YouthHack: Women in Tech

I had a chance to speak to a crowd of senior high students, college students, and young professionals yesterday at YouthHack: Women in Tech about the importance of word choice in technology.

It was a great honor to be speaking alongside Dr. Reina Reyes, Ph.D — Astrophysicist, Data Scientist, and editor of the blog Pinoy Scientists, which features Filipino scientists making waves around the globe.

Machine Learning, Week 4

In between writing my ebook about microcopy, speaking engagements, projects for Tempest’s clients, and learning to unicycle, I’ve been plodding through Dr. Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning Course. It’s been slow going because whenever I don’t get to work on the course for more than three days, I tend to forget what I just learned. That adds an extra hour of two just to get my bearings.

Thankfully, with what little diligence I could muster, I’ve been able to finish Week 4 of the course even though it took much longer than an actual calendar week. I find that it helps if I draw the neural nets and matrices on a small whiteboard. Otherwise, my limited cognitive capacity gets overloaded by the linear algebra operations.

Admittedly, I’m struggling with the math parts of the course. But I’m motivated by the idea of creating artificial intelligences and understanding the mind a little better by building one of my own. I feel like I’m a mad scientist.

UX & Chill

I’m incredibly honored to have been invited to talk at UX & Chill, a series of talks organized by Ateneo de Manila’s User Experience Society. I spoke about the magic of microcopy and tries to inspire students about the importance of copywriting in apps. Microcopy also happens to be the subject of my upcoming book, which I’m excited to announce will be coming out on May 15!

Resurrecting My Failed Bot

More than 15 years ago, I attempted to make a chatbot using mIRC scripts. I named it Thunderbot and it was, for lack of a better word, pathetic. It was rudimentary and could only reply to very basic phrases. At that time, I didn’t know anything about natural language processing.

But then I chanced upon an article talking about how Sarah Nyberg built a bot to argue with internet trolls and it reminded me of my old goal of building a bot again. With new javascript libraries like Tracery and NLP Compromise popping up that would make linguistic computation easier, that goal seems a lot more within reach.

It also prompted me to publish my private notes on Natural Language Processing and Voice Recognition. I’ve been compiling these resources for month in Evernote but thought that it might be useful to other people so I’ve posted them online. Maiden Post

I’m delighted to share the maiden post of, a new media platform that aims to celebrate Filipino innovators. We will be producing news, a webshow, and other content to help give a voice to our local scientists, designers, engineers, inventors, developers, connect entrepreneurs with investors, and create a community of radical innovators. If you share our goal of making the Philippines a creative innovation powerhouse, let’s talk. Contributors are welcome.