Blackstraw: Simplifying AI Implementation

Atul Arya, Arjun Rajan and Kiran Ramesh, CEO & Founder, COO & Founder and Chief Customer Officer

With its tagline ‘Simplify AI’, Florida-based Blackstraw focuses on enabling AI implementations that want to profitably employ this technology. “We help with identifying use cases where AI is applicable, prepare organizations for AI implementations by creating a robust Data Strategy and finally deliver on use cases through teams specializing in Data Engineering, Data Science and AI deployments,” says Atul Arya, founder and CEO of Blackstraw.

The genesis of Blackstraw came about after the founders had experienced first-hand the challenges of AI Implementation. “The key challenge is getting the models out of the lab and deploying AI systems in Production. That’s where the pain begins, and one has to manage the inaccuracies of AI models in a timely & cost effective way,” says Arya.

Blackstraw has been able to address these very challenges that most organizations face when adopting AI. “With a unique combination of Platforms covering all aspects of AI Implementation— Data, Model Training and Operations backed by real world AI platform deployment experience, we are in a position to deliver AI solutions in an cost effective and timely manner,” says Kiran Ramesh, CCO of Blackstraw.

We solve Business problems with custom Deep Learning models utilizing AI powered Data Workbench for fast, reliable & unbiased data preparation

Blackstraw’s End to End AI platform for Vision and Document Intelligence solutions features a Powerful and comprehensive AI Data Workbench covering all aspects of Data engineering; a growing library of AI assets that supports fast model training, deployment and operationalization for Image and Document based business processes; and Integration with popular AI frameworks and Cloud technologies to support a variety of Enterprise deployments.

Using Blackstraw’s proprietary AI powered Data Workbench, enterprises can convert, create and synthesize AI training data at 3x the speed. The platform not only decreases the time spent on generating training data but also leverages assets to normalize data from various sources to create unbiased & uniform labeled data. “This is huge when you consider that nearly 60 percent of the effort in AI Implementations goes toward preparing training data,” says Arjun Rajan, Co-Founder and COO.

The Vision Intelligence platform, dubbed “NETRA”, has been used to successfully deliver solutions for clients in the Retail domain. A retail inventory collection company in the Midwestern U.S. is one such client reaping the benefits of Blackstraw’s platform.
They’re right now in the process of completely transforming themselves from a traditional data collection company to an AI-focused inventory collection company. Another project is underway with a large client in India that used this platform for developing a solution for unmanned vehicles.

The Document Intelligence platform, “AKSHAR”, is a powerful and adaptable platform for any kind of document-based business process. It is agnostic of the OCR technology used and integrates with all popular Deep Learning frameworks. Furthermore, it comes ready with a comprehensive Ops console that lets supervisors assign/manage tasks and add business validations quickly. Blackstraw claims that a typical use case can be deployed in 3 months leveraging this platform as has been proven in a Receipt processing project for a Large Market research company based in the U.S. “We see a huge potential for quick ROI for companies that are either planning or already on the RPA journey by adding the cognitive piece at the front-end,” adds Kiran.

The journey of six months till now has been extremely exciting for the company, having been able to land four global clients already. The company sees itself progressing by focusing on enhancing its platform’s capabilities to address industry-specific challenges, and, hire and train talent to gear up for the huge potential that the future holds.