The Cognitive Leap

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AJ Abdallat
AJ Abdallat, CEO

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Quote: State of the art today is predicting whether a device is going to fail. We do all of that, and that’s wonderful.

Quote: Beyond Limits cognitive AI solutions are capable of delivering clear explanations of reasoning and evidence in transparent audit trails, including risk, uncertainty and facts.

Armed with a mission to create automated solutions with human-like powers of reasoning that magnify the talents and capabilities of people, Beyond Limits has culminated into a leading solution provider offering better information to reduce risk, identify opportunities, and aid human decision-making. Beyond Limits is the only AI company in the world with advanced technology proven in extreme environments from 150 million miles into space for scientific research to 15,000 feet underground for oil and gas exploration.

Beyond Limits is a full-stack artificial intelligence engineering company creating advanced software solutions that go beyond conventional AI. Beyond Limits solves tough, complex, mission-critical business problems for industries that matter. Industries with a massive scale that touch millions of people, offering people with information for faster, better decisions that reduce risk.

Cognitive intelligence and human-like reasoning set Beyond Limits apart from others. Their systems are trained on data and educated by knowledge, which greatly reduces the amount of data needed to make them intelligent.

Because of Beyond Limits’ unique heritage from the NASA space program, their systems are designed to handle the unknown, including imperfect or missing data. This means they can solve problems that conventional deep learning approaches alone cannot do. Beyond Limits solutions are fast, efficient, and run on lightweight hardware. No supercomputer needed. To say the least, the AI industry is a fragmented space, with hundreds of AI providers. So it’s important to draw distinctions. Many AI companies offer DIY development platforms or cloud services. With giants like IBM Watson, Microsoft, and Google casting large shadows over the world of conventional AI, it’s more important than ever to shine a light on “black box” AI and focus on cognitive solutions designed with explainability in mind. Enter Cognitive AI from Beyond Limits. With their full-stack AI provider offering complete turnkey solutions built on their core technology, including next-generation AI innovations and IP proven in the NASA space program.

How it Works

Beyond Limits technology is a cognitive leap beyond conventional AI to a human-like ability to perceive, understand, correlate, learn, teach, reason and solve problems faster than existing AI solutions. Core to Beyond Limits intelligent systems is the symbolic reasoner. A cognitive engine that uses the outputs from sensors and neural nets and uses its education to reason about what it sees. This is a new approach to reasoning, based on opportunistic self-discovery monitoring, bi-modal cognitive-based reasoning, and autonomous self-discovery to resolve the ambiguity. The power of the system is demonstrated as it autonomously shifts through corridors of information to discover plausible facts and scenarios from interpretations of diverse data while avoiding the usual computational complexities of traditional systems through a technique called autonomic monitoring that enables serendipitous discovery during cognitive forensic analysis. The company’s philosophy is that the brain is composed of distinct but interacting modules that self-organize to solve problems using a complement of local learning (“training”) and innate knowledge (“education”). So, their systems are designed to be trainable and learn on the fly, autonomously.

Two Sides of the Cognitive Brain

From the Beyond Limits perspective, AI can be divided into two distinct areas: Numeric-based AI and Symbolic-based AI.

Numeric-based systems (machine learning, neural nets, and deep learning, etc.), are trained from thousands of examples to reduce a problem to sophisticated pattern matching rather than a reasoning-based process. They are wonderful when you have lots of data to train a system. These systems, unfortunately, are “black boxes” that cannot explain how they arrive at their answers. So they don’t know what they know any more than they know what they don’t know.

Symbolic-based AI systems are educated from declarative knowledge (case-based reasoning, rule-based inference, etc.) much as a person would be, and deeply think about each fact that is presented to them. Symbolic systems can reason through ambiguity and missing information with human-like intuition and can provide a detailed explanation of how they arrived at their answers (AKA explainability). Symbolic systems can also make changes to their knowledge base in real-time. However, because they spend so much time processing each piece of data, their approach is to combine them with numeric-based AI to reduce the problem to labels.

Both approaches are valuable AI techniques and typically both are required for complex problems that involve massive, disparate data sets and high-value assets like in energy, fin-tech, and healthcare.

According to AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond Limits—at VentureBeat’s Transform 2019 conference in San Francisco—“State of the art today is predicting whether a device is going to fail. We do all of that, and that’s wonderful, but [we also have a] layer on top [that allows us to] align with the objectives of the company managing [the facility] so they can build a system that oversees everything going on.” Beyond Limits was co-founded in 2014 by Abdallat and Mark James as a full-stack engineering company creating AI solutions deployable via the cloud, on-premises, or embedded in devices at the edge.

