It feels that these days we live our whole digital lives according mysterious algorithms that predict what we’ll want from apps and websites. A new open-source product could help those building the products we use worry less about writing those algorithms in the first place.
As increasing numbers of companies hire in-house data science teams, there’s a growing need for tools they can work with so they don’t need to build new software from scratch. That’s the gambit behind the launch of Seldon, a new open-source predictions API launching early in the new year.
Seldon is designed to make it easy to plug in the algorithms needed for predictions that can recommend content to customers, offer app personalization features and the like. Aimed primarily at media and e-commerce companies, it will be available both as a free-to-use self-hosted product and a fully hosted, cloud-based version.
Although the Seldon name is new, the tech behind the company has been in the works for a long time. Back in 2009/10, Rummble was a kind of ‘UK Foursquare’ that pivoted into Rummble Labs in 2011, to offer its recommendation technology to third-parties.
Now CEO Alex Housley has changed course again, to seize an opportunity to scale by tackling a wider market. He hopes to attract interest from both startups and multinational corporations, helping data science teams get prediction algorithms built into their products easily, without reinventing the wheel each time.
As with other commercially run open-source projects like WordPress, Seldon will charge for both its hosted version and for offering support packages to those on the self-hosted alternative. The company is currently taking details of people interested in its private beta, and the first version of the product will be available in a few weeks’ time, with a staged rollout of the full platform over the following months.