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Best of geo and AI for better decisions

Fritz Schlereth, Head of Marketing, Descartes Labs

The geospatial industry has traditionally been embraced very slowly by the commercial world, as compared to the government sector. However, the industry is witnessing the rapid embrace of Artificial Intelligence and its business impact. The big opportunity for the geospatial industry is predictive modeling. Geospatial data plays a central role here for commodities and natural resource-based companies as it enables them to become model-driven, automating decision making and continually optimizing their business processes. Companies that embrace AI and geospatial data will quickly realize advantages over the market, while companies that fail to act will fall behind.

Today, geospatial data is enabling several industries transform into model-driven organizations that utilize data to automate analysis and decision-making. While digitally native companies like Google and Amazon have pioneered applications of Machine Intelligence, physically native companies have lagged behind. However, a combination of rapidly growing sensor data that monitors our planet and the availability of massive computing resources is changing this. Companies that act quickly to leverage these growing geospatial data assets will realize decision advantage over their competition. 5G represents the ability to record data more precisely about specific areas on the planet. As a population, we are going to be more eager to leverage 5G to create digital models of our physical environment. 5G gives us greater bandwidth and allows us to increase the amount of connected machinery and sensors across the globe.

Tech for economic prosperity

In part, fears about an economic slowdown are based on trade tensions, such as those between the US and China. Trade tensions present pressure factors on commodity markets and global trade in general. Companies become even more eager for insights for competitive advantage, want the ability to predict price pressures on commodity markets and discern changes in economic and physical behavior. These capabilities are even more critical in an uncertain trade or economic climate. For example, trade tensions between the US and China have driven different sourcing patterns for commodity grains, observable through satellite imagery and geospatial data.

Technology generally introduces efficiencies, increases productivity and leads to greater economic prosperity. There are many opportunities that geospatial data provides to the commodities and natural resource industries, which represent the bedrock of our economy in many ways. Examples include better prediction of disruptions to global supply chains, resource exploration, systematic reduction of risk and greater market transparency and responsiveness.

Most large commercial and government organizations are underusing AI for some of their most pressing operational challenges. One area we see this in is sustainability and our impact on the climate. There are major challenges to quantification and prediction. For example, how measures intended to combat climate and sustainability threats actually perform at scale. AI represents one path to solving these difficult problems. By creating a digital model of the planet, we give our society better tools to manage our natural resources and the externalities associated with commodity markets.

Promoting model-driven organizations

R&D innovation and novel scientific advancement are at the core of our culture and our company’s strategy. The majority of our team is dedicated to technological and scientific innovation.  Our efforts in Machine Learning represent fundamental advancements in our ability to predict the way the physical world evolves and responds to events. At Descartes Labs, our mission is to turn our customers into model-driven organizations. This is critical both for the future of commercial and government enterprises as well as a necessary component to the proper stewardship of the planet. Our product roadmap is motivated by the ability to equip customers and data science teams with the very best in geospatial AI and to ensure businesses and global decision-makers are provided with the very best predictive analytics.

Our technological investments range from innovation in cloud computing, real-time data processing pipelines, novel derivative datasets, and data science development tools architected for very large-scale modeling. This results in better performing predictive analytics that directly empower decision-makers.

Huge demand for talent

Today, we are seeing an ever-increasing demand for those involved in the fields of data, AI and data science. More and more of the gifted are going into these fields, but the demand for this talent is voracious. Geospatial data today constitutes a specialization within the data science field. At Descartes Labs, we set out to hire the very best people in these fields. We are building tools to make these talented technologists more efficient in what they do. We also partner with our customers’ data science teams. This makes them more effective and gives us greater insight into their needs.

We have a mission around improving the world and solving the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. We believe that geospatial data is crucial for solving issues like global stability and economic prosperity. Many of our team members believe these are important issues and want to see their work applied in a way that secures our future.