Dr. Ahmed Ali

Ahmed Ali
Principal Software Engineer
Arabic Language Technologies
+(974) 4454 1440

Connect with me

I am very excited to be a part of QCRI and have the chance to build unique Arabic technology for speech recognition and for education as a whole.

Research Focus at QCRI

Ahmed Ali's research interests are in the area of speech recognition and natural language processing with special attention to dialectal Arabic speech and text processing.

Dr. Ali conducts applied research leading to innovative and practical solutions for impacting people’s daily life.

His current research on speech recognition has led to the development of the state-of-the-art multi-dialectal Arabic speech recognition system, QCRI Advanced Transcription System (QATS). QATS is used by Al Jazeera Arabic to transcribe its online content automatically. The BBC is also using QATS in its media-monitoring platform.

QATS has won first place in the worldwide MGB-2 speech recognition competition. The technology also won the prestigious Qatar Foundation Best Innovation Award in 2018.

Previous Experience

Current: Principal Software Engineer at QCRI, Qatar

2011 – 2016 Senior Software Engineer at QCRI, Qatar

2008 - 2011 Speech Recognition Engineer at Nuance Cambridge, UK

2006 - 2008 Speech Recognition Engineer at SpinVox Maidenhead, UK

1999 - 2006 Software Engineer at IBM, Egypt

Professional Experience


Professional Associations and Awards



Ph.D., Computer Science, The University of Edinburgh, 2014-2018

BS, Electrical Engineering, Cairo University, 1994-1999

Selected Research

 A. Ali, S. Renals, “Word Error Rate Estimation: e-wer", ACL 2018

S. Shon, A. Ali, and J. Glass, “Convolutional Neural Networks and Language Embeddings for End-to-End Dialect Recognition”, Odyssey 2018

A. Ali, S. Vogel, S. Renals, “Speech recognition challenge in the wild: Arabic MGB-3”, ASRU 2017

S. Khurana, M. Najafian, A. Ali, T. Hanai, Y. Belinkov, J. Glass, ”QMDIS: QCRI-MIT Advanced Dialect Identification System”, InterSpeech2017

A. Ali, P. Nakov, P. Bell, S. Renals, “WERd: Using Social Text Spelling Variants for Evaluating Dialectal Speech Recognition”, ASRU 2017

A. Ali, N. Dehak, P. Cardinal, S. Khurana, S. Yella, J. Glass, P. Bell, S. Renals, "Automatic Dialect Detection in Arabic Broadcast Speech", InterSpeech2016

A. Ali, P. Bell, J. Glass, Y. Messaoui, H. Mubarak, S. Renals, Y. Zhang, "The MGB-2 Challenge: Arabic Multi-Dialect Broadcast Media Recognition“, SLT 2016

S. Khurana, A. Ali, "QCRI Advanced Transcription System (QATS) for the Arabic Multi-Dialect Broadcast Media Recognition: MGB-2 Challenge", SLT 2016

S. Wray, A. Ali, "Crowdsource a little to label a lot: Labeling a Speech Corpus of Dialectal Arabic."InterSpeech2015

A. Ali, W. Magdy, P. Bell, S. Renals, "Multi-reference WER for evaluating ASR for languages with no orthographic Rules", ASRU 2015

A. Ali, et al. "A complete KALDI recipe for building Arabic speech recognition systems“, SLT 2014

Connect with me

Follow Us

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS Feed
  • Linkedin
  • github-web.png
Back to Top

In the Media

Forbes fake news pic.jpg

Can AI Put An End To Fake News? Don't Be So Sure


Fake news was the Collin’s word of the year for 2017 with good reason. In a year where politics-as-usual was torn apart at the seams, high-profile scandals rocked our faith in humanity and the ...

Read More


MIT/QCRI system uses machine learning to build road maps


Map apps may have changed our world, but they still haven’t mapped all of it yet. Specifically, mapping roads can be difficult and tedious: even after taking aerial images, companies still have to ...

Read More

Economist story pic.JPG

Improving disaster response efforts through data


Extreme weather events put the most vulnerable communities at high risk. How can data analytics strengthen early warning systems and and support relief efforts for communities in need? The size and ...

Read More

Upcoming Events

Past Events


Eman interns pic 2017.jpg

QCRI Summer Internship Program

Download ICS File 06/05/2018  - 05/07/2018 , Hamad Bin Khalifa Research Complex

Each year, Qatar Computing Research Institute organizes a summer internship program for undergraduate students studying computer science, computer engineering and other disciplines. The internship is unpaid, and QCRI does not provide any visa support.

Read More


Public Talk by Prof. Regina Barzilay "Artificial Intelligence for Oncology: Learning to Cure Cancer from Images and Text"

Download ICS File 27/03/2018 ,

Artificial Intelligence for Oncology: Learning to Cure Cancer from Images and Text A talk by Professor Regina Barzilay, MIT CSAIL Winner of 2017 MacArthur ‘genius grant’ At Education City Student ...

Read More


QCRI & MIT-CSAIL Annual Project Review 2018

Download ICS File 27/03/2018 ,

Executive Overview Sessions Open to public Date:    Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Time:    9:00AM – 3:00PM Venue:  HBKU Research Complex Multipurpose Room To view full agenda, please click here . To RSVP, ...

Read More

News Releases

UNDP workshop.JPG

UNDP partners with QCRI to use AI for social good


Qatar forum on leveraging AI to solve humanitarian problems fills to capacity.

Read More

C. Mohan pic.jpg

Renowned computing expert C. Mohan to bust blockchain myths in Qatar talk


Well-known inventor of database recovery algorithms to deliver keynote at QCRI's first blockchain workshop.

Read More

Darb Al Saai QCRI 2017.JPG

QCRI to offer kids’ computing activities at this year’s Darb Al Saai


Tech fun and robotics computing activities will be available to children attending the annual family celebration from December 12 to 20.

Read More