Snowflake Cortex Features That Will Change the Way You Work

A survey of 500 Director to C-level data leaders revealed that 85% of organizations plan to leverage generative AI tools by the end of 2024. Explore the latest built in features from Snowflake Cortex to help you do just that.
June 24, 2024
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snowflake cortex explained

Amidst the many groundbreaking innovations showcased at this year’s Snowflake Data Cloud Summit, the spotlight was firmly on Snowflake Cortex, a revolutionary suite of AI and data processing tools. With so many transformative functions and features and with such wide-ranging implications for how data can be processed and utilized, it’s difficult to articulate just how revolutionary this tool will be for Snowflake Users in the coming years.

Through Snowflake Cortex, a whole host of new LLM functions will make data more accessible and efficient than ever before. These functions will reduce the need for technical expertise to sort data, thanks to highly intuitive language-driven AI tools, while also broadening the scope of what is possible when it comes to quickly and efficiently finding highly selective data points.

Let’s take a look at some of the key highlights of Snowflake Cortex’s revolutionary capabilities:

Document AI: Simplifying Document Processing

The data world has been anxiously waiting for Document AI to be made broadly available, and that anticipation has finally been rewarded. This serverless tool leverages LLMs to process and extract structured data from unstructured business documents such as PDFs, images, and Word files. Whether dealing with invoices, contracts, or product test sheets, Document AI promises to revolutionize document handling, making it more efficient and less error-prone.

Cortex Fine-Tuning: Customizing LLMs with Ease

Now in public preview, Snowflake Cortex Fine-Tuning allows users to train foundational LLMs directly from the user interface. With this feature, businesses can customize AI models to better suit their organizational needs, ensuring that the models are more accurate and relevant.

snowflake cortex diagram

Snowflake Cortex Search: Advanced Hybrid Search Service

Cortex Search, currently in private preview, is an innovative user interface that makes data searches easier and more effective than ever. This serverless, LLM-based hybrid search service combines vector and keyword search capabilities to incrementally extract data from documents, tables, and views, automatically chunking and vectorizing it for fast, sub-200ms queries with highly accurate results.

During the Summit keynote, a random audience member with minimal prior experience with Snowflake demonstrated how easy it is to set up Cortex Search. In under five minutes, they were able to configure a working service by clicking through the UI. They selected a stage, preloaded with example PDFs, and within minutes, the chat interface was available, allowing the user to ask questions and receive answers directly from the contents of those PDFs. The entire exercise was a powerful demonstration of the impressive efficacy and user-friendliness of Cortex Search.

Cortex Analyst: Making Business Intelligence Accessible

Snowflake’s Cortex Analyst, currently in private preview, is a serverless, highly accurate LLM service designed to answer business queries in plain language rather than SQL text. This feature is particularly exciting because it allows users to interact with their data warehouse as if they were conversing with a human analyst. By arming an LLM with semantic knowledge and metadata of the data warehouse, and enabling it to run SQL queries and interpret results, Cortex Analyst holds immense potential. Powered by a YAML file that defines the data schema, metrics, and synonyms to ensure precise and relevant answers, this promises to be a game-changer in business intelligence.

The Comprehensive Snowflake Cortex AI

Snowflake Cortex AI is a fully managed service offering a range of LLMs and vector search capabilities, enabling businesses to develop and utilize AI-powered applications efficiently. It supports a variety of LLMs from Nvidia, Reka, Mistral, Meta, Gemma, and Snowflake Arctic, among others. The key components of Snowflake Cortex AI include:

  • Cortex Analyst: Allows businesses to build applications on their analytical data securely, generating SQL queries from natural language questions.
  • Cortex Search: Utilizes state-of-the-art retrieval and ranking technology, providing hybrid search (vector and text) as a service for building applications against documents and other text-based datasets.
  • Cortex Guard: An LLM-based safeguard that filters and flags harmful content, ensuring that Snowflake models are safe and usable.
  • Cortex Studio (Private Preview): A no-code interactive interface for AI development, helping to productize AI applications and democratize models across enterprise data.
  • Cortex Fine-Tuning: Enhances LLM performance for a more personalized experience, allowing businesses to fine-tune models using Cortex Studio or programmatically through SQL functions.

Take Advantage of the Best & Latest Features on Snowflake

The innovations unveiled at the Snowflake Data Cloud Summit highlight the company’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of AI and data processing. Snowflake Cortex, with its suite of powerful tools, is set to revolutionize how businesses handle and analyze their data. From Document AI to Cortex Analyst and the comprehensive Cortex AI offerings, these advancements promise to make AI more accessible, efficient, and impactful for enterprises across various industries. As these tools move from preview to general availability, the business world eagerly anticipates the transformative potential they hold.

Can’t wait to start using Snowflake’s best features? As an Elite Snowflake Services partner, Hakkoda’s data teams are among the first to gain access to new features during private preview phases. Consider partnering with a Snowflake focused SI to gain early access, enable fast adoption, and deploy the best solutions first – staying one step ahead of your competitors. Contact us today about how we can help you leverage the most cutting-edge data tools that Snowflake has to offer.

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