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insideBIGDATA Latest News – 12/28/2020

In this regular column, we’ll bring you all the latest industry news centered around our main topics of focus: big data, data science, machine learning, AI, and deep learning. Our industry is constantly accelerating with new products and services being announced everyday. Fortunately, we’re in close touch with vendors from this vast ecosystem, so we’re in a unique position to inform you about all that’s new and exciting. Our massive industry database is growing all the time so stay tuned for the latest news items describing technology that may make you and your organization more competitive.

OctoML Announces Faster Machine Learning Model Inferencing on Apple’s New M1 Than Apple’s Core ML 4 Provides

OctoML, the MLOps automation company for superior model performance, portability and productivity, demonstrated better model performance on Apple’s M1 chip than Apple’s core inferencing engine. OctoML’s results showcased lower model latency than any of Apple’s own developed software, ranging from a 30% improvement against Apple’s latest Core ML 4 inference engine to a 13x improvement on Apple’s standard Core ML 3. All comparisons were based on the BERT-base model, a common deep learning model used widely for natural language processing tasks, and conducted on both the Mac Mini CPU and GPU.

“Apple is great at showcasing their newest products for the most cutting-edge ML uses,” said Luis Ceze, co-founder and CEO of OctoML. “But in practice, machine learning engineers can struggle to achieve good performance and may spend months trying to manually debug issues. In contrast, OctoML’s work shows how an automated model optimization service can effortlessly add new hardware and immediately deliver superior model performance.”

Solution Utilizes Lexalytics’ Industry-Leading NLP Platform and ML Models to Reduce Errors to Less Than One Percent

Lexalytics®, a leader in “words-first” machine learning and artificial intelligence, announced a patent-pending, breakthrough error correction tool for text data from optical character recognition (OCR) systems. Built in partnership with one of the world’s leading RPA vendors and leveraging Lexalytics’ natural language processing (NLP) platform and proprietary machine learning tools, the company’s OCR error correction system can automatically detect and rectify common mistakes made by OCRs, driving word error rates to less than one percent. This improves the reliability and utility of analysis performed on OCR data down the line and lowers non-compliance risk for the firms that use these tools.

“While OCR is a rapidly growing market, driven by demand in the banking, insurance and financial services sectors, word-level accuracy errors create major problems for end users and represent a major challenge,” said Jeff Catlin, CEO of Lexalytics. “We’re excited to bring a fresh approach to the problem and proud to achieve such great accuracy numbers in the tests we’ve run.”

Teradata Extends Hybrid Multi-Cloud Capabilities as Customers Move More Workloads to the Cloud

Teradata (NYSE: TDC), the cloud data analytics platform company, announced it is extending the hybrid multi-cloud capability of Vantage, enabling customers to access data and analytics across heterogeneous technologies and public cloud providers with new cloud-native capabilities. With the latest release of Teradata QueryGrid, Teradata customers can connect to a vast array of new data sources regardless of where the data resides – in the cloud, on multiple clouds, on-premises, or any combination thereof – for timely and cost-effective analytics.

As organizations increasingly move all or part of their data infrastructure to the cloud or multiple clouds, the number of different data sources and processing engines continues to increase, as does the demand for timely access to data. Companies need to be able to connect to, access and combine information from all data environments at the same time, and at scale, to enable truly effective analytics. This scalable, parallel access to data sources helps companies leverage data as their greatest asset, providing them the information they need to make the best business decisions possible.

“Our customers are the largest and most complex companies in the world, and their data infrastructure and processing environments reflect this complexity. When it comes to these enterprises, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to data analytics. They require the ability to query multiple data sources across any environment – in the cloud, multi-cloud, hybrid or on-premises – at the same time, without sacrificing speed or accuracy, and at the lowest possible cost,” said Hillary Ashton, Chief Product Officer at Teradata. “With these cloud-native updates to Vantage’s high-speed data fabric, we continue to give our customers the utmost choice and flexibility in how and when they choose to access their data, while also eliminating data movement and increasing performance – optimizing cost and delivering analytics that matter.”

Centerfield’s Dugout Platform Enhances Omnichannel Capabilities with AI-Powered Chat 

Centerfield, a technology-driven marketing and customer acquisition company, today announced the addition of AI-powered chat to its customer acquisition platform, Dugout. Centerfield optimizes millions of shopping experiences for the world’s leading brands. Dugout is now able to engage with customers via an automated chat experience that quickly understands shopping intent and enables a smooth handoff to a purchase via e-commerce, sales center or other channels. These advancements have boosted total sales and reduced costs while receiving positive feedback from users.

