Primer acquires Yonder, adds disinformation analysis to AI portfolio for information operations. Read More
Customers now have access to even more sources of OSINT data to confront risk and security threats in near-real time.
Primer today announced a partnership with Flashpoint, a globally trusted leader in open source (OSINT) and closed intelligence for governments, commercial enterprises, and educational institutions worldwide.
The partnership encompasses joint sales, go-to-market, and technology integrations. It allows Primer to add important sources of publicly available information (PAI) from Flashpoint – including Telegram, Reddit, Discord, and the deep and dark web – then apply our industry-leading AI/ML to enable customers to gather timely, relevant, and accurate insights from a firehose of data for better situational awareness and decision making in times of crisis.
Primer customers responsible for tracking emerging threats from adversaries who move from mainstream to less-regulated social networks will find significant value in pairing Primer’s ML algorithms with the data sources they care about most.
Primer’s NLP helps customers find the “needles” in Flashpoint’s “haystacks.”
Primer and Flashpoint already share many joint customers across the defense and intelligence communities and the Fortune 500. Customers will receive tremendous value from our partnership with access to a breadth of data sources, the ability to return historical data from as far back as Flashpoint has available, and a near-real time capability on some data sources – all delivered in a single application.
“Primer’s partnership with Flashpoint signals tremendous opportunity for our joint customers in National Security and other mission-critical operations who strive every day to gain decision superiority. Our aligned vision, complementary offerings, and strong working relationship will deliver unprecedented benefits for customers as they seek greater value from their vast volumes of unstructured data. Primer with Flashpoint is truly a case of ‘better together.’”
– Jon Wolken, CRO, Primer
“Flashpoint is excited to be partnering with Primer as it brings together two world-class companies that are poised to solve some of the world’s hardest challenges for some of the most discerning organizations. This is just the start as Primer and Flashpoint are already bringing intelligence-led analytics to clients. The world will be a safer place as a result of our two companies working together.”
– Brian Brown, SVP, Head of Flashpoint National Security Solutions (FNSS), Flashpoint
Trusted by governments, commercial enterprises, and educational institutions worldwide, Flashpoint helps organizations protect their most critical assets, infrastructure, and stakeholders from security risks such as cyber threats, ransomware, fraud, physical threats, and more. Leading security practitioners – including physical and corporate security, cyber threat intelligence (CTI), vulnerability management, and vendor risk management teams – rely on the Flashpoint Intelligence Platform, comprising open source (OSINT) and closed intelligence, to proactively identify and mitigate risk and stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. Learn more at www.flashpoint.io.
Primer builds and deploys mission-ready AI solutions that meet rapidly evolving defense and security needs. Primer is recognized for fast speed to deployment, powered by a proven ML infrastructure, and the high performance and accuracy of AI/ML models required to inform critical decision making. Primer’s AI capabilities scale from off-the-shelf applications to secure on-premises deployments, trained on state-of-the-art custom models against customer data sets. Multiple National Security and Intelligence Community (IC) agencies as well as global commercial enterprises trust Primer with next-generation AI technologies that accelerate decision superiority. For more information, visit https://primer.ai.
Primer CEO Sean Gourley testified at the fifth and final U.S. Chamber of Commerce AI Commission field hearing in Washington, D.C., in July 2022, where experts from civil society, government, academia, and industry gathered to discuss strategic issues related to the adoption, use, and regulation of AI.
“The U.S. may lose its position as a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) if we do not modernize our intellectual property system and bolster our national security strategy.”
– U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) Director, Policy, Michael Richards (source)
On the agenda were several challenges impacting the U.S. ability to innovate and lead, including cooperation between Russia and China to compete against the U.S. Regarding the Commission’s forthcoming policy recommendations, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark said, “You can count on us to not just produce a white paper but to really turn it into action, into work.”
Indeed, the House Intelligence Committee approved the fiscal year 2023 Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) in July, authorizing funding for initiatives that will improve the Intelligence Community’s ability to modernize its use of emerging technology, monitor and assess foreign malign influence online, and identify and respond to adversaries’ information operations globally, among other priorities.
Importantly, this year’s IAA authorized funding above the budget request, signaling the strategic significance and urgency of these initiatives to U.S. national security.
The Commission delivered six recommendations for how the U.S. can lead on AI, including bolstering AI as a national security priority, elevating the U.S.’s strategic advantage in AI, and ensuring AI is effective for decision-making.
For a full summary of the Commission’s recommendations, read AI’s Role in Modernizing Intellectual Property and Bolstering National Security.
Watch the entire session here: Artificial Intelligence Commission Field Hearing (Washington, DC). Tune in to hour 2:42 for Primer CEO Sean Gourley’s testimony and the important Q&A that follows.
Read a summary of Sean Gourley’s testimony to the Commission: AI in Warfare: A Race the U.S. Can’t Afford to Lose.
Dawn brings extensive U.S. government, intelligence, and technology expertise to Primer as business growth accelerates across the public sector and commercial enterprises globally.
Primer is thrilled to announce that Dawn Meyerriecks, a recognized expert in national security, defense technology, and intelligence, has joined Primer’s Board of Directors.
Dawn’s career spans three decades in the public and private sectors. She deeply understands the need for sophisticated AI/NLP solutions that redefine how people engage with an increasingly complex world of information to support time-sensitive, mission-critical decision making.
Download Primer’s Guide: How AI Evolves Data Into Open Source Intelligence
Dawn’s unique blend of experience in both national security and commercial technology will be instrumental as Primer accelerates delivery of our AI portfolio for information operations. Her remit is to provide strategic guidance on the direction and implementation of Primer’s strategy to build the infrastructure for creating and deploying NLP models and applications that enable government and civil society organizations to be successful in their missions.
“In this era of information-based warfare, Primer is one of the rare AI technology companies equipped to provide U.S. government agencies with solutions that help them protect communities, civil liberties, critical assets and infrastructure, and our way of life,” Meyerriecks said. “I am pleased to provide my experience and learnings to Primer as we empower intelligence analysts and operators with tools that speed decision superiority.”
“Dawn Meyerriecks brings invaluable expertise to Primer as we continue to meet the urgent technology needs of the U.S. government and our allies. Dawn understands what is needed to protect our country against new and emerging threats from Great Power competitors and other adversaries,” said Sean Gourley, Primer CEO. “We are thrilled to have her join Primer’s board as we continue to make strategic impact across the defense and intelligence communities.”
Read: A New Era of Warfare: How AI Unlocks Intelligence, by Primer CEO Sean Gourley
From 2014 to 2021, Dawn was the Deputy Director of CIA for Science and Technology, directing the organization’s first restructure in its 57-year history to define and deliver state-of-the-art global capabilities. Prior to that, she was the Senior Vice President for Product Technology at AOL, where she was responsible for alignment with business objectives, M&A technical assessments, and opening new global facilities.
Dawn has received numerous awards during her 30-year career, including Washingtonian’s Tech Titan, several Presidential Rank Awards, Fortune’s Top 100 Intellectuals, and Infoworld’s CTO of the Year.
We are incredibly proud Dawn is joining Primer’s board and our mission to provide advanced AI/NLP solutions tailored to address some of the most challenging risk and security applications of our time, such as monitoring global events in real time, detecting disinformation campaigns, responding to cybersecurity attacks, and other threats to organizational readiness and resilience. Dawn deeply understands these issues and we’re pleased to bring her on board.
