Thursday, March 12, 2015

Jobs with IBM Watson

IBM Watson is currently recruiting Washington DC area engineers for "Natural Language Processing Analysts". We're looking for engineers who like to build stuff and travel.You can apply through the link, or feel free to contact me if you want more info (use the "View my complete profile" link to the right for my contact).

Here's the official posting (hint: there is wiggle room)

Job description
Ready to change the way the world works? IBM Watson uses Cognitive Computing to tackle some of humanity's most challenging problems - like revolutionizing how doctors research cancer or transforming how businesses engage with their customers. We have an exciting opportunity for a Watson Natural Language Processing Analyst responsible for rigorous analysis of system performance phases including search, evidence scoring, and machine learning.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) Analysts evaluate system performance, and identify steps to drive enhancements. The role is part analyst and part developer. Analysts are required to function independently to dive deep into system components, identify areas for improvement, and devise solutions. Analysts are expected to drive test and evaluation of their solutions, and empirically identify follow on steps to implement continuous system improvement. Natural Language Processing is an explosively dynamic field; analysts must expect ambiguity, and demonstrate the ability to develop courses of action on the basis of data driven analysis. Must be able to work independently and demonstrate initiative. Demonstrated analytical skills, security clearances preferred but not required.

We live in a moment of remarkable change and opportunity. The convergence of data and technology is transforming industries, society and even the workplace. New roles are being created that never existed before to meet the demands of this transformation. And IBM Watson is now looking for talent in healthcare, life sciences, financial services, the public sector and others to new roles destined to usher in the next era of cognitive computing. Embark on the journey with us at IBM Watson.
Required
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • At least 2 years experience in Text Search Engines (such as Lucene)
  • At least 2 years experience in Java Development Proficiency
  • Basic knowledge in Natural Language Processing
  • Basic knowledge in Text Analytics/ Info Retrieval
  • Basic knowledge in Unstructured Data
  • Readiness to travel 50% travel annually
  • U.S. citizenship required
  • English: Fluent
Preferred
  • Master's Degree
  • At least 5 years experience in Text Search Engines (such as Lucene)
  • At least 5 years experience in Java Development Proficiency
  • At least 2 years experience in Natural Language Processing
  • At least 2 years experience in Text Analytics/ Info Retrieval
  • At least 2 years experience in Unstructured Data
IBM is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. IBM is also committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Linguistics behind IBM Watson

I will be talking about the linguistics behind IBM Watson's Question Answering on March 11 at the DC Natural Language Processing MeetUp. Here's the blurb:

In February 2011, IBM Watson defeated Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in the Jeopardy! Challenge. Today, Watson is a cognitive system that enables a new partnership between people and computers that enhances and scales human expertise by providing a more natural relationship between the human and the computer. 

One part of Watson’s cognitive computing platform is Question Answering. The main objective of QA is to analyze natural language questions and present concise answers with supporting evidence, rather than a list of possibly relevant documents like internet search engines.

This talk will describe some of the natural language processing components that go into just three of the basic stages of IBM Watson’s Question Answering pipeline:

  • Question Analysis
  • Hypothesis Generation
  • Semantic Types

The NLP components that help make this happen include a full syntactic parse, entity and relationship extraction, semantic tagging, co-reference, automatic frame discovery, and many others. This talk will discuss how sophisticated linguistic resources allow Watson to achieve true question answering functionality.

A linguist asks some questions about word vectors

I have at best a passing familiarity with word vectors, strictly from a 30,000 foot view. I've never directly used them outside a handfu...