Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Data Weekender 6.5

I am very excited to share that I have been selected to speak at Data Weekender 6.5 on Saturday 4 November 2023. 

The session I will be presenting is the Business Benefits of Good Governance at 9.15. See the schedule here

Data Weekender is a Pop-up and Online Microsoft Data Conference.  #DataWeekender is organised by a group of European-based Microsoft data platform professionals.  The organisers are all regular contributors to the Microsoft Data Community either via speaking, blogging, hosting conferences, and running local meetup groups. Set up during the Covid-19 pandemic this was created to provide a simple way for people to continue presenting and hopefully for people to attend and learn. Since then the conference has grown from strength to strength. 

Monday 23 October 2023

Learnings from Microsoft Build AI Day 2023

I had an amazing day at #MSBuildAIDay and the opportunity speak with many people about AI.  A keynote opened the event and demonstrated a number of different uses of AI. 

At the event I created some artwork using Azure OpenAI DALL-E lab #InventwithAI . There were a few questions to answer via voice input that resulted in your own artwork being created. The questions were: what is you favourite colour; favourite landscape; where do you live; artwork style; favourite technological innovation. The image created is below. 

I had the opportunity to be a connection hub expert and proctor in the 2 Prompt Engineering workshops run by Amy Kate Boyd and Henk Boelman on Learn how to use OpenAI models (e.g. ChatGPT) using Azure OpenAI.

It is strange to be talking about traditional AI, of a few years ago, as historic as we move to Generative AI. Responsible AI was described as, about reducing the amount of time people spend doing certain tasks, and not replacing them as people are always required to validate the output.

A few points learned in the workshop 

  • Generative AI models can generate humanlike text, images, and code
  • Generative AI models are stateless: they do not learn, and are constrained by their training data which is frozen at a fixed point in time
  • Azure OpenAI Service is a managed service that provides access to state-of-the-art natural language generative AI models, including ChatGPT and GPT-4 from OpenAI with the security and enterprise promise of Azure.
  • Azure OpenAI Service provides a simple REST API for accessing these models
  • Prompt engineering is a technique for "grounding" generative AI models, and can be used to influence the style of their output, provide factual information, and constrain their behaviour.

With Generative AI systems beginning to disrupt the world, it comes with challenges. Guidelines are put in place in prompts to govern the context of asking questions and receiving relevant results. The term 'Jailbreaking' has sprung up to break the guidelines or restrictions set down in the AI program.  Thus there is the need to consider how to make these AI models safe and secure for use.

In the workshops AzureOpenAIService-Workshop Understanding-LLMs the sizes of the models were shown to see the rapid changes over such a short period of time. 

The prompt engineering lab was great to be able to get started with immediately.

It is important to think about the business use cases that need to be solved and have a high level understanding of what Generative AI can do to help.  A business should look at  the benefits of using AI, the ethics of using AI and how that impacts employees and customers.

Terms explained

Generative AI  is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content, including text, imagery, audio and synthetic data.

large language model (LLM) is a deep learning algorithm that can perform a variety of natural language processing (NLP) tasks

Prompt engineering is the practice of designing inputs for generative AI tools that will produce optimal outputs.

Microsoft Tools

A couple of tools that are worth looking at:

Responsible AI Toolbox

Responsible AI is an approach to assessing, developing, and deploying AI systems in a safe, trustworthy and ethical manner. Learn how Microsoft thinks about Responsible AI here.

Hands-on tools for building effective human-AI experiences

The HAX Toolkit is for teams building user-facing AI products. It helps you conceptualize what the AI system will do and how it will behave. 

Following the event Microsoft Published

AI Innovations Shine at Microsoft Build: AI Day London

Saturday 21 October 2023

The Microsoft Fabric roadmap

The Microsoft Fabric roadmap is a place where you can check out what's new and planned for in the  unified SaaS platform.  https://aka.ms/FabricRoadmap

There is a good summary of items coming 

Microsoft Fabric roadmap October 11, 2023 by James Serra

I am particularly interested in the administration and governance side.  I am looking forward to these items.

Purview hub for administrators and data owners – Public preview

Estimated release timeline: Q4 2023

Fabric admins (Q3 2023) and data owners (Q4 2023) can gain valuable insights about sensitive data, certified and promoted items. They contain insights about sensitive data, certified and promoted items, and a gateway to advanced capabilities in Microsoft Purview portals.

Purview data loss prevention policies for schematized data in OneLake

Estimated release timeline: Q1 2024

Compliance admins can use Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies to detect the upload of sensitive data (such as social security number) to OneLake. If such an upload is detected, the policies will trigger automatic policy tip that is visible to data owners and it can also trigger an alert for compliance admins. DLP policies can automate the compliance processes to meet enterprise-scale compliance and regulatory requirements in an effective way.

New to Fabric announcements can be tracked here.