In 2012, the California Institute of Technology granted the company a license to update and commercialize 40 of the AI programs developed through NASA’s Deep Space program and operated out of Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

One of the aforementioned programs is Spacecraft Health Inference Engine (SHINE), a software-defined knowledge-based system designed to be efficient enough to operate in real-time environments and used by non-LISP apps written in programming languages like C and C++. It’s used at JPL, where it’s been applied to AI research and specialized tools running on distributed systems. “When you’re operating in space, you’re operating in a very harsh and dynamic environment,” explained Abdallat. “You don’t have access to the computing power — you don’t have access to Amazon’s, Microsoft’s, or Google’s amazing cloud. And you’re going to have gaps in the communication — you’re going to have issues with the data. As a result, [NASA] created a world-class organization to focus on how to … allow these missions to [succeed] on [long] journeys.”

Today, Beyond Limits’ suite includes a management adviser for energy operators that integrates with platforms for physics-based, geology, policy elements, and health care products that combine conventional AI techniques with symbolic reasoning to analyze patient data, lab results, chart notes, and drug interactions and proactively alert medical staff about deteriorating patients. Meanwhile, in the automotive sector, the company’s systems can predict if drivers have become distracted from safe driving and intervene.

Explainability in Cognitive AI

AI systems are built and deployed to deliver actionable information to solve problems. Trust in the system’s recommendations can only be ensured if the system can explain its reasoning. Because Beyond Limits customers use cognitive solutions to analyze and support high-value decisions, their AI systems are designed to explain their thinking. Unlike conventional “black box” approaches like machine learning, deep learning or neural networks that cannot explain their reasoning, all Beyond Limits cognitive AI solutions are capable of delivering clear explanations of reasoning and evidence in transparent audit trails, including risk, uncertainty and facts.

They state that conventional deep learning and neural networks can learn from data, but cannot easily explain their answers. Conventional AI approaches are brittle, and cannot handle new, never-seen-before problems. Beyond Limits Solutions are educated, and trained, leveraging deep learning insights plus expert human knowledge to solve problems even with missing or misleading information. Beyond Limits systems can explain results in terms of human-like reasoning and evidence.

Specialized Fintech Solutions

It doesn’t take a trend-spotting savant to notice that Fintech has taken hold in the financial services industry, and it’s evolving at a remarkable rate. The addition of Artificial Intelligence will accelerate the innovation to an astounding pace, not just in technology, but in new services and business models extending to every aspect of the financial industry. The question is: which AI approach will yield the best results? Financial institutions of every size are striving to bring services out of the skyscraper and into people’s homes, their smartphones, and their lives. Mass personalization means knowing the customer and adapting to them, not making them adapt to you. It’s something AI does very well.

Beyond Limits combines conventional numerical AI techniques with advanced symbolic reasoning capabilities to improve human-like insights and reduce risk. For example, Beyond Limits AI effectively assists financial industry professionals in five important areas of opportunity assessment and risk reduction. The Cognitive AI software can monitor quality and risk in a credit card portfolio. Identify worthy candidates for credit or loans and improve the calculation and underwriting of risk.

The company also offers “software-driven automation continually” monitors and evaluates user activity, payment patterns, behavioral scoring, lifestyle, and spending profile. Responds quickly to changes in borrowers’ financial conditions or behavioral patterns.

Banks want a glimpse into the customer’s propensity to adopt a new program, use a card, or pay on time. Location, retail proclivities, investment history, saving patterns, spending patterns all converge to help forward-looking companies match individual customers with individualized products and services. The goal is the so-called “market segment of one” wherein the institution’s interface to the customer is fine-tuned on an individual, one-to-one basis, much like Netflix or Amazon. Ultimately, an AI-driven financial service reaches the customer just before they need it. Beyond Limits cognitive AI software is ideal for projects based on predicting consumer propensity to use new services or respond to new product offerings. Full explainability for each individual customer is key to personalized services.

Aberrant patterns in consumer payments or transaction behavior can also be detected by supervised and unsupervised learning of electronic transactions, communications, location, and claims with the company’s solution. The System can process extremely high volumes of transactions, detects outliers and alerts investigators for verification.

The Future is AI

Artificial Intelligence technology is not intended to replace people or their jobs. In Beyond Limits’ hands, AI’s job is to take on tasks – difficult, tedious, repetitive, sometimes dangerous, remote, or in challenging environments – so people can work on more important things. Over time, their cognitive AI agents can be trusted to interpret their surroundings accurately, analyze real-time data and compare with historical data. They reason like humans to develop strategies, formulate hypotheses, test ideas, predict problems, determine solutions, and carry out remedies to solve problems. In the company’s view, AI is intended to magnify the talent, capability, and opportunity of people in a symbiotic partnership.

Beyond Limits specializes in complex challenges in extreme environments. Human beings haven’t done many things more difficult than landing spacecraft on a planet 150 million miles away. It takes extreme trust in the AI to drive autonomous decision-making beyond the reach of human experts. Beyond Limits recognize that many companies on earth have similar needs for mission-critical systems with acute situational awareness in real-time, predictive analytics, domain expertise at the edge, and instantaneous human-like reasoning to make informed decisions and take meaningful action. This is why Beyond Limits was created. This is our world.