2017 HIGHLIGHT SPEAKERS

 
  Will Knight (Moderator)

Will Knight (Moderator)

Will Knight is the senior editor for AI at MIT Technology Review. I mainly cover machine intelligence, robotics, and automation, but I’m interested in most aspects of computing. Before joining this publication, I worked as the online editor at New Scientist magazine.

 
  Wei-ying Ma  | 马维英

Wei-ying Ma  | 马维英

Dr. Wei-Ying Ma is the Vice President at Toutiao where he leads its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratory. He is leading fundamental research and develop new technologies in the areas including machine learning, natural language computing, visual computing, search, and human computer interaction. Prior to Toutiao, he was an Assistant Managing Director at Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) where he oversaw several research groups and developed many key technologies that have been successfully transferred to Microsoft’s well-known products such as Bing Search Engine, Azure, etc.

In recent years, he has led his teams to develop key technologies for Microsoft’s conversational agents including Xiaoice (in China), Rinna (in Japan) and Cortana. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Distinguished Scientist of the ACM. He has served as program co-chair of International Conference on World Wide Web (WWW) 2008 and the general co-chair of ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) 2011.

 
  David Sontag

David Sontag

Dr. David Sontag is the Hermann L. F. von Helmholtz Career Development Professor in the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at MIT. He is also a principal investigator in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Dr. Sontag was an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Data Science at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences from 2011 to 2016, and postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England from 2010 to 2011. Dr. Sontag received the Sprowls award for outstanding doctoral thesis in Computer Science at MIT in 2010, best paper awards at the conferences Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), and Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), faculty awards from Google, Facebook, and Adobe, and a NSF CAREER Award. 

 
  Lisa Amini

Lisa Amini

Dr. Lisa Amini is Director, IBM Research Cambridge, and Acting Director of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. She is also an IBM Distinguished Engineer. Previously, Lisa was Director, Knowledge & Reasoning in IBM TJ Watson Research Center in New York, and   Lisa leads IBM’s research into algorithms and systems for natural language processing, with focus on machine translation and information extraction; knowledge representation and reasoning; knowledge induction; semantic analysis; reasoning systems; and decision science.

Lisa was the founding Director of IBM Research Ireland, and the first woman Lab Director for an IBM Research Global (i.e., non-US) Lab (2010-2013). In this role she developed the strategy and led researchers in advancing science and technology for intelligent urban and environmental systems (Smarter Cities), with a focus on creating analytics, optimizations, and systems for sustainable energy, constrained resources, transportation, and the linked open data systems that assimilate and share data and models for these domains.