Who We Are: Andrew Ellis, R&D Intern

This new series of articles will introduce the experts in science, engineering and business who are working at Liopa.

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Andrew Ellis, R&D Intern

 

Andrew Ellis has been Liopa’s R&D intern since September 2021. We sat down with Andrew to have a chat and learn a bit about him.

Q Are you still at school?

I am doing part of my placement in my third year at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).

 

Q Which programme are you doing?

Computer science.

 

Q Which areas do you focus on?

I focus on the AI side of things – that’s what attracted me to Liopa. As well as app development. Those are my two favourite areas.

 

Q When will you graduate?

I hope to graduate with a BSc in May 2023.

 

Q What have you liked about Liopa?

I have enjoyed learning about the use of AI for helping a lot of people – I’ve always been interested in the use of computing systems to make people’s day-to-day life easier. I enjoyed working with clients and learning a lot during my placement year.

 

Q You’re on the front of line responding to people and dealing with inbound demand – how is that going?

We have a huge amount of inbound demand for our lipreading app coming in from many regions, especially the US. Covid-19 only increased this, as more people are intubated in hospital and cannot use their voice. It can be a bit of a shock at first to see the need that people have. I do enjoy working with others and finding ways to fix or help them in their troubles.

 

Q Which aspects of app development have you gotten involved with so far?

I am currently working on an app that allows users to control their apps with facial expressions and lip movements. At the moment we’re developing in iOS, but I hope that soon I could work with Android. I’m looking into new features that we can implement in the future. Facial expressions would be the input and we are mostly looking at the feasibility and getting a quick proof-of-concept out to see how it works.

 

Q Is this your first time working with facial / lip movement recognition?

Yes, I did a specific module on AI/ML and data analytics as part of my coursework, but I have never worked with facial or lip movement recognition before.

 

Some final thoughts from Andrew

Part of the reason I really liked what Liopa is doing is because my mother is deaf. I think that her disability has really inspired me in my work and to keep on pushing for everything that is important to me. I’m thankful to her and everyone out there who has supported me on my journey.

 

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