We talked to Rotem Alaluf, the cofounder and CEO at BeyondMinds about production-ready AI systems and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Rotem Alaluf: Thank you for asking. Thankfully, we are healthy. As we enter 2021, I would like to wish, for all of us, that the year ahead will be better than the last. These difficult times have also made me grateful for our employees’ effort to help BeyondMinds grow and exceed our goals – especially during these complex and uncertain times in the world.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded BeyondMinds.
Rotem Alaluf: I’m a challenge seeker. Difficult situations and ambitious goals bring out the best in me. I’m passionate about creating business value using disruptive technologies. The combination of business and technology has always been a part of my life. I try to learn from every situation and try to look at any mistake or failure as an opportunity to improve and do better. Before founding BeyondMinds, I worked at a leading defense technology company in the field of Artificial Intelligence, mostly with NLP (Natural Language Processing). As part of that work, I witnessed the difficulties of successfully bringing AI systems to production in situations where data is noisy, messy, and dynamic. One of the common patterns to all the use cases that I came across was that it took a few weeks to build a working Proof of Concept and then many months to stabilize it in production. Moving from POC to successful production was always the step that was the most complicated and time-consuming, with the highest failure rate. I felt that if I could create a way to solve the core barriers of AI in production in an integrated way, we’d be able to make a significant leap forward for AI in enterprises. This realization is what led to the founding of BeyondMinds.
Does BeyondMinds innovate?
Rotem Alaluf: Most of the research in AI today focuses on solving lab-fitted problems, where the environment is static, data distribution does not change rapidly over time, there are no constraints, and there are no unexpected events. Enterprise AI problems are much more complex than lab problems, and in order to overcome the huge failure rate of bringing AI solutions to production, we are constantly innovating.
For example, we have developed and integrated into our platform new technologies in the areas of human-machine collaboration, technologies to reduce the amount of data needed for building a new solution, and ways to improve accuracy over time even under the complexities of real-world, rapidly changing data.
Our team is laser-focused on continuously improving our product and integrating more technologies that can help our customers, regardless of industry or size, implement ROI-positive AI solutions throughout their organizations.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Rotem Alaluf: Luckily for BeyondMinds, AI has never been more relevant. As the global economy seems to be entering into a recovery mode, companies across industries need to do everything they can to stay competitive. AI can turbocharge a company’s efficiency, scalability, and competitiveness.
We accelerate the wide-scale adoption of AI by enabling companies to successfully overcome the challenges that have prevented AI from proceeding “beyond” theoretical proof-of-concept exercises to robust and resilient deployments.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Rotem Alaluf: Every day includes difficult choices for a CEO. I think that one of the most important things to do is to listen and learn from each situation, even when we make mistakes, and try to look at it as an opportunity to improve and do better.
As a company, we are redefining the way to deliver AI for enterprises in order to bring the promise of AI to more and more companies. As AI in enterprises is still in its first steps, we have to answer a lot of difficult questions and make difficult decisions on the fly in order to improve our platform every day.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and BeyondMinds in the future?
Rotem Alaluf: On a personal level, I like to work under stress, with ambitious goals and timelines. Yet successful companies are built by teamwork, so my main concern is the collective. Thankfully, we have an incredible team at BeyondMinds, who support both myself and one another during stressful and difficult times. I have always been confident that with the team we have in place, we will be able to accomplish a lot more in the near future.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Rotem Alaluf: We have several competitors — all of which are impressive and doing their part to help more companies successfully implement AI. Ultimately, if AI can become a more accessible technology for companies of every size, across industries, we all win.
Staying competitive comes from innovation. With R&D driving our business, we are constantly developing new technologies that will enable our solution to be more accurate, efficient and deliver better ROI for our customers than our competitors.
Your final thoughts?
Rotem Alaluf: As a company, we focus on value creation. We direct our efforts toward building stable, more efficient ways to bring AI to production, and not just to experiment with AI. Stable AI systems in production are a completely different thing than AI in the lab, and we focus on closing this gap. Our goal is to enable enterprises to benefit quickly and enduringly from AI while freeing themselves from the complexities of building and maintaining AI systems in production.
Our AI platform is constructed on a universal, modular technology that enables customization of specific AI applications while also enabling rapidly scaling up and out with new use cases so organizations can become AI transformed using a single AI platform.