A senior machine learning researcher at Casetext/Thomson Reuters, Bredesen Center graduate Shang Gao recently helped with the development of CoCounsel, Casetext’s AI legal assistant based on OpenAI’s GPT-4. This AI technology does something that had never been done before. Open AI’s GPT-4 passed the bar exam and it scored in the top 10 percent.
Gao became interested in data science while working as a technical writer at a software company, after completing his bachelor’s in economics at Duke University.
“I started teaching myself data science via online courses, while I was working as a technical writer,” Gao recounted. In 2016, he was accepted into the Artificial Intelligence graduate program at the University of Georgia. The following year, he became an intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he worked on a project with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to automate information extracted from millions of cancer patient records to track cancer trends and statistics.
“I started working on the NCI project and immediately fell in love with the work,” he said. “When the opportunity came to continue working on this project by joining the Bredesen Center PhD program, I immediately took it.”
Gao completed his PhD in Data Science and Engineering at UT-ORII’s Bredesen Center in 2019. He continued his work at ORNL and working on the project with NCI until he left in 2022 to accept his current position at Casetext.
At Casetext, Gao designs, develops, and deploys solutions for legal and transactional language understanding, generative question answering, and knowledge retrieval.
“The journal publications and hands-on research experience I completed during my PhD (at the Bredesen Center) were critical in preparing me to succeed and thrive within a professional research setting and helped open doors to my job positions at ORNL and Casetext,” Gao said.