Yifan Zhang

Senior Software Engineer
Arabic Language Technologies

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The QCRI team is a friendly team with exciting potential and excellent organization.

Research Focus at QCRI

Yifan Zhang has worked in industry for more than 10 years in researching and developing speech recognition and language-related products. Prior to joining QCRI, he was building information discovery engines for innovative news services. He has been a key member as a full stack research scientist in developing speech recognition engines serving millions of customers in speech recognition teams in both SpinVox Nuance and Autonomy.

His research interests include:
- Artificial intelligence
- Speech recognition
- Knowledge graph

Previous Experience

Professional Experience

  • Language Technology Consultant, QCRI, 2013
  • NLP Software Engineer, Wavii, 2012 - 2013
  • Senior Speech Recognition Engineer, Nuance, 2008 - 2012
  • R&D Engineer, Autonomy, 2005-2008
  • Software Engineer, TianChuang Software, 2012

Professional Associations and Awards

  • IEEE Member, 2009
  • Lion Laboratories Prize for Best Project, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, 2001


  • M.Sc. Electronic Engineering, Cardiff University, 2004
  • B.Eng. Information Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, 2001

Selected Research

Ahmed Ali, Peter Bell, James Glass, Yacine Messaoui, Hamdy Mubarak, Steve Renals, Yifan Zhang
The MGB-2 Challenge: Arabic Multi-Dialect Broadcast Media Recognition. In Proceedings of the Spoken Language Technology Workshop (SLT 2016)  IEEE, California, USA.

Ahmed Abdelali, Ahmed Ali, Francisco Guzmán, Felix Stahlberg, Stephan Vogel, Yifan Zhang
QATS – The QCRI Advanced Transcription and Translation System. In Proceedings of INTERSPEECH 2015. Dresden, Germany, September 2015.

Ahmed Ali, Yifan Zhang, Patrick Cardinal, Najim Dahak, Stephan Vogel, Jim Glass.
A Complete Kaldi Recipe For Building Arabic Speech Recognition Systems. In Proceedings of the Spoken Language Technology Workshop (SLT 2014) IEEE, Nevada, USA, December 2014.

Ahmed Ali, Yifan Zhang, Stephan. QCRI Advanced Transcription System (QATS).
In Proceedings of the Spoken Language Technology Workshop (SLT 2014) IEEE, Nevada, USA, December 2014.

Patrick Cardinal, Ahmed Ali, Dehak, Najim, Yu Zhang, Al Hanai, Tuka, Yifan Zhang, James Glass, Stephan Vogel.
Recent Advances in ASR Applied to an Arabic Transcription System for Al-Jazeera. In Proceedings of the Conference INTERSPEECH, Singapore, September 2014.

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In the Media

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Can AI Put An End To Fake News? Don't Be So Sure


Fake news was the Collin’s word of the year for 2017 with good reason. In a year where politics-as-usual was torn apart at the seams, high-profile scandals rocked our faith in humanity and the ...

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MIT/QCRI system uses machine learning to build road maps


Map apps may have changed our world, but they still haven’t mapped all of it yet. Specifically, mapping roads can be difficult and tedious: even after taking aerial images, companies still have to ...

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Improving disaster response efforts through data


Extreme weather events put the most vulnerable communities at high risk. How can data analytics strengthen early warning systems and and support relief efforts for communities in need? The size and ...

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Upcoming Events


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“The Future of Higher Education in the Age of Technological Disruption” by CMU President Dr. Farnam Jahanian

Download ICS File 24/03/2019 ,

Dr. Farnam Jahanian, the President of Carnegie Mellon University, will deliver a public lecture, “The Future of Higher Education in the Age of Technological Disruption” at CMU’s Qatar campus on Sunday, March 24.

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QCRI - MIT CSAIL 2019 Annual Project Review

Download ICS File 25/03/2019 ,

Executive Overview Sessions Open to publi Date: March 25, 2019 Time: 10:15AM - 5:15PM Venue: Hamad Bin Khalia Reseach Complex Multipurpose Room To view agenda, please click here . To RSVP to this ...

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"Learning to See" Public talk by Professor Antonio Torralba (MIT-CSAIL)

Download ICS File 25/03/2019 ,

Visit by Antonio Torralba, who teaches machines to automate tasks that a human visual system can accomplish, is part of annual spring research update between QCRI and MIT-CSAIL.

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News Releases


QCRI and iMMAP announce Memorandum of Understanding


Pact aims to apply data analysis and artificial intelligence techniques to solve humanitarian problems.

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UNDP partners with QCRI to use AI for social good


Qatar forum on leveraging AI to solve humanitarian problems fills to capacity.

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Renowned computing expert C. Mohan to bust blockchain myths in Qatar talk


Well-known inventor of database recovery algorithms to deliver keynote at QCRI's first blockchain workshop.

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