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Weaviate’s re:Invent 2023 recap

· 6 min read
Ieva Urbaite
Alea Abed
Erika Cardenas

AWS re:Invent

This November the Weaviate team went to our first ever AWS re:Invent! Over 50,000 people from around the world came together to learn about the latest developments in cloud technology and to share what they’ve been building with the AWS developer community. Let’s dive into our highlight reel!

GenAI is (still) heating up

This year’s re:Invent focus theme was Generative AI and everyone seemed to be talking about it. In the sessions our team attended, we noticed a particular emphasis on Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG).

Initially when people came to our booth on Monday, roughly 40% of people knew about RAG. By the last day, nearly everyone that talked to us knew what it was because so many different sessions had covered the topic.

"Bob talks about feedback loops"

Our CEO Bob talking about the next level of vector database capabilities - Generative Feedback Loops

We also got tons of great feedback on our open-source RAG app, Verba, which we used to demo Weaviate. It’s something you can use to quickly build RAG apps that fit your use case. Check out our intro video or dive right in to our GitHub repo!

"Adam demos Verba"

Adam from our Developer Growth team demoing Verba, powered by Weaviate!

It was great hearing about the different use cases and industries in which folks are building AI apps – these included chatbots and search applications for things like customer support, document search, image search, and even video search. A common pattern we saw was that organizations of all sizes are evaluating vector database platforms and want guidance on how to find the right database for them.

One of our recommendations is to look for a vector database purpose-built for AI. These databases (like Weaviate) were created specifically to store, manage, and retrieve vector embeddings, and do so faster and more efficiently than traditional databases. While vector search is becoming a popular offering in the database world, many “latched on” solutions don’t meet the requirements of modern AI-native development, from reduced developer experience to problems with speed and accuracy.

Which brings us to our next point…

The market is confusing

The AI space is moving fast. And with so many new technologies and vendors, it’s no wonder re:Invent attendees were telling us that they were getting overwhelmed with the options.

Luckily, your friendly neighborhood Weaviate crew is here to help. Check out one of our free weekly workshops to help you understand what vector databases are and how they can help you build production-ready AI apps quickly and easily.

If you’re curious, here are some of the most commonly asked questions we encountered:

What’s the difference between a vector database and a graph or relational database?

Graph databases are used to identify relationships between objects, and vector databases are used to find objects Relational databases store the relations between tables and build indexes for the fast lookup of joined tables. Vector databases, on the other hand, store the embeddings of structured and unstructured data for the quick retrieval of the objects.

What features does Weaviate offer to help me protect data privacy?

Weaviate is designed with robust security measures to ensure it meets the requirements of enterprise environments. Weaviate has achieved SOC 2 certification and is encrypted in transit and at rest. In addition, our code undergoes constant security scanning and we conduct regular penetration testing ensuring our defenses are always up to date against evolving security threats.

Since Weaviate is open-source technology that can be installed in any environment, it enables customers to keep all data locally, without having to send to a third party over the internet.

How does Weaviate compare to AWS?

Weaviate and AWS compliment each other nicely. You can use Weaviate as your vector database with Amazon Bedrock. Start building with the text2vec-aws module today!

What sets Weaviate apart from other vector databases?

Weaviate is an open-source vector database, built from the ground up for vector search. This means we deliver best-in-class features including:

  • Native multi-tenancy support: ensure your users’ data doesn’t merge together.
  • Built-in hybrid search: customize the weighting of the bm25 and vector search method with the alpha value.
  • Robust integration library: connect Weaviate to your AI stack of choice including providers like Amazon Sagemaker, OpenAI, Cohere, and Hugging Face through our modular architecture.
  • Flexible deployment options: run Weaviate locally or as a managed service (Serverless, Weaviate Enterprise SaaS, or Bring Your Own Cloud) depending on your business needs.

What is Weaviate Vector Club?

A great question, which brings us to our final point (and some behind-the-scenes moments with the Weaviate crew)…

Weaviate Vector Club is here!

"Weaviate Vector Club""Cool sweatshirt"

Weaviate Vector Club is all about our community

Our new line of merch originated during a brainstorming session by the sea in Croatia. What slogan could capture the Stranger Things-esque nerd camaraderie and quick iterating you need to keep up in the AI space? No slogan could.

So, with our re:Invent t-shirt deadline looming over our heads, we scribbled a doodle instead! And somehow, it was just the right amount of weird and fun. We knew we hit something good when our CEO Bob, our resident style icon, said “I like it.”

We made a bunch of t-shirts, stickers, and temporary tattoos and shared them with hundreds of our open-source users who came by our booth. And every evening, a few minutes before the expo closed, a huge crowd gathered to see what we were raffling – from clicky-clacky Keychron keyboards to Lego PacMan, and the prize of all prizes – a now discontinued Lego Bowser set!

"Erika picks the winners"

Erika, our Chief Raffle Officer, hand picked all the lucky winners!

We even had a chance to visit the brand new Sphere with some of our customers and our partners over at Innovative Solutions – if you want to learn more about how we work together, check out our upcoming webinar about building an AI native foundation for enterprise applications.

"Team at the sphere"

Part of our go-to-market team at The Sphere.

And of course, no trip to Las Vegas could have been complete for our crew without a stop over at Meow Wolf, an immersive art installation at Area 15.

"Area 15"

Meow Wolf at Area 15

Remember how we said Bob was a style icon? We decided to pay homage to one of his most recent outfits featured in a Dutch documentary about AI. Now the question is – who wore it best?

"Copying Bob""Bob"

Who wore it best?

We hope you enjoyed our recap of AWS re:Invent 2023!

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