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Ricardo Baeza-Yates

Director of Research & Professor of the Practice, EAI

Ricardo Baeza-Yates joined the Institute for Experiential AI (EAI) after his role as Chief Technology Officer for NTENT, a semantic search company based in California. He is also a part-time professor at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, and the Department of Computing Science of Universidad de Chile in Santiago. He served as a founding director of The Center for Web Research at the Universidad de Chile until 2004.

Before his role as CTO for NTENT, Baeza-Yates was VP of Research for Yahoo Labs from 2006 to 2014, at which point he became Chief Research Scientist at the company’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, until 2016. During his tenure there, he founded and led the Yahoo Labs in Barcelona and Santiago de Chile from 2006 to 2015, oversaw Yahoo Labs in Haifa, Israel, from 2008 to 2012, and started the London lab in 2012.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society elected Baeza-Yates to join its board of governors from 2002 to 2004 and named him an IEEE Fellow in 2011. He served on the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Council from 2012 to 2016 and was named ACM Fellow in 2009. Among his many distinctions, Baeza-Yates has received the Organization of American States award for young researchers in exact sciences, the Graham Medal for innovation in computing given by the University of Waterloo to distinguished alumni, the Conferencia Latinoamericana En Informatica (CLEI) distinction for contributions to Computer Science in the region, and the National Award of the Chilean Association of Engineers. In 2003, he was the first computer scientist to be elected to the Chilean Academy of Sciences and, since 2010, is a founding member of the Chilean Academy of Engineering.

Additionally, with more than 600 publications, Baeza-Yates co-authored the bestseller textbook, Modern Information Retrieval, published in 1999 by Addison-Wesley, with a second enlarged edition in 2011 that won the ASIST 2012 Book of the Year award. He also co-authored the second edition of The Handbook of Algorithms and Data Structures, Addison-Wesley, 1991, and co-edited Information Retrieval: Algorithms and Data Structures, Prentice-Hall, 1992. Baeza-Yates obtained a doctorate in computer science from the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1989. His areas of expertise are web search, data mining, information retrieval, bias and ethics in AI, data science, and algorithms in general.

Baeza-Yates actively participates as an expert in many global initiatives, committees, and advisory boards related to Responsible AI. These include the Global AI Ethics Consortium, Global Partnership on AI, Inter-American Development Bank’s fAIr LAC Initiative (Latin America and the Caribbean), Council of AI (Spain), and ACM’s Technology Policy Subcommittee on AI and Algorithms (USA). Baeza-Yates is on the editorial committee of the new AI and Ethics journal and co-author of an article highlighting the importance of research freedom on ethical AI titled, Towards Intellectual Freedom in an AI Ethics Global Community. He also co-founded an NGO called OptIA in Chile devoted to algorithmic transparency and inclusion. In his recent discussion for the Institute’s Expeditions on Experiential AI Series that aired in June 2021 titled, Ethics in AI: A Challenging Task, he discusses five current specific challenges of ethical AI and ways to address them.