Amazon Alexa scientists Yang Liu and Ruhi Sarikaya named IEEE Fellows
Scientists are recognized for their contributions to conversational understanding systems.
Yang Liu, an Alexa AI principal scientist, and Ruhi Sarikaya, director of applied science, Alexa AI, have recently been named IEEE Fellows. The designation takes effect January 1, 2021.
Liu is being honored for her “contributions to speech understanding and language-learning technology”, while Sarikaya is being recognized for his “leadership in spoken language processing, and conversational understanding systems”. Both currently lead research initiatives focused on making Alexa more natural and conversational, perceptive and context aware, and capable of self learning.
The IEEE Fellow designation is conferred by the IEEE board of directors upon individuals with outstanding records of accomplishment in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed 0.1% of the total voting membership. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.
Liu, who earned her PhD in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University, has been a principal scientist with the Alexa AI organization for more than a year. Previously, she has held research roles at ICSI in Berkeley, Google and Facebook, was the head of LAIX AI lab, and also was a computer science professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Sarikaya, who earned his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from Duke University, has worked within the Alexa AI organization for more than four years; he currently leads the Intelligent Decisions organization that focuses on enabling customers to have more natural and friction-free interactions with Alexa by enabling the service to improve through self-learning. He recently participated in an Alexa & Friends interview where he discussed his career, as well as how how deep learning, improved machine learning systems, sensors, and increased computing power contribute to Alexa's capabilities. Sarikaya previously held research roles at Microsoft and IBM.
The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400,000 plus members in 160 countries, the association is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. More information about IEEE and its IEEE Fellow program is available at www.ieee.org.