“In leveraging AI to power chat-based conversations, we’ve been able to grow the channel by 106 percent in 2020 without needing additional sales agents,” said Centerfield SVP of Digital Zach Robbins. “For us, the benefit of getting the right information in front of the right user at the right time with a channel that the user is excited about engaging with translates to happier customers and more profitable marketing campaigns.” 

Ascend.io Unveils Flex-code Data Connectors for Rapid Data Ingestion

Ascend.io, the data engineering company, announced significant advancements to the Ascend Unified Data Engineering Platform with the addition of flex-code data connectors, a first-of-its-kind connector framework for data ingestion in the Apache Spark ecosystem that bridges the data connectivity worlds of databases, lakes, warehouses, APIs, and more. Ascend.io has added support for over 40 new connector types to support the most popular and widely used data systems. Ascend.io’s flex-code data connectors provide the power, speed, and flexibility to connect not just from, but to, any data system in the world.

“Analytics, machine learning pipelines, and business intelligence dashboards generate the most excitement and attention in today’s data world, but the basic work of data ingestion and unification still adds major delays and complexity to the majority of projects. While many data replication tools do a good job of copying data out of the most common platforms out there, increasingly the most valuable data for businesses doesn’t come in standard formats or from standard platforms,” said Sean Knapp, CEO and founder of Ascend.io. “Our flex-code data connectors framework changes the game by eliminating the burden of data ingestion and unification across a much larger data landscape, removing bottlenecks across the data lifecycle, and allowing data teams to spend more time on analytics and insights that drive the business forward.”

Element Launches Element Unify

Element announced a new software solution called Element Unify, which aligns IT and operational technology (OT) around contextualized Industrial IoT data, delivering key enterprise integration and governance capabilities to industrials for the first time. This provides them with rich insight, enabling smarter, more efficient operations. By integrating previously siloed and critical time-series metadata generated by sensors across industrial operations with established IT systems, such as Enterprise Asset Management, IT and OT teams can now easily work together using a holistic metadata system of record across their entire Industrial IoT environment. 

“We built Element Unify specifically for the industrial sector, to solve the unique IT/OT data management problem that these enterprises have grappled with for decades,” said Andy Bane, CEO of Element. “These teams have not had a common framework or data system of record from which to work from, and for too long have sat in their own silos. Because of this, they’re unable to partner, making it impossible for an industrial enterprise to move forward with digital transformation of their operations. With Element Unify, we are unifying IT and OT data and finally bringing relevance and full context to industrial IoT deployments. As a result, we are helping unlock operational efficiencies and facilitating digitally-enabled operations.”

Sigma Computing Delivers Direct Data Access and Independent Data Exploration to Marketing Teams, Accelerating Insights and Decisions

Sigma Computing, an innovator in cloud analytics and business intelligence, is expanding its support for marketing teams with a new Campaign Performance template and other onboarding resources. The template enables marketers to get started in Sigma quickly and easily navigate from dashboard to independent data exploration without assistance from data analysts. The company’s commitment to helping marketers discover new, powerful insights and comprehensive support for Marketing use cases, including Attribution and ROI, Campaign Performance, and Customer Journey 360, has earned Sigma recognition from Snowflake as an elite technology partner for Marketing Analytics.

“We now make decisions based on data we see in Sigma,” said Yesware VP of Sales and Marketing Ian Adams. “Before it was difficult to separate which users were coming from a pure acquisition basis and which were recommended from existing accounts. We now have visibility into that and can easily track conversions across paid channels. We can finally tie together the complete buyer journey from the first impression with our brand to the time they buy and then even through customer lifecycle marketing.”

Veritone Launches Automate Studio to Accelerate AI-Based Digital Transformation Initiatives 

Veritone, Inc. (NASDAQ: VERI), the creator of the operating system for artificial intelligence (AI), aiWARE™, announced the public launch of Veritone Automate Studio, a low-code, web-based workflow designer tightly integrated with aiWARE. Automate Studio helps organizations embarking on intelligent process automation (IPA) and hyperautomation initiatives to rapidly deploy AI-powered workflows without heavy coding and AI expertise, and integrate resulting content insights into legacy applications and business processes at scale.

