Kenneth “Ken” Ward Church has worked on many topics in computational linguistics including: web search, language modeling, text analysis, spelling correction, word-sense disambiguation, terminology, translation, lexicography, compression, speech (recognition, synthesis & diarization), and OCR. He also worked on applications that go beyond computational linguistics such as revenue assurance and virtual integration (using screen scraping and web crawling to integrate legacy systems in billing, customer care, provisioning, maintenance, etc.). Mr. Church earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT, and has worked at AT&T, Microsoft, Hopkins and IBM. He was the president of ACL in 2012, and SIGDAT (the group that organizes EMNLP) from 1993 until 2011. He became an AT&T Fellow in 2001 and ACL Fellow in 2015. Mr. Church enjoys working with large corpora, and in the late 1980s started with newswire (1 million words per week of Associated Press). By the mid-1990s, he was working with larger datasets such as telephone call logs (1-10 billion records per month). At Microsoft, Mr. Church worked with search logs, and more recently at IBM, he had been working with logs from Siri-like speech services.
Emerging trends: Artificial Intelligence, China and my new job at BaiduKenneth Ward Church
It is amazing that I have written for more than a year on Emerging Trends without mentioning China’s investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now that I have moved to Baidu, I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my personal observations with what’s happening in China over the past 25 years. The top universities in China have always been very good, but they are better today than they were 25 years ago, and they are on a trajectory to become the biggest and the best in the world. China is investing big time in what we do, both in the private sector and the public sector. Kai-Fu Lee is bullish on his investments in AI and China. There is a bold government plan for AI with specific milestones for parity with the West in 2020, major breakthroughs by 2025 and the envy of the world by 2030.Natural Language and Speech