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Ben Gyori

Since Aug 2023 Ben is Associate Professor at Northeastern University, at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and the Department of Bioengineering.

Before that, Ben led the Machine-assisted Modeling & Analysis team at the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School. He is the recipient of a DARPA Young Faculty Award for 2020-2022 and the DARPA Director's Fellowship Award for 2022-2023.

Ben's research is at the intersection of systems biology, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, and aims to understand how biological cells work and react to drugs and environmental signals using computational approaches. Ben developed INDRA, a software tool which automatically assembles biochemical mechanisms extracted from the scientific literature into explanatory models. He is also working on a human-machine communication system which allows scientists to interact with a computer partner to construct and test hypotheses about molecular systems. Ben obtained his Ph.D. in computational systems biology from the National University of Singapore where he worked on probabilistic approaches to modeling uncertainty in biological systems.

Dayne Freitag

Program Director in the Artificial Intelligence Center (AIC) at SRI International.  Dayne leads the Advanced Analytics group within the AIC, the center of gravity in NLP research at SRI.  His interests are centered on the extraction, retrieval, and integration of information from human language, with a recent emphasis on scientific discourse. He has served as an organizer of the Workshop on Scientific Document Processing and a recent Dagstuhl seminar series on scholarly argumentation.  Dayne has led and is leading a number of NLP research efforts sponsored by DARPA (chemistry information extraction), IARPA (authorship attribution), NSF (proposal analysis), ONR (procedural language understanding), and AFRL (predictive social media analytics).

Ellen Riloff

Ellen Riloff is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Arizona. Her primary research area is natural language processing, with an emphasis on information extraction, affective text analysis, semantic class induction, and bootstrapping methods that learn from unannotated texts. Prof. Riloff has served as the General Chair for the EMNLP 2018 conference, Program Co-Chair for the NAACL HLT 2012 and CoNLL 2004 conferences, on the NAACL Executive Board for 2004-2005 and 2017-2018, the Computational Linguistics Editorial Board, and the Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (TACL) Editorial Board. In 2018, Prof. Riloff was named a Fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).

Eneko Agirre

Eneko Agirre is the director of HiTZ, Basque Center for Language Technology ( and full profesor in the Computer Science department of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). He has published over 150 international peer-reviewed articles and conference papers in NLP. He has been secretary and president of the ACL SIGLEX, member of the editorial board of Computational Linguistics, Transactions of the ACL and Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. He is co-founder of the Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM), now in it's 12th edition. He is a usual reviewer for top international journals, a regular area chair and member of the program committees for top international conferences. He has coordinated several National and European projects. He has received three Google Research Awards in 2016, 2018 and 2019, and five best paper awards and nominations. Several PhD dissertations under his supervision have received the SEPLN, Spanish Computer Science and EurAI 2021 best PhD awards. He received the Spanish Computer Science Research Award in 2021, and is a fellow of the Association of Computational Linguistics.

Heng Ji

Heng Ji is a professor at Computer Science Department, and an affiliated faculty member at Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Coordinated Science Laboratory of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is an Amazon Scholar. She is the Founding Director of Amazon-Illinois Center on AI for Interactive Conversational Experiences (AICE). She received her B.A. and M. A. in Computational Linguistics from Tsinghua University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University. Her research interests focus on Natural Language Processing, especially on Multimedia Multilingual Information Extraction, Knowledge-enhanced Large Language Models, Knowledge-driven Generation and Conversational AI. She was selected as a Young Scientist to attend the 6th World Laureates Association Forum, and selected to participate in DARPA AI Forward in 2023. She was selected as "Young Scientist" and a member of the Global Future Council on the Future of Computing by the World Economic Forum in 2016 and 2017. She was named as part of Women Leaders of Conversational AI (Class of 2023) by Project Voice. The awards she received include "AI's 10 to Watch" Award by IEEE Intelligent Systems in 2013, NSF CAREER award in 2009, PACLIC2012 Best paper runner-up, "Best of ICDM2013" paper award, "Best of SDM2013" paper award, ACL2018 Best Demo paper nomination, ACL2020 Best Demo Paper Award, NAACL2021 Best Demo Paper Award, Google Research Award in 2009 and 2014, IBM Watson Faculty Award in 2012 and 2014 and Bosch Research Award in 2014-2018. She was invited by the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force and AFRL to join Air Force Data Analytics Expert Panel to inform the Air Force Strategy 2030, and invited to speak at the Federal Information Integrity R&D Interagency Working Group (IIRD IWG) briefing in 2023. She is the lead of many multi-institution projects and tasks, including the U.S. ARL projects on information fusion and knowledge networks construction, DARPA ECOLE MIRACLE team, DARPA KAIROS RESIN team and DARPA DEFT Tinker Bell team. She has coordinated the NIST TAC Knowledge Base Population task since 2010. She was the associate editor for IEEE/ACM Transaction on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, and served as the Program Committee Co-Chair of many conferences including NAACL-HLT2018 and AACL-IJCNLP2022. She is elected as the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL) secretary 2020-2023. Her research has been widely supported by the U.S. government agencies (DARPA, NSF, DoE, ARL, IARPA, AFRL, DHS) and industry (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Bosch, IBM, Disney).

Laura Chiticariu

Chief Architect for Watson Language Foundation in the IBM Data &AI product organization. Laura builds NLU systems that are accurate, scalable and transparent. She believes in the notion of "Transparent Machine Learning" in NLU: leveraging machine learning techniques, while ensuring that the NLU system remains transparent - easy to comprehend, debug and enhance. As such, the NLP capabilities in offerings under Laura's technical direction, including IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding, IBM Watson Discovery and IBM Watson Knowledge Studio expose and combine both Machine Learning techniques, as well as rule-based techniques for solving NLU problems. Previously, Laura was a Researcher in the Scalable Natural Language Processing (NLP) group in IBM Research - Almaden, where she was a core developer of SystemT, a state-of-the-art declarative rule-based information extraction system, and led the transfer of SystemT to multiple IBM products. Laura's research interests included rule-based NLP programming languages, developer tooling for rule development, and application of machine learning in building rule-based models. Laura has been teaching NLP in universities within and outside the U.S., and developed two online courses in the process.

Yunyao Li

Yunyao Li is the Director of Machine Learning at Adobe Experience Platform, where she leads the efforts to bring the power of Generative AI and Knowledge Graph to enterprise systems and transform the way companies approach audiences, journeys and personalization at scale. Previously, she was the Head of Machine Learning, Apple Knowledge Platform, where she led the building the next-generation machine learning solutions to help power features such as Siri and Spotlight, leading to better experience for billions of Apple users. Before joining Apple, she was a Distinguished Research Staff Member and Senior Research Manager at IBM Research - Almaden, where she led the building and delivery of core language technologies to over 20 IBM products and solutions, with billions of revenue impact. Her expertise spans across the areas of natural language processing, data management, information retrieval, and human computer interaction. Her contributions in these areas have led to over 100 research publications with multiple awards, 36 patents granted, multiple graduate-level courses (including 2 Massive Open Online Courses). She co-authored two books: "Natural Language Data Management and Interfaces'' (2018) and "Natural Language Interfaces to Databases" (coming soon).

Yunyao is an ACM Distinguished Member. She is a member of the New Voices program of the US National Academies. She has served the NLP and database communities with distinction and regularly serves as organizer and senior committee member for top conferences and on editorial boards. She is currently an elected member of NAACL Executive Board. She received her undergraduate degrees from Tsinghua University, and her masters and Ph.D. in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.

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