For more information about Primer, visit the resource library.
Primer Adds Disinformation Analysis to AI Portfolio for Information Operations
With Yonder, Primer gives commercial and government organizations early intelligence about emerging narratives that may impact their brands or strategic advantage – and helps to create a window of opportunity to take countermeasures.
SAN FRANCISCO – June 7, 2022 – Primer, a leader in machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) solutions for government agencies and Fortune 1000 companies, today announced it has acquired Yonder, a pioneering company in disinformation analysis. Yonder is renowned in the information operations space, having deployed AI technology to identify disinformation campaigns and provide contextual intelligence for some of the world’s largest organizations, including a global retailer, a fast food brand, a telecommunications giant, and the U.S. Government.
Primer redefines how people engage with an increasingly complex world of information with its AI-powered toolkit for risk and security applications that support time-sensitive, mission-critical decision making. By pairing Yonder’s contextual narrative intelligence capabilities with Primer’s state-of-the-art NLP models and solutions, such as Primer Command for real-time security and operational intelligence, customers can proactively monitor emerging narratives, identify the groups starting and promoting them, assess the potential risks, and take action to avoid or mitigate harm to their brands and operations.
Getting ahead of false or misleading influence campaigns – before they go viral and have lasting effects on perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors – is essential to combating the challenges of information-based warfare. From the war in Ukraine to market manipulation of cryptocurrency, disinformation changes the course of conflict, impacts elections, degrades brands, and distorts discussions. Primer has a track record of success deploying NLP infrastructure and pre-trained engines that help organizations such as the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) detect, understand, and respond to disinformation campaigns as part of their overall information operations posture.
“Primer saw a unique opportunity to join forces with Yonder and accelerate our ability to provide the world’s best solutions for detecting and monitoring information operations and disinformation campaigns as they unfold, giving customers early warning capabilities to launch countermeasures and defend against attacks,” said Sean Gourley, CEO, Primer. “The experts at Yonder have defined and shaped the disinformation analysis space over the last several years.
We are thrilled to welcome them to Primer and help our customers meet the rapidly changing needs for today’s information warfare environment.”
“Since our founding, Yonder has been dedicated to developing technologies to protect brands and their reputations from manipulation on social media. It’s clear this mission is more important than ever, and Primer is the perfect partner to take our solutions to the next level,” said Jonathon Morgan, CEO, Yonder. “Primer’s machine intelligence for text-based information is unparalleled, and Primer’s talent is world class. Together, we will continue to deliver the industry’s best tools for information operations, situational understanding, and decision support.”
“The ability to collect, analyze, and act on intelligence that could impact reputational integrity has become mission critical for organizations of every size, in every industry,” said Tejas Totade, CTO, at Ruder Finn, one of the world’s largest independent global communications and creative agencies. “Yonder’s narrative detection capabilities coupled with Primer’s innovative language analysis platform will be a uniquely powerful solution for Ruder Finn as we help our clients promote and protect their brands.”
Strengthening Primer’s Foundation
Today’s announcement builds on Primer’s strategy to build the infrastructure for creating and deploying NLP models and applications that enable government and civil society organizations to be successful in their missions.
The acquisition of Yonder follows Primer’s recent acquisition of LightTag, which added team-based data label management software to Primer’s infrastructure, ensuring better data on which to train NLP models, higher model performance, and faster deployment of models into production.
Yonder complements Primer Command, an AI-powered real-time security and operational intelligence solution that provides situational awareness of fast-breaking events to inform timely decisions and action.
Customers and partners will now have access to a larger set of complementary technologies designed to analyze and interpret natural language, including Primer’s pre-trained NLP models with advanced algorithms for bot detection, synthetic text detection, and claim detection and extraction.
For more information about today’s announcement and to request demos of Yonder and Primer Command, please contact Primer.
Primer builds machines that can read and write with human-level precision. Primer’s industrial-grade NLP technology is deployed by some of the world’s largest government agencies, financial institutions, and Fortune 50 organizations. Trusted to operate in sensitive and complex data environments, Primer provides deep and proven artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) solutions tailored to risk and security applications, including: monitoring global events in real time, identifying disinformation campaigns, responding to cybersecurity attacks, detecting risks to brand reputation, and other impacts on organizational resilience and mission success. Primer is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with offices around the world. For more information, please visit https://primer.ai.
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Kim Dion, PR/AR, Primer
The events of last week have changed the world as we have come to know it. We woke up to a war in Europe, and Russian forces advancing on the city of Kyiv. The world now feels more uncertain, volatile, and complex. The so-called “fog of war” has descended around us and we struggle to make sense of what we are witnessing, with disinformation being weaponized to generate further confusion. But decisions still have to be made, and these decisions will alter the course of history.
We built Primer for this exact scenario. We started Primer to put the best machine learning tools in the world into the hands of the very people who are required to make decisions to protect communities, civil liberties, critical assets and infrastructure, and our way of life. What we deliver to them makes a difference, and the timeline to deliver has never been more urgent.
Today, we’re making Primer Command generally available to a much wider audience of public and private sector organizations. Command is our AI-driven situational awareness solution that is deployed in technology, financial, security and other critical industry sectors to help users meet an ever-widening array of high-stakes security challenges and opportunities.
Please read on to learn more about what Command can do for your organization, and contact me directly if you’d like to discuss how Primer can support your mission.
Today, Primer announces a new solution for monitoring fast-breaking global events: Primer Command. Powered by Primer’s advanced natural language processing (NLP) technology, Primer Command enables organizations to monitor, analyze, and respond to rapidly unfolding events in real time. Primer Command is the industrial-grade security and crisis management solution that can structure and summarize a high volume of real-time publicly available information, including news and social feeds, at speed, and with human-grade precision.
Command brings intelligence to all levels of decision making, including strategic, operational, and tactical, and streamlines communications so that teams can operate in real time from a shared understanding of the situation.
Why we built Primer Command
In today’s complex world, real-time situational awareness is critical for the public and private sector to effectively respond to major world events, such as armed conflict, natural disasters, terror and cyber attacks, or geopolitical unrest. Organizations need to make timely decisions regarding the security of their people, assets, and critical infrastructure, as well as ensure operational continuity. Yet when a crisis strikes, threat assessment and operational intelligence teams are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information coming from news and social media — and that information can evolve from one minute to the next.
“Military commanders and business leaders live in an increasingly complex information environment, which is a morass of equal parts champagne and swill. Rapidly sorting through fact and fiction and pertinent information to enable time-sensitive decisions is both more important and more difficult.”
– Tony Thomas, Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
We are now extending our technology to help commercial businesses, who face similar challenges, solve their most critical problems. Using Primer’s world leading AI technology, Command provides a 360-degree view of a rapidly evolving event or emerging threat. It leverages AI-powered intelligence tools to quickly separate signal from noise, enabling organizations to focus on strategic priorities and make fast, timely decisions with confidence.
Analysts and decision makers use Primer Command to:
- Monitor a wide range of global data sources including news, social media, and situation reports (SITREPS) in more than 100 languages.
- Understand the entire picture of a breaking situation within a rich global and historical context.
