gestigon GmbH, now a Valeo brand.

Thomas Martinetz

Professor Martinetz is co-founder of PRC and Excire Inc. and director of the Institute for Neuro- and Bioinformatics at the University of Lübeck. He is an internationally recognized expert in Neural Networks and Machine Learning with more than 10k citations and 11 patents. He joined Siemens Corporate Research when Neural Networks became fashionable for the first time, and was CEO and co-owner of one of the first and world leading face recognition companies, acquired by the US government after 9/11.

Advisory Board

Manuel Wille

Manuel Wille was a founding partner of Nik Software, Inc., following study of computer science at the University of Lübeck. Over the course of 12 years in the digital imaging and photography business, he served as Senior VP of Engineering and member of the Board of Directors at Nik Software, and oversaw the company’s global research and development efforts. Following the acquisition of Nik Software by Google, he served as Engineering Director at Google and site lead for the Lübeck Google office.

Tom Curley

Tom Curley is the former Business Development Manager for Lumix Professional Services at Panasonic North America, responsible for supporting activities in the USA market as well as supporting initiatives for Lumix on a global basis. With a lifelong engagement in the photographic imaging industry, Tom has a wide range of experience in Japan corporate environments. He has supported several trade organizations such PPA and ICP at the United Nations. Tom enjoys living in New England as well as travel in any location around the world.

Kevin Ames

Commercial photographer Kevin Ames has made his career creating evocative photographs that tell his client’s stories, showcase their products and explain their services. Starting with film, Kevin specialized in architecture and people. Kevin is a pioneer in digital photography. He produced one of the first digital color fashion pictures for the cover of a national magazine “Storyteller.” Currently he continues his commercial photography business, teaches at the renowned advertising school “The Creative Circus” and is an editor of

Dave Moser

Dave Moser is an ex-US Army Major and instructor at the US Military Academy. He has worked with, Jonathan’s Computer, Computer Emporium and as COO of Kelby One. Dave is an avid equestrian photographer who lives in Florida, and currently serves as COO of ThinkTAP.