Portrait of Ming Zhou

Ming Zhou

Principal Research Manager


Dr. Ming Zhou is a principal researcher and manager of the Natural Language Computing Group at Microsoft Research Asia.  He is the chair of the Chinese Computer Federation’s (CCF) Chinese Information Technology Committee and an executive member of the Chinese Information Processing Society.
In 1989 he designed the CEMT-I machine translation system, the first experiment on Chinese-English machine translation obtaining the government’s science and technology advancement prize in Mainland China. In 1998, he designed the famous Chinese-Japanese machine translation software product J-Beijing in Japan which was later deployed in J-Server, the popular translation service in Japan that was won the Makoto Nagao Award given by the Japan Machine Translation Association in 2008. He is the leader of the renowned AI gaming of Chinese Couplets/Poetry Generation and Riddles (http://duilian.msra.cn), MS Windows IME for Chinese and Japanese, and the English Assistance Search Engine, Engkoo, which won the Wall Street Journal’s 2010 Asian Innovation Readers’ Choice Award and was packaged into Bing in 2011 as Bing Dictionary (http://cn.bing.com/dict/), and Engkoo cloud IME which was packaged as Bing IME in 2012. In 2008, the system submitted by a joint team from MSR-NLP Group, his Group and NRC and SRI obtained the top ranking in NIST Chinese-English machine translation evaluation, and the system submitted from his group obtained the 2nd ranking in NIST English-Chinese machine translation evaluation. His group also made important contributions to MS Bing search engine with NLP technologies such as word breaker, sentiment analysis, speller, parser and QnA. His group created Chinese-English, and Cantonese-Chinese-English machine translation engine for MS Translator and Skype Translator. Recently, his group worked closely with Microsoft product teams to create well-known chat-bot products in China (Xiaoice), Japan (Rinna) and the US (Tay) with total of 40 million users. He has presented and published over 100 papers at top conferences (including 45+ ACL papers) and NLP journals, and obtained 38 international patents. He received the Ability Award from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in 2014.
He has served as area chairs of ACL, EMNLP, COLING, IJCNLP, MT SUMMIT, AAAI, IJCAI during various periods in his career, and as PC chair or general chair of important conferences in Asian-Pacific such as AIRS and NLPCC. He was the associate editor of TALLIP, and an editorial board member of Computational Linguistics and Machine Translation.
He has collaborated with universities across the Asia-Pacific and various academy associations to advance NLP research and development. For instance, in 2003 he worked with the Harbin Institute of Technology to set up an annual NLP summer school which has trained over 2000 students since then. He is one of the main organizers of the NLPCC conference since 2011, which has become China’s flagship NLP conference. His group has hosted about 500 students for internships since 1999. As the director of the Microsoft-Harbin Institute of Technology Joint Lab on NLP and the Microsoft-Tsinghua Joint Lab on Networks and Media, and PhD advisors or adjunct professors at universities such as Harbin Institute of Technology, Tianjin University, Nankai University, Shandong University, Chongqing University, Dalian University of Technology, he contributed to increases in NLP research at these universities.
Dr. Zhou received his B.S. in computer engineering from Chongqing University in 1985, and his M.S. degree and Ph.D. in computer science from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1988 and 1991. He did post-doctoral work at Tsinghua University from 1991 to 1993, later became an associate professor there. From 1996-1999, during a sabbatical, he worked for Kodensha Ltd. Co. in Japan as the leader of the Chinese-Japanese machine translation project. He joined the natural language group at Microsoft Research China (now Microsoft Research Asia) in September 1999 as researcher. He became the manager of this group in 2001. His research interests include next generation search engines, statistical and neural machine translation, question-answering, chatbots, computer poetry, and text mining.


Chatbots and Conversation As A Platform (CAAP)

Established: June 1, 2014

At Microsoft Build 2016 event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that chatbots, as next big thing, will have “as profound an impact as previous shifts we’ve had.” The past paradigm shifts include graphical user interface, the web browser and the touchscreen. Conversations As A platform(CAAP) has the promise of making booking a flight or buying a new shirt as easy as sending a text message, with the potential to make computing more accessible to users on mobile devices. This group has been worked on…














  • Kun Yu, Gang Guan, Ming Zhou: Resume Information Extraction with Cascaded Hybrid Model. ACL 2005
  • Sung-Hyon Myaeng, Ming Zhou, Kam-Fai Wong, HongJiang Zhang (Eds.): Information Retrieval Technology, Asia Information Retrieval Symposium, AIRS 2004, Beijing, China, October 18-20, 2004, Revised Selected Papers. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3411, Springer 2005, ISBN 3-540-25065-4