Image credit: Hugging Face
While generative AI made headlines in 2022 with innovations like ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion, a less visible yet equally groundbreaking development emerged: the rise of vector databases. These databases have the potential to transform the way we interact with our devices and dramatically enhance productivity across various administrative and clerical tasks.
Understanding Unstructured Data
Modern databases face a persistent issue: unstructured data. This type of data, which accounts for up to 80% of global data storage, has not been formatted or structured in a way that enables rapid searching or retrieval. Unstructured data makes it harder to sort, search, and review information in a database, leading to time-consuming manual reviews and errors.
Introducing Vector Databases
Vector databases offer an exciting solution to the unstructured data problem by using vector embeddings from machine learning and deep learning. These embeddings map words or phrases in a text to high-dimensional vectors, positioning semantically similar words close together in the vector space. This technique improves the processing of textual data by deep neural networks, proving valuable in tasks like text classification, translation, and sentiment analysis.
In a database context, vector embeddings numerically represent a group of measured properties. By plotting these embeddings on a graph, we can calculate the distance between any two embeddings and conduct a novel method of searching data.
The Power of Vector Search
Vector databases don't rely on conventional data structuring tools like tags, labels, or metadata. Instead, they enable search results based on overall similarity, significantly reducing manual review and interpretation of unstructured data. This revolutionizes data handling and record-keeping, increasing productivity and efficiency across the knowledge economy.
Advanced search capabilities also allow for more effective engagement with creative and open-ended queries, making vector databases an ideal complement to generative AI. By reducing the need to structure data, vector databases can accelerate training times for generative AI models and automate much of the work associated with processing unstructured data.
As organizations import their unstructured data into vector databases and define the properties they want to measure in embeddings, they can swiftly train and deploy generative models by allowing them to search the vector database for information.
Vector databases have the potential to dramatically improve productivity and revolutionize how we interact with computers, making them one of the most important emergent technologies in the coming decade. By complementing the rise of generative AI, vector databases will significantly impact data management, AI efficiency, and the knowledge economy. Source