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Zaiqing NiePrincipal Investigator/Guoqiang Professor

Dr. Zaiqing Nie is a Named Professor of Tsinghua University and Principal Researcher of AIR. He graduated with a doctoral degree from Arizona State University in 2004, where his supervisor was Subbarao Kambhampati, previous president of the US Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He was previously a graduate from Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University. He joined Alibaba Group in October 2017 as Director of AI Lab Beijing R&D Center and Chief Scientist behind Tmall Genie, and he was also on AI Expert Panel under the Ministry of Education. Under Nie’s leadership, the AI team behind Tmall Genie innovated key algorithms of the voice assistant through far-field voice recognition, natural language understanding, personalized recommendation, etc., revolutionizing personal assistant services of the AIoT era. Prior to working at Alibaba, Dr. Nie was the Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research Asia, in charge of the R&D of natural language understanding and entity mining. He also initiated and developed the Microsoft Academic, Human Resources Cube, and the enterprise assistant EDI, and served as the technological head of LUIS, Microsoft’s natural language understanding platform.

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1999-2004 Arizona State University Computer Science PhD

1996-1998 Tsinghua University Computer Applied Technology MEng

1991-1996 Tsinghua University Computer Science and Technology BEng


2020 till now Institute of AI Industrial Research, Tsinghua University Principal Researcher

2017-2020 Alibaba Group Tmall Genie Chief Scientist, Director of AI Lab Beijing R&D Center

2004-2017 Microsoft Research Asia From Associate Researcher to Research Manager/Senior Researcher to Principal Researcher

Research Fields:

Dr. Zaiqing Nie published 50 academic papers and filed around 30 patent applications, among which 5 global patents, 18 US patents, and 1 Chinese patent have been approved。His knowledge graph related technologies (including entity information mining, relation extraction, and named entity disambiguation), object-level information retrieval technologies, speech semantic integration technologies are widely applied in areas such as Internet search engines, chatbots, and smart assistants.

Dr. Zaiqing Nie enjoys doing research with young scholars. During his tenor at Microsoft Research Asia, he was supervisor to eight interns and worked with universities on doctoral programs. He also offered guidance to postdoctoral research when he worked for Alibaba.

Dr. Zaiqing Nie is experienced in industrial practice. At Microsoft Research Asia, his work focused on the R&D of Microsoft’s natural language understanding and entity search and mining. He was a pioneer of Deployment-Driven Research, and the initiator and technological director behind multiple popular products from Microsoft Research Asia (e.g. EntityCube, Microsoft Academic, LUIS). The entity-based Internet research and big-data entity relation mining that he initiated led to industrial innovations in big-data driven knowledge graph mining and application. He was also awarded Microsoft Golden Star.

As AI Tech Director and Tmall Genie Chief Scientist at Alibaba Damo Academy (AI lab), Dr. Zaiqing Nie headed the team in all algorithm development and innovations and created Tmall Genie from scratch. Tmall Genie, representing cutting-edge AI technology, went into households, as a delightful companion to people. In 2019, Dr. Zaiqing Nie’s team won the Wu Wenjun Artificial Intelligence Science and Technology Progress Award.

Selected Publications:

1. Pengwei Wang &, Liangchen Wei, Yong Cao, Jinghui Xie, Zaiqing Nie*. Large-Scale Unsupervised Pre-Training for End-to-End Spoken Language Understanding. ICASSP 2020.

2. Liangchen Luo, Wenhao Huang, Qi Zeng, Zaiqing Nie*, Xu Sun. Learning Personalized End-to-End Goal-Oriented Dialog. AAAI 2019.

3. Xuang Luo &, Zijia Lin, Yunhong Wang, Zaiqing Nie*. CoChat: Enabling Bot and Human Collaboration for Task Completion. AAAI 2018.

4. Zexuan Zhong, Yong Cao, Mu Guo, Zaiqing Nie*. CoLink: An Unsupervised Framework for User Identity Linkage.

5. Jingwei Zhuo, Yong Cao, Jun Zhu, Bo Zhang, Zaiqing Nie*. Segment-Level Sequence Modeling using Gated Recursive Semi-Markov Conditional Random Fields. In the Proceedings of ACL 2016.

6. Zhiting Hu &Gang Luo, Mrinmaya Sachan, Eric P. Xing, Zaiqing Nie*. Grounding Topic Models with Knowledge Bases. In the Proceedings of IJCAI 2016.

7. Gang Luo, Xiaojiang Huang, Chin-Yew Lin, Zaiqing Nie*. Joint Entity Recognition and Disambiguation. In the Proceedings of EMNLP 2015.

8. Lin Qiu, Yong Cao, Zaiqing Nie*, Yong Yu, Yong Rui. Learning Word Representation Considering Proximity and Ambiguity. In the proceedings of AAAI2014.

9. Zaiqing Nie*, Ji-Rong Wen, Wei-Ying Ma. Statistical Entity Extraction from Web. In the Proceedings of the IEEE, Septemeber, 2012.

10. Xiaojiang Liu &, Zaiqing Nie*, Nenghai Yu, Ji-Rong Wen. BioSnowball: Automated Population of Wikis. In the Proceedings of SIGKDD 2010.

11. Chunyu Yang &, Yong Cao, Zaiqing Nie*, Jie Zhou, Ji-Rong Wen. Closing the Loop in Webpage Understanding. In IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE). 2010.

12. Jun Zhu, Zaiqing Nie, Xiaojiang Liu, Bo Zhang, Ji-Rong Wen. StatSnowball: a Statistical Approach to Extracting Entity Relationships. In the Proceedings of the 18th international World Wide Web conference (WWW 2009).

13. Jongwuk Lee &, Seung-won Hwang, Zaiqing Nie*, Ji-Rong Wen. Query Result Clustering for Object-level Search. In the Proceedings of SIGKDD 2009.

14. Zaiqing Nie*, Ji-Rong Wen, and Wei-Ying Ma. WebPage Understanding: Beyond Page-Level Search. SIGMOD Record, December 2008 (Vol. 37, No. 4). Special Issue on Managing Information Extraction.

15. Huajing Li &, Zaiqing Nie*, Wang-Chien Lee, C. Lee Giles, and Ji-Rong Wen. Scalable Community Discovery on Textual Data with Relations. CIKM 2008 (1203-1212).

16. Jun Zhu, Zaiqing Nie*, Bo Zhang, Ji-Rong Wen.Dynamic Hierarchical Markov Random Fields for Integrated Web Data Extraction. In the Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR), 9(Jul):1583--1614, 2008.

17. Zaiqing Nie*, Yunxiao Ma, Shuming Shi, Ji-Rong Wen, Wei-Ying Ma. Web Object Retrieval.To appear in the Proceedings of the 16th international World Wide Web conference (WWW 2007).

18. Zaiqing Nie*, Ji-Rong Wen, Wei-Ying Ma.Object-Level Vertical Search. In the Third Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research (CIDR 2007).

19. Jun Zhu, Zaiqing Nie*, Ji-Rong Wen, Bo Zhang, Wei-Ying Ma.Simultaneous Record Detection and Attribute Labeling in Web Data Extraction. In Proceedings of SIGKDD 2006.

20. Jun Zhu, Zaiqing Nie*, Ji-Rong Wen, Bo Zhang, Wei-Ying Ma.2D Conditional Random Fields forWeb Information Extraction. In the 22nd International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2005).

21. Zaiqing Nie*, Yuanzhi Zhang, Ji-Rong Wen, and Wei-Ying Ma.Object-Level Ranking: Bringing Order to Web Objects.In Proceedings of WWW 2005, May 10-14, 2005, in Chiba, Japan.

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