Employee Spotlight: Meet Yunsu Kim, Research Scientist

by Drew Evans
4 Minute Read

Last year, we started a series highlighting the amazing Lilt employees (or Liltonians, as we like to call ourselves). We’re excited to continue that series this week with some of our recent hires helping to pave the way for a multilingual global future. Get to know more about the faces behind the work, their backgrounds, what makes them tick, and what makes Lilt the place for them.

Employee Spotlight v2 (1)

Meet Yunsu Kim, a Research Scientist at Lilt helping to further the team’s and the industry’s understanding of machine translation. With a background in computer science and a Ph.D. with a focus on machine translation, Yunsu is an experienced researcher building the foundation here at Lilt. 


What’s life at Lilt like?

Enjoyable. Every weekday morning, I look forward to starting work. I’m involved in multiple exciting research projects all the time, and I know that my fantastic colleagues will join me in making the day happy and productive. Of course, there are challenges and obstacles along the way, but they are most of the time related to my growth and the company’s growth; it’s rather enjoyable than stressful.


Where is your happy place outside of the office?

I like to go out for walks and exercise. Since my work is full of intellectual tasks, I find it important to shut down my brain and get away from the screen outside of work. A simple, physical activity is the potion that clears my head and recharges me for non-work life, and prepares me for tomorrow's work.


What’s something people don’t know about you?

I used to produce music before an engineering career! To make a good song, every single second must be carefully arranged and recorded, even though the listeners might not notice the subtlety. I believe that a technical service is another form of art whose devil is in the details. Everyday, I'm impressed that the engineers at Lilt are all very focused on those details, doing the small things like being proactive in hunting undiscovered bugs in the code and generally being enthusiastic about all the small factors from the user's perspective.


What languages do you speak?

I speak Korean at home, English at work, and German in other daily lives. I have also studied Chinese and Japanese at school, but I've since forgotten most of it and can only read the languages partially.

20210209_105043 - Yunsu Kim


Day in the life of your role?

As a Research Scientist at Lilt, I devise and apply mathematical methods and engineering tricks to improve our machine translation and suggestion system. Usually, my days start with a strong cup of coffee, fill the morning with programming and testing research ideas, rock the afternoon with a lot of lively discussions and system maintenance, and end the day with reading research papers.


Why did you start working in your role?

I always had a personal computer, starting in the early 90s, which was not usual at that time. I fell in love with programming, so I majored in computer science. I like writing, which led me to write academic papers as a researcher. It’s not surprising that languages excite a writer more than any other topic in artificial intelligence. That’s why I studied machine translation in my Ph.D. Now I help professional translators, including my father, do their job more effectively and efficiently.


Why Lilt?

Lilt is one of the few companies where you can actually see the latest research in language processing directly applied to a profit-making service. The company is basically a dedicated service provider but originated from a research lab, who tightly connects research and customer satisfaction under a solid and humane mission of information availability. As a researcher, I was attracted to this opportunity to have a real impact on the business, not just showing off technical advances.


Describe Lilt in 3 words.

Caring. The employees care for each other to supplement missing elements and share successes. This principle also applies to how we deal with clients; for example, the research team always prioritizes solutions that make translators and clients delighted.

Pioneering. The company was born from cutting-edge research, and we keep trying hard to innovate every aspect of localization: translator’s efficiency, translation quality, content management pipeline, etc.

Growing. It’s an undeniable fact that the company is on the fast track! We have new clients and new hires almost every week. The next is you!

Want to join our growing team and help build the future of global experience? We’d love to talk to you if so. Check out our careers page to find the right role for you and learn more about how you can get involved.