Retool Empowers Businesses with AI Capabilities for their Apps

JJohn September 7, 2023 7:02 PM

Retool, a platform initially meant for building business apps, has now expanded its services to include Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the introduction of AI-based tools, Retool aims to ease the process of building smarter apps that can handle vast amounts of data and provide useful context to large language models.

Retool expands services with AI tools

Retool began as a platform focused on creating line-of-business applications. Over time, the enterprise has diversified its services to include a plethora of backend functionalities. The most recent addition to this suite of services is a workflow automation feature. Now, Retool is gearing up to launch new AI-based tools aimed at assisting its users in creating smarter apps. These AI tools leverage a hosted vector store, which simplifies adding context to large language models, a vital component in modern AI applications.

Value of AI tools in data interpretation

David Hsu, the CEO and co-founder of Retool, emphasizes the growing interest among his customers in integrating AI into their applications. However, for most businesses, the real value of these AI tools lies in their ability to interpret internal data. While businesses have the option to manually add context to their data, this approach is often limited and can quickly become costly. Hsu believes that the solution is not in training new models but fine-tuning existing ones with the right amount of data.

The modern approach to incorporating custom data into large language models involves data vectorization. This process makes the data easily accessible for these models. This trend is gaining traction among tech giants like Google, Microsoft, DataStax, and MongoDB, with each launching their vector search services recently. However, Hsu notes that the challenge is not in choosing a vector database but in feeding data into it and keeping it updated.

Launch of Retool Vectors

Addressing the concerns of businesses about keeping their vectorized database up-to-date, Retool is launching its own solution - Retool Vectors. This hosted vector storage service, built on the open-source pgvector extension for Postgres, is designed to make vectorized databases more manageable and eliminates the hurdles businesses face when building custom AI apps.

AI chatbot and vector database integration

Retool has internally tested the integration of an AI chatbot powered by GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer), along with a vector database. The chatbot, with access to a large extent of business context, was able to close around 20% of customer service tickets. However, with the addition of the vector database, which included all Salesforce data and other support data, the chatbot's close rate soared to nearly 60%. This demonstrates the significant potential of vector databases in AI applications.

Retool is utilizing its newly introduced Workflow service to maintain synchronization between a business's production database and the vectorized database. This ensures that the AI models always have access to the latest data, further enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of the applications.

AI-based actions for common use cases

In addition to Retool Vectors, the company is also introducing AI-based actions for common use cases such as text summarization and classification, image generation and more. Retool has partnered with OpenAI for these features, which includes integrations into Retool Workflows. This collaboration aims to enable businesses to leverage generative AI across their operations effectively and safely.

More articles

Also read

Here are some interesting articles on other sites from our network.