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Ian Ozsvald picture

This is Ian Ozsvald's blog (@IanOzsvald), I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, founder of the Annotate.io social media mining API, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, co-founder of the SocialTies App, author of the A.I.Cookbook, author of The Screencasting Handbook, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and FivePoundApps and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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22 December 2008 - 14:18Robot posts at RoboChick

It is lovely to see that Emily has added new posts on her robotic explorations at robochick.

Topics include a look at CCNR (that’s Sussex Uni’s Centre for Computational Neuroscience) with video, Emily’s talk on building robots as ‘Batteries not included‘ for Brighton Girl Geeks, thoughts on presenting at the £5 App Xmas Special and a look at the second robot she’s built –  Herbie the line-follower.

I believe a post on fighting mini Sumo bots will follow and then maybe some thoughts on the first robot-group pub meet in the New Year?


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: ArtificialIntelligence

17 December 2008 - 23:50Presenting at Sussex Uni Research Day

Last week I was kindly invited to speak at a Research Day for the Infomatics dept at Sussex Uni. by Inman Harvey and Anil Seth.  The plan was to talk about ‘life after my MSc [10 years back]‘ and to figure out if and how we could get more students involved with tech companies in Brighton.

Of the 30 attendees it was lovely to spot 10 old faces including my evolutionary-hardware thesis supervisor Adrian and old-drinking-buddy Andy who is now involved with the MSc programme.

The first part of the morning was spent looking through a set of research proposals from members of the dept. who were presenting short, low-cost projects.  The projects were vying for funding from a limited pot, in part the exercise was to present the wide range of research to everyone in the room.  Projects included:

  • “Using Motion Capture to learn geometric transformations” (using Animazoo‘s motion-capture systems)
  • “Music Interfaces for Mobiles” (involving novel iPhone development…I wish we’d had tech like iPhones back during my MSc)
  • “Further experiments in perceptual crossing”
  • “Optimal Computation meets Compiler Optimisation”
  • “Towards an earlier diagnosis of infants with, or at risk of, cerebral palsy” (most voted for – a clear contender for using the funds to prime the pump for a larger project)
  • “Network formations: from neural development to epidemiology, through ant foraging”
  • “Prototype interface for pilot studies of visual attention research around ‘design for attention'”

Three of the talks received full funding, two part funding and one required further work.  The range of the topics was wide, I was particularly interested to see iPhones making an entry and the visual tracking system applied to cerebral palsy detection was darned cool.

Later I got to speak on my past and the local industry.  I explained how I’d worked in MASA, started Mor Consulting and co-founded ShowMeDo and FivePoundApp and was heavily involved with the local tech scene.  Outlining the range of high-tech companies was fun (from NCsoft through FuturePlatforms and Madgex and out to Ambiental).

During discussion there and later in the pub it is clear that there is interest in encouraging links between the dept. and local high-tech companies.  A possible way forward might be to encourage companies to propose MSc and 3rd year projects (talk to me if you’re curious).

I’ll also be posting research news about the dept. here (getting news out) and posting some of our events into the Alergic mail list (sending news in).  It was great seeing some ex-MScs at the last FivePoundApp, hopefully we’ll see more students out at our events in 2009.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

No Comments | Tags: Academic Stuff, Entrepreneur, projectbrightonblogs, ShowMeDo, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

11 December 2008 - 14:24£5 App Xmas Special Write-Up

We had a lovely night!  50 or so enlightened souls joined us at The Werks in Hove for Aleks and Barry‘s talk on the development and launch of SpaceShip! followed by 4 excellent gamesy-themed 10 minute demos.

As Richard says:

“I mean, how does this sound: I turn up at The Werks, icy cold, to be handed a lovely hot mulled wine by the Ribots, directed towards the mince pies, and then entertained with a range of funky technology stuff. Mmm.”

See additional write-ups by Ribot, Mark – thanks chaps.  Short write-up by Emily at robochick.  Longer write-up by Richard at lastminute labs.

For the first hour (video, slides) Aleks talked about the inspiration and development of SpaceShip!, a text-only adventure set in the mold of Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy and other Infocom adventure games.  Barry then picked up with a look at the Inform programming language behind the game.

We then had 4 great demos (sadly our 5th, Dom with the iPhone game, couldn’t attend due to illness):

  1. Eye-controlled Pong by Ben Rubinstein (CogApp) (video – thanks Ribot)
  2. Fighting Mini-sumo robots by Emily (video)
  3. Lightsaber mobile phone duelling by Richard and Russ (Lastminute.com Labs) (video)
  4. Flash 3D Snow and Xmas games by Seb (PluginMedia) (video)

Ben led the way with a fun look at eye-controlled Pong.  Emily followed with line-following and fighting mini-sumo bots.  Russ and Richard did a great two-part demo showing Nokia N95’s with Python controlling 2-player (across 2 phones) Pong and lightsaber-fighting using accelerometers and bluetooth.

Seb finished with some super-neato demos of particle physics, webcams and augmented reality (see a demo here).

The wonderful Ribots sponsored the night, they provided piping-hot mulled wine, mince pies and beer.  John brought some extra beer (which, um, we finished about midnight) and ginger cake, everyone got a taste.  We also had some announces about The Werks and Ribot’s new office (see video – thanks Ribot).

I was very happy to see some ex-MSc students and Inman Harvey (Sussex Uni’s MSc supervisor for the EasyMSc) – I’m keen to forge more links with my old Uni to get more students involved with local companies and perhaps start some collaborative projects in motion.

John finished by announcing the 5k Competition (rules: still evolving – talk to John or post in the google group), pencilled in for some time next year.  Contact John for more details.

For past events see fivepoundapp.com.  Join our low-volume google group to discuss what you saw, put up new ideas and follow new announces.  See all photos under the £5 App tag at flickr.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

2 Comments | Tags: Entrepreneur, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet

1 December 2008 - 19:00£5 App Xmas Special Listing Details

We’re plotting our 14th £5 App meet.  This, our second Christmas Special, will have a gamesy happy crimbo feel.  Picture (from a few months back) kudos to Josh:

£5 App evening in full swing

Date: Wednesday 10th December, sign-up on Upcoming please.  Location The Werks (Hove nr Palmeira Sq) – note their piggy bank for a second projector at the end of this post please.

Our very own Aleks Krotoski will lead the evening with the launch of the Guardian’s new on-line text adventure SpaceShip!

Following Aleks’ main talk we’ll have a set of shorter 10 minute demos:

  1. Lightsaber mobile phone duelling by Marko (Lastminute.com Labs)
  2. Fighting Mini-sumo robots by Emily
  3. In-development 3D iPhone game + backstory by Dominic Mason
  4. Flash 3D Snow and Xmas games by Seb (PluginMedia)
  5. Eye-controlled Pong by Ben Rubinstein (CogApp)

You’ll meet lots of local developers, freelancers and business founders including people of Farm Brighton, Girl Geeks, Sussex Innovation Centre, Inuda and The Skiff, The Werks, EuroGamer, BrandWatch, ClearLeft and Madgex.

The Ribots are sponsoring us with Festive Alcohol and (fingers crossed) Xmas Cakery.

Related – Seb’s Big Screen Bonanza Flash night is the day before ours, check it out for 200+ seatage Flash-demo crazyness.

Note – The Werks are looking for donations towards a second projector, do the right thing and support ‘em here:

Click here to lend your support to: The Werks and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

1 Comment | Tags: Business Idea, Entrepreneur, Programming, projectbrightonblogs, sussexdigital, £5 App Meet