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A Canonical AI Stack: Helping Small Organizations Leap Frog Their Way into AI

By Dick Weisinger

How can small tech companies compete against big tech ones? Small companies don’t have the infrastructure, all around talent, troves of data, and the resources that big ones do.

To help the smaller companies, an alliance of smaller companies have banded together to create a set of standards and infrastructure that they’ve calling an AI “canonical stack”. The organization is called the AI Infrastructure Alliance and currently consists of about 30 companies. It plans to develop a basic set of practices and know-how that will let companies use as a foundation for developing and deploying AI and ML within their businesses.

H.O. Maycotte, CEO at Molecula, said that “AI and ML have held so much promise for the last several decades, but successful AI has remained exclusive to the tech giants and therefore has remained impractical.”

Daniel Jeffries, director of AI Infrastructure Alliance, said that “once you have that standardized, broadly accepted platform developers can move up the stack to solve way more interesting problems. WhatsApp’s tiny team of just 35 engineers reached 400 million users because they didn’t have to invent messaging protocols, transit layer security, a GUI, scalable peer-to-peer protocols and everything else that goes along with building a cutting-edge traditional application. All those components existed, fully baked, so WhatsApp engineers could just put it all together to do something cool with it. That’s what we need in AI now — development is still way too complicated and hard for the average company, and that’s going to change when we have a canonical stack for AI/ML.”

Joey Zwicker, Co-Founder of Pachyderm, said that “creating a place for top AI companies to work together will speed development of the infrastructure that businesses really need to make the promise of AI a reality. As the Canonical Stack comes together, it will vastly reduce time to value for any company, in any industry, that’s leveraging AI across their business.”

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