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paretos – Optimizing Data into Insightful Predictions

Thorsten Heilig, Co-Founder & CEO, paretos

paretos – Optimizing Data into Insightful Predictions

Thorsten Heilig is a passionate tech entrepreneur who believes that technology can solve complex and real-world problems on a broader scale. He is always striving to find new methods that can be leveraged by everyone. With a focus on organizational and product growth, he has co-founded companies, served as COO of Mercedes Benz owned moovel Group, worked as a management coach, and has most recently co-founded paretos, an organization that enables companies to turn their data into Insights, Predictions and Scenarios via a No Code Data Science automation platform. Thorsten motivates democratizing AI-based technology to make better strategic decisions.

Over the past 15 years, he has worked in various roles with many organizations to make innovative technologies and products available for a broader application in order to drive digital and agile transformation. A staunch believer that AI and Data Science are essential for solving highly dynamic and complex problems, Thorsten believes that in practice, AI solutions are still reserved for very few organizations. He intends to change this status quo and provide these technologies to a broader audience through paretos. Excerpts from an interview with Thorsten:

Conception of paretos

In order to make business-relevant decisions, it is extremely important not to simplify complexity, but to embrace it and approach it with the right technology so that you can make data-driven decisions, opines Thorsten. “To achieve this goal, a solution must be easy to integrate and capable to support organizational learning through iterations-  so called learning loops. We want to ease the fear of deep-tech topics within inexperienced organizations, and we believe that a smooth integration into existing systems as well as an appealing, intuitive visualization (UI) is key – AI and Data Science can be fun” reiterates Thorsten.

The Flagship Solution

The company’s AI-based software as a service tool, comes with low integration costs and provides insights about the relevance and quality of the customers’ data. It also provides insights about internal interdependencies, while forecasting on KPIs. “Under the hood, we use a groundbreaking AI approach and optimization method. It helps the user to make strategically targeted business decisions fully automated and without prior knowledge, especially in application areas such as dynamic pricing, recommendation engines or warehouse optimization. Our customers are growing SMEs and start-ups as well as large corporations such as Accenture and one of Europe’s largest parcel delivery services.”

Pareto’s end-to-end Data Science Platform automates the entire data process chain and can therefore be used without prior knowledge by any business expert. The unique and patented approach selects the optimal models and optimizations for every individual scenario.

AI- Challenges Galore

Linear tools and organizations won’t stand a chance in comparison to new iterative methods, according to this tech enthusiast. “AI-supported solutions offer exactly the explorative and self-learning approaches that are needed in every company. At the same time, as with all new, fundamental technologies, the risks must be addressed with caution and dialogue. I am a big fan of human–machine-interaction, i.e., human in the loop models for business decisions.”

Leadership Traits

An extremely value-driven professional, Thorsten believes that if you can create a common value base and a common alignment on a mutual goal, you can allow a lot of freedom and self-organization. “I have seen people develop and grow the most by taking on challenges and responsibilities. That drives me tremendously. A lot of people always say, “this won’t work,” or “this won’t work so quickly!”. I love to see how individuals and teams grow beyond themselves and start moving great things. Together with my co-founder Fabian Rang and our great colleagues, this is what we are aiming for at paretos – building a team culture on the principles of Gung Ho!”

The entrepreneur also says that he likes the idea of antifragility – that is, creating your system in such a way that it emerges stronger from change and takes it as a tailwind.

Words of Success

“Since I have already experienced two buzzword trends with digital transformation and agility, my highest mantra – at least outside of pure science – is: AI is not an end in itself! Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to focus on the problem to be solved and not only on the technological answers and innovations.” The techie observes that this isn’t not just a technological question, but always a psychological one as well. “Because with new, innovative solutions you also always change processes or human routines in organizations. In the end, this is quite often the most difficult challenge of all…”

Success Mantras

“In addition to my favourite Mike Tyson quote “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in their face” that always reminds me of the fact, that plans are important but that you must always be open to (even radical) adjustments, the following principle is a key learning for me: “Bold to the outside – honest to the inside”: In my eyes, it is extremely important, especially in a fast-growing or rapidly changing environment, to challenge yourself internally over and over again, and to discuss weaknesses, mistakes or risks very openly.”

Company: paretos


Management:  Thorsten Heilig, Co-Founder & CEO AND Fabian Rang, Co-Founder & CTO

Founded Year: 2020

Headquarters: Heidelberg, BW

Description: Paretos “data science to go” platform enables global corps, innovative SMEs, and growing start-ups to use AI without prior knowledge

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MemryX: a new Edge AI startup that has developed a highly efficient and scalable AI accelerator.

Keith Kressin, President & CEO, MemryX

MemryX: a new Edge AI startup that has developed a highly efficient and scalable AI accelerator.

