[Spring 2024] Manufacturing AI Applications (Anthony Tomasic)

Event Date: Wednesday April 17, 2024
Event Time: 12:00pm EDT
Location: TCS Hall 358
Speaker: Anthony Tomasic [INFO]

Title: Manufacturing AI Applications

Developing AI applications is costly and difficult and recent trends have only intensified these challenges. Developers use a bottom-up approach, focusing on the nitty-gritty of integration and infrastructure, which leads to a complex “blob” of code. Changes to this blob are risky due to the intricate web of dependencies. Fort Alto has fundamentally rethought the application development process with a groundbreaking approach that redefines how AI applications are built. (i) Separate application semantics from the infrastructure code. (ii) Split application semantics into orthogonal dimensions, a strategy that simplifies the complexity inherent in application design. (iii) Compose applications by combining pieces to generate infrastructure code. This approach, called “Application Manufacturing”, streamlines the development process, making it more efficient and adaptable to changes. The application semantics graph is at the heart of Application Manufacturing, which enables the layered injection of functionality. The application semantics graph is also the basis for the automatic generation of the infrastructure required to run the application. The runtime system is complemented by a governance framework that oversees the running application, ensuring its integrity and performance. Remarkably, Application Manufacturing achieves up to a 90% reduction in code. This efficiency stems from solving common problems once, applying the solutions universally rather than redoing the work for each new application. 

Consequently, new code is much more straightforward to develop. Moreover, this approach seamlessly integrates with AI and component marketplaces, enhancing its versatility. Application Manufacturing supports conversational interactions, through Large Language Models, with all aspects of a production system – requirements, code development, infrastructure, and even changes to running applications. 

Anthony Tomasic is the CEO of Fort Alto Inc. He is also a Consultant for the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. For 15 years he was a Senior Systems Scientist at CMU where he co-founded and directed the Master of Computational Data Science degree program. Anthony also co-founded the Master of Science in Product Management. He received the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence as part of the Tiramisu Transit project in 2021. Anthony received an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Indiana University, a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University, and an MBA from CMU.