Hi, I’m James

a stylised cartoon image of James wearing a business suit

I am a hands-on CTO, senior software engineer and data scientist with over a decade of experience of building software and high performance engineering teams with an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning focus.

About Me

I am a hands-on CTO specialising in Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. I am actively interested in all things MLOps (deploying models quickly and efficiently with techniques like distillation), Explainability and Text Mining. You can see some of the things I’ve been working on in the projects section below. I work in the open via my wiki/digital garden where possible and I blog regularly.

I’ve been in the software industry professionally for 10 years. I started my career at IBM, originally in transaction processing and enterprise application servers. In 2015, I moved to IBM Watson Ecosystem where I was the main solutions architect serving Europe, Middle East and Africa for around 12 months. I’m now the CTO at Filament and I’m in the process of wrapping up my PhD. My exposure to both academia and practical software engineering has given me a unique perspective onto how cutting edge AI and ML techniques could be commercialised and applied to real problems.

I’m particularly interested in applications of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing that make people’s lives better, not worse. It’s hard predict the future but I’m of the opinion that AI can be an incredibly positive thing if we make the right decisions about how and when to use it.

I’m hugely passionate about open source and “standing on the shoulders of giants” and I think sharing knowledge is the best way to solve many of humanity’s biggest predicaments.

I’m a big advocate of working in the open where possible. I publish to my blog whenever I can, and I keep my half-baked thoughts in my Digital Garden/Wiki.

I’m CTO at Filament AI, a Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence consultancy company with offices in London, Southampton and Toronto.

I oversee Filament’s technology roadmap and R&D activities. I spend about 20% of my time there meeting new people who have interesting and exciting problems to solve with AI. I spend another 20% of my time keeping up with the current state of the art in machine learning. I like to compound my learning by writing and teaching and trying to come up with relatable metaphors for complex processes. The rest of the time, I spend working with my very talented engineering team to build, hack, research and test AI systems.

I’m also just wrapping up a part-time PhD in Natural Language Processing under the supervision of Prof. Maria Liakata and Dr. Amanda Clare. My main academic affiliation is to the University of Warwick. However, I have spent a fair amount of time at the Alan Turing Institute too.

My thesis is about using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to better quantify the societal, economical and political impact that scientific work through automated analysis of news articles. The goal is to help scientists to understand their own impact and help them to increase the visibility of their work.

When I’m not working, studying or building passion projects, I like to eat new things, swim, cycle, read fiction and watch movies. I also play the saxophone and guitar and back before I had two more-or-less full time jobs, I was very much in to lindyhop - a 1920s style swing dance.


My blog can be found over at Brainsteam.co.uk. I also publish notes, likes, bookmarks and other types of content there via IndieWeb integrations.