An Interview With Dinheiro Vivo

At last week’s Web Summit, we were lucky enough to sit down with Dinheiro Vivo, a leading financial publication in Portugal. Our conversation touched on everything from the quality-focused approach to training data to AI use-cases across industries. Watch the full interview here (in Portuguese), or check out the English transcription below:

Dinheiro Vivo [DV] – For those who still do not know your work, what does DefinedCrowd do?

Daniela Braga [DB] – We are a data collection and cleaning platform for Machine Learning and for Artificial Intelligence. Our platform combines crowdsourcing with machine learning. A mixture of people and machines working at the same time.

Artificial Intelligence is the imitation of a human brain, artificially. To develop our own intelligence, we go to school, we read many books. It takes a lifetime for a person to be able to react and make decisions in their daily lives. The way machines learn is similar. But with the computational capacity that is currently possible using the cloud and our platform, in just 3 months we can combine thousands of human brains in the same computational memory.

Our platform combines crowdsourcing with machine learning. A mixture of people and machines working at the same time.

DV – And then (the data) is used in applications that we use every day?

DB– Namely Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa. Self-driving cars and even more industrial applications like machines that are doing quality control instead of having people doing it. Or at airports with automatic flight controllers.

DV – And this year was a dazzling year, an investment round, new partners, an office in Tokyo. What have you done to achieve this success?

DB – Especially in the United States, our largest market is still the United States, followed by Japan and followed by Europe. Clients are more open, they’re investing in Artificial Intelligence.

There are many companies in machine learning but there is practically no one doing data cleaning and treatment like us. It’s like the spades and pickaxes of the gold rush. We are making the shovels and picks of AI, of modern times.

DV- And coming to Web Summit also makes all the difference, right?

DB– Our growth milestones have been basically aligned with those of Web Summit. We have been here since 2016, which was the first year Portugal hosted Web Summit. We had closed our seed series. Last year (2017) we basically met the group of investors to close the series A. And this year we are here to be on the list of the top 10 AI companies in the world.

DV – And finally, when you leave Web Summit, what do you expect to take with you?

DB – This year it’s basically a visibility and recruitment maneuver- we are in an aggressive recruitment phase. We want to demonstrate that this is really the best place to work in Portugal. We’re also looking to continue developing partnerships, and solidify go-to-market strategy. Next year, I would like for 50% of our revenue to come from partnerships.

Wrapping up Web Summit

According to The Atlantic, it’s the place “where the future goes to be born.” The always descriptive New York Times has dubbed it “a grand conclave of the tech industry’s high priests.” After three consecutive trips to Web Summit, we’ll go ahead and call it one of the most thought-provoking events we attend year-after-year. We’ve already marked our calendars for 2019 and can’t wait to see faces, old and new, next November in Lisbon.

This year’s highlights included a DefinedCrowd pitch on the Growth Summit Stage, a fascinating panel on the future of AI featuring our founder, Daniela Braga, alongside Sam Liang (AISense), Jean-Francois Gagné (Element AI), and Vasco Calais Pedro (Unbabel), all leaders of scaling startups with their fingers on the pulse at the crossroads of technological innovation and global enterprise. It was also a pleasure to share the stage with António Mexia, CEO of EDP, which is the largest energy provider in Portugal as well as one of our clients and investors.

“We learn during years and years. We go to school, we read many books. It takes a life for a person to be able to react and make decisions in their daily lives. The way machines learn is similar. But with the computational capacity that is currently possible, with the cloud and with our platform, in 3 months it is possible to combine thousands of human brains in the same computational memory. “ 

-Daniela Braga DefinedCrowd Founder and CEO 

Missed those speeches and panels? Don’t worry. Daniela spent a lot of time off-stage sharing thoughts (like the one quoted above) on the present and future of AI with outlets such as Expresso, RTP, Journal Economico, Noticias ao Minuto, TVI 24, and Dinheiro Vivo. We’ve linked them all here [in the original Portuguese] for your convenience. Go ahead and have a look!

Of course, the most enjoyable part of events like Web Summit is the conversations that are sparked after a speech, panel, or simply as a result of wandering in front of the right booth. We know how valuable those discussions can be as they develop into formalized relationships with future investors, clients, thought-leaders, and partners.

We’re happy to have started a lot of these dialogues with contacts across industries and media at booth G111. To those we met, it was a pleasure. Let’s keep talking. To those we didn’t (or those who misplaced our business cards), we’re always available at pr@definedcrowd.com. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

See you all next year!

See You at Web Summit 2018

 

Three years in a row makes for a tradition. Web Summit is here again! Taking place next week, November 5th-8th in Lisbon. We feel like we’ve grown up alongside this event, and know that it’s been critical to our success thus far. At last year’s conference, we launched our public API and met investors like Evolution Equity Partners, who ended up leading our series A. We can’t wait to see what doors open this year.

We’ll be spending most of our time at Growth Summit, which focuses on rapid-growth startups. Wednesday, November 7th, at 10:12am, founder and CEO, Daniela Braga, will take the Growth Stage to discuss her insights from three years spent at the helm of DefinedCrowd. Shortly thereafter, at 11:00am, she’ll return to discuss broad industry themes as part of the Hyper Growth in AI panel.

Finally, in the afternoon from 1-2pm,  Daniela will meet with three female entrepreneurs for 20-minute one-on-one sessions as part of Web Summit’s Women in Tech Mentor program. 

