Our first nutshell of the year features Angus Addlesee of Wallscope. He is working in an interesting area, and combines innovative thinking with finding method of applying technology to help others.
I have worked for Wallscope for over 2 years now and they are now sponsoring my PhD.
Focus of either your business or the business you work for
Wallscope is a tech company based in CodeBase Edinburgh that aims to help companies manage and use their ever increasing amounts of data. We extract, join and enhance your data and then build custom applications upon it to let you find insights that would not otherwise be obvious.
What do you do?
I am Wallscope’s Machine Learning Engineer and Researcher. I tend to work on the machine learning elements in our products that extract and integrate relevant information together. I’ve recently started my PhD, sponsored by Wallscope and The Data Lab, which I talked about on CC not long ago. Essentially, I am trying to make conversational agents more natural to help people with cognitive impairments, like Dementia, live in their own homes longer and more independently. I am a big advocate of knowledge sharing (so often write to do this), love problem solving and plan to spend my years creating solutions to improve people’s lives. At Wallscope I get the opportunity to explore interesting and socially responsible problems and am able to release my work open-source which fits me perfectly.
What do you do? What was your very first job?
My first job was strangely a landscape gardener when I was 14. My first IT related job however was for a company called Tipico. I worked on prediction algorithms as I was studying a BSc in Maths at the time.
How did you get into IT?
My first IT project was with a friend at school in about 2008. Our school banned YouTube on the computers so we couldn’t listen to music while writing essays. My friend and I decided that we would build a website which music could be uploaded to so that we could listen to it in school as it wouldn’t be blocked. This took us a long time as we wrote it all in Notepad but it worked and many people used it! We were unfortunately informed about copyright laws and had to take it down...
Interesting fact about You?
I couldn’t do it again now but I once ran the full Edinburgh marathon.
It has to be Malta so far. I lived there for a few months and loved every minute! You can have the most stressful, tough day at work but then you step outside and it all melts away.
I’ve always liked older cars so I’ll go for a classic Corvette Stingray.
Who would you most like to meet and why?
I think it would have to be my favourite author - Jon Ronson. He has met so many strange and interesting people doing strange and interesting things that I couldn’t not enjoy sitting down with him for a drink.
Current Aspirations for the business or your career
In the next few years I should finish my PhD and disseminate what I learn through Wallscope to help improve and create new products. Personally, I hope to continue working on solutions to the many problems in our world.
Any Advice for Others?
While studying I recommend applying for relevant internships. They help you decide whether you want to take a certain path but you also learn a lot and use what you have been studying which is very motivational. Also, go to networking events and try to get experience speaking to audiences. Public speaking and networking are two skills that will help you throughout your life.
Angus has written various other articles for Company Connecting in our graduate series, and last year he wrote an article on Conversational AI - looking at how to make conversational agents such as Siri, Alexa, Cortona etc more natural to talk with.