“We believe that this product’s potential to enable, accelerate and scale business transformation and pave the way for organizations to achieve hyperautomation is limitless and will provide organizations with a competitive edge as they rapidly gain insight into their video, image, audio and text content,” said Chad Steelberg, CEO of Veritone. “In our pursuit to enable every organization and every person with the power of AI, we are excited to see what the combination of Automate Studio and aiWARE can do in driving the industry forward.”

Syte Launches Hyper-Personalization Solution to Boost eCommerce Order Value and Conversion Rate

Syte, a product discovery platform, announced the official launch of its hyper-personalization solution to increase average order value and conversion rate for eCommerce brands and retailers globally. The proprietary technology combines visual AI with two powerful neural networks to identify and recommend the products most likely to convert in real-time.

“Retailers have always known that personalization is fundamental to providing the optimal customer experience, generating more sales, and increasing customer retention, but current algorithms are highly flawed,” said Syte CEO and Co-founder, Ofer Fryman. “Conventional personalization engines enable segmentation, rather than true personalization, relying on generic algorithms that aren’t customized to individual shoppers. With hyper-personalization, we are able to provide individualized, relevant recommendations in real-time, and this is what makes Syte’s offering so unique and powerful.”

Blaize Delivers First Open and Code-free AI Software Platform Spanning the Entire Edge AI Application Lifecycle

Blaize unveiled the Blaize AI Studio offering, the industry’s first open and code-free software platform to span the complete edge AI operational workflow from idea to development, deployment and management. AI Studio dramatically reduces edge AI application deployment complexity, time, and cost by breaking the barriers within existing application development and machine learning operations (MLOps) infrastructure that hinder edge AI deployments. Eliminating the complexities of integrating disparate tools and workflows, along with the introduction of multiple ease-of-use and intelligence features, AI Studio reduces from months to days the time required to go from models to deployed production applications.

“While AI applications are migrating to the Edge with growth projected to outpace that of the Data Center, Edge AI deployments today are complicated by a lack of tools for application development and MLOps,” says Dinakar Munagala, Co-founder and CEO, Blaize. “AI Studio was born of the insights to this problem gained in our earliest POC edge AI hardware customer engagements, as we recognized the need and opportunity for a new class of AI software platform to address the complete end-to-end edge AI operational workflow.”

DataRobot Introduces Bias & Fairness Testing in Latest Version of Enterprise AI Platform  

DataRobot, the leading enterprise AI platform, introduced automatic Bias & Fairness Testing to identify bias in models with protected features such as gender and ethnicity, then provide guidance to resolve upstream issues and prevent bias from reoccurring in the future. The company also unveiled significant enhancements to the platform’s key capabilities—including MLOps, Automated Time Series, and Visual AI—to further accelerate the value organizations achieve from their AI models.  

“Customers consistently turn to DataRobot for our focus on usability, value, and trustworthiness of AI. With AI being used to power critical decisions in organizations, it’s become even more imperative that they think critically about the ethical implications of the data they’re using to train their models, especially to prevent inadvertent bias,” said Nenshad Bardoliwalla, SVP of Product. “Our new Bias & Fairness Testing capabilities further strengthen our customers’ ability to build trustworthy, explainable AI models that will generate real business value. We’ve also added additional enhancements to our end-to-end AI platform that will further our customers’ ability to apply AI to complicated business problems and achieve powerful insights to drive competitive advantage in the year ahead.”  

Modzy Setting Bar for AI Operationalization Solutions

Modzy, a leading enterprise AI platform, announced breakthrough features and innovative technology developments in deep fake detection, command and control applications, adversarial defense, and explainability which establish its leadership in critical capabilities fundamental for operationalizing AI. Announced late last year, Modzy enables customers to create AI solutions that drive value. Enterprises can deploy the Modzy AI Platform to easily manage, govern and secure AI at scale. The platform’s unique technology and patent-pending intellectual property are evidence of strong product development momentum.

“It’s hard to overestimate the complexity of the ‘last mile’ of adopting AI and generating real business value,” said Seth Clark, Head of Product at Modzy. “Our team has created these solutions with an absolute focus on mitigating that complexity to empower our customers to quickly operationalize and realize the game-changing power of AI.”

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