Fiddler Labs has become the latest champion to plug the gap in Explainable AI. The Explainable AI engine announced raising $10.2 million in Series A funding this week. Fiddler currently helps enterprise customers “unlock the mysteries of black-box AI to better understand why these platforms make the decisions they do.” With this funding, the company takes its total financing to $13.2 million since inception in October 2018.
Fiddle Labs is expected to accelerate its work building its breakthrough Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine with explainability at its heart. This is critical for businesses looking to infuse transparency and responsibility in their AI initiatives. Lightspeed Venture Partners and Lux Capital led this round, with participation from Haystack Ventures and Bloomberg Beta.
The Fiddler Explainable AI Engine and the Roadmap Ahead
Founded in October 2018 by CEO Krishna Gade and CPO Amit Paka, Fiddler addresses the rising risks and costly implications of not having visibility and insight into how AI works. Explainability is the missing link and the reason why so many businesses find deploying AI risky.
The Fiddler Explainable AI Engine gets ahead of this by enabling companies to better understand why their machine learning and AI models make the decisions they do. Fiddler is the first startup to bring true explainability to the enterprise – the art of understanding, analyzing, validating, and monitoring AI solutions at the scale required in the modern business environment.
“Businesses understand the value AI provides, but they struggle with the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ when using traditional black-box AI,” said Fiddler CEO and co-founder, Krishna Gade.
Krishna added, “Businesses need to de-risk their AI investments, but most applications today aren’t equipped to help them do that. Our AI Engine is grounded in explainability, so those affected by the technology can understand why decisions were made and course-correct as needed to ensure the AI outputs are ethical, responsible and fair.”
Black-Box AI and Role of Fiddle Labs in Enterprise AI Market
The co-founders know firsthand the difficulties companies face when trying to understand their own machine learning models. Before starting Fiddler, Gade was an engineering manager on Facebook’s AI-driven News Feed, where he and his team explained why a particular story was displayed. Explanations proved useful for Facebook users, and internal teams: from engineering all the way up to senior leadership.
The Fiddler seed was planted when Gade connected with Paka, a former colleague and classmate, who faced challenges getting insights into AI-driven product recommendations used in Shopping Apps in his previous role at Samsung.
Together, they launched Fiddler with the goal of unlocking the AI “black box.” Fiddler’s mission revolves around providing a transparent, trustworthy and operational approach to analyzing and managing AI solutions and programs. Fiddler meets the needs of a variety of stakeholders, including product owners, data scientists, business analysts and operations teams by infusing explainability into the full lifecycle of AI solutions.
Peter Skomoroch, former head of AI Automation at Workday and current advisor to Fiddler, stated —
“Krishna and Amit have an incredible vision and approach to how we can develop a more transparent, ethical, and responsible approach to AI. These two not only understand the problem but have approached the technology solution in the right way.”
Given the rising importance of explainability in the AI lifecycle, the company has raised a total of $13.2 million, including a $3 million seed round raised in October 2018 led by Lightspeed with participation from Bloomberg Beta and Haystack. The company is working with several businesses in banking and finance, Fintech, AI model risk management, and trust and compliance teams on active proof of concepts and expect to announce the general availability of the Fiddler Explainable AI Engine early next year.
Ethical AI: That’s where the Money Makes Sense
“Artificial intelligence has the potential to disrupt many industries, but Fiddler is one of the first companies we’ve seen that wants to ensure this is done in a responsible and ethical way from the start,” said Ravi Mhatre, Founder of Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Ravi added, “What excited us about Fiddler’s approach was the market potential of explainability. We think artificial intelligence cannot exist without transparency and Fiddler has an approach that can scale while addressing the needs of several markets.”
“We saw the value in what Fiddler Labs presents to the industry right away,” said Bilal Zuberi, Partner at Lux Capital, who will be joining Fiddler’s Board as part of the Series A funding.
Bilal added, “We’re seeing more companies coming to us with business models based on leveraging algorithms for everything from recommendation engines and business analytics to medical diagnostics and autonomous vehicles. How can you make significant, mission-critical decisions without explainability and transparency? We’re excited about the market and potential for Fiddler.”
Founded in October 2018, Fiddler Labs’ mission is to enable businesses of all sizes to unlock the AI black box and deliver trustworthy AI experiences for their customers. Fiddler’s next-generation Explainable AI Engine enables data science, product and business users to understand, analyze, validate, and manage their AI solutions, providing transparent and reliable experiences to their end-users.