Grounded Generation from Vectara Defines a New Gold Standard for Generative AI Use for Business Data

Vectara closes its $28.5M Seed Round, led by Race Capital, and announces new Databricks partnership

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vectara, the Generative AI (GenAI) conversational search platform, has established itself as a leading player in GenAI with the release of an all-new “Grounded Generation” capability that all but eliminates hallucinations. With this release, Vectara empowers developers to rapidly and easily build conversational AI products with world-class retrieval, summarization, and data privacy directly on top of the data that matters to their business. Vectara raised $28.5 million in Seed funding to accelerate its growth trajectory, led by Race Capital, and established a new Strategic Board of Advisors, made up of principal minds in the space, including Matei Zaharia, the Cofounder and Chief Technologist at Databricks.

Hybrid Search & Beyond: Introducing “Grounded Generation”
Vectara’s new Grounded Generation, or Retrieval Augmented Generation, raises the bar as it allows users to ask questions about their data and returns a natural language summary based on relevant facts retrieved with citations to the company’s source data set. These citations support fact-checking and substantially reduce hallucinations, providing business users with the peace of mind that Vectara will only base its generative responses on the factual information – documents and other data – that they’ve provided to Vectara.

In addition to countering hallucination, Vectara is also improving search efficacy with its enhanced Hybrid Search. Vectara’s Hybrid Search uses a combination of semantic search, Boolean, and exact keyword matching approaches to provide users with the most relevant answers regardless of a query’s length, level of ambiguity, provided context, or even language used.

Data Privacy
Unlike many API providers, Vectara does not train its models on its customers’ data, such as indexed data or queries. By also providing client-configurable data retention, Vectara enables organizations to discard the original documents and text after they have been indexed so that no residual data from the company remains in the index. Vectara’s instant indexing ensures data is updated in near real-time.

“These new features and capabilities make Vectara’s neural retrieval platform among the best in the world,” said CEO and Cofounder Amr Awadallah, “The breakthroughs our team has accomplished over the last eight months are changing the face of AI and how companies can safely use it to expand and improve their value propositions. The new Summarization feature provides organizations with trustworthy ChatGPT-like generated answers, stacked on top of our Hybrid Search enhancements for superior search efficacy. This release makes Vectara one of the most advanced companies in the world in information retrieval and Grounded Generation.”

Funding for Mission-Driven Innovation
Built by a team of ex-Google AI Research technologists and AI scientists, Vectara empowers developers to embed the most advanced Natural Language Understanding models for question answering in minutes. Vectara is making sophisticated AI more accessible for developers and engineers who aren’t trained to build AI from scratch or prepared to invest in the infrastructure and model maintenance overhead. In closing its Seed Funding Round at $28.5 million, Vectara is poised to expand its strategic differentiators – superior information retrieval and ease of use – to further democratize this impactful technology.

“At Race Capital, we are thrilled to lead Vectara’s latest seed round and are committed to working closely with Amr, Amin, Tallat and the amazing team they assembled to further push the boundaries of what’s possible with grounded generative AI,” said Alfred Chuang, Founder and General Partner at Race Capital. “AI can potentially generate trillions of dollars in economic value, while the destructive influence of hallucination holds the power to undo it all. Accuracy and data security are crucial for many industries including financial, healthcare and education. Vectara will be their go-to solution.”

Emad Mostaque, CEO and Founder of Stability AI, is also supporting Vectara’s innovations. “I am delighted to be personally included as one of the angel investors for Vectara. Their ML researchers truly understand how to leverage large language models, as many of them worked on these technologies at Google AI research. I look forward to witnessing Vectara transform the conversational knowledge discovery experience by leveraging generative AI to its fullest potential.”

New Strategic Board of Advisors
Vectara was founded on the prediction that within five years, every company will move beyond search to LLM-powered conversations with owned data assets. To dominate the $51.8 billion market for LLM applications, Vectara has established a new Strategic Board of Advisors. This Board provides Vectara with counsel and expertise from tested veterans in the space, from companies and institutions including Databricks, Cloudera, Stanford University, and Northeastern University.

