17 November 2020
Originally Posted: 16 November 2020 for Forbes Technology Council
Author: AJ Abdallat, Beyond Limits CEO


AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond Limits, the leader in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing.

Our world has reached a point where society recognizes the planet is under stress, with energy and technology sectors at the forefront of this reckoning. Microsoft, in association with PwC, revealed the urgency of the challenges currently facing our planet, reporting that 91% of people don’t live in standard air quality-controlled areas, 60% of biodiversity has been lost since 1970, and greenhouse gases are at their highest levels in 3 million years.
To get ahead of these challenges, we must reduce carbon footprints. AI will play a crucial role in supporting the energy industry’s goals of achieving a more efficient, connected and sustainable future.
The Net Zero Agenda
Many entities have recently announced plans to shrink their carbon footprints to “net zero” over the next few decades, commonly with a target year between 2030 and 2050. According to myclimate, “Net zero emission means that all man-made greenhouse gas emissions must be removed from the atmosphere through reduction measures, thus reducing the Earth’s net climate balance, after removal via natural and artificial sink, to zero. This way humankind would be carbon neutral and global temperature would stabilize.”
Strategies around this initiative have been paramount to the energy industry’s present and future operational plans. Some major oil and gas companies have even revealed ambitious blueprints, budgets and organizational transitions to do their part in reducing emissions and turning the climate change tide.
One example of a company making strides toward this aim is bp. The company aims to become net-zero by 2050 and hopes to help the rest of the world achieve that goal, too. The major energy company also highlighted near-term goals. According to MarketScreener, “By the end of the decade, it aims to have developed ‎around 50 gigawatts of net renewable generating capacity — a 20-fold increase on what it has ‎previously developed, increased annual low carbon investment 10-fold to around $5 billion, and cut oil ‎and gas production by 40%.”
The company says all of this is aimed at “performing while transforming — operating safely and reliably as well as delivering on the promises we’ve made to shareholders.” Shell, Spain’s Repsol, and Norway’s Equinor have also set their net zero targets for 2050.
Advanced AI At The Ready
As the CEO of an AI company making software for energy, I understand the importance of a worldwide movement toward a lower-carbon future. Our company plans to continue supporting client needs while tackling the cleaner energy challenge together, playing a part in the complex global challenge of transitioning to a future of less carbon while still meeting the energy needs facing our world today.
AI will play a key role in helping companies and industries achieve net zero ambitions. Accomplishing a low carbon future will require more efficient operations that help increase productivity and reduce waste. AI for energy can work toward this with technology designed to optimize efficiency, yielding more economical utilization of resources to accelerate renewable, decarbonization and carbon-negative initiatives across the globe.
Industrial-Strength AI: Modern Solutions For Global Evolution
Digitizing downstream operations has shown promising results, with plant efficiency increasing by 8%-12%. Amplifying the potential for AI to make its mark on this movement means leveraging the most advanced forms of technology. Explainable, cognitive AI systems are already in place to meet that need. These systems can ingest and recognize sizeable quantities of data that exist in large industrial facilities like refineries and leverage codified human expertise to make recommendations at company-wide levels.
Examples can be found in solutions supporting downstream operations for facilities today like bp’s Whiting refinery project. “As the largest refinery within bp, we need to embrace the dual challenge — a world that is demanding lower-carbon energy, while at the same time demanding more energy overall,” refinery manager Don Porter said. “We are positioning ourselves to thrive in this evolving context.”
A blend of knowledge-based reasoning and digitization is designed to help decision-makers detect unforeseen prospects and make tough choices. The subsequent improvements in processes could lead to streamlined operational capacity where facilities function more efficiently and reduce waste. Improved communication, strengthened collaboration, increased fuel savings and decreased waste means companies may also increase the potential to grow revenue, particularly in high-value industries.
Cognitive AI is excellent at understanding complicated problems where industrial practices are comprised of a perpetual influx of data like that found in energy, utilities and industrial IoT — where processes require constant, transparent oversight. Cognitive AI delivers this clarity through human-readable audit trails, allowing an entire organization to track how they may optimize processes to extract more value and decrease waste, ultimately lowering carbon footprints and moving closer to net zero.
A Realistic Outlook
Transitioning the energy industry from primarily oil and gas to more renewable sources won’t happen overnight. Global communities will require energy during this phase of fluctuation. Solutions that make processes more efficient and decrease waste will be essential to this transitional stage.
Humans still require legacy energy sources, alongside transportation and refinement of high-value assets. Our fossil fuel portfolio cannot disappear overnight. We should instead determine how to better manage it as we shift toward a more renewable future with less waste, greater efficiency, more productivity, and a lower carbon footprint. Solutions designed to help decrease carbon intensity per barrel of oil can help lead us toward a more carbon-friendly outlook while ensuring the energy needs of the world are met as we move forward into a net zero-focused future.
For all industries eager to follow this path forward toward embracing carbon-reducing AI solutions, here are two tips for choosing a solution provider:
+ Partner with an industrial-grade AI software company with tech that has capabilities to provide holistic, organization-wide outlooks and strategies.
+ Select an artificial intelligence company that has an AI-readiness program to seamlessly transition entire enterprises into their digitization strategy right from the get-go.
AI companies with both of those elements could be key for anyone taking steps to realize net zero objectives.
Check out the article on Forbes Technology Council here.
3 November 2020
Originally Posted: 30 October 2020 for Built In LA
We’re excited to announce that Built In LA featured Beyond Limits’ own Stephanie Datu in a recent article talking about her approach to technical project management having come from a software engineering background. The interview-style spotlight highlights Stephanie’s strategy around how she bridges the gap between software engineers, data scientists and AI engineers to fuel innovation, placing a great deal of importance on seamless cross-functional collaboration and diversity.
“A healthy mixture of backgrounds is an ideal scenario for creating technology like artificial intelligence,” Datu said. “You want that variety of perspectives from different specialties, opinions, and walks of life creating the technology that’s meant to make decisions in a similar manner to the human brain.”
Read the rest of Built In LA’s article here.
Originally Posted: 28 August 2020
Author: Mark Labbe for TechTarget
TechTarget has featured Beyond Limits in an article, written by Mark Labbe, spotlighting some of the benefits of AI solutions for the oil and gas industry. Our own CEO, AJ Abdallat also weighed in on some of the technological challenges the industry has faced in the past with a positive outlook for the future, explaining how oil and gas majors have been overcoming those challenges through the discovery of advanced artificial intelligence that is designed to provide economic and environmental optimization – among several other benefits.
“Oil and gas, highly sensitive to economic cycles, saw a renaissance in digital technology after the shale bust in 2015-2016, said AJ Abdallat,” CEO and founder of AI vendor Beyond Limits. “The collapse forced many oil and gas companies to file for bankruptcy and prompted technological changes.”

