Working in an AI start-up can sometimes be an uphill challenge, but hopefully less so for someone who has climbed Mount Fuji…
Can you describe your day-to-day role for us?
“I’m a Data Analyst in the Machine Learning team. My role comprises a variety of different functions. I look after the prototyping of new product features, to ensure they are implemented properly and work as expected. I’m also in charge of QA, which is not Questions and Answers as I originally thought (LOL!), but Quality Assurance – looking at the profile of a typical user and ensuring the product responds in the way the user expects it to. It’s also my job to support the customers who are using our Automated Machine Learning and guide them through the early stages of using the product. Finally, I also help in pre-sales, to explain the product to prospects. Throughout, I liaise with the developers to highlight areas for attention and help them to understand where any issues might be. I am continually learning, which is an aspect I love about my job.”
What would you say are the main challenges of your role?
“I would say it’s presenting the product to prospects. I’m not a salesperson so I don’t have the sales talk necessarily, but I still have to convince them. This is a big responsibility for me and can be quite challenging. It’s an area I want to work on.”
What did you do before working at PredicSis?
“I studied Pure Maths for 4 years, then prepared and passed the very competitive entrance examination to enter the teaching profession at a high level. From there I taught in secondary schools for a few years, an experience that taught me how to help people understand complex ideas, a skill I use a lot in my work today. After a further year of study, focused on mathematic modelling, I secured a role in Orange. I was motivated to get deeper into the research side of things so while at Orange I did a PhD in Machine Learning, specifically Natural Language Processing for text. When I subsequently became aware of PredicSis doing Automated Learning and Predictive Analytics, I felt I had to apply, and I’m happy to say I’ve never looked back.”
What do you do in your free time (presuming you have some!)?
“I have two daughters, 3 and 10, who take up a lot of my time. It’s always difficult to find time to do sport so I bought myself an electric bike that I use to come to work on, to ensure I get to do some exercise every day (it only helps on the uphill bits!).”
Is there anything that the company doesn’t know about you?
“They may not know that when I was living in Tokyo, I and my family decided to climb Mount Fuji. It’s a common pilgrimage for the Japanese, who are expected to climb it once during their lives. So we donned our tennis shoes and started walking! We very quickly saw that the locals were taking it far more seriously – they had all the right gear, and some even wore oxygen tanks! We simply climbed slowly and efficiently and we made it to the top, in around 4 hours. We were very proud of ourselves. We hadn’t thought about getting back down and it turned out to be a lot tougher than the ascent, due to the small rocks and stones and the fact our legs were extremely tired. When the bus dropped us off later we could hardly walk the 100 metres to our accommodation! So I don’t just tell people that I climbed Mount Fuji – I tell them I also climbed back down!”