“Vectara’s new funding round will be instrumental in developing and expanding access to the platform’s breakthrough hybrid search and grounded generative AI features,” said Databricks Chief Technologist and Cofounder Matei Zaharia. “Databricks Ventures believes wholeheartedly in Vectara’s vision for the future of data intelligence enhanced by LLMs. As a new Vectara Board of Advisors member, I look forward to supporting their product roadmap and global market strategy as the company’s growth accelerates.”

About Vectara
Vectara is a conversational GenAI search and discovery platform, which allows businesses to have intelligent conversations over their own data (think ChatGPT but for your data). Developer-first, the platform provides a simple API and gives developers access to cutting-edge NLU (Natural Language Understanding) technology with industry-leading relevance. With Vectara’s Grounded Generation, businesses can quickly, safely, and affordably integrate best-in-class search and question answering into their application, knowledge base, site, chatbot, or support helpdesk. Visit Vectara.com for more information.

Media Contact
Carly Bourne
vectara@bulleitgroup.com
423-443-0449

 GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8847467

Chris McCloskey Joins Duck Creek as Chief Operating Officer

Boston, May 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Duck Creek Technologies, the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of Property and Casualty (P&C) and general insurance, today announces the addition of Chris McCloskey to its leadership team as Chief Operating Officer. McCloskey will be instrumental in driving key strategy, operational and transformation initiatives across the entire business, particularly within our customer and professional services organizations.

McCloskey joins Duck Creek from Datto, where he was most recently Chief Customer Officer for the cybersecurity and business continuity company. At Datto, McCloskey was responsible for building a new customer success organization that significantly improved technical implementation, customer satisfaction and retention, and partner health. Before joining Datto, McCloskey grew through sales and customer-facing leadership roles to become COO, Americas at London-based Finastra, a multi-billion-dollar financial services software company.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris to Duck Creek’s leadership team; he will help us continue to better focus on increasing lifetime value and enable our customers to be more successful,” said Mike Jackowski, CEO of Duck Creek. “Chris is incredibly accomplished in growing and leading large teams through transformation, and having him as a strategic customer-facing leader is the perfect match to advance our vision.”

McCloskey Chris earned his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Gettysburg College.

About Duck Creek Technologies

Duck Creek Technologies is the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of the property and casualty (P&C) and general insurance industry. We are the platform upon which modern insurance systems are built, enabling the industry to capitalize on the power of the cloud to run agile, intelligent, and evergreen operations. Authenticity, purpose, and transparency are core to Duck Creek, and we believe insurance should be there for individuals and businesses when, where, and how they need it most. Our market-leading solutions are available on a standalone basis or as a full suite, and all are available via Duck Creek OnDemand. Visit www.duckcreek.com to learn more. Follow Duck Creek on our social channels for the latest information – LinkedIn and Twitter.

Carley Bunch
Duck Creek Technologies
2019626091
carley.bunch@duckcreek.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8847565

Golden Spike Award to Pomilio Blumm’s documentary on Sebastião Salgado

franco pomilio cannes golden spike award

Franco Pomilio speech at Cannes Film Festival

Premiered at the Cannes film festival “A Social Design Story” focusing on the great Brazilian photographer

The documentary “A Social Design Story – Humanscapes” produced by Pomilio Blumm won the Golden Spike Award at the Social World Film Festival. The award-winning film focuses on Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, one of the world’s most important photographers, in a project with a strong social impact dedicated to water, landscape and the ancestral humanity of the Amazon.

The Golden Spike Award was presented to Franco Pomilio, president of Pomilio Blumm at the Italian Pavilion of the Cannes film festival. «Sebastião Salgado is considered at the same time a photographer, an anthropologist, a sociologist and certainly an artist. His research is based on the relationship between human beings and their habitat, following them in their migrations, their mutations and their constant search for a future. His approach is much more than an artistic view of the landscape, it is absolutely humanistic. This makes his ‘gaze’ a powerful tool for understanding the changing society and offers a privileged angle from which to observe the disruptive processes shaping our future as a community», Franco Pomilio explained during the ceremony.

Indeed, the new challenge for global institutions is to promote sustainable and integrated urban living. Sustainable development is an urgent need in the era of the global energy crisis and climate change, and the documentary revolves around these themes, involving, in addition to Salgado, other exceptional photographers Jimmy Nelson, whose project ‘Before They Pass Away’, on the most fascinating tribal communities still existing, was also broadcast by National Geographic. In addition to him, Lynn Saville, a New Yorker-acclaimed photo artist specialising in portraying cities and rural environments, and Gianni Berengo Gardin, who has documented numerous social changes over the decades, creating a black-and-white world of faces, gestures, landscapes and architecture, captured in their purest, timeless authenticity.

«Humanscapes is the project, started in 2021, that has seen us involved, through the eyes of Sebastião Salgado, in investigating the power of images, in the “synthetic” and almost immersive narrative of their message. Our job is to speak to the people, to the extended communities of citizens and to improve their dialogue with the institutions», added Franco Pomilio.

The Social World Film Festival, which will take place from 2 to 9 July, is divided into 12 sections and hosts films from 42 nations with a special ‘Market’ section hosting 170 films.

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GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000822620

OLON Enters in ADC Market

OLON ENTERS IN ADC MARKET

Olon facility

MILAN, Italy, May 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OLON Group, a global leader in the development and production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for CDMO and general markets, announces the start of construction of a new facility at its Rodano site (Milan, Italy) which will be entirely dedicated to managing and producing Ultra-Potent compounds, used for example as payloads and payload-linkers for antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), one of the most promising emerging cancer therapies, which combines the effective killing power of small molecule cytotoxins and the highly specific targeting ability of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).

Actually, about 80% of the ADCs either approved or under development contains this type of payload, such as Dolastatins or Maytansnoids,” said Giorgio Bertolini, Senior VP R&D Olon Group, “and there are also other highly strategic classes of cytotoxic payloads, such as Anthracyclines, Camptothecin and Calicheamicin.”

The Italian group, with years of expertise in HPAPIs, has invested €22 million in a new facility dedicated to these ultra-potent compounds. The ultra-high-containment production line will produce high-potency and toxic products and will therefore reach containment level OEB6 (target OEL 10 ng/m3).

The new project foresees the complete construction of a new building, within which a second ‘shell’ will be built, containing the production facility and the quality control and research and development areas, as well as all auxiliary facilities. This complete, closed-loop system will include all steps of the process: synthesis, isolation, drying and analysis: an ultra-high-containment plant.

The first phase of the construction, to build the payload research and development area, has already begun and completion is foreseen by H1, 2024. Once completed, the company will move on to the second stage of finalizing the production line by creating the QC and GMP Production areas, with the installation of industrial production equipment.

For the Italian-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) which has worked with highly-potent APIs (HPAPIs) – including anti-cancer drugs and cytotoxic – for over half a century, the decline of the blockbuster, high-volume model in oncology and the rise of niche therapies based on precision medicine are creating new opportunities for continued growth.

Olon is one of few suppliers in the global API market able to integrate every level of containment from the initial API development to commercial manufacturing and from a few grams to hundreds of kilograms.

www.olonspa.com

Media contact

Sabrina Spina

sspina@olonspa.it – mobile 338.6674289

Olon Group is a global leader in the development and production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for CDMO and generic markets, integrating chemical synthesis and biological processes while always embracing the highest international safety, quality, and environmental standards.

With one of the longest track records of the API industry, having deep development expertise and a broad set of advanced technologies, we are the partner of choice which enables our client’s molecules to enter the market successfully.

Olon has a global network of 11 manufacturing sites and 7 R&D centers across the globe. Thanks to our 2,300 employees, including 300 highly experienced and qualified R&D experts, we represent a highly innovative and reliable partner.

At Olon, expertise and competent flexibility throughout the organization help build successful outcomes for our clients in custom chemical synthesis and microbial fermentation, while always maintaining the highest levels of safety, quality, and environmental compliance.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6114c829-f3f0-4f92-8b93-9f42b6c4c8b0

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 1000822609

Hitachi Energy signs agreements with ENOWA and Saudi Electricity Company to design and develop the first phase of visionary NEOM region transmission system

Collaboration to accelerate the development of NEOM in Saudi Arabia with up to 9 gigawatts of power transmission capacity

Zurich, Switzerland, May 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy, a global technology leader advancing a sustainable energy future for all, has signed agreements under the supervision and management of the Ministry of Energy with the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and with ENOWA. The agreements include the supply of three high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems to end customer ENOWA, the utility company for NEOM in Northwest Saudi Arabia. Built with sustainability in mind, NEOM is among Saudi Arabia’s Giga-Projects1 reshaping the future of development. The three HVDC links will have a total power capacity of up to 9 gigawatts (GW).

