It’s hard to imagine that less than a year ago, so very few people even knew about the concept of vector databases and how AI could benefit from them. Those who did still had many questions about how they worked and whether they could at all be helpful.
Meanwhile, curiosity and interest in AI spiked, especially after OpenAI launched ChatGPT. Curiosity has sped up our progress and made more people aware of the opportunities AI offers, transforming our landscape. Let's all take a moment to reflect and appreciate the start of a momentous change in how we can communicate, learn, teach, and collaborate so much faster and more effectively by leveraging AI.
Exploring the Power of Vector Databases
The year 2023 was all about dynamic experimentation at Weaviate. Vector databases became a strong and recognized foundation in building ever more effective AI applications, enabling chatbots, agents, and advanced search systems.
Our 2023 global online hackathons proved to be vibrant innovation hubs, fostering diversity and inclusion in collaborative work. We teamed up with friends from Cohere, LangChain, AutoGPT, lablab.ai, SuperAGI, and many others.
Whether you're a beginner just diving into the world of coding, a passionate AI enthusiast, or a seasoned expert in the field, in-person events create a burst of energy and creativity into everyone's personal AI journey.
These events are not just about innovation. They provide a safe and welcoming space to collaborate, meet in person, and celebrate successes. It was fantastic bringing together the community in person and meeting so many of you!Vector Database & Large Language Model Hackathon, Berlin, 2023 - In collaboration with the MLOps community, aimed at fostering teamwork and knowledge sharing in machine learning.
Building with Weaviate
In the realm of Generative AI, especially with the emergence of OpenAI's ChatGPT, the technology landscape has had a significant impact. Users began experimenting with ChatGPT early in the year. They discovered the influence of prompt phrasing on responses, leading to a growing interest in "prompt engineering" and its best practices within the AI community. The emphasis on scalable, open-source vector databases to manage data from AI models aligns perfectly with the goal of making generative AI accessible to all.
In-house open source projects
Our in-house projects, Verba, an open-source RAG app and Health Search built by Edward Schmuhl, and other projects like Leonie Monigatti's Awesome-Moviate and Adam Chan's Recommendation System have pushed the boundaries of what's possible with vector databases applicable to different industry use cases.
Incredible projects came to life through Weaviate in 2023! One standout project is Basepilot, a project by Ken Hendricks and Pascal Wieler that enables businesses to create their own product copilots easily. Their embedded copilot allows product users to find information and get tasks done just by chatting to it.
During the Anthropic Hackathon in London, Ken and Pascal built the v1 version of their product. At the hackathon, they developed a support copilot capable of answering any user queries about a product or API. What's impressive is that it can be easily integrated into any website with just a single line of code. Now, their copilots provide answers and execute actions for users.
Ricards Liskovskis crafted RicAI, securing 2nd place in the SuperAGI Hackathon. He developed an Autonomous Testing Agent to enhance software testing efficiency, harnessing the power of SuperAGI and Weaviate.
Meanwhile, BYTE, an AI-based nutrition app, clinched the top spot at the Coral Cohere Hackathon! Ayesha and Moneebah built this project to transform and personalize nutrition advice. They used Weaviate’s vector database for search and recommendation and multi-tenancy for data security.
These projects offer just a glimpse of the boundless possibilities within the AI realm, pointing the way to a future where AI is more accessible, formidable, and transformative. So, what are you waiting for if you haven't already started building with Weaviate? Share what you build with Weaviate in Slack, on our Forum, or on socials.
Embracing Open Source and Sharing Knowledge
As AI accelerated throughout the year with ever-new innovations popping up, so did the community's curiosity to learn and share knowledge in that area. As an open-source solution, community is a foundational pillar of Weaviate.
Celebrating the spirit of open source, we participated in our first Hacktoberfest this October, which was organized by our very own Leonie Monigatti! This global event, aimed at engineers and machine learning enthusiasts, fosters collaboration and contributions to open-source technology. Participants who had four pull requests (PRs) accepted between October 1 and 31, 2023, earned a unique digital reward and some Weaviate Merch! Contributions varied in scope, ranging from minor, non-coding inputs to more substantial technical improvements.
Weaviate Academy and Workshops have had a fantastic year of learning and growth! We've been focusing on ensuring everyone has the chance to understand and use vector databases and get a grasp on Generative AI and data handling.
Every week, Zain, JP, Daniel, and Duda have been running introductory workshops on vector databases and Weaviate, which have been a hit. Plus, we're super excited about JP Hwang's initiative, the Weaviate Academy. It's a program that takes you from the basics all the way to production-level skills.
Later in the year, we teamed up with DeepLearningAI to create a short course with Sebastian and Zain, "Vector Databases: from Embeddings to Applications with Weaviate." It’s been a year packed with learning.
Building a Global Community
The heart of Weaviate lies in its community. Our strength comes from the combined efforts of our team and users, whether they're engaging in the Community Slack, participating in meetups, or using Weaviate in their projects. This year, we introduced the Weaviate Hero Program, an initiative by Marion, our Community Manager, to honor those significantly contributing to our community's growth and success.
Meetups and Events
Weaviate World Tour - End of Year Edition: To ensure everyone can benefit from the knowledge, we decided to share our knowledge and connect, collaborate, and network with community members around the globe. We introduced our Weaviate World Tour: Year-End Special Edition! bringing tech experts to community events in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, San Francisco, and New York to hundreds of developers, data scientists, and AI enthusiasts.
- Topics varied from RAG and multimodal search to scaling AI applications from prototype into production.
- We partnered with the MLOps Community, AICamp, and other companies across the AI ecosystem.
The Weaviate World Tour will be continuing in 2024! ✨ Check our Weaviate Events & Webinars Page for upcoming conferences, meetups, webinars, and workshops. Subscribe to the Weaviate Newsletter and contact us if you're interested in speaking or hosting.
Weaviate Hero Program
As 2023 wraps up, we're thrilled to celebrate our amazing Weaviate Community! Introducing the Weaviate Hero Program to honor those who embody our values and actively support others with their knowledge and expertise.
Know someone who made a difference in your Weaviate journey? Nominate them as a Weaviate Hero! Let's recognize the people who make our community great. 💚
Nominate your hero here.
As we keep building, learning, and collaborating, we're excited to see the innovations that 2024 will bring. 💫
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