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Senior Research Scientist

Machine Learning | Sunnyvale, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

In March 2019, Figure Eight was acquired by Appen. Together, Appen and Figure Eight combine the best of human and machine intelligence to provide high-quality annotated training data that powers the world’s most innovative machine learning (ML) and business solutions. Appen is headquartered in Sydney, Australia and has subsidiaries in the United States, United Kingdom, Philippines, and China. Appen has more than 20 years of experience in collecting and processing a variety of data, including data types such as speech, text, and images, etc. Appen has a pool of more than 1 million prequalified crowd resources around the world able to provide data collection and processing services in more than 180 languages. Appen’s clients include global leaders in high-tech, automotive, e-commerce, etc. and governments to help them develop and improve products and technologies based on natural language understanding and machine learning. Appen is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with stock code: APX

About the Role

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the world in almost every industry. Everyone knows only good training data can produce the best machine learning solutions. However, creating training data with high quality in a scalable way is very challenging, and very few companies can do it. The whole AI world is starving for great training data. Appen is the market lead in training data generation field for more than 22 years. It generates all kinds of training data like content relevance, image & video, text & audio, as well as data capturing.

Appen Tech team is solving the AI data problem by combining the power of humans and technology. This world-class and exciting engineering position awaits a qualified candidate who will join Appen’s data science team.  

We are seeking a senior research scientist with hands-on expertise in the recommendation and search ranking area. You will build crowd CRM systems to mine, engage, match, and recommend good crowd workers with the most suitable data labeling jobs. You get the opportunity to work with our global tech team from Shanghai, Silicon Valley, and Sydney. It is a leading data company with a start-up culture. And we only want people who want to make a huge impact on the AI world instead of just a job!


  • Provide complete crowd CRM solutions to mine, rank, and engage crowd workers for Appen’s data labeling projects;
  • Build search and recommendation systems to match high-quality crowd workers with most suitable projects;
  • Participate in cutting edge research in the recommendation system, search ranking, and crowd management areas.  
  • Serve as subject matter expert and drive thought leadership in the areas of machine learning, recommendation, relevance ranking, and information retrieval areas.
  • Mentoring and coaching junior staff, driving internal operational excellence, and developing a career for junior data scientists.


  • M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Computer Science or related areas is required for this position.
  • 7+ years of industrial experience in recommendation systems, relevance ranking, and information retrieval areas.
  • Solid understanding of deep learning tech
  • Excellent communications skills, both verbal and written in English
  • Hands-on experience in developing backend services. Familiar with Java, Python, or other programming languages.
  • Have good track records of architecting and developing recommendation systems and search engine solutions in large scale industry setup.
  • Have extensive industry experience in the recommendation and search domain with the ability to validate ideas before implementation.