Snowflake has plans to help democratize access to machine learning (ML) resources by removing complexities for non-expert customers.

At its annual user conference, Snowflake Summit, the database company made a series of announcements aimed at facilitating the adoption of machine learning. These include improved support for Python (the language many ML products are written in) and a new app marketplace that allows partners to monetize their models.

"Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to take advantage of advanced ML models without having to build from scratch, as this requires significant expertise," said Tal Shaked, who leads ML at Snowflake.

"Through projects like Snowflake Marketplace, we want to give customers a way to run these kinds of models on their data, both at scale and securely."

access for all

Although machine learning is a concept that is decades old, only in the last few years have advances in computing, storage, software, and other technologies paved the way for its widespread adoption.

And yet, most of the innovation and expertise is disproportionately pooled among a small minority of companies, like Google and Meta.

Snowflake's ambition is to open up access to the opportunities available at the forefront of machine learning through a partnership and ecosystem-driven approach.

Shaked, who worked on a variety of machine learning projects at Google before joining Snowflake, explained that customers will have access to critical resources, as well as being able to make small optimizations for their specific use cases.

For example, a sophisticated natural language processing (NLP) model developed by OpenAI could serve as a general-purpose foundation for a fast-food client looking to develop an ML-powered ordering system, he suggested. In this scenario, the client does not participate in any of the training and tuning steps of the underlying model, but still gets all the benefits of the technology.

More Snowflake Summit

"There are so many innovations in ML and we want to bring them to Snowflake in the form of integrations," he told TechRadar Pro. "It's about how we can integrate with these vendors so our customers can make adjustments without hiring a bunch of doctors." .

This sentiment was echoed today by Benoit Dageville, co-founder of Snowflake, who spoke about the importance of sharing expertise within the ecosystem of customers and partners.

“Democratizing ML is an important aspect of what we are trying to do. We are becoming an ML platform, but not only where you have created it and are using it for yourself; the revolution is in sharing the experience.

"It's not just the Googles and Metas of this world that use this technology anymore, because we make it easy to share."

Disclaimer: Our flights and accommodations for Snowflake Summit 2022 were funded by Snowflake, but the organization had no editorial control over the content of this article.

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