blog / 07 February 2020

Parashift announces new head of artificial intelligence

Parashift today announced the appointment of Ms Desline Simon, a research specialist in machine learning, as the company’s technical lead across its suite of media and information management products.

Ms Simon hails from the Burgundy region of France and is based at Parashift’s head office in Adelaide.

A core objective of Ms Simon’s is to build a world-class machine learning team in Adelaide. Additionally, Ms Simon plans on undertaking research with like-minded institutions such as the recently established Australian Institute for Machine Learning, University of Adelaide.

Ms Simon will focus Parashift’s efforts in building research partners to collaborate with and to develop high-tech products and solutions for the Australian and international markets.

Parashift already heavily utilises machine learning within its SchoolBench® solution, accurately identifying students using a highly customised algorithm. SchoolBench® uses facial recognition and privacy consent settings to ensure student photos, videos and other media are managed accordingly to comply with Australia’s strict privacy legislation and media consent provided by parents to a school.

With recent public concerns made by the Australian Human Rights Commission suggesting video facial recognition breaches certain human rights, Ms Simon was quick to point out that the outcomes of the research will have many applications.

“Machine learning aims to improve people’s lives not hinder them. There are many amazing outcomes already achieved such as medical diagnosis and prognosis through wearable watches.” Ms Simon said.

Ms Simon will also work with Parashift’s second product, RecordBench® a new initiative to improve information retention and accuracy while freeing employees from many menial tasks in capturing corporate memory.

Ms Simon has extensive experience in this field and holds a number of academic and research qualifications including a Master of Research in Natural Language Processing, a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Language Processing and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computational Linguistics.

Before joining Parashift, Ms Simon worked for Twitter at the ADAPT Centre in Dublin on a research project focusing on automatic translation and detection of sarcasm in user-generated content, for Machine Translation. As humans speak a language, the artificial intelligence focus examined how computers understand language with all its nuances.

Having been at the helm of a successful e-commerce company for over 10 years, working with worldwide organisations to understand customer expectations with a focus on implementing transparency in first touch-point satisfaction, Ms Simon brings with her business experience in intuitive and natural language processing and its application to technology.

In her spare time, Ms Simon has a penchant for blues music and practices ballet daily, having started ballet classes and performance at the age of 5.

“Ballet gives me focus, movement, structure and pushes me beyond my physical limitations. I believe that if you train your body, anything is possible if you keep it up and in turn, the mind stays flexible also.” Ms Simon said.

Ms Simon is fluent in a number of languages including Spanish, German, French and can translate Latin. Having visited Australia for the first time in mid 2019, Ms Simon has fallen in love with the relaxed and the multi-cultural lifestyle that Australia offers. Ms Simon said the nature of work and Australians resonates well with her professional and personal journey. “Vive l’Australie” she says with a smile and glint in her eye.

Ms Simon began her tenure at Parashift in January.