01 Dec 23

At Bullet, we use AI embeddings extensively when we develop AI solutions. Without them it would be near impossible to do what we do. They are the bedrock on what so much is built. But what are they?

Imagine you’re at a huge, bustling flea market. It’s packed with stalls, each overflowing with different items: books, clothes, electronics, toys. It’s a treasure trove of variety, but it’s also chaotic and overwhelming. Now, imagine if you had a magical guide. This guide has the power to instantly sort and rearrange the entire market. It groups similar items together – all the books in one corner, clothes in another, and so on. Finding what you need becomes not just easy, but fun!

This is what AI embeddings do, but in the world of data and computers. Our digital world is like this market – full of vast and varied information. Embeddings are like the magical guide, helping to sort and organise this data.

Understanding AI Embeddings

AI embeddings take all kinds of data – words, images, sounds – and transform them into what computer scientists call a ‘vector space’. Think of this vector space like a big, invisible map where each piece of data gets its own spot. This map is special because it keeps similar things close to each other. For instance, in this map of data, the word “happy” might be near “joyful”, and “sad” near “upset”.

The Magic of Vector Space

The idea of vector space might sound complex (like something out of Dr Who), but it’s quite simple. Imagine you’re drawing a dot for every item in your house on a piece of paper. Items that are alike, like socks, get dots close to each other. Items that are different, like a sock and a spoon, get dots far apart. This is essentially what embeddings do in their vector space. They turn complex, hard-to-understand data into a map of dots, making it easier for computers to understand and work with this data.

How AI Embeddings Transform Data

So, how does this help? Well, it’s all about making connections and understanding context. Let’s say you’re using a translation app. When you type in a word, the app uses embeddings to find that word on its map. It then looks at what’s nearby to understand the word’s meaning and finds the best match in another language.

Or consider a photo-tagging feature on social media. When you upload a photo, the platform uses embeddings to understand what’s in the picture. It looks at where the photo’s data sits on the map and sees what other similar data is close by. This is how it recognises faces or objects.

The Everyday Magic of Embeddings

The beauty of AI embeddings is in their everyday magic. They’re the reason a music app (like Spotify) seems to know just the kind of songs you like. It’s because the app can see where your favourite songs sit in its vector space and suggests others that are close by.

It’s also how voice assistants understand your requests. They convert your words into a format they can place on their map and then figure out what you’re asking based on what those words are near.

In Conclusion

AI embeddings are like our magical guide in the vast flea market of digital information. They make sense of the chaos, finding patterns and connections we might not see. By turning data into a map of sorts, where everything has its place, they help computers understand and interact with our world in a way that’s smarter, more efficient, and a bit magical. This is the invisible wizardry behind many of the technologies we use and love today, making our digital interactions smoother and more intuitive.