De Kai is Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at HKUST, and Distinguished Research Scholar at Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute. He is among only 17 scientists worldwide named by the Association for Computational Linguistics as a Founding ACL Fellow, for his pioneering contributions to machine translation and machine learning foundations of systems like the Google/Yahoo/Microsoft translators. Recruited as founding faculty of HKUST directly from UC Berkeley, where his PhD thesis was one of the first to spur the paradigm shift toward machine learning based natural language processing technologies, he founded HKUST’s internationally funded Human Language Technology Centre which launched the world’s first web translator over twenty years ago. De Kai’s AI research focuses on natural language processing, language technology, music technology, and machine learning, and his cross-disciplinary work in language, music, and cognition centres on enabling cultures to relate. He holds a Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA and a BS in Computer Engineering from UCSD. In 2015, Debrett’s HK 100 recognized him as one of the 100 most influential figures of Hong Kong. De Kai was one of eight inaugural members selected by Google in 2019 for its AI ethics council.
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