First Derivatives outlined a range of new initiatives on Tuesday, in a bid to put machine learning (ML) capabilities at the heart of future development for the group's Kx technology in direct response to what it said was increasing interest from current and potential customers.
The AIM-traded company said the measures would accelerate delivery of pipeline opportunities in software and consulting, and provide access to an increased pool of ML specialists to help increase traction in the "rapidly growing" area.
It described machine learning as an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that allowed computer systems to use algorithms to adapt to enable better outcomes, based on data rather than explicit programming.
FD's Kx technology is reportedly able to rapidly process vast quantities of data using less computing resource than competing technologies, according to the company's board, and was therefore "ideally placed" to enable adoption of ML across multiple industries and use cases.
The group had already received "considerable interest" from existing and potential customers in areas such as capital markets, IIOT, retail and digital marketing, it said, with a view to "harness the power" of Kx for ML purposes.
FD added that it was in the process of recruiting a team of ML experts with extensive commercial experience of implementing AI solutions in finance and other industries, and who had worked with teams including Deepmind.
Those ML experts would be supplemented by additional Kx senior technical resources to exploit the exciting commercial opportunity.
FD said it expected that - as part of the development effort - interfaces would be created to enable Kx to accelerate processing and deliver real-time capabilities to ML applications developed using other technologies.
The initiative would be led by Mark Sykes, a member of the group's executive committee.
Additionally, to meet the expected demand for ML and AI consultancy, FD said it signed an agreement with Brainpool - a specialist consultancy with 130 ML engineers working across commercial and academic institutions.
Those specialists had "domain expertise" in a variety of industries, the board explained.
Brainpool's consultants would receive training in the core Kx technology, and would be able to work as part of Kx project teams assembled to deliver the benefits of ML to the group's customers.
"Machine learning is a key part of the drive to introduce artificial intelligence into enterprises to deliver automation, maximise efficiencies and generate value," said Brainpool's chief technical officer Peter Bebbington.
"Our agreement with FD will support the proliferation of Kx, an important enabling technology, to enable this transformation."
Brian Conlon, chief executive officer of Kx, added that the interest from current and potential customers in using Kx for machine learning reinforced the company's belief that its technology had a "major enabling role" to play in supporting the development of ML and AI technology.
"The measures we have announced today will allow Kx to power real-time, mission critical ML applications and support our drive to position Kx across multiple industries."