An Introduction To Dr. Li

Matthew Horsnell
Matthew Horsnell
TREND Community Director

TREND Community is proud to announce that Dr. Wei Li is joining our team as Chief Scientist. Dr. Li brings experience and expertise to our tech team that span three continents and 20+ years of advances in computational linguistics. Wei received his Master’s in Machine Translation from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. While there, Wei began working on first-generation artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

During a conversation with TREND’s Community Director, Matt Horsnell, Wei shared reflections on the state of machine learning during his early days of studying:

“We would input a text into our program and take a coffee break. It was taking about 1 minute to translate 1 sentence.”

Wei Li became Dr. Wei Li after earning his PhD in computational linguistics from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Coming to the US in the early 2000s during the days of the dot-com bubble seemed like an auspicious start to a career in natural language processing (NLP) for real-life industrial applications. Yet, those challenging tech times served as an opportunity to flex and showcase his ingenuity and creativity. Dr. Li’s career has spanned multiple positions across industry leaders, yet his career has included a lifetime of commitment and passion for NLP.

Longevity in the field has set him apart from contemporaries in the deep understanding of both the mainstream revolution in neural networks as well as the more traditional symbolic AI innovations, their respective pros and cons, and the hybrid approach in complementing each other. Dr. Li’s NLP experiences in social listening involve extensive government contracts (Cymfony), working for the number 1 social listening company in the US (Netbase) as its chief architect, and working with JD (China’s equivalent of Amazon) and Beyond AI (Siri-like tools for China).

Text processing is a science, but for Dr. Li, its expression is a form of art. Dr. Li enjoys sharing his wisdom in writing. He has written extensively on the topic, having authored both blog formats and books.

Dr. Li brings that commitment to language understanding to the team at TREND Community. Positive and negative sentiment helps us understand the context of word use during searches. Dr. Li’s work goes beyond the positive or negative implications and looks to untangle the “deep sentiments” behind conversations:

“To answer the ‘why’ is the key.”

Comprehending the “why” of conversations in the rare and chronic disease communities will help TREND create actionable insights. Dr. Li is bringing light to the conversations taking place in the rare disease communities by helping understand the reasons behind the emotions. His excitement in applying language technology to domain scenarios is palpable in conversations, and the passion Dr. Li brings to TREND Community is contagious.

For more information on Dr. Wei Li: