Microsoft and SAS announce analytics and AI partnership
The collaboration was said to make it easier for customers to run SAS workloads in the cloud, with Microsoft Azure becoming the preferred cloud provider for the SAS Cloud. Microsoft’s customers in healthcare, finance and other industries will also be able to access SAS industry solutions.
In a press release, Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Cloud and AI, said: “Through this partnership, Microsoft and SAS will help our customers accelerate growth and find new ways to drive innovation with a broad set of SAS Analytics offerings on Microsoft Azure. SAS, with its recognized expertise in analytics, data science and machine learning, is a strategic partner for Microsoft, and together we will help customers across dozens of industries and horizontals address their most critical and complex analytical challenges.”
Focuses of the partnership were said to include the optimisation of SAS Viya, the company’s cloud solution, for Azure, alongside the integration of SAS’ industry solutions and analytics capabilities into the Azure Marketplace and Azure respectively.
Also mooted were the building of joint “market-ready” solutions and assisting customers in capitalising on internet of things (IoT) data. That latter partnership involves the combination of Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform with SAS’ edge-to-cloud IoT analytics.
“SAS and Microsoft have a shared vision of helping customers accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. We both understand that it is about enrichment of data and improving lives through better decisions,” said Oliver Schabenberger, SAS Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer. “Partnering with Microsoft gives customers a more seamless path to the cloud that provides faster, more powerful and easier access to SAS solutions and enables trusted decisions with analytics that everyone – regardless of skill level – can understand.”
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.