Building, scaling, and maintaining the operational components of a machine learning workflow are all hard problems. Add the work of creating the model itself, and it’s not surprising that a majority of companies that could greatly benefit from machine learning have yet to either put it into production or see the value. Tristan Zajonc recognized the complexity that acts as a barrier to adoption and created the Continual platform in response. In this episode he shares his perspective on the benefits of declarative machine learning workflows as a means of accelerating adoption in businesses that don’t have the time, money, or ambition to build everything from scratch. He also discusses the technical underpinnings of what he is building and how using the data warehouse as a shared resource drastically shortens the time required to see value. This is a fascinating episode and Tristan’s work at Continual is likely to be the catalyst for a new stage in the machine learning community.
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- Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Tristan Zajonc about Continual, a platform for automating the creation and application of operational AI on top of your data warehouse
- How did you get involved in the area of data management?
- Can you describe what Continual is and the story behind it?
- What is your definition for "operational AI" and how does it differ from other applications of ML/AI?
- What are some example use cases for AI in an operational capacity?
- What are the barriers to adoption for organizations that want to take advantage of predictive analytics?
- Who are the target users of Continual?
- Can you describe how the Continual platform is implemented?
- How has the design and infrastructure changed or evolved since you first began working on it?
- What is the workflow for someone building a model and putting it into production?
- Once a model has been deployed, what are the mechanisms that you expose for interacting with it?
- How does this differ from in-database ML capabilities such as what is offered by Vertica and BigQuery?
- How much understanding of ML/AI principles is necessary for someone to create a model with Continual?
- What is your estimation of the impact that Continual can have on the overall productivity of a data team/data scientist?
- What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen Continual used?
- What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on Continual?
- When is Continual the wrong choice?
- What do you have planned for the future of Continual?
- From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?
- Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, Podcast.__init__ to learn about the Python language, its community, and the innovative ways it is being used.
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