Author Archives: Ian Ozsvald

All efforts to our new StrongSteam AI/Data mining service

Clearly there have been no new posts here for quite a while – I’ve switched my focus on to another AI project which includes financial backing. As of late 2011 I started work on StrongSteam with my co-founder of ShowMeDo (Kyran Dale). We’re building a web based API that makes it easy to find things […]

Review for Python Text Processing with NLTK 2.0 Cookbook (Packt, 2010)

On my personal site I have a full review for Packt’s new Python Text Processing with NLTK 2.0 Cookbook (Packt, 2010). NLTK is the excellent Natural Language Toolkit. The book is a cookbook with a huge set of recipes for NLTK. It makes for a great companion for the original O’Reilly NLTK book. Rather than […]

Installing openCV at WebFaction with Python2.5

Just to follow up on my earlier post about building openCV on a Mac (Leopard), here are some notes for installing openCV 2.1 at WebFaction to default to using Python 2.5 (rather than 2.7). The wiki guide to use cmake didn’t quite work, I went ahead with ccmake (the command-line GUI equivalent): ccmake -D CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RELEASE […]

Automatic plaque transcription (py+tesseract) average error down to 33.4

A month back I posted about my progress with the automatic English Heritage plaque transcription project using Optical Character Recognition (using tesseract) and Python for OpenPlaques. The post mentions a monthly cash prize for progress towards a solution… A few days back Jonathan Street announced his entry in the challenge’s thread – he’d beaten my […]

Automatic Plaque Transcription using Python (work in progress)

I’m working with the OpenPlaques folk to create a system that automatically ‘reads’ images of English Heritage plaques and extracts a transcript of the plaque’s text. This is a classic optical character recognition project. Here’s a simple example (thanks Fiery Fred): The text is very easy for a human to read but very hard for […]

Building a face-tracking robot (Headroid1) with Python in an afternoon

Here we’ll look at building Headroid1 in a few hours – a face tracking 2-axis robot head controlled by Python and open source modules. UPDATE see Headroid featured in The Gadget Show in the 3 minute video made at MakerFaire UK 2011. This is what the finished system will look like: An earlier demo was […]

pyOpenCV facedetect.py demo (face detection with Python)

When I first played with openCV I had no idea how good the facial detection would be, or how fast it might run on my MacBook. I’m recording this demo so you’ll know what to expect… pyOpenCV is the Python binding to the open source openCV (originally created by Intel for vision research). It comes […]

Optical Character Recognition webservice work-in-progress

This is a quick progress report on my webservice for optical character recognition using the open source Tesseract engine. This builds on my post a month back ‘Tesseract OCR to read plaques‘. The immediate goal is to let the OpenPlaques folk have an automatic service which machine-reads English Heritage Plaques (blue plaques – very common […]

Combined face tracking and speech recognition (Intel research)

Here is a rather neat demo of the advantage of tracking a face whilst performing speech recognition – if the user is looking at the computer then the computer knows to listen. This is common sense to a human but for a computer with just a microphone input it has to listen to everything, not […]

Open Allure DS conversational interface (using Python)

Back at Christmas I was speaking to John Graves about his Open Allure DS PhD project – a conversational interface written in Python. The project has moved wonderfully forward over the past few months, I’ll summarise some of the features of Open Allure here. Sidenote – if you prefer podcasts then John was recently interviewed […]