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Dialog Systems and Natural Language Understanding Researcher

software research and engineering | Palo Alto, CA

Job Description

Ph.D in Natural Language Understanding or related field with experience in analyzing conversations

About the Job

We seek a talented researcher in dialog systems and natural language understanding to work on a variety of problems such as effective communication and engagement between humans and conversational agents, modeling conversation structure, algorithms for robust processing of spoken language. The successful candidate will be an essential part of the CHAT (Conversational Human Agent Technology) group, a new, exciting effort in the Intelligent Systems Lab at PARC that focuses on everything around conversation: how does one model the interactional layer of a conversation, how can an artificial agents communicate effectively and engagingly with a human, what can one infer from the conversation between humans. Such problems require knowledge and understanding of social sciences as well as broad knowledge of Natural Language Understanding and Artificial Intelligence techniques. Our team is multidisciplinary and allows for collaboration among researchers in a variety of fields as well as leading faculty in universities.

Responsibilities include

  • Expressing real-world problems in a mathematical and/or algorithmic form.
  • Building prototypes that can be used and evaluated by non-expert users.
  • Publishing scientific results in leading conferences in the field.
  • Patenting novel technology.
  • Communicating with business units to understand problems and explain solutions.


  • Ph.D in Natural Language Understanding or related field
  • Strong statistical and machine learning background for language understanding
  • Optimization techniques: greedy search, dynamic programming, convex programming
  • Ability to model: understand problems and be able to express them mathematically in a way that can be robustly optimized and be suitable for practical systems
  • Strong programming skills
  • Strong communication and writing skills
  • Creativity in problem solving
  • Drive to make an impact on the real world


(candidates should have some or all of the following):

  • Experience with Natural Language Understanding problems, preferrably semantics
  • Experience with dialog systems and conversational user interfaces
  • Experience with well-known Machine Learning techniques, such as Latent Dirichlet Allocation, and Markov Networks
  • Experience in formulating objective criteria that capture the constraints of the problem and optimizing them
  • Experience in implementing language understanding algorithms as opposed to invoking off-the-shelf methods is preferred.
  • Experience in programming Java, Python, C/C++


We offer a very competitive salary package and full benefits (medical, dental, vision, life & disability insurance, 401K). PARC employees enjoy the use of onsite health & fitness center and collegial dining at our onsite cafeteria. The PARC campus is in a spacious modern building in close proximity to the resources and opportunities of Silicon Valley and benefits from nearby leading universities such as Stanford and Berkeley. It is also close to many amenities, top schools, and outdoor activities (see  PARC provides a highly diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer (see

About PARC

PARC, a Xerox company, is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients.

Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the research that enables breakthroughs for our clients' businesses.

PARC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion or  belief, sex, age, national origin, citizenship status, marital status, military/veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.  People with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation to apply or compete for employment with Xerox should contact PARC Human Resources.