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CrowdFlower Unveils New Machine Learning Solutions; Changes Name to Figure Eight

CrowdFlower, the essential Human-in-the-Loop artificial intelligence platform for data science and machine learning teams, today unveiled new machine learning solutions that will help companies reduce the time to apply AI to their business and generate business impact from real world AI applications.

These new machine learning solutions are part of an multi-year transformation CrowdFlower been undergoing and as a result today it capped that transformation by changing its name to Figure Eight.  The formal name change to Figure Eight is to better reflect the company’s technology platform that combines the best of machine learning and human intelligence, rather than just using human intelligence to label data. The new name and identity brings into focus Figure Eight’s core philosophy of human-in-the-loop practices being the essential ingredient to making AI work in the real world, specifically the iterative process of active learning for the training, testing, and tuning of machine learning models.

Most people think of AI as just the algorithm, but increasingly enterprises are realizing that the bottleneck to deploying effective machine learning models is large volumes of high quality training data that describes the messy human environment the AI needs to operate within,” said Robin Bordoli, CEO of Figure Eight. ”The new Figure Eight solutions will allow companies to continuously improve their machine learning models with active learning and human-in-the-loop practices.  Companies will now be able to deploy machine learning faster and more effectively so they can make AI work for their business.”

While interest in AI and its application to solve real business problems is increasing, the reality is that only a few companies have deployed AI into their production environments.  According to Gartner, Inc. Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda Survey shows that “four percent of CIOs have implemented AI, while a further 46 percent have developed plans to do so.”[1] And, in a recent report from the firm, “Over the next two years, CIOs will be scrambling to make sense of machine learning and other AI technologies, to figure out their roles in digital business and to launch the internal pilots that will test that knowledge and insight. At the same time, CIOs will have to sift through competing vendor claims and promises to identify and assess the genuineness of AI capabilities.” [2]

Building on the traction of the Machine Learning team established in 2017, the company extended its Science team by bringing in more experts in three key areas: Computer Vision, Human Computer Interaction, and Natural Language Processing. This team has been working with Figure Eight’s customers to build new Machine Learning solutions to improve the accuracy and throughput of the annotation process. This allows Figure Eight’s customers to rapid deploy and update real-world AI applications.

With these expanded solutions, customers can now come to us and access expertise regardless of where they are in their AI deployment journey,” said Robert Munro, CTO of Figure Eight. “In some cases, they only need help with annotation strategies. In other cases, we help them build out the full AI workflow, from training data to deployed models and human in the loop feedback to continually improve those models. Our customers love that we can help them deploy Machine Learning models across all the leading cloud platforms.”

To help drive the continued innovation and adoption of the Figure Eight platform the company also added three new executives to the team and promoted one executive.  Alyssa Simpson Rochwerger joined as VP Product having previously been Director of Product Management at IBM Watson where she oversaw the development of a large portfolio of AI products including vision, speech, emotional intelligence and machine translation. Louis Monier joined the Figure Eight board of directors bringing his experience as a technology pioneer having previously founded the search engine company Alta Vista and more recently served as Head of the AI Lab at AirBnB. Dale Brown joined as VP Business Development to drive partnerships within the machine learning ecosystem having previously been VP Business Development at Bitnami.  Robert Munro was promoted to Chief Technology Officer having previously been VP Machine Learning after joining Figure Eight from Amazon where he led Product for AWS’s first Natural Language Processing services in the Deep Learning team at Amazon AI.

[1]Gartner Press Release, “Gartner Says Nearly Half of CIOs Are Planning to Deploy Artificial Intelligence,” 13 February 2018. https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3856163.

[2]Gartner, Inc., “Predicts 2018: Artificial Intelligence,” Whit Andrews, Moutusi Sau, et al., 13 November 2017.

 

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