(Senior) Machine Learning Engineer, Ads

  • Tokyo
  • No Remote
  • Full-time
  • June 12, 2024
Apply from Anywhere 👍
Relocation to Japan 👍
(Overseas visa sponsorship supported)
Language Requirements
Japanese: Not Required 👍
English: Business Level
Minimum Experience
Senior or above

About SmartNews

SmartNews is a global leader in redefining information and news discovery, committed to providing users with accurate, timely information and supporting quality journalism. We combine the power of our unique machine-learning technology with the expertise of our first-rate editorial team to bring news that matters to millions of users from our over 3,000 global publishing partners.

Founded in 2012 in Tokyo, Japan, SmartNews has offices in Tokyo, San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York, and Singapore.


The Team

Ads are the lifeblood of our company, and our state-of-the-art Ads Ranking system enables us to create the most relevant, profitable, and sustainable ad products. The team is responsible for developing Deep Neural Network (DNN) based machine learning architecture and scaling our core-ranking system. This involves solving a range of online prediction, recommendation, and optimization problems using engineering and mathematical thinking to maximize ad revenue and performance. We are seeking talented engineers to build the next-generation ads delivery system to support our fast and aggressive company growth.


Your Responsibilities

  • Develop Ads Ranking core systems and algorithms to generate relevant ads that drive the growth of a profitable ads ecosystem (e.g., ads targeting, ranking, auction, strategy, model serving reliability, etc.).
  • Build highly scalable machine learning/deep learning systems and models to improve ads ranking quality. Relevant model types include, but are not limited to, user click-through rate (CTR), user conversion rate (CVR), prediction models, and user targeting models.
  • Collaborate closely with cross-functional teams, such as product managers and product specialists, to enhance the efficiency of ads auction and bidding strategies by releasing new algorithms.
  • Work closely with backend engineers to develop a scalable ads ranking and delivery system.



Minimum requirements

  • BS degree or higher in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Science (Physics or Mathematics), or other relevant majors.
  • 3+ years of experience in prediction, optimization, or other relevant systems for online web services (e.g., online advertisement, content recommendation, etc.).
  • Proven experience in driving business impact through machine learning, deep learning, or mathematical optimization (e.g., achieving increased revenue or user volume).
  • Familiarity with the architecture and implementation mechanisms of at least one mainstream machine learning programming framework (TensorFlow, PyTorch, MXNet, etc.).
  • Proficiency in business-level English.


Nice to have experiences/skills

  • M.S. or Ph.D. in a relevant major.
  • Experience with AWS, Spring Boot, MySQL, Hive, Hadoop, Spark, Docker, and Kubernetes.
  • Proven experience in cross-functional core projects.
  • Experience in developing high-traffic web services, particularly in backend engineering for ad-delivery servers.
  • Experience in the ads industry.
  • Basic understanding of statistics and various mathematics at a liberal arts level, with knowledge in game theory and auction theory.
  • Proficiency in business-level Japanese.



Benefits available at the SmartNews Tokyo Office

  • Lunch and snacks prepared daily in our on-site kitchen facility
  • In-office coffee stand offering single-origin coffees, espresso-based beverages, teas, and other seasonal drinks
  • SmartSelect, our support program for employee self-development, well-being, and productivity
  • All healthcare and social insurance required by the Japanese labor law

Visa Sponsorship and Relocation Support

  • Work visa sponsorship is available for candidates who meet eligibility requirements
  • To support a smooth transition for candidates who are moving to Japan from overseas, SmartNews partners with a travel service provider

Recently crowned Japan's latest tech unicorn, this company runs a wildly successful news service that’s powered by machine learning. It's an engineering-focused company (One of co-founders is an engineer) and they have offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Shanghai, Beijing that are apparently doing quite well too.

The mission of SmartNews is to discover and deliver quality stories to the world. Since its inception in 2012, the SmartNews app has been downloaded over 50 million downloads and maintained a monthly active user count of over 20 million.

In addition to being one of the most popular smartphone apps in Japan, SmartNews has worked hard on building their business in the US. They now have partnerships with over 300 major news publications in the US like CBS, Entertainment Weekly, Business Insider, National Geographic and more. They’ve had a great deal of success due to their ML-based sorting and recommendation systems.

SmartNews has a highly diverse development team with many world-class engineers and others working from their offices in Japan,China and the US. They maintain a very strict hiring bar for technical hires and an engineering-driven culture that makes them one of the strongest tech companies in Japan when it comes to technical skill level.

SmartNews is looking to hire the best people regardless of background, so they’re willing to hire people that don’t speak Japanese and (under normal circumstances) bring them to Japan from overseas if necessary. Everyone works together as one team regardless of location, and SmartNews provides everything their employees need to do their best work and maintains a Silicon Valley-inspired culture for engineers in Tokyo.

SmartNews's policies during COVID-19 are as follows:

  • All interviews are being conducted remotely
  • Employees are working remotely following the government’s instructions
  • They've given everyone some monetary incentive to support working from home
View SmartNews's company page

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(Senior) Machine Learning Engineer, Ads at SmartNews