Innovation Week: How Sama Builds a Culture of Experimentation

Loic Juillard

June 22, 2021

3 Minute Read

At Sama, we are committed to building a platform that helps organizations bring their models to production more quickly. But succeeding in a field as nascent as AI requires more than just bright minds and an ambitious roadmap. 

A key ingredient to success – and one that is often overlooked – is a mindset of experimentation; a culture that encourages teams to solve issues in new and more efficient ways. Early on, we found that our teams thrive in this kind of environment, which is why this week, we’re wrapping up our third Innovation Week. 

The concept is simple: for one week, anyone can work on a project they feel passionate about. During the week, you have free rein to work on whatever you please in whichever way you choose. There are no meetings and no interruptions. You are free to try new things, invent and learn. You can be part of a team or single-handedly run with your ideas.

This year, some exciting highlights include:

  • A more efficient approach to video tracking and segmentation
  • New Smart Polygon tool that is able to greatly increase annotation efficiency
  • Enhancing our platform through the introduction of a Sama CLI and data pre-processing capabilities

The atmosphere is incredible. The week starts with a kickoff, where everyone can present the problem they are trying to solve and how they are planning to solve it. The closing ceremony is called the “Grand Reveal,” where each individual or group demos what they worked on. It sometimes yields incredible presentations... other times, it doesn't. 

Freedom breeds creativity. These events have brought some of the most core and innovative components of our platform. Last year, over 50% of all Innovation Week projects were incorporated into our roadmap and implemented within the following two quarters. A perfect example of this is our MicroModel technology, which was initially borne from one of these projects. We now use this technology for Machine Assisted Annotation for deployments in the automotive and e-commerce industries.

Not only does the event enhance our product, it also attracts talent. This year, we doubled our R&D team and are continuing to grow. 

Innovation Week gives our R&D team the space to do what they do best: observe, experiment and discover.

Innovation Week is coming to a close, and once more, our teams have given us plenty to be excited about. As always, many of the projects are slated to appear on our platform. In particular, we saw lots of work around our new 3D LiDAR annotation automation and data processing… stay tuned for that.

At Sama, Innovation Week is designed to encourage experimentation by allowing teams to shift the focus from our immediate customer’s needs to a broader, more bold approach to Machine Learning. If that sounds fun to you, consider checking out the open roles on our R&D team here.