We’re excited for a busy, productive week and can’t wait to see you there. If you’re unable to make these events, or just want to chat in-person, we’ll be at booth G111 all day November 7th.

In summary:

  • Daniela will present DefinedCrowd on the Growth Stage November 7th at 10:12 am;
  • Shortly thereafter, she’ll serve on the Hyper Growth In AI panel at 11:00am, also on the Growth Stage;
  • From 1-2pm, Daniela will meet 1-on-1 with participants in Web Summit’s Women in tech Mentor Program;
  • We’ll be at booth G 111 all day November 7th.

We’re looking forward to spending the first part of November in sunny Lisbon. Stop by our booth, drop us a line on social, or email us at sales@definedcrowd.com if you’re looking to get in touch. See you all next week!

 

Who’s Wearing the Sunglasses? Reflections from ACL

Networking, Recruiting, and how DNN demands will drive our future growth

This past week, I had the tremendous opportunity to travel to Melbourne, Australia for the 56th annual meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics (ACL). This is the single largest gathering for the NLP and ML communities in the world, which meant a busy week for Daniela and I. We made great new contacts, attended a fascinating keynote address on the development of Deep Neural Networks, and met some brilliant talent spread across enterprise and the academy that will drive AI into the future.

With three years of steep growth under our belt, this year’s ACL was a chance for us to define our leadership role in driving this industry toward that future. Our booth had a steady stream of visitors, many representing some of the biggest names in AI on the planet. We weren’t surprised. It’s been a bit of pattern for us this year as we’ve formed a wide array partnerships and rapidly expanded our client roster in 2018.

Booth_Image

More businesses are realizing the value of sourcing high-quality, scalable training data (and the high costs of settling for anything less). We’re uniquely positioned to provide exactly that, which means we’ve been having some fascinating conversations with some incredible companies lately. As always, stay tuned for more on this soon!

For now, as we return to our bases in Seattle and Lisbon we’ll certainly be discussing Anton van den Hegel’s invited talk, “Deep Neural Networks and what they’re not very good at.” As Daniela’s been saying for years, Deep Neural Networks (DNN’s) have long been the “holy grail” of machine-learning development, as they offer the clearest path to self-learning AI that can truly improve on-the-fly.

DNN’s are already responsible for major breakthroughs in fraud detection and manufacturing optimization. But, for all they’ve accomplished, DNNs still fall short in tasks that require contextual interpretation.

Take the image below:

Who's wearing the sunglasses?
Photo By Heather Shwartz, sourced from Unsplash

 

If I asked you, “Who’s wearing the sunglasses?” You’d say “the pineapple” without second thought. DNN models? Not so much. They’re not capable of integrating the linguistic, visual, and contextual understandings necessary to come up with the correct response. At least… not yet.

As always, the barriers to these capabilities are falling. The brilliant scientists and engineers we met at ACL are…well… brilliant after all.

But, for DNN’s to obtain these contextual reasoning and interpretation capabilities, they’ll need incredibly precise, accurate and complexly structured data. DefinedCrowd is the only firm that can deliver the kind of job-tailored high-quality data necessary to train and test these kinds of models. It’s an exciting time to be here!

Which brings me to my final point. As more demand for our data grows, our team will too. Actually, it already is. Right now, we have 23 open positions across our offices in Seattle, Lisbon, Porto, and Tokyo. We met a lot of great talent at ACL. To all of you who stopped by our booth, it was a pleasure. If you passed on a resume, you’ll hear from us soon.

And if we missed you? There’s still time! Go to our careers page to see how to come build amazing things with us.

Web Summit is here – and we have a new API

It has been a long time! And what a better way to get back on track with our blog than to announce a new release AND our presence at one of the biggest tech event in the world?

Web Summit is here. The second edition in Portugal takes place this November 6th-9th in the sunny Lisbon. We must admit that we are biased, though, as I am Portuguese and part of our team is based in Lisbon. Anyway, this is a huge event for the city and for the start-up scene, which rose so quickly in Portugal.

Since this is a big moment, we decided to celebrate with a big release. We are launching the version 1.0 of our public API on November 8th at Web Summit, where we were selected to have a booth at the Beta program! This new product will make data scientists’ lives easier, as it will allow to integrate DefinedCrowd platform on their own machine learning infrastructure. In other words, you will have access to high-quality data right in your own platform by simply calling an API. Practical, isn’t it?

If you are in Lisbon for Web Summit, make sure you stop by the Stand B 412 on November 8th, at the Big Data Exhibition Area. We will be there to show you all you can do with this new product.

But this isn’t all!

In addition to these news, I am proud to announce that DefinedCrowd was selected to pitch at Web Summit, where I will present our company to an audience filled with top tech speakers, attendees, and juries. This is an amazing opportunity and we are really excited (and a bit nervous!).

Summing up the essential news:

  • public API access for DefinedCrowd’s data platform will be available on November 8th;
  • DefinedCrowd will be at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. More specifically, on November 8th, on the Stand B 412 at the Big Data Exhibition Area;
  • I will be pitching DefinedCrowd on Tuesday, 7th November on Pitch Stage 2 at 2pm.

We are looking forward to seeing you at Web Summit. Stop by our booth, drop us a message on our social media channels or email us at sales@definedcrowd.com, we want to hear from you!

06 Web Summit FB