This May in Barcelona BT's BetaLab presented their new solution for rapidly deploying new AI algorithms into the cloud at the major cloud-native computing conference KubeCon. In collaboration with the open-source project OpenFaaS they have created the Research API, a mechanism that takes the sting out of making AI ready for the cloud. This makes it possible for AI researchers to deploy their models in minutes rather than months, as has been the case in the past.
On the 22nd of May the BetaLab team from BT Applied Research presented their work on frictionless deployment of AI algorithms using the OpenFaaS framework (openfaas.com). As part of the serverless track, focusing on lightweight microservice containerization, BT’s Joost Noppen highlighted how BetaLab’s Research API allows data scientists to write AI algorithms and deploy them onto scalable cloud infrastructure with minimal effort. This allows data scientists to make their algorithms and models as well as their updates available to end-users and customers in much shorter timeframes and higher frequency.
To illustrate how the Research API has streamlined delivery of research algorithms in BT Joost also presented ongoing research at BT Ireland Innovation Centre (BTIIC) on mining source code metrics from software repositories. The Repository Miner Tool is one of the first deliverables to come out of BTIIC and contains a pipeline of research algorithms that can used to extract and interpret metrics from SVN and GIT repositories. By using the Research API for packaging and deploying the research algorithms the Repository Miner Tool could be made available for trails with development teams in Belfast within a couple of months rather than multiple years as has been the case in the past.
Joost delivered the presentation together with Alex Ellis, lead on the open-source project OpenFaas which is the serverless function platform used to build the Research API. During this process BetaLab collaborated extensively with Alex Ellis, feeding back to the OpenFaaS project, providing performance evaluations and participating in community meetings. Part of the presentation was dedicated to how this collaboration took place, and how companies like BT can engage with open-source initiatives in a way that is mutually beneficial. A video stream of the presentation can be found on Youtube
KubeCon/CloudNativeCon is one of the most prominent conferences in the field of software development that focusses cloud technologies, containerization and especially the container orchestration tool Kubernetes. The European version takes place annually and draws in excess of 7000 participants from academia and industry. In addition major companies in the cloud space, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Digital Ocean exhibit and present at the conference.
The full program as well as video streams of the keynotes and sessions can be found on the conference website