Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing Friday morning coffee with Noon van der Silk (machine learning extraordinaire) and Lyndon Maywell (coder and Haskell afficionado) from Silverpond. This was one of those interesting opportunities that life throws at you, seemingly out of the blue.
Noon had contacted me via LinkedIn and asked whether I'd be interested in hearing more about what they do. Naturally I took him up on his offer and a week later we met for coffee at Streat Cafe in the very hipster McKillop Street in the CBD. A brief look at their website showed that they were a really talented bunch doing really great stuff, and I was really keen to find out how an ex-astronomer/e-Research consultant might fit in, if the opportunity came up.
Silverpond is a software development consultancy that has been around for quite a while (~11 years now) but seems to have shifted focus over the past couple of years. They are an exceptionally talented bunch of software engineers, developers and machine learning practitioners and from what I understand, they seem to be working on some really innovative deep-learning projects. They also seem to have a lot of fun and from reading their bios, I got the feeling they don't take themselves too seriously (at least, not all the time). Anyone that "dreams of being in a hip-hop dance crew and can break out a mean entanglement ‘n’ superposition move" is worth meeting right?
They certainly didn't disappoint and it seems they have their hands in all the pies. Silverpond are first and foremost a software consultancy, but they also run a co-working space called The Pond, offer deep-learning workshops, and have a grassroots approach to building communities. Perhaps most interesting, is their idea for building an AI Accelerator. They seem to be well positioned to really establish themselves as the Machine/Deep learning experts in Melbourne. A talented bunch indeed.
Dance-off with programmable robots anyone?