I rarely use this blog to write about personal projects or do any form of marketing. Today, I am going to make a small exception and take a couple of minutes to tell you about one of the projects I have been working on (without doing any marketing, I promise 😉 ). A while ago, I decided that I wanted to dedicate the next decade of my career to work in deep computer science areas such as artificial intelligence(AI) and blockchain technologies. If you follow this blog, you know I am deeply passionate about both. I believe the vast majority of B2B software of the last 20 years is going to be rewritten using AI as a first class citizen and I believe blockchains and crypto-assets are the first truly transformational movement in financial markets that we have seen in the last hundred years. I am not certain I am going to see many other technology movements this transformational in my lifetime so I wanted to get involved. However, I had no idea where to start.
The issue of deciding what projects to focus on wasn’t due to lack of ideas but rather the opposite. I had way too many ideas and the more people I met in those communities more ideas surfaced. The other challenge I faced is that I didn’t know what it takes to develop high scale enterprise blockchain or AI solutions. I mean, I believe I have the right computer science background and also had knowledge and practical experience in both fields but there were way more questions than answers. Can we really reuse AI models between solutions? Is decentralized AI even practical? Is transfer learning a real thing for enterprises? What does it take to retrain and optimize models after deployed to production? Does agile works in AI? What tier2 solutions are needed to make blockchain practical for enterprise? The more I asked, I became convinced that nobody has the answers to these questions as these transformational technology movements are just starting. Well, I had my answer, I needed to create an environment that allow me to learn more,
After spending some time talking to people I trust and respect in the AI and blockchain fields I decided to focus on three projects. I had diverse interests in both financial and technology markets so I decided to pursued three separate efforts that sit at the intersection of AI, blockchain and other high tech areas. Today, we are unveiling the first of those projects: Invector Labs.
I mentioned before that I wanted to create an environment that allows us to learn about the real challenges of applying AI and blockchain solutions in the enterprise. The obvious answer would have been to build another consulting firm but, for several reasons I believe the traditional agency model is outdated(that’s a story for another day 😉 ). With that in mind, we decided to play with a model that combine movements such as the gig economy with technologies such as AI and blockchain and the Invector Labs experiment was born.
What is Invector Labs ?
Invector Labs is a next generation software development on-demand platform that connects enterprises with top teams of freelancers around the world in high tech areas such as AI, blockchain, advanced cloud computing, cyber security and a few others. Ok, that was a lot of words, what is it really?😉 Invector Labs is both a network and a platform. The network brings together top computer scientists and engineers focused on those high-tech areas. The platform uses AI to assemble teams that work on projects for enterprises and startups around the world.
How Does it Work?
When a customer presents a project to us, our platform assemble different teams based on data from the LinkedIn, StackOverflow, Github and other public data sources as well as experience on previous projects. We also use advanced statistics to price the project and the subjectivity of sales teams. After selecting a team, we add a project manager that interacts directly with the customer and manages the freelance team. We try to use a large stack of PM tools to automate as much as possible of the lifecycle of the project. Every data point from the project is used to improve our AI platform.
Is this Another Freelance Network?
I am not going to give you a pitch of how unique Invector Labs is but here are a few important points to notice. Our focus is exclusively high-tech areas such as AI, blockchain, cybersecurity and a few others. We are also focused on working with enterprises and enterprise software startups. Finally, Invector Labs is not a generic network but a collection of Labs that specialized on different technologies. Each Lab has implemented core processes, methodologies and techniques that enable the implementation of these technologies in enterprise environments. At the moment, we have four labs, AI, blockchain, advanced cloud computing and devops. More Labs will be launched as the network evolves.
What Projects Have We Been Working On?
Invector Labs is very new but we have been working on some pretty awesome projects. For instance, we have been working with a startup in Atlanta that uses cutting edge natural language understanding to build a digital assistant to help you learn a second language. We have been using deep learning models in areas such as NLP micro-understanding or time series analysis to help this large hospitality group detect market signals about hotel chains around the world. We are using permissioned blockchains to track the processing of insurance claims by an international insurance powerhouse. A large software group in the legal space is working with us to leverage AI to improve the eDiscovery process in large trials. We are also working with two of the biggest cloud platform providers in pilots of their deep learning platforms.
Is This Just About AI and Blockchain?
Not really, we focus on other high-tech areas such as cybersecurity, IOT, advanced cloud computing and several others. AI and blockchain solutions don’t work in isolation and they are typically combined with many of other technologies. Developing deep expertise in those areas is essential to bring solutions to our customers.
What’s the Ultimate Goal?
Invector Labs is a big experiment and many things are going to fail. However, our ultimate goal is to create a network that links the best computer scientists and engineers around the world with intellectually challenging projects from enterprises and startups. Staying humble is one of our key mantras because we know we don’t have many of the answers about what it takes to apply these groundbreaking technologies to enterprise solutions. We fail on a daily basics but we are learning a lot and having a ton of fun as part of the process.
We Care About Computer Science Rigor
By focusing on technologies such as AI and blockchain, we are indirectly raising the bar for joining Invector Labs. We care deeply about computer science and math. We try to devote time to discuss research papers and new algorithms every week. We believe that the knowledge of the network is bigger than the knowledge of talented individuals. If you are a talented engineer with interests in AI, distributed programming, cryptography, blockchains apply to join our network. We promise only one thing….You are not going to be bored.