Snowflake reveals AI innovations and more at Snowday 2023

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Announced at its Snowday 2023 event, Snowflake unveiled several innovations, enhancements and investment plans to boost user experience and extend new capabilities to organizations.

One announcement saw the unveiling of Snowflake Cortex (private preview), a fully managed service that enables organizations to easily discover, analyze and build AI apps in the Data Cloud.

Snowflake Cortex gives users instant access to a growing set of serverless functions that include industry-leading LLMs such as Meta AI’s Llama 2 model, task-specific models and advanced vector search functionality. With them, teams are promised to accelerate their analytics and build contextualized LLM-powered apps within minutes.

In addition, Snowflake has also built three LLM-powered experiences leveraging Snowflake Cortex to enhance user productivity including Document AI, Snowflake Copilot and Universal Search.

“Snowflake is helping pioneer the next wave of AI innovation by providing enterprises with the data foundation and cutting-edge AI building blocks they need to create powerful AI and machine learning apps while keeping their data safe and governed,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP of AI, Snowflake.

“With Snowflake Cortex, businesses can now tap into the power of large language models in seconds, build custom LLM-powered apps within minutes and maintain flexibility and control over their data – while reimagining how all users tap into generative AI to deliver business value.”

Snowflake is enhancing its Python capabilities through Snowpark to enhance productivity, increase collaboration and speed up end-to-end AI and ML workflows. With support for containterized workloads and expanded DevOps capabilities, developers can accelerate development and run apps within Snowflake’s full managed infrastructure.

New enhancements include Snowflake Notebooks, Snowpark ML Modeling API and Snowpark ML Operations Enhancements which build on a native Snowflake model entity and enable the deployment and management of models in Snowflake.

Additionally, as announced at Snowday 2023, new enhancements will provide Snowflake customers with ways to eliminate silos and bring AI and app development directly to their enterprise data. These announcements aim to empower organizations to unify all of the data in a single data foundation, secured by a powerful governance model.

Christian Kleinerman, SVP of product, Snowflake, said: “Having a strong data foundation is the key to a successful AI strategy, and Snowflake’s latest innovations ensure that our customers have the ability to leverage data and harness emerging technologies in secure and governed ways.

“Snowflake is making it easier for users to put all of their data to work, without data silos or tradeoffs, so they can create powerful AI models and apps that transform their industries.”

Finally, the company announced its intentions to invest up to $100m towards the next generation of early-stage startups building Snowflake Native Apps. The Powered by Snowflake Funding Program features leading venture capital firms Altimeter Capital, Amplify Partners, Anthos Capital, Coatue, ICONIQ Growth, IVP, Madrona, Menlo Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Snowflake Ventures.

As part of the Powered by Snowflake Funding Program, AWS will fuel growth and innovation by providing around $1m in free Snowflake credits on AWS over four years to startups building Snowflake Native Apps.