Ruhi Sarikaya


Ruhi Sarikaya has joined Amazon Alexa team as the Director of Applied Science in 2016. He has been building  the Alexa Intelligent Decisions organization (one of the three pillars of Alexa AI)  from the ground up. He has been leading engineering, science, technical program  management, language & data science and product management. With his team, he has been building core AI capabilities around ranking, relevance, natural language understanding, dialog management, contextual understanding, personalization and End-to-End metrics, measurement and online learning for Alexa.  Prior to that, he was a principal science manager and the founder of the language understanding and dialog systems group at Microsoft between 2011 and 2016. His group has built language understanding and dialog management capabilities of Cortana, Xbox One. Before Microsoft, he was a research staff member and team lead in the Human Language Technologies Group at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center for ten years. Prior to IBM, he worked as a researcher at the Center for Spoken Language Research (CSLR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years.  He received his Ph.D. degree from Duke University, NC in 2001 in electrical and computer engineering.  He has published over 125 technical papers in refereed journal and conference proceedings and, is inventor of  over 75 issued/pending patents. He has received a number of prestigious awards for his work, including two Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards (2005 and 2008) and two Research Division Awards (2005 and 2007) and a best paper award (ASRU-2013). Dr. Sarikaya is currently serving in the IEEE Speech and Language Technology Committee. He served as the general co-chair of IEEE SLT’12, publicity chair of IEEE ASRU’05, associate editors of IEEE Trans. on Audio, Speech and Language Processing and IEEE Signal Processing Letters. He has been regularly giving keynotes in major speech, language, AI and Web conferences.

Dr. Sarikaya's past and present research interests span machine learning, artificial  intelligence, statistical modeling, all aspects of speech and language processing including natural language  processing, dialog management, ranking and relevance, speech recognition, machine translation, speech-to-speech translation and speaker identification/verification.


Dr. Sarikaya is an IEEE fellow.

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