Top Natural Language Processing Influencers in 2020

In this article I have compiled a list of people I follow in the field of Natural Language Processing on different Social Media platforms. This is not an authoritative list in any sense and this list is in no way ranked.

Following the experts will help in expanding your understanding and awareness of the incredible advancements NLP & deep learning is bringing to science, industry, and society.

Let me know what you think about the selection of NLP leaders

Sebastian Ruder

Sebastian Ruder is currently a Research Scientist in the Language team at DeepMind, London. He completed his PhD in Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning at the Insight Research Centre for Data Analytics, while working as a research scientist at Dublin-based text analytics startup AYLIEN.

He’s interested in transfer learning for NLP and making ML and NLP more accessible. He is an active researcher in the field of natural language processing, machine learning, and deep learning.

Ilya Sutskever

Ilya Sutskever is a computer scientist working in machine learning and currently serving as the Chief scientist of OpenAI. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at OpenAI. He was a Research Scientist at Google Brain.

He has made several major contributions to the field of deep learning. He is the co-inventor with Alexander Krizhevsky of AlexNet, a convolutional neural network. He invented Sequence to Sequence Learning, together with Oriol Vinyals and Quoc Le. Sutskever is also co-inventor of AlphaGo, and TensorFlow

Christopher Manning

Christopher Manning is a professor of computer science and linguistics at Stanford University, Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Co-director of the Stanford Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Institute.

He has coauthored leading textbooks on statistical natural language processing and information retrieval. He is the founder of the Stanford NLP group (@stanfordnlp) and manages development of the Stanford CoreNLP software.

Matthew Honnibal

Matthew Honnibal is the creator and lead developer of spaCy, one of the most popular libraries for natural language processing. He’s also the founder of Explosion AI.

He has over 20 peer-reviewed publications on various aspects of natural language understanding, including break-through work on parsing conversational speech, a high impact survey of named entity linking, and data that proved crucial to a recent award-winning research.

He’s been publishing research on NLP since 2005, with a focus on syntactic parsing and other structured prediction problems. He left academia to start working on spaCy in 2014.

Dan Jurafsky

Daniel Jurafsky is a Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science at Stanford University and author. His area of interest is study natural language processing and its application to the cognitive and social sciences.

He is the author of The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu (2014) and a textbook on speech and language processing (2000).

Abhishek Thakur

Abhishek is the world’s first Kaggle Triple Grandmaster. His highest Kaggle World Rank is 3. Abhishek’s research interests are in the areas like automated machine learning, hyperparameter optimization etc. Abhishek is also the organizer of the Berlin Machine Learning Meetup.

Abhishek is currently with serving as a Chief Data Scientist where he’s building Conversational AI. In the past, Abhishek has worked in a number of companies as a Data Scientist. He is also advising a Bangalore-based startup named Stylumia.

Rachel Thomas

Rachel Thomas is a computer scientist and founding Director of the Center for Applied Data Ethics at the University of San Francisco. Together with Jeremy Howard, she is co-founder of Thomas was selected by Forbes magazine as one of the 20 most incredible women in artificial intelligence.

Rachel is a popular writer and keynote speaker. In her TEDx talk, she shares what scares her about AI and why we need people from all backgrounds involved with AI.

She teaches a course on Natural Language Processing on

Susan Li

Susan Li is a Sr. Data Scientist at Kognitiv Corporation. She is passionate about helping organizations realize the potential of big data and advanced analytics, and helping individuals enhance skills in data literacy. She frequently writes and speaks about predictive analytics, machine learning and NLP for technical and general audience.