Artificial Intelligence

Talking to Anodot on what AI means for our future

5th November 2018
Anna Flockett

Anodot is an amalgamation of the words Anomaly and dot, and was co-founded four years ago by Ira Cohen and David Drai. Drai, previously the CTO at Gett, was getting quite frustrated, as he used to collect a large amount of real-time data as part of his job, but any problems would be discovered too late. Cohen explained: “Using all this data Drai saw anomalies, there was a drop here or something there, but it was discovered the next morning, which was too late as it then took another 24 hours for corrections to be made.”

It drove him crazy that he had all the data but couldn't fix any problems in time, what he needed was the right tools. It was then he met Ira Cohen, who was working at HP Software as a Chief Data Scientist and he had a solution. Cohen said to Drai: “There is a solution in the machine learning world, there might not be a product to help out there yet, but there is a solution. There are point products out there that help in very niche areas but we need a more general solution,”and that is how they started out and formed Anodot.

Cohen, now Chief Data Scientist at Anodot, explained the main goal for the company was to help businesses identify problems before they arise using data, and that is exactly what they do.

“We have a SaS platform for businesses and deal with a lot of technical data from companies, and basically alert them when something looks odd, anywhere in their data,”Cohen explained, that this really is an advantage as it saves our customers a lot of time. 

Cohen said: “At the end of the day it saves money, in detection time, by the fact that you can detect problems earlier and deal with them faster.”He explained that companies can do it themselves, but it is much more economical and beneficial for Anodot to do it for them.

I asked Cohen what his opinions on cobots and AI increasing in the work place, and he said there were two parts to his answer. The first was that in the short term, even though many people will not believe so, they are not taking jobs away from humans, in fact it is increasing employment. “At this point we still need to review all the cobots, robots and AI machines and assist them, but eventually the world will move even more in this direction.”

He explained at Anodot it is not about replacing analysts, it is about letting machine learning into a much deeper level, a level which wasn't possible before. He said: “The only difference is it might change the way humans do their work.”

It saves on so much money and time Cohen said, and it enables companies to actually look at more data, and find errors that before, no human could ever find. “But yes there will always be a need for humans, look at our databases we have moved a long way from a pen and paper - but we still have jobs.

“What I see is more people using AI to solve the problems we have today. For example, autonomous cars - traffic is a huge problem, but with data and AI we’re going to change the transportation model.”Cohen echoed this and said he believes technology allows us to innovate things. “I see technology and the future all as a positive, rather than anything to be worried about.”

Cohen did his PHD in machine learning and computer vision which used to be very niche, he said: “It was never seen as the main thing, but to me machine learning was very exciting and I saw when the change was made, it was actually able to solve things.”

“It was a big breakthrough in using real networking and this put machine learning in front.”Cohen explained, that there isn't really anything holding us back anymore. “Hopefully now we are past the point of people having inflated expectations.”

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