Category Archives: Technology

What I’ve been up to

The project that I’ve been working on since the beginning of 2015 just made its public debut.

ozlo-cityscape

We’re calling Ozlo a Personal AI — a software agent that has learned a lot (for the moment we’re focusing on food and restaurants) by “reading” the web. You can interact with Ozlo initially through a chat interface that we’ve exposed in an iPhone App. By conversing with Ozlo, he learns more about you and your preferences, enabling him to provide answers to your questions that get better the more you talk with him.

I’m excited about Ozlo for a number reasons. The technology underpinning the product is, frankly, vast, impressive, and ambitious. But more importantly, I’m really enthusiastic about the new kinds of interactions that systems like Ozlo portend: ubiquitous access to bite-sized bits of information tailored to me, available when and where I need it, through a variety of different channels: mobile phone, in-car systems, Smart TV, etc.

For my part, I’ve been working on the Natural Language Generation component, the part of the system that allows Ozlo to construct the things he says to users. Doing this work has rekindled my love of linguistics and grammar, and brought back fond memories of Dick Yasi’s 7th grade English Grammar class. Who knew that sentence diagramming would play such a significant role in my day-to-day life nearly 40 years later?

If you’re interested in taking Ozlo for a spin, you should know that we’re letting people in gradually to ensure that everyone has a good experience. You can sign up here. Contact me directly if you’d like a VIP code to accelerate your access.