- Gather rich context of an event from extracted and deduplicated images and videos aggregated together into one single view.
- Extract insights from various data fused together, such as text, images, and video, using integrated AI technologies like computer vision and NLP.
- Geofence a particular area of interest to keep track of relevant changes over time.
- Detect narrative patterns and trends by identifying and understanding disputed information.
- Separate signal from noise by removing duplicate information. Even if authors use different words to describe the same thing.
- Generate knowledge bases fast to understand the people, places, and organizations that matter most.
With Command, intelligence professionals no longer need to rely on rudimentary tools and manual methods to discover salient information and stitch together insight reports — especially when every minute counts. Primer Command delivers reliable, real-time data at scale, saving analysts countless hours and freeing them to focus on higher-level analysis.
Command in action
Inside Primer Command
Primer Command surfaces key insights on a breaking event from a single dashboard that’s updated in real time using situational awareness tools. Data flows in from over 60,000 news and social media sources, providing a robust OSINT data feed to ensure that analysts have a comprehensive view of the event. Analysts can then apply powerful filters to extract the information that they care about most, such as key people, organizations, locations, potential disputed information, engagement, keywords, disputes, sentiment, or languages. They can also run a query on affiliation or relationships between people to gain a deeper understanding of key players.
Command integrates several key AI technologies into one seamless user experience that allows analysts to extract insights from different data formats without ever leaving the platform:
- Named Entity Linking maps text into geographic locations, creating a visual of where unfolding events are happening.
- Advanced computer vision technology groups similar images together, allowing analysts to conduct visual searches, finding different perspectives of the same event, and identifying a wide angle version when the initial image was tightly cropped.
- Optical character recognition (OCR) technology identifies and translates text embedded in images.
- ML algorithms are optimized for speed to support low latency workflows in rapidly evolving situations.
When analysts need to share information with others, Primer Command generates a real-time situation report within seconds, enabling collaboration across users, teams, and organizations, helping leaders to quickly gain a comprehensive understanding of the event and make data-driven decisions.
Primer Command at work
A wide variety of organizations are monitoring and responding to fast-breaking global events, from corporate global security to teams in charge of humanitarian response and tracking global cyber attacks. With Primer Command’s real-time event monitoring and alerting capabilities intelligence teams gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact and implications of an event.
Primer Command’s real-time event and risk detection capabilities empower global enterprises to monitor threats and build effective communications strategies.
- Corporate Global Security Operation Centers (GSOC): Security analysts use Command to monitor and respond to crises that affect company assets, personnel, and critical infrastructure across multiple geographies.
- Humanitarian Response: Humanitarian organizations and first responders use Command’s custom-trained humanitarian filters to identify crucial information from disaster zones and quickly respond to rapidly evolving emergencies. With Command, first responders can pinpoint exact locations, both mention and geo-tag, for accurate situational awareness, helping to ensure staff safety, while delivering well coordinated and targeted assistance.
- Cybersecurity: Security teams use Command for threat detection and early indications and warnings of potential cyber security attacks. Teams can track malicious actors and cyber security news, in addition to geopolitical events. In some cases, this can provide hours of advanced notice versus traditional reporting.
- Financial risk: Fortune 1000 companies use Command today to track rapidly evolving geopolitical situations like in Ukraine and the potential risk that such events pose to a company’s business, supply chain, and its customers.
- Brand and reputation management: Corporate communications, brand, and product teams use Command to listen and respond to public discourse around their company’s activities and products, as well as to counteract misinformation and disinformation.
At Primer, we believe that Primer Command can not only help organizations to effectively respond to specific events, but also help them to protect our economy, our democracy, and our way of life by ensuring the safety and security of individuals, organizations, and societies. We’re excited to make this solution available to Primer customers and we look forward to seeing its positive impact on the world.
For a free Primer Command trial, click here.
With LightTag’s innovative team-based label management software, Primer helps customers accelerate delivery of mission-critical NLP applications
One big obstacle our customers face in operationalizing NLP occurs at the starting line – with data labeling. Better labeling means better data on which to train NLP models, and therefore higher model performance and faster deployment of models into production. One hundred great labels can mean the difference between a model changing the business outcome, or it just being another underperforming prototype.
However, customers consistently tell us that labeling documents is a time-consuming, repetitive, and error-prone task and they need better solutions. Building good NLP models that you can trust, especially for the mission-critical customer applications Primer supports, is vitally important.
A key ingredient in our secret sauce has always been meticulous control over the quality of our data and its cost of production. In response to customer demand, I’m thrilled to announce today that Primer has addressed this pain point by acquiring LightTag and that Tal Perry, the founder and CEO of LightTag, is joining Primer as Principal Product Manager.
LightTag’s team-based labeling solution offers innovative features for project management, annotation scoring and conflict management, and quality control. For the last two years, we’ve relied on LightTag’s quality assurance mechanisms to review our labeled data, and our models.
LightTag makes it easy to set up labeling tasks for teams of labelers, accelerating the time it takes to start training NLP models. This can be done online, with labeling commencing in minutes. If you need to train a model on sensitive data, you can deploy LightTag on premises in a secure environment.
LightTag’s UI is geared toward project management, saving tremendous time and effort for those who currently use Excel or Google sheets to manage hundreds of cross-team projects. Instead of cleaning and labeling data sets, data scientists are free to focus on the key problems they need to solve.
Primer gives anyone the power to build and train models more efficiently with autoML strengthened by Data Map and active learning, no coding or technical skills required. Data Map automatically surfaces potential mislabeled data so customers know what to re-label to improve their model’s performance dramatically faster, and active learning identifies the labels that will best improve model performance, reducing the amount of labeled data needed to train a NLP model by up to 30x.
By combining Primer’s machine-driven programmatic labeling capabilities with LightTag’s innovative human-driven labeling, and a full-service white glove labeling solution, we provide an end-to-end labeling solution that serves the full range of customer needs—whether you build your own models using LightTag, customize our models for your use case, upload your pre-labeled data, or let Primer give you a hand with labeling to save you even more time. This combination of human and machine intelligence is essential to achieving the accuracy, trust, and explainability required to rapidly label, build, and deploy NLP models at enterprise scale. With this acquisition, our customers can accelerate knowledge transfer across domain experts by making it easy for them to teach machines what they know thereby decreasing time to value of a wide variety of NLP applications.
Primer is an enthusiastic user of LightTag, having used the product to label hundreds of thousands of documents to train Primer ML models. As part of our acquisition, we’re offering the LightTag capabilities that made us successful to our customers free for anyone up to 5,000 labels per month. Nonprofits and academic users can continue to apply for a free team license on the LightTag website. We will maintain LightTag as a standalone product, so for all the current LightTag customers that know and love the product, you’ll continue to get the same great experience. LightTag by Primer will continue to operate and be available as both a SaaS offering, and an on-premise and air-gapped deployment for customers with high-security requirements.
As of today, users of LightTag can try out Primer Engines to provide predictions and pre-annotations to accelerate their labeling. As a next step, key features from LightTag will be integrated into the Primer NLP Platform, enhancing Primer’s ability to build and scale world-class NLP models that automate and accelerate the analysis of massive unstructured, text-based datasets. With Primer, organizations of all sizes can harness their data to deliver timely and reliable insights to achieve mission objectives and competitive advantage.