Read the full article here.

21 August 2020
Originally Posted: 14 August 2020 for Forbes Technology Council
Author: AJ Abdallat, Beyond Limits CEO


AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond Limits, the leader in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing.


This year ushered in a period of unpredictability; individuals, businesses, industries and economies were suddenly battling Covid-19. Few were exempt from the challenges presented by this pandemic, and many are seeking solutions that can help.

This moment in time has uncovered just how crucial AI solutions can be for the future of healthcare. Rapid changes have made it difficult to manage the pandemic’s spread and determine what the industry will look like after coming through the other side. Regardless of complications, it’s still the responsibility of leadership teams to use every tool at their disposal to manage the pandemic and be better prepared for the future. It matters that legitimate attempts are made by all — for the good of all — to pursue pioneering solutions in the face of this global challenge.

As the CEO of an AI software company moving into the healthcare vertical, I quickly realized this move needed to be expedited as Covid-19 presented itself. In collaboration with the CEO of a medical facility, my company produced a Covid-19 predictive model in conjunction with their superlative medical knowledge. I learned during this experience how quickly this pandemic has shortened the transition from ideation to utilization, and how well positioned AI is to aid advancements in healthcare.


Artificial Intelligence: A Driving Force For Healthcare

Critical industries like healthcare require sophisticated methods for increasing visibility across operations. From cutting-edge wearables providing more insight into individual health to expert support via reliable prognostic exploration, the medical community is realizing the benefits of numerous AI solutions helping drive dynamic advancements for healthcare.

Examples of solutions taking a stand in the face of this pandemic include predictive models such as Penn Medicine’s CHIME, a Covid-19 capacity planning tool, and Washington State’s predictive dashboard, another pandemic risk assessment tool.

The predictive model my team built in partnership with renowned medical professionals focuses on the domain of expert knowledge. It works with multiple layers of heterogeneous and highly dimensional data categories to evaluate the consequences of social mobility on infection and hospitalization rates while estimating resource allocation supply and demand. Integrating multiple sources of time-series and spatial data into a model with learning capabilities was essential for more accurate decision-making.

This process has shown that when it comes to these predictive tools, it’s vital to understand that in order to utilize all of this data effectively, most conventional data processing, classification, pattern recognition, modeling and forecasting tasks must be automated and streamlined. This is key to delivering near real-time models with learning capabilities.

Such advancements in data science and AI can offer significant value in terms of creating data-driven, evidence-based tools that improve predictive performance over time. Codifying medical domain expertise in epidemiology with advanced data science techniques into models has the potential to protect millions of people from the risks of future pandemics.