The agreements include an order from ENOWA’s engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) partner, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) awarded to Hitachi Energy and its consortium partner, Saudi Services for Electro Mechanical Works (SSEM), to provide one of the world’s first 3 GW, 525 kilovolt (kV) HVDC Light® transmission system connecting Oxagon, NEOM’s regional development, with the larger Yanbu area more than 650 kilometers away in Western Saudi Arabia.

Hitachi Energy’s scope of supply includes design, engineering, procurement of HVDC technology and commissioning of the HVDC Light converter stations. Whilst SSEM – a leading Saudi EPC specialized in power, water and industrial projects – will design and supply the AC equipment portion and perform the construction and the installation. The converter stations convert the power from AC to DC then back to AC for integration into the receiving grid. The converters will be sourced by and supplied to Saudi Electricity Company, who were contracted in 2022 by ENOWA to act as their EPCM to build this first HVDC system for NEOM.

Further to this, Hitachi Energy and ENOWA have signed an early works and capacity reservation agreement for two additional HVDC projects, each rated up to 3 GW. Under this agreement, both companies commit to having the resources and capacity necessary to implement these two HVDC systems. As part of a new scalable and modular regional network design that is targeted to seamlessly integrate future renewables and energy storage technologies in the NEOM Energy System, making it unique in terms of size and complexity. The co-operation will also explore opportunities to develop local competencies in the Kingdom, including ways to sustainably assemble the necessary HVDC Light components locally.

“We are delighted to strengthen our collaboration with ENOWA and Saudi Electricity Company in order to power one of the most visionary development projects of all time,” said Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “As the world progresses towards a more sustainable future, our expertise and HVDC technologies are true enablers of the electrification of the global energy system and the transition to renewables.”

“By securing the first capacities for such an important part of our future grid in only one year since the decision to use this technology, we show ENOWA’s commitment to supporting Saudi Vision 2030 in collaboration with Saudi Electricity Company and Hitachi Energy,” said Thorsten Schwarz, Executive Director of Grid Technology & Projects, Energy of ENOWA.

ENOWA, NEOM’s energy and water company, produces and delivers clean and sustainable energy for industrial and commercial applications. The company benefits from NEOM’s greenfield site and strategic location in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, with abundant solar and wind resources. ENOWA will act as a catalyst and incubator for developing new, sustainable energy and water businesses while creating a robust economic sector regionally.

ENOWA seeks by its commitment to renewable energy and efficient water management, to become a global reference for industry leaders and setting a benchmark for sustainable economic circular systems around the world. Formed in 2022, ENOWA is the principal shareholder in the world’s largest green hydrogen production plant set to be commissioned in 2026 and will enable NEOM to be a global green hydrogen hub.

NEOM will be powered by 100 percent clean energy, through renewable solar, wind and green hydrogen-based energy. The region is designed to be a blueprint for sustainable urban living with minimal impact on the environment and enhanced livability.

Note to editors:
Hitachi Energy’s HVDC solution combines world-leading expertise in HVDC converter valves; the MACH™ digital control platform2, converter power transformers and high-voltage switchgear; as well as system studies, design and engineering, supply, installation supervision and commissioning.

HVDC Light is a voltage source converter technology developed by Hitachi Energy, which was launched over 25 years ago. It is the preferred technology for many grid applications, including interconnecting countries, integrating renewables and “power-from-shore” connections to offshore production facilities. HVDC Light’s defining features include uniquely compact converter stations and exceptionally low electrical losses.

Hitachi Energy pioneered commercial HVDC technology almost 70 years ago and has delivered more than half of the world’s HVDC projects.

Hitachi Energy’s consulting services assist energy customers in pinpointing their challenges and suggesting customized solutions tailored to their unique requirements. Our consultants operate independently, with a product and system-agnostic approach, possessing in-depth knowledge of global technologies, standards, and local grid codes.

