By @SimonCocking what follows is an interview with Nathaniel Gates, the CEO of Alegion. Alegion is an Austin, Texas-based technology company that helps accelerate enterprise AI initiatives by labelling, annotating, and collecting machine learning training data. Alegion has been recognized by industry experts as being the preeminent company in the artificial intelligence industry when it comes to curating and delivering training data that serves as the foundation for any successful AI initiative.
Nathaniel Gates, CEO
Describe what your company does in the context of the AI/ML industry?
Alegion helps accelerate enterprise AI initiatives by labeling, annotating, and collecting machine learning training data.
What makes Alegion different from other companies that purport to do the
Alegion’s services free data scientists to focus on driving business outcomes by developing new and better machine learning model rather than spending their time cleaning up large training data sets. Our services are scalable on demand and are backed by SLAs for quality and schedule.
— Alegion (@Alegion) January 5, 2018
How has the recognition of the value that you bring to the industry changed
There is a growing recognition in the industry that highly structured training data is THE critical component for the successful deployment of an AI initiative. We know how to consistently produce exemplary training data by overlaying our own AI or by using proprietary algorithms to guarantee quality of crowdsourced data, or by employing a combination of both.
What factors will be influencing further recognition of that value?
Competition. As recognition that AI can help companies within a particular industry become more efficient and improve their bottom line, all companies within that industry will embrace AI. Then the differentiator within an industry will become who can deploy AI quickly and effectively. Our long track record in achieving such results means that more and more enterprises enlist Alegion.
Tell us about your executive team and what makes them qualified to lead the
company to exponential growth?
Our executive team care about a job well done. Further, they care about their communities. Not only are we expanding the use of crowd labour, we are also working across the globe to increase people’s ability to participate in crowd labour. This can be a great way to provide jobs and improve the quality of life.
From a business perspective, they come from many industries with a common thread being technology and enablement. We have enlisted a proven team with experience.
What areas of AI/ML will you focus on in the future?
It would have to be helping companies bridge from machine learning exercises to more sophisticated AI projects. Also, we have seen a need for “humans in the loop” for some time. Initially, the need is training data. But over time, algorithm scoring, validation, and exception handling needs will grow. By tracking workers’ performance on a particular task we can match workers most suited for these more specific tasks. These private and curated crowds are a true Alegion value.
— Alegion (@Alegion) January 3, 2018
Some are saying the AI will replace millions of jobs? Are they right?
No, they are not. AI will change the jobs that people have today. But there actually will be a net gain in jobs. For example when the car replaced the horse and buggy the need moved from cleaning a stall to working on an engine, AI will force this type of change. Labor forces will need to reskill and expand but AI is no more a threat to jobs than the car was.
Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?
A little talked-about feature of crowd labor is it’s “on demand” nature. When a company utilizes the crowd it has tens of thousands of people at their fingertips, but never pays for idle time. This means when a dating site suddenly becomes the hottest place, it has the team to immediately validate new member profiles and ensure quality. This benefit crosses 100’s of use cases, but in an age of unlimited content and information it is nice to know you have a team to match that demand.
How do people get in touch with you?