Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thoughts on why Machine Learning as a Service is useful for developers

I recently had someone ask me why Machine Learning as a Service is a viable business.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard that question.  Below is an excerpt from my response:
I think one of the best trends to look at is the increase in number of APIs that are available – and the increasing number of applications that are mashups of various APIs. Some of these mashups (i.e. Summly) have been very successful.
With the web now highly programmable, basic functions are now commodities (payments, social, location, etc). As this happens the standard for all applications rises, and developers look to new technologies to add competitive differentiation to their applications.
We believe Machine Learning will be a key competitive differentiator for applications. Being able to turn raw data into intelligent output to build better apps and user experiences has already shown to be a significant advantage (Google, Netflix, Amazon). The same artificial intelligence that helps make these companies great, must eventually be delivered in a way that the broader market can consume because it will demand it to stay competitive.
We’re still early on in the adoption cycle, most of the developers I’ve talked too today would rather consume ML inside of a complete application, but we’re starting to see an increase in the number of new inquiries we receive about specific algorithms. Developers and companies are realizing that if they don’t begin to do more with their data they will be left behind by competitors. Not all of them are going to learn or hire someone who know ML, so having access to it via a simple API can be an attractive option”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Much Love For Mashape

Launching a new API isn’t easy.   There is a lot of noise in the market, and discovery can be challenging.  That’s why finding great partners to work with in this space is of vital importance.
We made the decision early on to partner with Mashape to bring our Machine Learning APIs to market.  For those who aren’t familiar, Mashape is the leading open market for APIs.  They help new APIs get discovered and integrated into awesome applications.
Mashape has been an exceptional partner from day one.  Before we even launched with them, Aghi their CEO was willing to meet with me in person to explain their marketplace.  As we rolled out our offerings the technical team was available around the clock to help make sure our APIs were working properly.
Most recently, Mashape has brought Chris Ismael on to help with promotion of APIs.  Chris has done an unbelievable job for us.  He’s lined up several hackathon sponsor opportunities and media interviews that have exposed our company to an extensive new audience.
Here’s what Chris has to say about working at Mashape:
“As a Mashape evangelist, I get to have a unique and interesting perspective on APIs. While everyone’s hacking on the Facebook’s, Twitter’s, and , I get to play with the ones that don’t get mainstream attention. This gap between developers and the ‘long-tail’ APIs presents a huge opportunity cost to the API economy. Which is why I enjoy my job of promoting APIs from Mashape – aside from the fact that I get to show off complex stuff without driving myself crazy (e.g. need to build a recommendation engine like Amazon? There’s an API for that), I get to contribute back to the API providers by giving them valuable feedback from developers whom I show their APIs to. If I can bridge that gap and get them closer, I’ll be a happy camper.”
Chris and the Mashape team are helping to ensure that the potential of the web as a programming platform is realized.  If you are launching a new API I strongly encourage you to connect with the Mashape team to find out how they can help you make your service known.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Our cloud infrastructure for Algorithm APIs

Launching a new product or service is an exciting time.  New customers, new opportunities, new success stories.  That’s why we are excited to announce the launch of our new cloud infrastructure as a service for Algorithm-based APIs.
This offering comes as the result of two key trends we are observing:
1. In the world of the Programmable Web, algorithms are competitive advantage:  With more API’s available than ever before, it’s becoming easier to build interesting new applications from nothing more that mashing up APIs.  When anyone can build an app, how can developers differentiate themselves?  We believe that adding intelligence to applications will be one of the key ways to accomplish this.  And were not alone in this belief because…
2. The number of  APIs based on complex algorithms is on the rise:  Natural language processing, audio feature extraction, image and facial recognition, and machine learning are just a handful of the complex new algorithm classes available via API.  As these become better understood they will evolve from being a competitive differentiator to an industry standard.  The market demand for these complex algorithms has fueled an explosion in the number of new algorithm based APIs.  Mashape alone recently posted an article on their blog highlighting over 40 machine learning algorithms available through their marketplace.
In response to this demand, we decided to offer our cloud back end to developers looking to bring a new algorithm-based API to market.  Think of our platform as the Heroku for Algorithm APIs.  It’s a cross-cloud platform that manages the development, provisioning, and scaling of cloud infrastructure across Rackspace, AWS, and Google Compute.
The platform includes all of the necessary components to ingest, store and process data with algorithms:
  • Use any database you like (SQL, NoSQL, Graph, etc)
  • Supports algorithms written in Java, C, Python, PHP, R, MapReduce, and PIG
  • Messaging queue and load balancer
  • Orchestration queue executes jobs automatically in the proper environment
  • Multi-tenant with security roles and permissions – one platform for many customers
Our service is white-labeled, meaning developers control their own brand.  With a web page and tutorial content built over a weeekend, developers can bring their APIs to market.
If you have an idea for next awesome algorithm API, or you’re sick of dealing with infrastructure maintenance for your current API, contact us today and let us help you launch and grow your business.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 voted “Most Likely To Succeed” at SV Forum Launch: Silicon Valley

I’m pleased to announce that was one of the six companies to receive the “Most Likely to Succeed” award at SV forum’s Launch:Silicon Valley 2013 conference this past Tuesday. We presented alongside 29 other great companies and are humbled to have been chosen for this award.
It was a great event with many interesting speakers. Ray Kurzweil opened the conference and emphasized importance of algorithms. His speech provided a great introduction to our pitch which also highlighted the importance of algorithms in today’s data driven world.
We received interest from many companies throughout the day, further validating our belief that delivering algorithms as a cloud service is essential in today’s tech ecosystem. The age of machine learning is underway!

You can see the video of our pitch on Tube Chop here:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our New Look

We’re excited to present our new website, and hope it helps better communicate the value that can provide. Visitors to our site will notice several new additions.
Industry Solutions – We’ve added several use cases explaining the benefits of using machine learning in different industries. Check back often as we have more of these to come
Better API explanation – We’re constantly discussion how to make our API easier to use. We’re thankful to all those who have contributed their thoughts on this topic.
More information about our company – People want to be able to connect with those that they do business with – we’ve shared more of our story and listed upcoming opportunities to meet us in person.
Improved UI
We’re constantly incorporating feedback from our customers into our communications. If you have a comment or suggestion on how we can improve, please let us know by submitting your feedback via the form on the “Contact Us” page.