My first major coding project back in 2000/2001 was with Manchester University where I assisted in building an engine that translated Classical Arabic to English. With the Afroasiatic languages (namely Old Hijazi) a unique set of challenges present themselves. Keyword, prefix and suffix give a loose translation (known as gisting), but context is required to determine accurate meaning. Our project developed an early form of Natural Language Understanding, based on an extensive lexicon, context rule sets and disambiguation filtering.
After university I spent time building and running web servers. I created websites the old fashioned way with hard coded Html 5, flash and php (if you can remember that far back).
I began coding an early Content Management System back in 2001 which utilised PHP integration with an Oricle database and used that to dynamically generate content. I was expanding on the technology behind the PHP driven bulliten boards I grew up with.
When WordPress appeared in 2003 it generated a huge userbase and was open source, so instead of trying to compete I began utilising the technology and contributing to the system build. This allowed me to move away from laborious hand coded web development and allowed me to focus more on emerging technologies. React, ruby and bootstrap became big names in the online world as website UI and visual expectations became more relevant.
Around 2007 I expanded into hardware, repair and IT solutions. I offered a remote IT help desk and I set up the office systems for the Manchester based businesses LynwoodTranstec and Tundra Sleeping Bags. They both remain clients to this day. Most recently I ran a large social media campaign for Tundra utilising Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; expanding their presence dramatically and turning that presence into positive sales leads.
Android mobile was released in 2008 and I spent a large portion of time dissecting and learning how the software interacted with the hardware. We had accelerometers, GPS capabilities and sensors in rudimentary form presenting interesting use cases.
Unity then developed apk functionality and by 2010 I was developing android GPS tracking technology and exploring how it could be utilised within a wider context. Google were offering API integration to a multitude of their services which lead to me working with voice to text translation and utilising it for application accessibility.
Once I had access to phone camera technology in 2011 along with Vuforia I moved into the Augmented Reality space. I built proof of concept applications over the years as the technology developed, examples being ar portals, ar remote control airplane, ar museum, ar solar system, ar object / image replacement technologies and interactions within those Augmented environments.
Android ARCore then gave us surface mapping in 2018 which enabled me to build applications that placed items on surfaces within Augmented Reality environments.
Combining that with high detail GPS triangulation and online server visibity allowed for AR area memory. I built an early version of a multi user GPS specific AR app which allowed multiple users to experience the same reality in real time.
I left the Augmented Reality world to focus on Cyber Security and Digital Currency in early 2019 developing a mobile phone application that enabled users to earn bitcoin through playing a quiz game. That lead me to working personally with John McAfee (highly influential in Cyber Security and the creator of McAfee Virus Scanner).
I was flown to the Bahamas to present the project to John and we launched “John McAfee’s Bitcoin Play” for android in April 2019. Within a week we were the number 3 app on Google Play. I was interviewed by BlockTv and gave several interviews to online media outlets about the experience.
Around the same time I became employed by Sky TV UK to engineer automation within their conversational messaging platform. My position being to map the current customer journey from website, to agent, to conclusion. I then located automation opportunities within the flow and built the relevant solutions.
We launched our first conversational bot removing 33% of advisor interaction in June 2019. The automation was then optimised and rolled out on to every inbound sales journey.
On top of bot automation I spotted a bottle neck in the process within reporting and analysis due to the current suppliers technology limitations. I then developed a program called Ciara to circumvent that limitation. The result was that Ciara could take a manual reporting / analysis process that would consume hours of FTE or in some highly manual cases days, and complete it in seconds.
Ciara is in it’s early stages but is currently demonstrating great results. Beta testing in the Customer Experience team is showing savings of 1 hour 45 minutes per day per user, Digital Ops Delivery are reporting savings of 3 hours per day per user and within the bot reporting space we have a saving of 3.5 hours per day for a single user.
I am currently adapting Ciara into the mainstream Sky Reporting team which would expand the userbase extensively.