NEW YORK – With data science talent in greater demand than ever before, businesses are facing a shortage of the talent, tools, and technology necessary to successfully leverage artificial intelligence. This is an industry-wide issue, one that is hampering the realization of the true potential of AI. On the one hand, large global companies are able to bring expertise in-house and develop their own solutions. On the other, small and medium-sized businesses have few choices but to purchase the pre-packaged tools of cloud services like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
First announced this year, Agorai, a blockchain-powered ‘app store’-style marketplace designed to provide businesses with AI tools and data assets affordably, will launch in 2019 with the express purpose of addressing this imbalance. The platform has already had a bumper year pre-launch. In June, Agorai announced a £20 million investment in the British AI ecosystem; more recently, they have launched a number of strategic partnerships, including with DNeX to provide AI consulting services, and last month, with Neuramatix, a provider of AI tools utilising a neural engine called NeuraBASE.
Ahead of the official launch in 2019, we caught up with Josh Sutton, CEO of Agorai, to find out what’s next for the platform.
How will the Neuramatix partnership bring Agorai closer to the goal of democratized AI?
We are extremely excited about our partnership with Neuramatix. Their technology enables machines to observe patterns in data and convey the information in the same way that the human brain learns, stores, retrieves, and expresses information. These capabilities are being used across a wide range of commercial applications, including pharmaceutical research, autonomous vehicle operations, machine vision solutions, and virtual assistants. Through this partnership we are now able to bring their technology to companies across the world that are seeking to inject AI capabilities into their specific businesses.
What does Agorai’s long-term partnership strategy look like?
Agorai is single place for companies to find what they need to leverage AI in their businesses. This includes a marketplace of AI products, tools to build new solutions, data to fuel those solutions, and consulting to help companies accelerate their efforts. Neuramatix is a great example of a partnership as they have both turnkey products that companies can leverage as well as a suite of tools that can be used to build new solutions. We are adding more and more new partners by the day, making Agorai the best place for any company to quickly understand how to inject AI into their business.
What are the key challenges Agorai has faced in building its platform so far?
The biggest challenge that we have faced is ensuring that the interfaces that we develop are extremely intuitive and easy to use. We have addressed this challenge by accelerating our consulting capabilities to help people navigate the breadth of available solutions while we invest in an extremely robust experience design framework in parallel. Our goal is to make buying AI tools as easy as shopping on Amazon for holiday gifts.
What do you hope to achieve in 2019 following the official launch?
Even though we stated that we are launching in 2019, we have already begun to engage directly with a number of businesses and are helping them to deploy real world AI solutions. Moving into 2019 we are investing in a rapid expansion of these efforts as well as the launch of our self-service marketplace. In the near future we believe that people will view Agorai as the first place to go to either buy or sell AI products and the data that fuels these solutions.
How can AI truly go beyond the hype?
AI is already beginning to go beyond the hype. Real world solutions are being deployed every day that generate significant improvements in businesses around the world. While what we are seeing is very different than the AI that is portrayed in Hollywood movies, the results are extremely compelling. We believe that the adoption of AI into a business will continue to be the differentiator between market leaders and laggards.
Agorai will launch early next year. Find out more