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Algorithmia today announced the commercial availability of a new tool to help companies take their machine learning models from experimentation to production.

Called the Algorithmia AI Layer, the system is designed to help companies deal with the operation, integration, security, scaling, and other tasks around bringing machine learning out of the lab. It’s a problem that comes up when businesses are ready to start implementing the AI models that they’ve built, which can often take a while.

Algorithmia’s own business over the past several years has positioned it to provide this AI layer. The Seattle-based startup has been operating a massive marketplace for intelligent algorithms (hence the name), which means that the team had to build a system just for running machine learning models in production with security, isolation, scalability and other key performance traits built in.

During the creation and testing phase, it’s perfectly fine for machine learning models to have uptime issues, but once they’re part of a business’s core process, any downtime could cause critical problems, according to Algorithmia cofounder and CEO Diego Oppenheimer.

While cloud providers like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon offer customers hosted tools for running machine learning models, companies that buy into those services could find themselves locked into a particular ecosystem. This is something enterprises have become concerned about during the market’s current shift toward cloud computing.

Algorithmia makes its AI Layer available in a couple different flavors — one hosted by the company itself as a cloud service and another that can be deployed in whatever public or private datacenters a customer chooses to use. By building software using the AI Layer, customers can avoid getting locked into a particular cloud provider.

It’s a technology that has drawn interest from some key sectors, including the intelligence field. In-Q-Tel, an investment organization aimed at connecting high-tech companies with America’s spy agencies, is working with Algorithmia to get the AI Layer into the hands of government customers.

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