Yanchao Yu is a lecturer the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. He holds a BSc from Beijing Information Science and Technology University (China), an MSc in Software Engineering (Distinction) and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Heriot-Watt University (UK). After his PhD, he was working as a postdoctoral researcher at Heriot-Watt's Interaction Lab investigating Conversational AI methods for supporting elderly healthcare in hospital, where he was leading the design and development of multimodal conversational agent. In addition, Yanchao has rich industrial experience by working as Dialkogue Modelling Scientist at a Voice-AI company Voysis (which was purchased by Apple Ltd. early 2020) and NLP researcher at a Conversational-AI company (Alana).
Yanchao's research interests lie in exploring, designing and building smart agents/robots that helps humans to solve realistic, daily tasks/problems through natural, daily conversations. More specifically, he is interested in building data-driven (spoken) conversational systems, including Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Generation (NLG) and Dialogue Management (DM). His recent research focuses on continuously teaching the robot to proactively learn vision-language groundings through interaction with humans in Natural Language using machine/deep learning techniques. He believes conversational AI will be part of human's daily life (e.g. domestic, public and work tasks).