I want to take the opportunity to welcome all of LightTag’s customers to Primer. We are excited to continue to support all your NLP use cases and will be doubling down on our investment into LightTag to make it the best NLP labeling software in the world. LightTag bolsters Primer’s strategy to be a world leader in industrial-grade NLP solutions that transform “information overload” into “mission-critical intelligence” for faster human decision making and better outcomes.
As the world continues to change rapidly, Primer stands side by side with our customers to help them address new and emerging challenges and opportunities, from disinformation and cyber/physical security to brand reputation, global customer insights, supply chain impact, and more.
At Primer, we are building the infrastructure to support the creation and deployment of the mission-critical NLP models. LightTag builds out a core part of the Primer infrastructure and complements our Automate and Engines products.
You can access LightTag here — login and get those labels together to train all your NLP models for free!
For more information about Primer and to get a demo, contact Primer here.
Teaching machines what we know, so that they can do things we can’t.
“2021 was a banner year for Primer with tremendous business growth, product innovations, and new NLP solutions for a growing set of government and commercial customers worldwide. 2022 promises even more as we continue to commercialize industrial-grade NLP for mission-critical applications.”
– Sean Gourley, Primer CEO
2021 was an exceptional year for Primer. We raised the bar in significant ways across all aspects of the company, honing our ability to deliver industrial-grade NLP solutions that are trusted by public sector and business institutions to transform “information overload” into “mission-critical intelligence” for faster human decision making and better outcomes.
Primer’s customers are people on the front lines in high-stakes, fast-changing environments – spanning finance, retail, national security, and more – who rely on timely and reliable insights to make more informed decisions, faster. They’re analysts, operators, and business leaders – and the developers and data scientists who support them – responsible for tasks such as monitoring global events in real time, anticipating supply chain disruption, mitigating risk to brand reputation, improving stakeholder experiences, identifying disinformation campaigns, and other hard problems where a 360-degree understanding of all available data is vital.
Primer stands side by side with our customers to help them apply advanced NLP technology to massive amounts of unstructured data – with greater speed, ease, accuracy, and agility – to achieve competitive advantage and mission-critical objectives. Today, up to 80% of an organization’s data is unstructured, according to Deloitte. It remains vastly untapped despite being critically important to providing a holistic view of an organization’s operating portfolio. That’s a gap Primer is uniquely qualified to address.
While it’s still early days for NLP, the market is growing fast – estimated to reach $127 billion USD globally in 2028 – and we’re committed to building Primer for the long term. I’m pleased to share several examples of the investments we made last year in the people, products, and partnerships that enable Primer to achieve our mission to always better serve our customers.
2021 Primer Highlights
- Secured $110M in Series C financing to support our strategy of becoming a world leader in NLP solutions for mission-critical applications. Funds are being used to accelerate our product development and delivery capabilities to meet a growing set of customer use cases worldwide.
- Expanded and deepened our customer base worldwide in both public sector and commercial markets, with major contributions from our new London and Singapore offices. With customers such as USSOCOM, Walmart, Microsoft, and others I hope we’ll be able to name publicly soon, Primer is trusted by a growing number of world-leading organizations to support their language-driven intelligence initiatives.
- Launched significant new product capabilities – including Automate, Engines, and Command – part of Primer’s end-to-end NLP platform that makes it easy for data scientists and developers to rapidly label, build, and deploy intelligent applications on their data at scale. Primer’s pre-trained NLP models are available “out of the box” and customizable, bringing additional velocity to builders who want to deploy NLP models into production for their unique use cases.
- Hired top-notch talent at all levels of the company, around the world – an impressive feat in such a fiercely competitive hiring market. We were recognized as a 2022 Best Place to Work for the second year in a row, which is a testament to our commitment to building a company culture that empowers people to thrive. Importantly, our bench of investors and advisors is world class.
- Formed strategic alliances with Microsoft and Palantir to serve mission-critical U.S. government needs.
- Selected as a top 10 mid-stage growth company on the inaugural Intelligent Applications Top 40 (IA40) list, recognizing the top private companies Madrona Venture Group, Goldman Sachs, and top-tier venture capital firms believe will define the future of software.
That’s just a sampling of key milestones Primer achieved this past year. We’ve established a strong foundation to build on, and there’s so much more to come in 2022 and beyond. As the world continues to change rapidly, we’ll continue to step up to help our customers meet an ever-widening array of challenges and opportunities.
My personal thanks and appreciation to all of our employees, customers, and partners – you all contribute to our mutual success. I feel immensely positive, grateful, and proud of what we are building together. It’s my honor to work with and lead such a talented, dedicated team.
I know I speak for all of us when I say we are prepared and energized to meet this year.
For more information about Primer and to access product demos, contact Primer here.
Primer is proud to be recognized on two of Built In’s “2022 Best Places to Work” lists.
For the second year in a row, Primer is one of the “Best Midsize Companies to Work For” – ranked No. 21 out of 100 companies – and this year we’ve also been named an overall “Best Places to Work” in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“It is my honor to extend congratulations to the 2022 Best Places to Work winners,” said Sheridan Orr, Chief Marketing Officer, Built In. “This year saw a record number of entrants – and the past two years fundamentally changed what tech professionals want from work. These honorees have risen to the challenge, evolving to deliver employee experiences that provide the meaning and purpose today’s tech professionals seek.”
This award is the latest addition to Primer’s impressive list of achievements over the last year, including several significant product advancements and increased adoption by a growing number of public sector and commercial organizations worldwide to address an expanding set of customer use cases.
“Primer is the world leader in natural language processing solutions for mission-critical applications. Building a company culture that attracts and retains top talent – and empowers them to be the best they can be – is essential to our success, and our customers’ success,” said Primer CEO Sean Gourley. “This award is a testament to our commitment to invest in Primer as a great place to work where diverse talent can thrive.”
Built In determined the winners of the 2022 Best Places to Work awards based on an algorithm using company data about compensation, benefits, and company-wide programming. To reflect the benefits candidates are searching for more frequently on Built In, the program also weighs criteria like remote and flexible work opportunities, programs for DEI, and other people-first cultural offerings. (See press release)
Interested in joining Primer? We’re hiring!
For more information about Primer and to access product demos, contact Primer here.
IA40 names Primer a top 10 mid-stage growth company “building the next generation of software that will change our lives”
Primer is recognized in the inaugural Intelligent Applications Top 40 (#IA40), sponsored by Madrona Venture Group and Goldman Sachs, which honors their list of top private companies building software applications with AI and ML that “truly incorporate intelligence into how they process data and predict outcomes.” (press release)
Top-tier venture capital firms investing in this industry, including Addition, Amplify Partners, Lux Capital, and Steadfast Capital Ventures, as well as Amazon and Microsoft, nominated and voted on the companies they believe will define the future of software.
Why Intelligent Applications?
“Intelligent applications leverage machine learning models embedded in applications that use both historical and real-time data to build a continuous learning system,” according to the IA40 initiative. “These learning systems solve a business problem in a contextually relevant way — better than before — and typically deliver rich information and insights that are either applied automatically or leveraged by end users to make superior decisions.”
