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Ruhi Sarikaya

Ruhi Sarikaya

Research Areas: Natural Language Understanding, Dialog Systems, Machine Learning, Machine Translation, Speech Recognition.

I will be giving a keynote about "The Technology Powering Personal Digital Assistants" at Interspeech2015 in Dresden, Germany (September 2015)

A year's work for me and my group (Language Understanding and Dialog Systems Group): Cortana on Windows 10 (January 21, 2015)

Cortana now supports natural language understanding and dialog management in the following domains on phone and PCs: Calendar, Alarm, Reminder, Notes, On-device Search, Calling, Texting, Weather, Places, Email, and Searching for documents/people on device and cloud.

Dr. Sarikaya is elected to the IEEE Speech & Language Technical Committee (2015-2017).

Dr. Sarikaya is serving as the general co-chair of IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop for 2012 (


Dr. Ruhi Sarikaya joined Microsoft as a manager and principal scientist in late 2011. He built the language understanding and dialog systems group from scratch. He is now leading a large team of scientists, engineers and computational linguists in the group. His team is building language understanding, dialog systems, machine learning capabilities into Microsoft products such as Cortana and Xbox One. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a research staff member and team lead in the Human Language Technologies Group at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center for 10 years. He received the B.S. degree from Bilkent University, Turkey in 1995, M.S. degree from Clemson University, SC in 1997 and the Ph.D. degree from Duke University, NC in 2001 all in electrical and computer engineering. He has published over 100 technical papers in refereed journal and conference proceedings and, is the inventor of over 50 issued/pending patents in the area of speech and natural language processing. At IBM he has received several prestigious awards for his work including two Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards (2005 and 2008) and two Research Division Awards (2005 and 2007). Prior to joining IBM in 2001 he was a researcher at the Center for Spoken Language Research (CSLR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years. He also spent the summer of 1999 at the Panasonic Speech Technology Laboratory, Santa Barbara, CA. He has served as the  general co-chair of IEEE SLT'12, publicity chair of IEEE ASRU’05 and gave a tutorial on “Processing Morphologically Rich Languages” at Interspeech’07. Dr. Sarikaya served as associate editors of IEEE Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing and IEEE Signal Processing Letters and currently serving in IEEE SLTC. He also served as the lead guest editor of the special issue on “Processing Morphologically-Rich Languages” for IEEE Trans. on Audio Speech & Language Processing. He gave a number of keynotes in major conferences and workshops.

His past and present research interests span natural language understanding, dialog systems, personal digital assistants, artificial intelligence, speech recognition, machine translation, machine learning, speech-to-speech translation, speaker identification/verification, digital signal processing and statistical modeling.

Dr. Sarikaya is a member of IEEE (senior member), ACL and ISCA.


Microsoft Language Understanding and Dialog Systems Group