David Ferrucci, PhD
Principal Investigator, Deep QA / Watson Project
Dr. David Ferrucci is an IBM Fellow and the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Watson/Jeopardy! project. He has been at IBM’s T.J. Watson’s Research Center since 1995 where he heads up the Semantic Analysis and Integration department. Dr. Ferrucci focuses on technologies for automatically discovering valuable knowledge in natural language content and using it to enable better decision making.
As part of his research he led the team that developed Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA). UIMA is a software framework and open standard widely used by industry and academia for collaboratively integrating, deploying and scaling advanced text and multimodal (e.g., speech, video) analytics. As Chief Software Architect for UIMA, Dr. Ferrucci led its design and chaired the UIMA standards committee at OASIS. The UIMA software framework is deployed in IBM products and has been contributed to Apache open-source to facilitate broader adoption and development.
In 2007, Dr. Ferrucci took on the Jeopardy! Challenge – tasked to create a computer system that can rival human champions at the game of Jeopardy!. As the PI for the exploratory research project dubbed DeepQA, he focused on advancing automatic, open-domain question answering using massively parallel evidence based hypothesis generation and evaluation. By building on UIMA, on key university collaborations and by taking bold research, engineering and management steps, he led his team to integrate and advance many search, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and semantic technologies to deliver results that have out-performed all expectations and have
Dr. Ferrucci has been the PI on several government-funded research programs on automatic question answering, intelligent systems and saleable text analytics. His team at IBM consists of 28 researchers and software engineers specializing in the areas of NLP, Software Architecture, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning and Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR&R).