As the CEO of MemryX, Inc., an innovative Edge AI startup founded by professors at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Keith Kressin has been a passionate entrepreneur. Prior to joining MemryX, Keith was a SVP at Qualcomm, leading a spate of activities including the Snapdragon roadmap, technologies for application processing, company strategy, competitive analysis, and more. In an interview, he speaks on an array of topics. Excerpts:

Conception of MemryX

“Our team wanted to develop an AI accelerator that was customer friendly in terms of ease-of-use and scalability, while providing excellent technical metrics.” Adds Keith that the team wanted to develop a hardware accelerator that could be adapted to any trained AI software model, rather than needing to train and then modify the model to run well on target hardware. “So our focus from the start was on developing technology to meet a key customer need and hence MemryX was born.”

Challenges galore – AI technology

AI continues to grow in a variety of different applications and industries as it is used to make cities, companies, and hospitals smarter, help increasing manufacturing efficiencies, better support education inside and outside the classroom, and more.  “AI can add a layer of intelligence into any device that computes. Of course, every new technology is just a tool and those tools need to be used to increase to increase productivity and quality of life, rather than the limit freedoms or increase natural biases.” MemryX envisions accelerating Edge AI by providing a highly efficient and scalable solution that is simple to deploy and support.”

The key is the company’s innovative MemryX architecture.  “Our architecture was designed to natively support pre-trained AI models with high efficiency and utilization.  If one doesn’t consider model structures and framework, and only focuses on HW efficiency the result is theoretically strong, but practically weak.  MemryX architecture was designed not for white papers or theoretical achievements, but for broad customer scale and deployment.” The combination of at-memory computing, pure dataflow, and our unique memory-based fabric interconnect all support our ability to scale verified models into high volume with a very simple to use software SDK.

One trap for AI is focusing on the core technology itself, rather than the practical application of that technology throughout the entire value chain.  As in most industries, solving customer needs be in the forefront. AI is extremely complex with many facets.  It is also very exciting and dynamic field that attracts individuals with a wide variety of background and skills. The key is to stay focused on the larger picture while being extremely adaptable to market and technology changes.

Leadership traits

“It all starts with clear and transparent organization & communications.  People need to understand objectives, timelines, and be given the tools/resources to achieve well defined goals.  Teams need to be encouraged to be open and honest.”  Realistic, approachable, in-tune with all functions of the entire organization, humble, goal-centric, empowering, and one who honestly cares about the company, the team, and the individual. Keith’s leadership style is approachable with realistic expectations and stays in-tune with all functions of the entire organization. He honestly cares about the company, the team, and the individual.

“Fear in failing is usually rooted in the reaction to the failure in terms of embarrassment or punishment. However, if leaders encourage an intelligent risk-taking culture where we learn from our failures, then we grow to become a stronger organization. Further, failures from risk-taking can be minimized through proper hiring, organization, funding, and goal setting.”

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RAIN Defense + AI: Creating synergies between AI and defense sectors

Norine MacDonald KC, President & Founder, RAIN DEFENSE + AI

RAIN Defense + AI: Creating synergies between AI and defense sectors

Norine MacDonald is the President and Founder of RAIN Defense + AI, an exciting new global platform on AI and Defense. She was formerly President and Founder of The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), an international security and development think tank founded in 2002. Ms MacDonald is a former Distinguished Research Fellow for National Defense University in Washington and a graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management program in Artificial Intelligence (AI). In an interview, she speaks on an array of topics. Excerpts:

Conception of RAIN Defense + AI

For Ms Norine MacDonald it is clear that the business of war is being overtaken by the advent of AI, and a competitive and fast-moving global environment. Western governments need to be competitive with other countries, primarily China, that have been investing heavily in the sector.

The AI + Defense sector offers significant investment opportunities, particularly for non-traditional business players. The global AI + Defense market is projected to grow to $61 billion by 2027.

“There is no specialized single company or platform for the AI + Defense sector to source comprehensive, intelligible and relevant knowledge/data and connect to all the players globally” said Ms Norine MacDonald.

RAIN Defense + AI is an exciting new venture working at the critical intersection of AI and Defense:

  • RAIN INDUSTRY provides access to expert knowledge and data analytics on current and emerging AI technologies on defense platforms for all market participants across sectors and geographies.
  • RAINCLOUD creates a global community content platform with a validated network of multidisciplinary professionals, with curated data and news and product info in AI and defense.

RAIN, the AI and defense solution: the RAINCLOUD global platform

To understand and unpack the complex world of AI and defense, RAIN  produces commercial INDUSTRY Reports which provide:

  • benchmarking  various defense sector platforms and AI, along with trends and forecasting.
  • complete information “Who’s Who” data on individuals working in the field of AI and defence.
  • a data and directory on Venture Capital players active in AI and defense. Norine says: “We have mapped the 500 most influential individuals in the US in our RAIN 500 and we have done an extensive report on the 40 main venture capital firms in the US and the 150 defense and dual-use startups they invest in.”

As a gateway to RAIN Research data and content platform RAINCLOUD will be launched in 2023.

“For RAIN, our access to government clients has been made much easier through our business connection as a data provider with Grist Mill Exchange, which functions as a data marketplace for government and national security enterprises. Through Grist Mill Exchange we will be able to provide our INDUSTRY reports to  government stakeholders and to onboard them to the RAINCLOUD global platform where they can connect with  AI startups, venture capitalists, defense companies and scientists working in the broad field of AI and defense.”