“Flywheels will start to emerge in various sub-sectors of intelligent applications,” IA40 sponsors added. “The flywheel of leveraging diverse and robust data to create contextually relevant machine/deep learning models that are then deployed to help solve real-world problems and then the learnings from those inferences (which is more data) are incorporated to further improve the intelligent applications.”
This flywheel effect may drive sustainable competitive advantage and encourage new go-to-market and pricing models that facilitate customer adoption.
Primer CEO Sean Gourley stated, “The promise and potential of industrial-scale AI/ML is materializing every day, in every industry, as machines achieve new levels of trusted, scalable, human-level performance for mission-critical tasks. Primer continues to help meet this need for a growing number of national security and commercial enterprises worldwide.”
“We’re proud to be included in this impressive set of IA40 winners,” Gourley added. “This award reinforces our mission to deliver advanced machine learning and NLP technology to help our customers address the world’s most pressing problems.”
Learn more about the Intelligent Applications Top 40 at www.ia40.com.
For more information about Primer and to access product demos, contact Primer here.
Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of Primer Engines, an integrated suite of industrial-grade natural language processing (NLP) models that bring the power of machine learning (ML) to mission-critical operations at any organization.
Our engines are your flexible building blocks for NLP-powered data processing. Each is pretrained and tuned to work on domain-specific data for use in intelligence and defense operations, financial services, business operations, and more.
You can use Primer Engines individually, or connect them together to build your own custom pipelines that match your organization’s unique workflows. And when you need to retrain them on your own data, you can rapidly do so with Primer Automate — no code or technical skills required.
Leading the industry in NLP
With Primer Engines, there’s no need to mobilize a team of machine learning experts to build your own NLP solution from scratch. We’re dedicated to continuously pushing the realm of what’s possible with NLP, building new domain and data-specific engines that simply work from day one. Primer Engines are ready to deploy, and each is rigorously trained and tested to be performant, scalable, and fast. Our engines automate complex tasks, such as extracting and linking people, organizations, and locations with the Named Entity Recognition and Linking engines, then classifying them to quickly understand diplomatic relevance with the DIMEFIL engine. The Key Phrase Extraction and Topic Modeling engines identify important information in documents and the Summarization engine automatically generates human-quality reports to share with decision-makers.
Data analytics at enterprise scale
Trusted by the U.S. government for military and intelligence applications, Primer Engines unlock the same advanced capabilities for commercial organizations to use in almost any text-related business application. Whether you need to create custom summarizations of hundreds of thousands of customer documents, extract the key earnings phrases from all earnings call transcripts in your portfolio, or identify all topics in a stream of incoming social media posts — Primer has an Engine for you. This means that your teams can automate their reading and writing tasks at scale with human-level precision and discover insights that were previously impossible to find. As a result, anyone in your organization who’s responsible for data analysis, intelligence, or operations can fully access, explore, and take advantage of the firehose of text-based data coming their way every day.
Primer Engines enable you to scale your data analytics operations, leverage richer data insights for better decision-making, and free your teams to focus on their unique expertise. Our engines are:
- Domain-specific: Get access to differentiated engines trained and tuned for specific domains and data.
- Easy to use: Get started instantly with a plug-and-play API.
- Performant: Deploy performant, fast, and scalable industrial-grade NLP to your business.
- Explainable: Understand output, rationale, and how the model will behave on your data.
- Interoperable: Orchestrate engines in robust pipelines for high-scale document processing.
- Customizable: Rapidly customize models for your unique data and workflows with Primer Automate.
Easy integration for custom NLP solutions
Primer Engines are powerful, but we’ve also made them exceptionally easy to work with. Simply pick and choose from over two dozen pretrained engines, such as our top performing Named Entity Recognition (NER), to build a pipeline that can power your specific tasks. A plug-and-play API enables fast, seamless integration into your existing applications, tools, or systems, both in the cloud and on premises.
Retrain Primer Engines with Primer Automate
If you need to customize Primer Engines themselves, you can use Primer Automate. With Automate, you can rapidly retrain engines on your own data, or build your own — with no coding or technical skills needed — and effectively teach the engines to be your subject matter expert. Primer Automate reliably takes care of your model infrastructure, from retraining and deployment to monitoring and explainability.
Primer Engines at work
Primer Engines simplify the path to advanced NLP for a wide range of organizations, so they can build and scale their business and operations with confidence. Here are just a few examples:
- Financial services: Rapidly uncover trading opportunities hidden in 10-Ks, analyst notes, publicly available research, and news sources.
- Surface shifts in industry analyst reporting
- Identify regulatory impact on a company’s business operations
- Identify a set of companies to match your investment thesis
- Business operations: Gain customer and market insights to strengthen brands and improve products and services.
- Better understand customers and build stronger relationships
- Track public perception of the company brand in the marketplace
- Intelligence and defense operations: Create structure from large volumes of data to reveal insights and accelerate high-stakes decision-making.
- Automate the generation and maintenance of entity profiles
- Rapidly reveal unknown patterns and connections
- Accelerate detection and monitoring of influence campaigns
Through Primer’s pre-release program, Primer customers have already been building their mission-critical applications on top of Primer Engines. For example:
- Cybersecurity provider Anomali uses Primer in conjunction with its own cybersecurity product suite to improve efficiency for internal processes. In one case, it reduced the time it takes to accomplish a task from fifteen to only two hours per week. “We are excited to continue exploring ways to expand our use of Primer technology within our organization” said AJ Nash, Sr. Director Of Cyber Intelligence Strategy at Anomali.
- FDB Systems, a financial technology company, tested Primer on billions of finance records against leading cloud and open source NLP solutions. On average, Primer’s out of the box NER model performed 42% better than each of its competitors across all important metrics of precision and recall. Said Simon Mahony, CEO, FDB Systems, “Primer understands our business and is able to train and tune their engines, and other models, as we need in the future.”
- Evalueserve, a leading research and analytics solutions provider, has chosen to partner with Primer and use its Summarization Engine to automatically summarize documents in fractions of a second, saving days of work. This enables us to deliver intelligence to our clients faster and makes our platforms more scalable,” said Satyajit Saha, Vice President and Product Lead at Evalueserve.”
Our suite of Primer Engines is constantly growing, and we’re releasing new domain- and data-specific engines every month. Going forward, we can’t wait to see the innovative ways that our diverse customers will use Primer Engines to transform their products, operations, and organizations.
Primer announces $110 Million Series C investment
Today, we are delighted to announce that Addition is leading a $110 million Series C investment in Primer to help us drive even greater momentum. Addition’s founder Lee Fixel has joined the Primer board, and I am excited to work closely with him as we bring our NLP technology to the biggest and most important organizations in the world. As part of our Series C, we also welcomed Steadfast Capital, Sands Capital, J2 Ventures, and Crumpton Ventures, the investment group founded by Henry A. Crumpton, former deputy director of the CIA’s Mission Center for Counterterrorism, as new investors. We are also grateful to have the continued strong support from our existing investors who have been with us since the start, including Amplify, Lux Capital, DCVC, Section 32, Bloomberg Beta and Avalon Ventures.
Since our launch six years ago, Primer has become a world leader in Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology for mission-critical applications. Today we serve a broad range of government agencies, Fortune 50 companies, leading non-profit organizations and many others around the world. Our customers depend on Primer’s industrial-grade NLP solutions to help them defend the country, build their companies or transform their organizations.
