Dr. Agha Ali Raza is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at LUMS, and also the founding director of the Center for Speech and Language Technologies. He is a Fulbright Scholar. He received his Ph.D. from the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. His research interests include Speech & Natural Language Processing, Speech-based Human-Computer Interfaces, and Information & Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D).
His research aims to enable information access and social connectivity for under-connected and under-served populations (low-literate, low-income, tech naïve, visually impaired, linguistically/socially marginalized, and geographically remote communities, and oral cultures) throughout the developing world. His work focuses on the development of speech-based information services and social networks accessible over simple and feature phones to be used as vehicles for large-scale dissemination of development-related information, pulling information in the form of real-time surveys and for performing randomized controlled trials and demographic studies. These services also provide target marginalized populations with a voice and a digital social identity.
His work in Speech and Language technologies is focused on the localization of linguistic resources and techniques to the Pakistani context for the development of Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech, Voice-biometrics, Spoken Term Detection, and relevant capabilities. He teaches Natural Language Processing, Speech Processing, and Machine Learning at the graduate and undergraduate levels. His research has been funded by prestigious organizations including Facebook, Google, UNICEF, GIZ, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Keck Futures Initiative, and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.