Dr. Hang Li - Seminar Talk - 1st August 2013

Video Category: 
Research Seminar Talk
Dr. Hang Li


The Future of Natural Language Processing


In this talk, I will give a review on the current state of natural language processing (NLP), including information retrieval, and discuss the future trends in the field. Past years have observed significant advancement of natural language processing technologies; web search, machine translation, and other NLP products have become an integral part of our everyday life; Apple Siri and IBM Watson have demonstrated the great potential of NLP, and made big impact in the society; the performances on the basic tasks including lexical analysis, syntactic analysis, and semantic analysis have been made significantly enhanced. On the other hand, there is still a long way to go, before we achieve the ultimate goal of letting computers to understand human language, naturally communicate with humans, and help humans to accomplish tasks.  NLP is also facing new opportunities and challenges, in the era of cloud computing, big data, and social computing.  I predict that semantic matching, large scale machine learning, and human defined knowledge will be important keywords for NLP in the coming decade, and argue that intensive investigations should be made on the related technologies and breakthroughs could be made. I will introduce some of our related works and take them as examples to describe semantic matching, large scale machine learning, and human defined knowledge.


Hang Li is chief scientist of the Noah's Ark Lab at Huawei. He is also adjunct professor of Peking University and Nanjing University. His research areas include information retrieval, natural language processing, statistical machine learning, and data mining. He graduated from Kyoto University in 1988 and earned his PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1998. He worked at the NEC lab in Japan during 1991 and 2001, and Microsoft Research Asia during 2001 and 2012.  He joined Huawei Technologies in 2012. Hang has more than 100 publications at top international journals and conferences, including SIGIR, WWW, WSDM, ACL, EMNLP, ICML, NIPS, and SIGKDD. He and his colleagues' papers received the SIGKDDâ08 best application paper award, the SIGIR'08 best student paper award, and the ACL'12 best student paper award. Hang has also been working on the development of several products. These include Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft Office 2007 and Office 2010, Microsoft Live Search 2008, Microsoft Bing 2009 and Bing 2010. He has also been very active in the research communities and served or is serving the top conferences and journals. For example, in 2012, he is track co-chair of the web search track of WWW'12; senior program committee members or area chairs of WSDM'12, KDD'12, CIKM'12, ACML'12, AIRS'12; co-chair of KDD'12 summer school, etc; and an editorial board member on the Journal of the American Society for Information Science, ACM Transaction on Intelligent Systems and Technology, and the Journal of Computer Science & Technology.