Faster growth and increased investment in deep technology to better serve our customers
Despite many challenges globally, 2020 was a strong year for Primer. We achieved significant revenue and ARR growth driven by multiple million dollar contracts, and importantly our first $10M+ contract. With the capital from the Series C, Primer will be able to accelerate product development for both government and commercial sectors, enabling us to bring our powerful NLP technology and accessible AI products to many more organizations worldwide.
NLP is undergoing a revolution as new AI breakthroughs push the boundaries of machine performance in reading and writing tasks. We are now able to build machines that can achieve human level performance (HLP) in many different language tasks – from information extraction, to document classification to summarization. This $110 million investment will allow us to continue to develop our core technology, and build larger and better performing language models as we push the boundaries of what is possible in NLP.
Growing the team
Primer was started in San Francisco, but we have quickly expanded globally. This year, we opened new offices in London and Singapore and are building out our technical engineering capabilities in those markets to be able to work closely with our customers in Europe and Asia. We look forward to expanding our global footprint and increasing our capacity to build and deploy world-class NLP products to our customers around the world.
To support our growth, we are actively recruiting for many roles within the organization. Over the past year we more than doubled our headcount, growing from 70 to 175 team members. Over 60% of our team today is made up of engineers and machine learning experts with advanced degrees or PhDs, and we continue to be focused on expanding what we believe is one of the leading technical teams in our field globally. As we expand, we will stay true to the DNA of our founding team and continue to grow our investment into deep technology.
As part of scaling the team for the next phase of growth we are pleased to announce the addition of two key executives to the Primer team: Karin Knox, CMO, brings a wealth of experience in leading product marketing and philanthropic product deployment at Palantir; and Sachin Chawla, SVP Engineering, has spent 30 years in leadership roles at Informatica, Oracle, and most recently Trifacta.
Defending the country and building the business
Serving our National Security needs has been a core part of our DNA from Day 1, and the rollout of our NLP technology is having a significant impact. Primer solves information overload by making it easier for intelligence analysts, operators, and decision-makers to use all the information available to them to drive situational awareness and operations. Intelligence teams use Primer to compile comprehensive briefings, monitor global events in real time, identify disinformation, extract insights from massive caches of data, and much more. For government customers, I’m proud to say that Primer is helping drive quick, accurate and data-driven decisions that can save lives.
It has been fantastic working with many large commercial organizations to bring NLP into their business. With our recent Primer Automate launch, we built a strong technical foundation to continue to expand into additional verticals in the commercial sector. We are committed to making NLP as easy as possible to integrate with your enterprise. Now businesses of all sizes can build their mission-critical applications on top of our technology or use Automate to build and deploy flexible NLP solutions, even without a data science team.
Stay tuned for more great things to come this year
I’m proud of the team for what we have accomplished so far. I look forward to this new capital fueling even more growth – we’ve only just begun. If you are interested in being part of a company building world-class NLP technology for mission-critical applications, take a look at our job openings – we’re hiring!
Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of Primer Automate — the world’s first no-code, end-to-end artificial intelligence solution for NLP model creation and deployment. Primer Automate allows you to encode your tacit knowledge within the machine and essentially teach it to understand your world.
Our latest addition to the Primer product suite extends our world-class machine learning technology to put NLP models into your hands. We make it easy for anyone to quickly build their own models, or train and deploy our proven NLP engines, to automate the most demanding text-based workflows with human-level precision.
Organizations use Primer Automate to power their daily workflows in the following ways:
- Build a custom model: Want to create your own model from the ground up? Our easy-to-use interface guides you through the steps — no coding or technical skills required.
- Retrain our models: Need to tweak our models to meet your specific needs? You can quickly retrain any one of our models against your custom data sets.
- Use our models off-the-shelf: Want to get started using best-in-class models right away? Simply access dozens of Primer’s own models and deploy them with a single click.
We are launching with three of our most popular models: Classifiers (including multi-class classifiers), Sentiment, and Named Entity Recognition. Our selection is constantly growing, and new engines are coming online every month, including: Summarization, Key Phrase Extraction, Headline Generation, and Topic Identification.
Why we built Primer Automate
The idea for Primer Automate started with our customers. Some of our Fortune 50 customers needed custom NLP models and would come to us asking for help. Our team of machine learning experts would build them on the customer’s behalf, and while the results were good, it was prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of our customers.
We set out to democratize NLP model customization and give everyone the ability to build their own models without having to know any code or needing a whole team of engineers working beside them. With Automate, we’ve achieved something pretty unique: analysts now have the tools to train machines to automate all those mundane, repetitive tasks that they are doing each and every day. Not only that, but automation at scale can surface things that would have otherwise remained hidden using manual workflows, which gives analysts new insight into their world. We believe that Primer Automate is going to profoundly change knowledge work — literally everything that you do with text will be transformed — and we can’t wait to see what our customers achieve with it.
How active learning makes model training fast and easy
Primer Automate sits on top of our proprietary NLP technology, which is built on transformer-based neural networks, and fully integrates active learning into the user experience. This capability makes our machine learning models faster, more accurate, and importantly, easy to retrain.
Active learning makes sure that the examples that you’re asked to label are the ones that will best improve the performance of the model. This means that you spend less time labeling, and more time working with the output of your models. Active learning can reduce the amount of labeled data needed to train an NLP model by up to 30 times versus conventional methods.
In a way, active learning is more respectful of the expertise that humans bring to the table. Instead of spending your valuable time labeling thousands of repetitive text examples, Automate shows you examples of where the model is least certain, so you can teach the machine what you know and directly improve its performance. And the machine teaches you as well, prompting you to think through complex questions and edge cases, so you come away from the training experience better knowing your own data.
Simple enough for anyone to use
Using Primer Automate is quite simple. You log in and create a reading or writing task that you want to automate. You then start training your model, which involves labeling data until it is able to reach the right level of performance. Some people start with a few dozen examples to get things running and then move to a few hundred examples, which brings their model closer to human level performance.
When this is done, you can output the results of the model into a spreadsheet, or with a single button you can generate an API key to deploy the model on your own data. If you want to update the model to make it better, you can go back and do that easily. The model and the training data are available for you to audit; it’s all versioned for you.
We’ve made it incredibly easy to build these advanced natural language processing models. No coding or technical expertise is required — you can do it all within the user interface. Automate guides you through all the steps: uploading data, labeling, training, exporting, and deploying at scale. You can even collaborate with team members or tap into external labeling resources. The training process is not only easy, but it’s actually pretty fun. Check it out for yourself in our Automate webinar.
Powerful enough to handle the most complex analyses
There really is a huge number of ways that organizations can use Primer Automate. We’ve seen finance analysts building models to identify supply chain risks from news data, customer support teams building models to identify incoming emails from customers at risk of churn, and researchers building models to classify scientific papers about COVID-19 into a set of topics. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s a real-world example. Let’s say that you are a business analyst at a home exercise equipment company and you need to analyze customer sentiment trends across social media platforms. You would first upload all the text from Instagram posts about the company. In a couple of hours, you could build your own classifier model that identifies posts from people who love their equipment because of the community versus those who love the equipment because of the instructors. You can take the same posts and build a classifier to help you understand user frustration by identifying posts from people who can’t get their equipment to function properly versus those who think it’s too expensive. The entire workflow can be done in seconds, giving you time to focus on next steps.
