Anthill Inside 2019

A conference on AI and Deep Learning



Willem Pienaar

Feast: Feature Store for Machine Learning

Submitted Aug 20, 2019

Features are key to driving impact with AI at all scales, allowing organizations to dramatically accelerate innovation and time to market. Willem Pienaar explain how GOJEK, Indonesia’s first billion-dollar startup, unlocked insights in AI by building a feature store called Feast, and some of the lessons they learned along the way.


GOJEK, Indonesia’s first billion-dollar startup, has seen an explosive growth in both users and data over the past three years. Today, it uses big data-powered machine learning to inform decision making in its ride-hailing, lifestyle, logistics, food delivery, and payment products, from selecting the right driver to dispatch to dynamically setting prices to serving food recommendations to forecasting real-world events. Hundreds of millions of orders per month, across 18 products, are all driven by machine learning.

Features are at the heart of what makes these machine learning systems effective. However, many challenges still exist in the feature lifecycle. Developing features from big data is often an engineering heavy task, with challenges in both the scaling of data processes and the serving of features in production systems. Teams also face challenges in enabling discovery, reducing duplication, improving understanding, and providing standardization of features throughout organizations.

Willem will explain the need for features at organizations like GOJEK and discuss the challenges faced in creating, managing, and serving them in production. He’ll describe how in partnership with Google, they designed and built a feature store called Feast to address these challenges and explore their motivations, the lessons they learned along the way, and the impact the feature store had on GOJEK. Finally, he will talk about the open source plans for Feast and their roadmap going forward.



Speaker bio

Willem Pienaar leads the data science platform team at GOJEK, working on the GOJEK ML platform, which supports a wide variety of models and handles over 100 million orders every month. His main focus areas are building data and ML platforms, allowing organizations to scale machine learning and drive decision making. In a previous life, Willem founded and sold a networking startup and was a software engineer in industrial control systems.


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Anthill Inside is a forum for conversations about risk mitigation and governance in Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. AI developers, researchers, startup founders, ethicists, and AI enthusiasts are encouraged to: more