CrowdFlower Rebrands to Figure Eight
April 3, 2018
unveiled new machine learning solutions that will help companies reduce
the time to apply AI to their business and generate business impact from
real world AI applications.
These new machine learning solutions are part of a multi-year
transformation CrowdFlower has been undergoing and as a result it capped
that transformation by changing its name to Figure Eight. The formal
name change to Figure Eight is to better reflect the company's
technology platform that combines the best of machine learning and human
intelligence, rather than just using human intelligence to label data.
The new name and identity brings into focus Figure Eight's core
philosophy of human-in-the-loop practices being the essential ingredient
to making AI work in the real world, specifically the iterative process
of active learning for the training, testing, and tuning of machine
"Most people think of AI as just the algorithm, but increasingly
enterprises are realizing that the bottleneck to deploying effective
machine learning models is large volumes of high quality training data
that describes the messy human environment the AI needs to operate
within," said Robin Bordoli, CEO of Figure Eight. "The new Figure Eight
solutions will allow companies to continuously improve their machine
learning models with active learning and human-in-the-loop practices.
Companies will now be able to deploy machine learning faster and more
effectively so they can make AI work for their business."
While interest in AI and its application to solve real business problems
is increasing, the reality is that only a few companies have deployed AI
into their production environments. Gartner, Inc.'s 2018 CIO Agenda
Survey shows that "four percent of CIOs have implemented AI, while a
further 46 percent have developed plans to do so."1 And, in a recent
report from the firm, "Over the next two years, CIOs will be scrambling
to make sense of machine learning and other AI technologies, to figure
out their roles in digital business and to launch the internal pilots
that will test that knowledge and insight. At the same time, CIOs will
have to sift through competing vendor claims and promises to identify
and assess the genuineness of AI capabilities."2
Building on the traction of the Machine Learning team established in
2017, the company extended its Science team by bringing in more experts
in three key areas: Computer Vision, Human Computer Interaction, and
Natural Language Processing. This team has been working with Figure
Eight's customers to build new Machine Learning solutions to improve the
accuracy and throughput of the annotation process. This allows Figure
Eight's customers to rapid deploy and update real-world AI applications.
"With these expanded solutions, customers can now come to us and access
expertise regardless of where they are in their AI deployment journey,"
said Robert Munro, CTO of Figure Eight. "In some cases, they only need
help with annotation strategies. In other cases, we help them build out
the full AI workflow, from training data to deployed models and
human-in-the-loop feedback to continually improve those models. Our
customers love that we can help them deploy Machine Learning models
across all the leading cloud platforms."
help drive the continued innovation and adoption of the Figure Eight
platform, the company also added three new executives to the team and
promoted one executive. Alyssa Simpson Rochwerger joined as VP of
Product, having previously been Director of Product Management at IBM
Watson where she oversaw the development of a large portfolio of AI
products including vision, speech, emotional intelligence and machine
translation. Louis Monier joined the Figure Eight board of directors,
bringing his experience as a technology pioneer having previously
founded the search engine company Alta Vista and more recently served as
Head of the AI Lab at AirBnB. Dale Brown joined as VP of Business
Development to drive partnerships within the machine learning ecosystem,
having previously been VP of Business Development at Bitnami. Robert
Munro was promoted to Chief Technology Officer, having previously been
VP of Machine Learning after joining Figure Eight from Amazon where he
led Product for AWS's first Natural Language Processing services in the
Deep Learning team at Amazon AI.