Primer Automate transforms knowledge discovery and workflows
This is an important release for analysts across sectors and industries. Compared to other solutions on the market, Primer Automate stands alone. Some NLP platforms allow you to label data, others are just starting to allow you to train models or optimize things like hyper parameters to improve model performance. But these solutions are all very complicated to use or require days of work and considerable expertise to integrate together.
Primer Automate is really a breakthrough product. We haven’t seen anyone else launch a product that allows users to go from data to fully built and deployed models all in one application. Automate is one more way that Primer is transforming knowledge work, and we are incredibly excited to bring this capability to our customers.
Today, I’m excited to announce that Primer has won a multi-million dollar Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to develop and enhance the machine learning capabilities of our airmen and special operations forces.
We are developing the first-ever machine learning platform to automatically identify and assess suspected disinformation, for use by both the Air Force and Special Operations Command. No system like this currently exists because it was previously impossible for machine learning solutions to effectively identify and extract claims at the level of a human analyst. But here at Primer, we’ve pioneered new approaches in Natural Language Processing to make this possible. We’ve already begun work on this 12-month contract and are seeing promising results in our ability to cluster and evaluate claims. Doing so allows us to generate contradiction scores that let a human analyst quickly determine where they need to focus.
As part of the same contract, we will also enhance our existing natural language processing platform to automatically analyze tactical events to provide commanders with unprecedented insight as events unfold in near real-time. Our platform can already read and write in English, Russian and Chinese to automatically unearth trends and patterns across large volumes of data, and we will tailor this to provide a continuously updating dashboard for Air Force and Special Operations commanders. This platform will automate the work typically done by dozens of analysts in a security operations center to ingest all of the data relevant to an event as it happens and funnel it into a unified user interface to quickly give commanders the most important information.
Information overload is one of the most pressing challenges facing the U.S. military. From 1995-2016, the average U.S. intelligence analyst’s daily required reading grew from 20,000 to 200,000 words per day, and is expected to grow to over 2,000,000 by 2025. The massive volume of information available, coupled with exponential growth in disinformation, underscores the fact that to fight disinformation the DoD will need to continue deploying AI and ML solutions.
At Primer, our mission is to illuminate the truth. Right now, we’re living in a world where the most dangerous form of cyberwar is the fight to hijack our minds and belief systems. If we want democracy to keep working, we have to have a shared ground truth. But there’s an asymmetry in this fight, because it’s much cheaper to conduct information warfare attacks than it is to identify and defend against them. This is why we need to deploy AI and ML solutions to support the humans leading the fight.
Today I’m thrilled to announce the addition of retired General Raymond Anthony “Tony” Thomas III (USA) and retired Lieutenant General VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson (USAF) to Primer’s Advisory Board. As two of the DoD’s top former leaders, they possess extensive experience implementing emerging technologies to support national security priorities. Their counsel and strategic advice will help us continue to strengthen our partnership with the Defense and Intelligence Communities.
With a combined seven decades of uniformed service across the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, Special Operations, and the Interagency, Tony and Dash have personally experienced the challenge of decision making amidst an overwhelming volume of information and disinformation. Their combined expertise is integral to pursuing our mission: delivering cutting-edge technology to those operating at the pointy end of the spear, providing timely analysis, and empowering leaders to make informed decisions.
Tony most recently served as the 11th Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). He was one of the earliest and strongest advocates for applied artificial intelligence on the battlefield and was the first Combatant Commander to appoint a Chief Data Officer to bring private sector solutions to warfighters. He will bring firsthand experience to Primer’s work operationalizing artificial intelligence solutions for the DoD and IC.
In his distinguished 39 year career, Tony was entrusted with the command of all U.S. and NATO Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan, ultimately commanding all U.S. Special Operations Forces globally, with over 90,000 members operating in over 100 countries. He is the former Commander of both U.S. Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He has had more combat deployments than any other senior officer, and is the only officer to have commanded a Delta Force squadron and a battalion of the 75th Ranger regiment. Since 2001, he has deployed every year to Afghanistan or Iraq, and in 2011 was the deputy commander of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1980 and attended the U.S. Army War College and Naval Command and Staff College.
Dash was most recently the Senior Intelligence Officer for the U.S. Air Force as Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Her experience leading intelligence campaigns and accelerating the Air Force’s digital transformation gives her a unique perspective on how Primer can continue expanding its footprint across the defense, intelligence, finance and commercial sectors.
Dash has 37 years of distinguished military service, having commanded units from the squadron level to a career culminating as the Director of the U. S. Air Force’s Intelligence Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects enterprise. Dash was the driving force behind building a cohesive team of the Air Forces’ intelligence and cyber forces into a single war fighting organization: a $72 billion entity with 73,000 personnel conducting global operations across the DoD. She was also responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships with the private sector, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google and IBM, to accelerate the Air Force’s digital transformation. She led units in Germany, Hawaii, Florida, Afghanistan, and Virginia and has been the senior Government representative to multiple Senate and House of Representatives committees. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from West Virginia University and has two Master’s degrees, one in Strategic Studies from the National Defense University in Washington D.C. and one in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle University, Daytona Beach, Florida.
More than 15 percent of Primer’s employees previously worked within the U.S. Department of Defense or Intelligence Community. Recently, Primer added national security experts Sue Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, as a strategic advisor, and Brett McGurk, former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, as a member of its board. To support the fastest growing sector of our business, Primer opened an office in Washington, D.C. last year.
We are proud to welcome Tony and Dash to our Board to help us continue this vital mission.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce the public launch of Primer Labs.
Labs is a free, public facing platform where we’ll showcase the evolving machine learning technology that powers Primer. We designed Labs to be accessible and intuitive, emphasizing interactive experiments that will appeal to everyone from the most seasoned data scientists to those who are just curious about artificial intelligence and want to experience it for the first time.
We’re launching with three experiments:
Ask the Text
Imagine having your own AI analyst who quickly reads your most critical documents and can answer your questions on the spot. That’s what Ask the Text is all about. This is our most forward looking experiment, and it pushes the boundaries of what’s currently possible with natural language processing. Test it against documents you know well or pop in something you’ve never read before to learn something new.
Summarize the Text
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you need to understand the gist of a long document but simply do not have enough time to read it? That’s where our summarization technology comes in. We’re able to sift through a document in seconds and present the key information, generating an executive summary for you. In this experiment we utilize abstractive summarization technology that, much like a human, is capable of pulling in vocabulary and tacit knowledge beyond what’s written in the text.
Expose the Entities
Named Entity Recognition (NER) is the starting point for most of the machine learning pipelines at Primer. It’s where we extract the people, organizations, and locations from streams of text. We are going two steps further here to extract and attribute quotations and to highlight key relationships between entities to offer lightweight but effective insights. We’re also doing coreference resolution to recognize when the text uses “he” or “she” to refer to an individual, rather than calling them by name. Knowing the “who, what, where” of a text is a powerful starting point for a human reader.