AI and Defence: a new Ethical Challenge

“AI solutions in defense are now more than ever driven by the commercial sector and dual-use technology. While onboarding such technology in the military world is revolutionary in terms of competitiveness, we cannot ignore the important ethical questions inherent in their adoption.”

AI enables unprecedented opportunities for more autonomy, and this changes the human-machine interaction. Therefore, we decided from the beginning that RAIN would also have an Ethics Division, which helps unpack the ethical and legal arguments involved and supports discussion and debate on these issues, she observed.

Leadership Traits

“The RAIN team has been working together for more than 20 years on international security and policy issues in Afghanistan, Latin America and the Middle East. To launch a new company requires both creativity and stamina. We are lucky to have a close-knit team that works well both independently and together.” Norine believes in having a hands-on approach to the work in the sense that she involves herself in the conception, research and implementation of projects, from field work in conflict zones contexts to testifying at the highest levels of government. “If you have a good business idea stick to it –  but at the same time be flexible and adapt as you go along. Hard work, high standards and discipline will never fail.”

AI, the Defense sector and start-ups

In the AI and defense sector, there are exciting new companies developing defense and dual-use technology. These start-ups benefit from new ways to work directly with the government to develop and test their prototypes. At the same time, there are new venture capital firms that focus especially on defense and national security-oriented startups.

“We want to bring all these actors together on our RAINCLOUD platform for mutual benefit. Companies will be able to showcase their latest products and services in our virtual trade show”, MacDonald said.

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PSI FLS Fuzzy Logik & Neuro Systeme GmbH: Optimizing Industrial Business Processes with AI

Rudolf Felix, CEO, PSI FLS Fuzzy Logik & Neuro Systeme GmbH

PSI FLS Fuzzy Logik & Neuro Systeme GmbH: Optimizing Industrial Business Processes with AI

Rudolf Felix is the CEO of PSI FLS Fuzzy Logik & Neuro Systeme GmbH, a German company that specializes in developing and providing software solutions for complex technical systems. Rudolf Felix has been with FLS in the PSI Group since 2008 and has been the CEO since already 1992. Under his leadership, the company has grown to become a leading provider of software solutions for technical systems, particularly in the fields of energy, industry, and transportation. Rudolf Felix has also been involved in various research and development projects related to fuzzy logic and artificial intelligence and has published numerous papers in these fields. In an interview, he speaks on an array of subjects. Excerpts:

Conception of PSI FLS Fuzzy Logik & Neuro Systeme

Says Rudolf that making decisions is crucial for successful and efficient operation in every industrial business process. Decision-making processes that are based on business goals must reflect both long-term strategies and the current operational situation. If the decisions are based on data and the pros and cons between the business process goals are machine evaluated, machine learned and optimized, business process owners and operators get the best possible benefit. “An optimized and explainable decision support is particularly helpful here. And this is exactly what PSI FLS and the specially developed Qualicision AI technology is all about. It combines both technical and economical business goals. An efficient, easy-to-use, and explainable software that is used for business process optimization is what we deliver. It is data-based, and balances out conflicting business process goals ahead of classic algorithms and provides for the performance that our customers across many industrial sectors appreciate.”

AI- Challenges galore

According to Rudolf, many of the industry’s industrial AI use cases have long been developed and in use. Perhaps in the pandemic time, the constant work with computers at home is an additional momentum. “But in my view, business processes in industry have evolved in their objectives rather because of the growing importance of topics such as digitalization, exploitation of data, sustainability and green energy or new possibilities to integrate automatized decision-making in context with many new important aspects in business processes. Therefore, the complexity of the processes has rather increased.”

PSI FLS Fuzzy Logik & Neuro Systeme AI solution

Qualicision AI stands for qualified support with decision-making when optimizing business processes. Qualicision technology was originally based on fuzzy logic which has been extended by a full stack of AI methods that combines the advantages of all of them. In this combination Qualicision AI helps to integrate decision-making expertise of people with business process know-how and connects it with data-driven AI. In addition, the Qualicision AI software has been extended by highly automated deployment. Machine-learned explainability mechanisms are part of it, too. In business processes there are a lot of pros and cons when decisions must be made. Therefore, uncertainty is intrinsic even if all data is clearly measured and in good shape. Automated recognition of these kinds of uncertainty, in particular stemming from the variety of the data and interaction between decision options, is extremely important. “Our Qualicision AI based tools help to identify and to exploit tolerances in the business processes and to optimize out uncertainty. Many use cases show that once Qualicision AI is introduced the business process efficiency increases by 10 to even 25 percent compared to the previous unoptimized status quo.”

Leadership traits

Trying to get inspired from people for whom and with whom you work and trying to inspire them, too. Everything else is the right technology you must have and the passion to work with it.  “When you work on something with passion, the thought of possible difficulties is more of a drive. This is especially true when you are working on the implementation of something you have been involved in from the beginning on.”

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