1 Saudi’s Giga-Projects
2 Modular Advanced Control for HVDC (MACH™)

See also:
Hitachi Energy to supply the first ever large-scale HVDC interconnection in the Middle East and North Africa (2022)
Hitachi Energy and Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority sign contract to upgrade high-voltage direct current transmission system (2023)

ENOWA website

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About Hitachi Energy
Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future. We are advancing the world’s energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 40,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of over $10 billion USD.
https://www.hitachienergy.com
https://www.linkedin.com/company/hitachienergy
https://twitter.com/HitachiEnergy

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society through the use of data and technology. We solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products. Hitachi operates under the business structure of “Digital Systems & Services” – supporting our customers’ digital transformation; “Green Energy & Mobility” – contributing to a decarbonized society through energy and railway systems, and “Connective Industries” – connecting products through digital technology to provide solutions in various industries. Driven by Digital, Green, and Innovation, we aim for growth through co-creation with our customers. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2022 (ended March 31, 2023) totaled 10,881.1 billion yen, with 696 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at https://www.hitachi.com.

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Jocelyn Chang
Hitachi Energy
jocelyn.chang@hitachienergy.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8848737

VCI Global Appointed Consultant For The Up-Listing Of HWGG Entertainment

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VCI Global Limited (NASDAQ: VCIG) (“VCI Global”, or the “Company”) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary V Capital Consulting Limited (“VCCL”) has been appointed as the consultant for HWGG Entertainment Limited (“HWGG”, which stands for Ho Wah Genting Group), for the latter’s forthcoming listing on the NASDAQ stock market. This advisory mandate entails a USD1.6 million advisory fee and also a success fee of 5% of HWGG’s market capitalisation upon listing.

HWGG is one of the most established entertainment service providers throughout Southeast Asia. Reimagining the travel and entertainment landscape by employing the most advanced technology such as Web3.0 to enhance the power of its global reach. HWGG is currently traded on the OTC market of the NASDAQ stock exchange.

VCCL’s scope of work includes, amongst others:

  • review and assist with the reorganization of HWGG’s capital structure;
  • establish detailed capital market strategies;
  • arrange for the formation of a due diligence working group and subsequent management of this working group in producing professional materials; and
  • review, and assist to any queries that may arise from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and NASDAQ.

“Our expanding clientele base in the provision of financial related consultancy and advisory related services further epitomises the clients’ trust in our capabilities. I am truly humbled by the faith HWGG puts in us and truly believe that we will be able to meet their needs as they progress towards being listed on NASDAQ,” said Dato’ Victor Hoo, Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VCI Global.

Group President and founder of HWGG, Pehin Sri Dato’ Lim Hui Boon mentions, “2023 sees very encouraging growth in the entertainment industry, as a company that has been involved in this industry for more than 7 years, we are gaining leverage from such growth. Our company also ventured into innovative Web 3.0 technology to enhance our products and services to our clients and to capture new global markets. With the opportunity to up-list our company to NASDAQ, a US capital market, it will provide us a platform to access global capital markets in order to further strengthen and expand our company to different markets and regions with our new technologies.”

About VCI Global Limited

VCI Global is a multi-disciplinary consulting group with key advisory practices in the areas of business and technology. The Company provides business and boardroom strategy services, investor relation services, and technology consultancy services. Its clients range from small-medium enterprises and government-linked agencies to publicly traded companies across a broad array of industries. VCI Global operates solely in Malaysia, with clients predominantly from Malaysia, but also serves some clients from China, Singapore, and the US.

For more information on the Company, please log on to https://v-capital.co/.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Such statements include statements regarding the Company’s ability to grow its business and other statements that are not historical facts, including statements which may be accompanied by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential” or similar words. Actual results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, including without limitation, the Company’s ability to achieve profitable operations, customer acceptance of new products, the effects of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and future measures taken by authorities in the countries wherein the Company has supply chain partners, the demand for the Company’s products and the Company’s customers’ economic condition, the impact of competitive products and pricing, successfully managing and, general economic conditions and other risk factors detailed in the Company’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release, except in accordance with applicable law.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Issued by Imej Jiwa Communications Sdn Bhd on behalf of VCI Global Limited
For media queries, please contact:

Imej Jiwa Communications Sdn Bhd
Chris Chuah
Email: chris@imejjiwa.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8848488