Additional examples of AI integration into healthcare working in the fight against Covid-19, include chatbots and telehealth initiatives that utilize conversational AI, as well as AI-based drug and vaccine discovery and medical insurance fulfillment/billing optimization solutions. 


The Secrets To Successful AI Adoption And Implementation

AI adoption and implementation are the two biggest challenges in this technology becoming more commonly used in healthcare. A dichotomy emerges when discussing the realities of the industry’s AI adoption efforts, but a critical principle also lives at the center of the divided sentiment. This is where we find a key consideration: prioritizing expert input to ensure humans are always in the loop through explainable recommendations.

Explainable AI is an important component to trusted AI that I believe could help forge the way forward to implementation — AI that’s auditable and accountable, and that amplifies the capabilities of the human experts it seeks to support rather than replace.

Other tactical, actionable considerations for how industry leaders and professionals facilitate successful AI adoption and implementation include:


• Working directly with and learning from creators of the AI solution in question. AI engineers should be training (and working on the ground in tandem with) healthcare leaders, doctors and professionals who will be using the solutions. No matter how powerful a solution may be, it will never be adopted if the UI/UX is confusing or impractical for users’ day-to-day purposes. User-friendly UI understandable by everyone in the organization is vital.

• A shift in industry perspective regarding wide-spread AI adoption. Leadership hesitation to adopt is often triggered by patient reluctance toward AI, a technology they may fear out of misunderstanding. To safeguard patient trust in AI, transparency regarding the inherent value of AI and its functionality is key. Easing patients into a better comprehension of AI’s benefits with clarity on how it can help aid in their care creates a more comfortable culture overall.

• Implementation of best practices to support this shift in perspective. In addition, nurturing a digital outlook by exploring new tech and involving staff at every level, while building on their capabilities and outlining an AI approach out the gate, are fundamental factors. Engaging doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators and other professionals with a well-defined outlook on success will encourage deployment participation.


Despite the difficulties created by Covid-19, leadership teams should stay the course for the good of their own business while making an effort to guide their customers, and the global community at large, by pursuing solutions that may help the world push past this pandemic.



18 August 2020
Originally Posted: 14 August 2020 for Unite.AI


AJ Abdallat is the founder and CEO of Beyond Limits, a pioneering Artificial Intelligence company based in Glendale, California. Beyond Limits is a pioneering AI company with a unique legacy from the NASA space program, notably AI technology developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). They enhance software systems developed for NASA/JPL, giving them additional capabilities and hardening them to industrial strength.


You’ve had a long fascination with space, what was it that sparked this interest?

I watched Star Trek and Doctor Who as a boy, and was always fascinated with space from a young age. I remember having a conversation with my mother while we watched the moon landing and realized this was not science fiction, this was reality. I witnessed a human being taking the first step on the moon and that is a moment I will never forget. That moment encouraged me to become an engineer.

After graduating from Engineering school, my career led me to work on a High-Performance Computing (HPC) project with Caltech, which manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA. As a boy who watched the moon landing, I was honored to be working with some of the most brilliant minds on the planet supporting the unmanned space program. In 1998 together with my partner, Dr. Carl Kukkonen (Director of the Center for Space Microelectronics Technology at JPL), with the support of Caltech and Dr. David Baltimore (Caltech President) we launched an entity to commercialize technologies used in space for industries on Earth. We created many companies, but the most recent one and the one I’m most proud of is Beyond Limits, which is focused on industrial artificial intelligence.


Beyond Limits launched as a startup in 2014, as a spinoff from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) & Caltech. Could you clarify the current relationship between these three entities?

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a research university in Southern California. In 1936 Caltech faculty formed the Guggenheim Aeronautical Lab, known today as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), to carry out the first rocket experiments. Today, JPL is a federally funded research center and NASA field center that is managed by Caltech to carry out robotic space missions. Beyond Limits was created to commercialize technologies originated from Caltech NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory leveraging significant R&D investment from NASA and the DoD to solve complex problems here on Earth.

Our heritage comes directly from JPL and Caltech – in both our leadership team and our technology. Beyond Limits came from organizations tasked with solving unsolvable problems, and we still hold that mission today.

On the product side, we enhance software originally developed for NASA and JPL, building on their capabilities to expand their applications in new industries in addition to our in-house development and R&D efforts. Today, we currently have more than 200 Intellectual Property building blocks, and we continue to partner with Caltech on new projects.


You’ve stated before that space is a harsh and dynamic environment, and that the technologies that are developed to endure these extremes are perfect for energy companies. What are some of the applications derived from space that are currently being used by Energy companies?

The energy sector faces similar challenges to the space program. For instance, both operate in harsh environments where safety is important, whether that environment is in deep space or the Earth’s subsurface. In these situations, data can be missing or misleading, which can create problems for machine learning programs and even human operators. That’s why Beyond Limits leverages cognitive technologies used in unmanned space missions. Our Cognitive AI uses human-like reasoning and knowledge provided by domain experts, not just data, to understand situations, solve problems and recommend actions.

