Snowflake, a data cloud company, has just launched Snowflake Cortex, a new managed service that promises to allow organizations to build, analyze, and discover artificial intelligence (AI) applications with great ease and precision. The company unveiled the new offering during its Snowday 2023 event, and it is currently available only to a select group of users.
Snowflake Cortex offers users instant access to diverse serverless functions, including task-specific models, industry-leading, large language models (LLMs) such as the Meta AI’s Llama 2 model, and advanced vector search functionality. With these functions, Snowflake Cortex helps teams to accelerate their analytics and build LLM-powered apps within minutes. The company has also created three LLM-powered experiences using Snowflake Cortex to increase user productivity, such as Document AI, Universal Search, and Snowflake Copilot.
Document AI makes it easy for Enterprises to extract content from documents with LLMs, while Snowflake Copilot makes it easy for users to interact with data directly by using natural language. This means users can now quickly ask questions about their data in plain text, write SQL queries against relevant datasets, and quickly filter down insights. Finally, Universal Search offers LLM-powered search functionality, allowing users to find and access relevant data and apps for their specific use cases effectively.
According to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Snowflake’s Senior Vice President of AI, the company is pioneering the next wave of AI innovation by providing the enterprise with cutting-edge AI building blocks and data foundation to create powerful AI and machine learning apps while ensuring data safety and governance. Using Snowflake Cortex, businesses can build custom LLM-powered apps within minutes and maintain control and flexibility over their data while re-imagining how all users tap into generative AI to deliver business value.
Snowflake has also launched new features that make it easier for developers to build machine learning models and full-stack apps in the Data Cloud. The company’s programming library, called Snowpark, enhances Python’s capabilities to improve collaboration, productivity and speed up end-to-end AI and ML workflows. Snowflake aims to eliminate silos and bring app development and AI directly to enterprise data.
Christian Kleinerman, Snowflake’s Senior Vice President of Product, said that having a robust data foundation is key to a successful AI strategy, and Snowflake’s latest innovations ensure that customers can leverage data and emerging technologies securely and in governed ways. He added that Snowflake is making it easier for users to put all of their data to work, without data silos or trade-offs, so they can create powerful AI models and apps that transform their industries.
Another innovation at the Snowday 2023 event is the Powered by Snowflake Funding Program, which aims to invest up to US$100 million for the next generation of early-stage start-ups building Snowflake Native Apps. Start-ups building apps will receive a maximum of US$1 million in free Snowflake credits on Amazon Web Services (AWS) over four years as part of the program. Stefan Williams, Vice President of Corporate Development and Snowflake Ventures, said that “a new way to deploy enterprise applications is emerging as companies look to bring their apps and application code closer to their data.” With venture capital partners and AWS, the program will accelerate this new era of software development.
The Snowflake Native App Framework, which start-ups can use to build their apps, was developed by Snowflake’s Toronto engineering hub.
In summary, Snowflake Cortex and Snowpark, coupled with other AI innovations unveiled by Snowflake at the Snowday 2023 event, are set to transform AI in managed IT services. Snowflake Cortex offers a wide range of serverless functions that enable organizations to build, analyze, and discover AI applications with greater precision and ease, while Snowpark enhances Python to improve collaboration and productivity in building machine learning models and full-stack apps in the Data Cloud. Snowflake also has a funding program that seeks to invest up to US$100 million in early-stage start-ups building Snowflake Native Apps, providing them with up to US$1 million in free Snowflake credits on AWS over four years.