Machine Learning Engineer - Natural Language Processing

Ukufu — Company based in Sydney

via We Work Remotely

Headquarters: Sydney Australia

  • Lead the build out of our AI layer
  • Flexible/remote work friendly environment
  • Greenfield project
  • Technology first company
  • Join an experienced tech & product team

Ukufu* (pronounced oo - koo - foo) is a new AI powered content aggregation mobile application for professionals. Ukufu version 1.0 is LIVE on both Android and iOS! 

We recently closed a round of seed funding from a couple of smart and supportive investors, and we are excited for the next stage of our journey!

Watch a short message from our CEO:
(This video was filmed for our Tech Lead role, but it will give the gist of what we are about!)

Our mission is bold:

Build an intelligence layer around the 10 000 English news-related content pieces that get published every day. Then use this layer to power an easy-to-use category based content aggregation app that helps professionals efficiently consume content across multiple content sources.

We want to enable a content consumption experience that is simple to use, yet comprehensive in depth and breadth of content.

We are already 3 months into our journey. You can a brief video walkthrough here: or download a version at

Over the next 6 - 12 months, we will be focussed on stage 1, working closely with users to build something amazing that we can then scale up in stage 2.

Our headquarters are in the Sydney CBD but we have team members around the world. This role can be on-site, remote or a mix of both. Our distributed team structures requires all team members to be flexible around time zones. Each role also has minimum daily crossover time requirements.

Our remote-friendly work culture and processes have been in place for a couple of years (our team used to work together on a product that reached over 4 million users) and our distributed team structure is working well.

We work hard at fostering a focused and friendly workplace, where team members are able to do their best work.

We are looking for someone with outstanding technical experience, a mature attitude and a preference for working with a small smart team, to join us in the role of Machine Learning Engineer at Ukufu.

You will work directly with the CEO, Tech Lead as well as the development and product team.

Our team of 8 currently consists of 3 engineers. We aim to add 4 new engineers (including the this role) over the next couple of months.

Our non-engineering team members include a Design Lead and Product Manager who you will work closely with.

Our current stack includes Flutter, Python, PHP, Kubernetes and AWS.

We also use some off the shelf Machine Learning services, which we would like to migrate to a custom system that will be architected and built by you.

Over time, Machine Learning will drive an increasingly large proportion of our value proposition. Thus this is a senior role with the opportunity to contribute significantly to the success of Ukufu in this role.

Overview of the role
  • Take ownership of Ukufu’s AI capability and conceptualise, architect and build Ukufu’s Machine Learning system.
  • Work with the product team to translate product requirements into technical capability and provide AI powered feature suggestions.

  • At least 3 years of relevant experience in a similar role.
  • A passion for Machine Learning and real world applications.
  • Previous experience with natural language processing (NLP) frameworks and applications, including text classification, named-entity recognition (NER) and chunking.
  • Strong Python skills.
  • Experience with PyTorch, and NLP frameworks such as SpaCy and Flair.
  • Working knowledge of computer vision frameworks, including implementing convolutional neural network (CNN) based binary and multi-class classifiers using transfer learning in PyTorch and Keras.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills.
  • Relevant University degree.
  • Experience designing and building complex software solutions and related infrastructure.
  • Strong background in OO development with a proficient understanding of fundamental principles such as TDD, DDD, SOLID, DRY and KISS.
  • Familiarity working with Amazon AWS services (e.g. RDS, DMS, S3, EC2, CloudWatch, CloudSearch, ElasticSearch, etc).
  • Working knowledge of devops procedures, including using the Linux command line and using Docker to deploy machine learning applications to Kubernetes clusters.
  • Experience with system monitoring tools.
  • Familiarity with popular server software packages (MySQL, PostgreSQL)
  • Exceptional attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple high priority projects and tasks
  • Passion for solving complex technical problems.
  • Enjoy working in a fast-moving environment.

Bonus Skills
  • Has contributed to open source projects (provide examples if available)
  • Previous experience working with a distributed team

Our application process usually includes an initial chat with the CEO, one technical task, then a chat with 2-3 additional team members.

* Ukufu comes from the Zulu word Ukufunda, which means “to learn”.

To apply: