The Appen Exeter Team

The Parliamentary Review 2019: Appen’s Vision for AI and Machine Learning

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Many worry about the potential effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the economy and society. But Appen believes AI has the potential to transform the way organisations and companies do business. It’s this visionary approach, along with years of experience, that’s led to Appen’s inclusion in the latest issue of the UK’s Parliamentary Review publication. The Parliamentary Review is an independent guide to best practices in a range of sectors, from education and transport to technology and the law. Aimed at directors, CEOs and industry leaders, it combines political commentary with sector insight from providers, and has a circulation of around 600,000. This year, Appen was asked to contribute an article to the Parliamentary Review – a huge honour. “The invitation is a recognition that Appen is a leader in its field and that policy makers and other providers can learn something from us,” says Sarah Lowe, Appen’s VP of Business Development, UK and Europe. Appen’s article focuses on machine learning and AI. Many organisations are using these technologies to create more personalised online experiences, streamline operations and improve products. But Appen’s experience shows that to successfully build and improve machine learning and AI solutions takes more than just good algorithms; it requires large volumes of high-quality training data. “At Appen, our business is all about data, from providing data to improve AI and machine learning to producing data for evidential, official record transcripts,” explains Sarah. Appen works with clients in the UK and around the world who need both these types of datasets and has become not just an expert provider but also – as inclusion in the Parliamentary Review demonstrates – a thought-leader and best practice exemplar. “There are challenges. We need to stay ahead of the game, but also cope with high levels of demand, and navigate the complex regulatory and data security environment in which Appen operates,” Sarah says. “For us, the future doesn’t have the distant quality it might have for other businesses, because we’re defining the future every day.” Solutions like Appen’s secure in-house transcription facility and its high levels of transcriber vetting set the company apart and are another reason for the Parliamentary Review invitation. As well as sharing Appen’s learning generally in the field of machine learning and AI, the piece for the Parliamentary Review also includes some ‘top tips’ for providers and policy makers looking to maximise the benefits of this type of technology in the future, based on the company’s own experience. Appen’s tips for making the most of AI and machine learning
  • Work to understand your clients’ specific data needs, goals and projects.
  • Design customised, bespoke solutions aimed at meeting those needs.
  • Continually grow your pool of specialist workers.
  • Clearly demonstrate a strong, provable commitment to data security.
  • Develop practical ways to meet the demands of regulation.
  The 2019 edition of the Parliamentary Review was launched on 28 March at the Palace of Westminster. Read Appen’s article here.

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