Senior data scientist

We need an experienced data scientist who is skilled in the application of machine learning methods to natural language problems. Knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori or other Polynesian languages is preferred.

We are looking for someone with experience relevant to the development of:

  • speech recognition for te reo Māori using Mozilla Deep Speech
  • speech synthesis for te reo Māori
  • models of natural language understanding
  • speech recognition in multilingual contexts.

The work is part of the Papa Reo project, which aims to use machine learning methods to develop digital tools for te reo Māori, and to support indigenous communities globally in revitalising their languages. The work will require development of machine learning models and their integration into operational systems. The current focus is on automatic speech recognition (using Mozilla Deep Speech) and on voice synthesis. It is anticipated that the scope will widen to include models of natural language understanding (e.g., to respond to queries in te reo Māori), and multilingual contexts (e.g., a mix of te reo Māori and New Zealand English).

Papa Reo is led by Te Hiku Media, in collaboration with Dragonfly Data Science, the Mozilla machine learning team, and university researchers. The seven-year programme is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s Strategic Science Investment Fund, which aims to increase New Zealand’s data science capability.

This is a unique opportunity to join a multi-organisational team that is led by Māori, is answerable to the community, and that includes software developers, PhD students, linguists, and academic researchers. This role will include collaboration and mentoring of junior researchers, and publication in primary literature. There is also the opportunity to become involved with Dragonfly’s broader work in the area of natural language processing.

This role is offered as a permanent position, with salary depending on experience. The role is based in New Zealand. Dragonfly has an office in Wellington, and staff in Auckland who are working on Papa Reo. There is the potential to work from home, anywhere in New Zealand.

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter and a curriculum vitae to Edward Abraham ( International applicants are asked to check their visa eligibility on the Immigration New Zealand website. Because of COVID-19, there is currently limited immigration to New Zealand, however highly-qualified applicants may be eligible to enter New Zealand under the "other critical worker" category.

Applications close at 12pm, Monday August 17, 2020.

About Dragonfly Data Science

Dragonfly Data Science is a small company engaged in a wide range of data science projects across different sectors. Our work involves different aspects of data science, from the collection of data, data preparation and validation, statistical analysis, through to communicating results to a wide range of audiences.

As a company, we aim to be at the cutting edge of data science practice, and this focus is evident in our increasingly diverse portfolio of projects. We are committed to following principles of reproducible research, applying complex data analysis methods, such as Bayesian modelling and neural network approaches. Our commitment includes the production of high-quality outputs in the form of scientific reports and publications, presentations and interactive data visualisations.

We are an inclusive and friendly company, focused on collaboration and innovation. We strive to provide a positive and supportive work environment.