You’ll be able to play with all three of these experiments across a wide range of text. We have pre-loaded Labs with a wealth of sources ranging from news to financial documents, government publications, think tank pieces, scientific journals, and more. Our algorithms work on all sorts of text. But don’t just take our word for it. The real magic happens when you drop in your own documents — give it a try. We’ll be able to summarize, extract key entities, and even let you ask questions of any document you serve up.
Transparency is one of our core product principles at Primer. We aspire to build artificial intelligence offerings that are entirely explainable instead of hiding behind a black box. We took this to heart as we built Labs, and established a design language revolving around transparency and focus. Upon visiting the site, you’ll notice elements of layered glass, with nuanced animations that shift the focus. When the AI answers a question, it strives to also show you the location in the text where it gleaned the answer, giving you full context. This design is part and parcel to Primer’s mission to slice through the noise to help reveal the signal.
Stay tuned to Labs as we continue to add new experiments over the coming weeks and months. We encourage play! Over time, as we continue to release new experiments, the site will become a living history of natural language processing where you’ll be able to take part in the evolution of this science. So, join our community and come along for the ride — we can’t wait to see where Primer Labs takes us next.
Today I’m thrilled to announce the addition of Susan “Sue” M. Gordon as a strategic advisor to the Board and Brett McGurk as an independent Board Director. As two of the nation’s most distinguished national security and foreign policy experts, their remit will be to strategically guide the direction and expansion of Primer’s product offerings to the world’s largest government agencies, financial institutions, and Fortune 50 companies.
With more than six decades of combined leadership experience across the White House, State Department, Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, Brett and Sue deeply understand what it’s like to face an overwhelming deluge of information and what’s at stake when the smallest of details are missed. Their combined expertise will be integral in helping us strategically expand our product offerings to the world’s largest government agencies, financial institutions, and Fortune 50 companies.
Sue, who most recently served as the fifth Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence from 2017 to 2019, is joining as a strategic advisor and will sit on the Board of Primer’s Federal subsidiary. In addition to her vast experience working across national security and intelligence, Sue also brings valuable perspective and deep technological expertise to Primer’s commercial verticals in finance, retail and the life sciences.
In her role as Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, she served as a key advisor to the President and National Security Council, and was central to driving innovation and partnerships with the commercial sector across the 17-member Intelligence Community. From 2015 to 2017, Sue served as the Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), providing leadership to the agency, managing the National System of Geospatial Intelligence, and driving NGA’s transformation to meet the modern technological needs required to maintain the nation’s global position. Prior to joining the NGA, she held Senior Executive positions for more than 27 years with the Central Intelligence Agency.
Brett, who served as Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS from 2015 to 2018, is joining Primer as an Independent Director on our Board of Directors. He brings a rare breadth of experience from battlefields in the Middle East to the Oval Office, Situation Room, and negotiating tables with America’s closest allies and fiercest foes. He is currently the Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute and is writing a book on crisis strategy and decision-making in wartime.
Brett has held senior positions under three Presidents: George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. As Special Presidential Envoy, Brett helped build and lead one of the largest international coalitions in history. He has also served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, leading some of the most sensitive diplomatic missions in the Middle East including secret negotiations with Iran to secure the release of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and Pastor Saed Abadini. He was Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to President George W. Bush, where he helped develop the policy known as the “surge” at the height of the Iraq war. Brett earlier served as a law clerk on the United States Supreme Court for Chief Justice William H. Rehquist.
More than 20% of Primer’s employees have previously worked within the U.S. Department of Defense or Intelligence Community. In order to support the fastest growing sector of our business, Primer opened an office in D.C. last year.
Given the tectonic geopolitical shifts underway—the global effort to contain and counter COVID-19, the rise of near-peer adversaries, the tensions with North Korea and Iran, and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East to name a few—the ability to establish full visibility into the information our world is generating, and more importantly, figuring out what it all means, has never been more urgent. No one understands this better than Sue and Brett, and we’re proud to bring them on board.
For more on what Primer is doing to help counter COVID-19, please visit covid19primer.com.
Our mission at Primer is to accelerate human understanding of the world. Over the past year we’ve made important progress towards this goal. We expanded the team to 60 people and deployed our software into some of the largest companies and government organizations in the world. We added customers in eight countries and deepened our work with many of the leading companies in the financial sector. On the technical side we continued to make breakthroughs in our core technology areas of natural language understanding and generation. We also added Russian and Chinese language analysis capabilities to the software.
To further our mission and expand capabilities into new languages and sectors, we secured $40M in Series B capital. The round is led by Lux Capital with participation from Bill Maris’ Section 32 and Mubadala Ventures, the venture capital arm of Mubadala Investment Company. All of our existing investors participated in the round as well, including DCVC, Amplify, Avalon, AME, Bloomberg Beta, Crosslink and In-Q-Tel. Lux’s Zavain Dar joins our board, bringing deep expertise in the technical elements of artificial intelligence and unique insights on the commercialization of AI.
Primer’s impact to date
Today, financial institutions use Primer to make sense of volumes of data, from analyzing quarterly filings to summarizing sell side analyst reports to automating risk and compliance processes. Primer’s software allows analysts to quickly summarize data and surface key insights. An example is the most recent 10K filing from Facebook. Primer’s software read through the 88 page document and in seconds was able to automatically generate a one page summary for analysts to read. As part of this summary, Primer’s technology pieces together information from multiple Facebook documents to infer that the number of reported fraudulent accounts had increased by up to 4x on the previous year. While Facebook had reported the raw data in its 10K filing, the significance in the percentage increase was initially missed by the media.
Analysts at government agencies can use Primer to automatically generate daily briefings on critical global developments across the world, yielding a deep understanding of events and expediting decision making. To give you a sense of Primer’s capabilities, when the attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard happened on September 22nd, Primer was able to automatically analyze the events as they unfolded, connect them together, and compare this chain of events with all similar sequences of events that have been observed in the past four years. This technology allows analysts to quickly understand the aftermath of similar attacks that have occurred in the past and gives them the tools to make better predictions as to what the next 30 days following the attack will look like.
On the commercial side, national retailers are using Primer to scour trend reports, sales data and social media to stay on top of emerging trends to inform purchasing decisions. And they can do this in multiple languages including Chinese, which is important in the retail sector.
We’ve also been able to turn Primer’s technology towards building self-writing knowledge bases. We’re helping to close the information gap on Wikipedia by using deep learning models to generate Wikipedia-style pages for thousands of scientists. We’re starting with scientists but have the capability to expand to all kinds of entities. We believe that super-powering humans to keep the world’s repository of information accurate, complete and up-to-date is critical to helping people understand and make sense of the world around them.
Although we’ve come a long way in the past 12 months, there’s more we want to do. The additional capital will allow us to rapidly expand our language capabilities and significantly grow our engineering and sales teams. As part of this growth we will also be expanding our footprint in Washington, D.C. and New York to deepen our relationships with our government and financial customers.
We will also push forward in the coming year with expansion into the legal and pharmaceutical verticals. Pharmaceutical companies are already using Primer to understand massive repositories of research that could lead to the improvement of medicine. In the legal sector, we’re applying our technology to important problems in document discovery and compliance. These new verticals represent significant opportunities for our language processing and generation technologies.
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. But I’m most excited about what’s ahead. We’re in the early days of realizing the power of augmenting human intelligence with artificial intelligence, and the additional capital will help us reach the future we know is possible even faster.