Margaret Li

Gates Center, Box 352355 · 3800 E Stevens Way NE · Seattle, WA 98195

Hi! I'm a PhD student at University of Washington with Luke Zettlemoyer and Tim Althoff. I work on dialogue in mental health, as well as controllability and safety. I'm also a Research Scholar at Grid AI.

Previously, I was a Research Engineer at Facebook AI Research in New York, mostly working on open domain dialogue.


Research Scholar

Grid AI Research

September 2020 - Present

Research Engineer

Facebook AI Research

August 2017 - September 2020

Software Engineer Intern


May 2016 - August 2016

Software Engineer Intern

January 2015 - May 2015

Data Analyst Intern


May 2014 - August 2014


Invited Lecturer

Program for Algorithmic and Combinatorial Thinking

Zero-Knowledge Proofs; Introduction to Reinforcement Learning

July 2017; July 2019

Teaching Assistant, Interim Instructor

Center for Talented Youth

Fundamentals of Computer Science

July 2017

Teaching Assistant


Combinatorics I & II

June 2017

Teaching Assistant

University of Pennsylvania

Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science
(Discrete Maths & Graph Theory)

August 2015 - May 2017

Grader and TA

Art of Problem Solving

Various courses

January 2013 - January 2017


HuaXia Chinese school

Competitive Math: AMC8 & MathCounts

August 2012 - May 2013

Private Tutor

Various students

AP subject tests, SAT prep, ESL, Secondary Math

Intermittently 2009 - 2014


University of Washington

Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Advisors: Luke Zettlemoyer and Tim Althoff
September 2020 - now

University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Applied Sciences
Computer Science
Minor: Mathematics
August 2013 - May 2017

Homeschooled / International Academy of Beijing

August 2009 - May 2013


Recipes for Safety in Open-domain Chatbots.

Jing Xu, Da Ju, Margaret Li, Y-Lan Boureau, Jason Weston, Emily Dinan
arXiv PDF

Under Review

How to Motivate Your Dragon: Teaching Goal-Driven Agents to Speak and Act in Fantasy Worlds.

Prithviraj Ammanabrolu, Jack Urbanek, Margaret Li, Arthur Szlam, Tim Rocktäschel, Jason Weston.
arXiv PDF

AAAI 2021 Games Workshop

I love your chain mail! Making knights smile in a fantasy game world.

Shrimai Prabhumoye*, Margaret Li*, Emily Dinan, Jack Urbanek, Douwe Kiela, Jason Weston, Arthur Szlam.
arXiv PDF

NeurIPS 2020 WORDPLAY Workshop

Don't say that! Making inconsistent dialogue unlikely with unlikelihood training.

Margaret Li, Stephen Roller, Ilia Kulikov, Sean Welleck, Spencer Poff, Emily Dinan, Y-Lan Boureau, Kyunghyun Cho, and Jason Weston.
arXiv PDF

ACL 2020

Conversational Agents: Current Progress, Open Problems, and Future Directions.

Stephen Roller*, Y-Lan Boureau*, Jason Weston*, Antoine Bordes, Emily Dinan, Angela Fan, David Gunning, Da Ju, Margaret Li, Spencer Poff, Pratik Ringshia, Kurt Shuster, Eric Michael Smith, Arthur Szlam, Jack Urbanek, Mary Williamson.
arXiv PDF

arXiv preprint

Acute-eval: Improved dialogue evaluation with optimized questions and multi-turn comparisons.

Margaret Li, Jason Weston, and Stephen Roller.
arXiv PDF

NeurIPS 2019 Conversational AI Workshop

Towards empathetic open-domain conversation models: A new benchmark and dataset.

Hannah Rashkin, Eric M. Smith, Margaret Li, and Y-Lan Boureau.
arXiv PDF

ACL 2019


When I'm not doing research, coding, or teaching, I enjoy making and eating elaborate desserts, visiting every bubble tea shop within 50 miles, singing mostly on-key, following Wikipedia tunnels, and rewatching/rereading the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I very much like the outdoors, but only in 75-85 degree (Fahrenheit) weather. When that condition is met, I go hiking, swimming, walking, running (ok, more like jogging), and basically any other form of physical activity with low requirements on fitness and grace.