Al and Alex Watson discuss Gretel, security, and privacy issues around synthetic data


Hosted by Al Martin, VP, IBM Expert Services Delivery, Making Data Simple provides the latest thinking on big data, A.I., and the implications for the enterprise from a range of experts.

This week on Making Data Simple, we have Alex Watson. Alex was previously a GM at AWS and is currently a Co-Founder at Gretel is a privacy startup that enables developers, researchers, and scientists to quickly create safe versions of data for use in pre-production environments and machine learning workloads, which are shareable across teams and organizations. These tools address head-on the massive data privacy bottleneck--which has stifled innovation across multiple industries for years—by equipping builders everywhere with the ability to create quality datasets that scale.

In short, synthetic data levels the playing field for everyone. This democratization of data will foster competition, scientific discoveries, and the inventions that will drive the next revolution of our data economy. 

The company recently closed their series-A funding, led by Greylock, for another $12 million and brought Jason Warner, the current CTO for GitHub, on as an investor. Gretel also launched its latest public beta, Beta2, which offers privacy engineering as a service for everyone, not just developers.

Show Notes

2:03 – Alex’s background
4:36 – What time frame was Harvest AI?
7:14 – How does NLP play into Harvest AI?
10:50 – How can we not have enough knowledge?
14:08 – Does the tech exist today for security?
18:14 – Privacy issues
20:42 – What does Gretel stand for?
27:42 – Do you increase the opportunity for bias?
31:18 – Where is the sweet spot for Gretel?
33:30 – When do synthetic not work?
37:42 – What is practical privacy?