Software Engineer - Semantic Scholar


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AI2 is looking for talented engineers to scale up the infrastructure behind Semantic Scholar, our artificially-intelligent academic search engine.

Why This Role Is Important

Since its launch in November 2015, Semantic Scholar has indexed and learned from millions of computer science research articles from hundreds of journals and conferences. Now we're preparing to launch our search engine in a new domain -- medicine. In order to accomplish this we need to scale up our crawler, come up with models that understand the language of academic medicine, and develop strategies to make sure our search engine doesn't miss any papers. Looking further ahead, we need to design and build infrastructure that can scale to handle all of scientific knowledge. (We like to think big!)


What You'll Learn (Or Teach Us, Or Both)

* How to create fast, efficient search indexes for scientific papers

* How to build a reliable, performant scientific paper crawler

* How to model medical concepts

* How to make sure the computer doesn't confuse John Smith, computer scientist, with John Smith, neuroscientist

* How to generalize from a computer-science-research and neuroscience-research search engine to an all-of-science-research search engine


Why Being An Engineer At AI2 Is Great

At AI2, you’ll be working not just with talented software engineers but also with world-class AI researchers, helping to push forward their fields. We have projects focused on understanding and answering real-world questions, understanding pictures and videos, and building the world’s best academic search engine. Our engineers build core infrastructure and research tools, and help out with just about every aspect of our work. There are also many opportunities to contribute directly to research - fresh ideas and enthusiasm are great additions to any team!

We have a beautiful office right on Lake Union; catered lunches twice a week; great pay and benefits; smart and friendly and helpful co-workers; and a couple of kayaks you can take out on sunny days (as soon as you sign the liability waiver and the collision damage waiver and the indemnity agreement, of course).


Our Ideal Candidate Has Many Of The Following

Strong software development skills

Developing clean, well-designed code to solve really hard problems is what we do. This one is kind of non-negotiable.

Strong collaboration skills

We have nothing but respect for the kinds of developers who lock themselves in underground caves and produce great code, but we're a small, collaborative environment, and we need developers who thrive on working closely with others

Familiarity with Unix-like systems and working in "the cloud"

We use lots of Linux and lots of EC2 machines; if you don't know what those are you'll probably have a tough time being productive here.

Experience building systems at scale

We solve big problems, which means we run into the kinds of issues that people run into when they try to solve big problems. If you're good at dealing with these kinds of issues, that's a big help.

Proficiency with and (especially) desire to work with Scala

We write most of our code in Scala, so you if you don't like writing Scala (or the idea of writing Scala) you might not be terribly happy here.

Expertise with Spark and Elastic Search

We can put your expertise to pretty good use, trust us.

Familiarity with and (especially) desire to learn and apply machine learning

As we expand to more and more scientific disciplines (and to harder and harder engineering problems), machine learning will keep becoming more and more crucial to everything we do. If that's your thing, that's a good thing.

Do some or all of these sound like you? Contact us!

About AI2

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is a non-profit research institute in Seattle founded by Paul Allen and headed by Professor Oren Etzioni. The core mission of AI2 is to contribute to humanity through high-impact research in artificial intelligence.

Why AI2

In addition to AI2’s core mission, we also aim to contribute to humanity through how we treat each member of the AI2 Team! Some highlights are:

  • We are a learning organization – because everything AI2 does is ground-breaking, we are learning every day. Similarly, through weekly AI2 Academy lectures, a wide variety of world-class AI experts as guest speakers, and our commitment to your personal on-going education, AI2 is place where you will have opportunities to continue learning right alongside us;
  • We value diversity of thought – we seek Software Engineers who can bring novel experiences and modes of problem solving to our leading-edge mission. If you are creative and efficient in your approach and insightful in your questioning, AI2 could be a great environment for you;
  • We emphasize a healthy work/life balance – we believe our team members are happiest and most productive when their work/life balance is optimized. While we value powerful research results which drive our mission forward, we also value dinner with family, weekend time, and vacation time. We offer generous paid vacation and sick leave as well as family leave;
  • We are collaborative and transparent – we consider ourselves a team, all moving with a common purpose. We are quick to cheer our successes, and even quicker to share and jointly problem solve our failures;
  • We are in Seattle – and our office is on the water! We have mountains, we have lakes, we have four seasons, we bike to work, we have a vibrant theater scene, and we have so much else. We even have kayaks for you to paddle right outside our front door;
  • We welcome interest from applicants from outside of the United States;
  • We are friendly – chances are you will like every one of the 70+ (and growing!) people who work here. We do!
AI2 is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.
If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at or you may call us at 206-548-5600.


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