Asli Celikyilmaz

Asli Celikyilmaz

Research Scientist
Facebook AI Research



    NEW! Keynote at New Frontiers in Summarization Workshop at EMNLP 2021
    NEW! Keynote at GEM workshop at ACL 2021 on Narrative Coherence in Text Generation
    NEW! Organizing workshop at at ICML 2021 on Self-Supervised Learning for Reasoning and Perception
    NEW! Our recent works on controllable text generation, evaluation and summarization at ACL 2021, NAACL 2021 and EACL 2021
    NEW! Organizing workshop at Nerual Conversational AI at ICLR 2021 on safety, integrity, continual learning, and so much more!
    Tutorial on Neural Text Generation at EMNLP 2020
    Podcast in NLP Highlights [recording], 2020
    Invited Talk Evaluation Methods in NLP Workshop at EMNLP 2020
    Invited Talk on Interaction and Generation at West Coast NLP 2020
    Keynote on Advances in Neural Text Generation at SIGDIAL 2020
    Panel Chair for IEEE SLT 2021
    Organized ALVR2020: Advances in Language and Vision Research Workshop at ACL 2020
    Organized NLP4CONVAI: NLP for Conversational AI Workshop at ACL 2020
    Other academic service:
        SIGDIAL 2021 Senoir Area Chair
        ACL 2021 Area Chair for Dialog Track
        NAACL 2021 Senior Area Chair for Generation Track
        ACL 2020 Demo Chair
        Associate Editor for IEEE ODSP,
        Area Editor for Transactions of ACL (TACL),
        Editor for AI Magazine: AAAI Special Issue on Conversational AI,
        PC member for ACL, EMNLP, NAACL, NIPS, CoNLL, ConvAI.

Research Interests:

My primary research interests are in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, with broader interests in Human Computer Interaction. My research centers on building natural language agents enriched with advanced capabilities to memorize, learn and reason about social and physical world. Specifically, my research interests can be grouped into:
  • Neural Language Generation: Modeling the long-term context (e.g., modeling of langugue context, pysical environments, etc.); tracking and simulating the world representend in a story or a narrative; teaching agents to learn to write coherently; predicting mental states in narrative by stateful langauge modeling.
  • Commonsense Reasoning: Building intelligent machines that understand and reason about the physical and social world, both through vision and language
  • Evaluation of Text Generation: Factual consistency and semantic coherence are two of the several important aspects in building accurate text generation systems. My researach investigates evaluation methods that improve long text generation models.
  • Language Grounding and Conversational AI: Learning semantic correspondences between language help users in their daily activities by learning from their environments; enriching agents with coherent conversational copabilities by teaching language understanding and response generation.

Selected Invited Talks and Tutorials:

Full List of Publications:

Recent Preprints:

Peer-Reviewed Publications:


Summer 2021 Faisal Ladhak Bias in Neural LMs
Summer 2021 Bodhisattwa Majumder Conversational AI
Summer 2020 Saadia Gabriel Meta-Evaluation of Text Generation
Summer 2020 Tom McCoy Novelty in Langauge Modeling
Summer 2020 Yichen Jiang Approximately-Symbolic Rule-Based Processing with Transformers
Summer 2020 Shiyue Zhang Thread Summarization with Memory State Update Machines
Summer-Fall 2019 Hannah Rashkin Long Text (Story, Article) Generation
Summer 2019 Ramakanth Pasunuru Query Focused Multi-Doc. Summarization
Summer 2019 Angela Lin Multi-modal Alignment
Summer 2019 Prasoon Goyal Generation of multimodal recipes
Summer 2019 Roshan Rao Pre-training w/ multi-modal data
Summer 2019 Keping Bi IE Losses for Extractive Summarization
Summer 2018 Xin (Eric) Wang Visual and Language Navigation
Summer 2018 Elizabeth Clark Evaluation Metrics for Text Generation
Summer 2018 Dinghan Shen Latent Variable models
Summer 2018 Amr Sharaf Multi-Teacher Imitation Learning
Summer 2017 Zhe Gan Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning
Summer 2017-2018 Antoine Bosselut Reward-Based Long form Text Generation
Summer 2017 Baolin Peng Dialog Policy Learning for Composite Tasks
Summer 2016 Joo_Kyung Kim Semantically Enriched Word Embeddings
Summer 2013 Yangfeng Ji Latent Variable Models
Summer 2013 Young-Bum Kim Conversational Dialog
Summer 2012 Aditya Bhargava Conversational Dialog
Summer 2011 Svitlana Volkova Sentiment Analysis


Asli Celikyilmaz is a Research Scientist at Facebook AI Research. Formerly, she was Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research (MSR) in Redmond, Washington. She is also an Affiliate Associate Member at the University of Washington. She has received Ph.D. Degree in Information Science from University of Toronto, Canada, and later continued her Postdoc study at Computer Science Department of the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests are mainly in deep learning and natural language, specifically on language generation with long-term coherence, language understanding, language grounding with vision, and building intelligent agents for human-computer interaction She is serving on the editorial boards of Transactions of the ACL (TACL) as area editor and Open Journal of Signal Processing (OJSP) as Associate Editor. She has received several “best of” awards including NAFIPS 2007, Semantic Computing 2009, and CVPR 2019.

Work Experience:

    2021-Present Research Scientist, Facebook AI Research, Seattle, WA
    2018-Present Affiliate Associate Member at the Paul G. Allen School University of Washington, Seattle, WA
    2010-2021 Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA
    2008-2010 Post-Doctorate Research, Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA
    2005-2008 Doctor of Philosopy, Engineering, University of Toronto
    2004-2006 Research Software Engineer, Information Intelligence Co. (IIC), University of Toronto
    2003-2005 Master of applied Science, Engineering, University of Toronto


    2017 Lecture on Generative Adversarial Networks at the AI School at MSR AI
    2017 Lecture on Deep Learning for Interactive Systems at the AI School at MSR AI
    2007 Lecture on Knowledge Modeling and Management, Univ. of Toronto
    2006 Lecture on Data Modeling, University of Toronto
    2005 Lecture on Decision Analysis, University of Toronto

Honors and Awards:

    Best Student Paper Award, CVPR 2019
    Best Paper Award, IEEE Int. Conference on Semantic Computing, Berkeley, 2009
    Postdoctoral Fellowship from British Telecom University of California, Berkeley, 2008-2010
    NSERC (Natural Sci. and Eng. Research Council of Canada), Postdoc Fellowship (PDF), 2008-2010
    NSERC (Natural Sci. and Eng. Research Council, Graduate Scholarships), PGSD2, 2007-2009
    OGS-Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology, Ph.D., 2007-2008
    Ph.D. Fellowship, University of Toronto, 2005-2008
    Student Travel Grant from IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, 2007
    Best Paper Award, North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society, 2007
    Ontario, Canada Graduate Scholarship in Science and Tech. (OGS-ST), 2006-2007
    Research Assistantship Support, University of Toronto, 2005-2006
    Master of Science Fellowship, University of Toronto, 2004-2005
    Research Assistantship Support, University of Toronto, 2004-2005