Language Engineer, Comms AI Language Understanding Experience
Interested in Alexa? Come work on it. We’re building the speech and language solutions behind Alexa Communications. Alexa Communications is reinventing the way customers enjoy and connect to one another in a genuine and meaningful way. We are building products that make it easy, even effortless, for customers to connect with loved ones—no matter what device or platform they want to start that conversation on. We’re working hard, having fun, and making history; come join us!
Alexa Communications (connecting friends and family) is looking for a Language Engineer to join our Language Understanding Experience team in the area of speech and language data processing. We are seeking a candidate with strong analytical skills and language technology experience to help us measure, analyze and solve complex problems. In this role, you are responsible for the design and delivery of Language Understanding using your linguistic, voice user interface (VUI) design, and data analysis skills to understand what a customer meant. You are a key member in new feature development while proactively improving existing experiences. You work closely with other Language Engineers, Product Managers, Scientists and Engineers to deliver magical experiences that customers love.
Key job responsibilities
Specifically, the Language Engineer will:
- Contribute to the design of new features by creating or extending annotation schemas to cover new areas,
- Design the natural language processing components of new Alexa experiences and features by authoring, reviewing and debugging grammars and finite state transducers,
- Advocate strict adherence to annotation guidelines,
- Test and deploy changes to Alexa's language understanding codebase,
- Identify and solve production issues that are impacting the Alexa customer experience,
- Handle competing requests from a range of data customers,
- Collaborate with other linguists, scientists and designers in creating optimal solutions to elevate the customer experience,
- Own the customer-facing machine learning and deterministic models for a specific domain of features, and
- Use modeling tools to bootstrap and test new functionalities
A day in the life
As an L5 Language Engineer on our team, you develop Alexa NLU for controlling products for Communication, Social, and Photos. You may start your day on your annotation reform project. Performing a deep dive on the annotated data using a Python script you wrote to help identify and visualize inconsistently annotated tokens. You review these visualizations to identify trends and add your findings to your list of proposed annotation changes.
You then switch to a feature development task. At any point you may be working on 2-5 different features in various phases. This particular feature design utilizes a label that previously was not used with this intent so you make a change to the code base and kick off a round of tests. When the tests complete, you will be responsible for analyzing any failing utterances and deciding whether these failures are expected/reasonable given the change you made. Unexpected failures will require you to do further investigations and fixing any issues you may find. After fixing the issue you will kick off another round of tests.
You end your day working on triaging a production issue. You read the customer's report of the issue and begin digging to see if it reveals a bigger problem, writing down your findings along the way. After you find the root cause, you provide your analysis and your mitigation strategy.
About the team
As a part of the Comms AI team, the Language Understanding Experience (LUX) team is responsible for the overall language understanding design and experience for Alexa Communications, Alexa Social, and Amazon Photos. Our mission is to understand what our customers say to Alexa and to each other. In order to achieve near-perfect understanding for all Alexa communication experiences, we strive to (1) detect our customers’ needs accurately and dependably, (2) design features that meet and exceed customers’ expectations, and (3) drive requirements into the rest of the Comms AI team. As the only Alexa domain dealing with human-to-human interactions, we are also uniquely positioned to understand our customers on an individual level.
- Master’s or higher degree in Linguistics or a relevant field
- 2+ years experience in computational linguistics, language data processing, semantics or syntax
- Experience with language annotation and other forms of data markup
- Experience working with speech and text language data in multiple languages
- Experience with ontologies and other semantic meaning representation schemas
- Experience in Perl, Python or another scripting language
- Strong technical and analytical aptitude
- Excellent communication, exceptional level of organization, and attention to detail
- Comfortable working in a fast paced, highly collaborative and dynamic work environment
- Willingness to support several projects at one time and to accept reprioritization as necessary
- Ability to explain complex solutions in easy-to-understand terms
- Ability to think creatively and solve problems
- Fluency in a major language other than English, such as German, Spanish, and Japanese
• The pay range for this position in Colorado is $60,000 - $131,6OO /yr; however, base pay offered may vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. A sign-on bonus and restricted stock units may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits, dependent on the position offered. This information is provided per the Colorado Equal Pay Act. Base pay information is based on market location. Applicants should apply via Amazon's internal or external careers site.
Amazon is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Amazon is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, age, or other legally protected status. For individuals with disabilities who would like to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.amazon.jobs/en/disability/us.
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