Incorporating that expert, human knowledge into the AI’s decision-making process is extremely valuable for energy companies. EY reported that the Society of Petroleum Engineers found that nearly 54% of its members are over 55 years old. As these seasoned experts with decades of experience retire, the energy industry will be left with a knowledge gap. Cognitive technologies help close this gap by encoding domain expert knowledge into the system and democratizing that knowledge. At Beyond Limits, we’re applying this technology across the energy value chain, from exploration and commodity transportation to refining and product formulation.

Our NASA technology heritage has also propelled us to incorporate explainable AI into all of our solutions. In high-value, high-risk sectors such as energy, it’s important that AI technologies not only provide actionable intelligence, but also explain how decisions were made with transparent, understandable audit trails.


Beyond Limits uses Cognitive AI, which is layered overtop traditional deep learning, can you explain what Cognitive AI precisely is?

Cognitive AI is a hybrid of conventional numeric AI, which includes machine learning and neural networks, and advanced symbolic AI, which allows the system to analyze, reason, hypothesize, correlate, plan, learn and teach. By combining the two approaches, the solution is able to bring situational awareness with human-like reasoning to diagnosing issues, prognosticating problems and suggesting remedies.

The key to Cognitive AI is to build an initial set of models and propose hypothetical extensions. Beyond Limits Cognitive AI systems have the unique capability to look for guidance from encoded human expert knowledge combined with historical and external data. That allows us to model hypothetical paths to predict the likely outcomes, and propose courses of action to make smart decisions, even under less-than-ideal data conditions.


Do you believe that the combination of the above deep learning with cognitive AI will eventually lead us to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)?

Cognitive AI is the next step in artificial intelligence development, and it will act as a foundational stepping stone in reaching AGI. In a recent study from the University of Oxford, 50% of AI researchers surveyed said AGI would likely be a reality by 2040 – but I believe recent progress means we may see it come to fruition even sooner than that.

There are two foundational components of true AGI that I think about when considering when we might see it become a reality. The first is emotional intelligence, and although we’re not there yet, cognitive AI and deep learning systems have grown much more sophisticated in applying the basic principles of emotional intelligence when presented with problems. The second and more difficult component is near-human level thinking, which will require new technologies like quantum computing that are still outside our grasp. But if we can achieve these, we are well on our way.


Beyond Limits is working on the world’s first cognitive power plant, could you elaborate on what this project is?

We’re really excited about this one. The power plant will be installed as part of a large-scale infrastructure program to drive core industrial capacity and power economic development in West Africa. It’s the first implementation of a Cognitive AI power plant built from the ground up that embeds intelligence and awareness into all of its operations. That provides operators with facility-scale insight, making the plant safer, maximizing its efficiency and productivity, and making it more environmentally friendly.

The efficiency of power generation from natural gas can be affected by environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Human operators can make adjustments to improve efficiency, but that relies on their individual experience and knowledge. We’ve developed an AI system for this plant that actually encodes expert-level human knowledge to make and validate recommendations to help operators manage production for peak efficiency, maintenance planning and longer-term lifespan. The AI system’s entire process for reasoning and recommendations can also be viewed via an audit trail, so human staff understand how it reached those decisions and can help train the system if it does ever make a mistake to improve its decision-making process in the future.


Is there anything else that you would like to share about Beyond Limits?   

I’m very proud of our team and Beyond Limits’ fast growth. We’re expanding globally as an industrial AI company and venturing into new verticals including renewables & low carbon initiatives, utilities and healthcare. I’m especially excited for our expansion into healthcare. I believe in using AI for good, which is why we partnered with renowned medical experts to build a Coronavirus Dynamic Predictive Model, which is available publicly at no cost for government policy makers and medical establishments. The dynamic AI model provides policy makers with actionable information and more accurate forecasting to make informed decisions concerning the supply and demand of crucial medical equipment. Innovation is key to our future and our children’s future. I’m proud to have Beyond Limits contribute to the next frontier by enhancing AI innovation.

Thank you for the great interview, it’a amazing how the moon landing has inspired so many great minds. Readers who wish to learn more should visit Beyond Limits.


19 May 2020
Glendale, CA


2019 Technology Innovation Leadership Award: Breakthrough Symbolic Artificial Intelligence for Business Process Automation


Beyond Limits Addresses the Complex Needs of High-value Industries by Delivering Advanced AI Solutions to Support Decision-making


Optimizing operations is important for most businesses, but in complex, engineering-focused production environments — like energy and power — it is imperative. Enabling machines to emulate human intelligence and intuition, Beyond Limits has demonstrated advanced technological innovation excellence with its Cognitive AI and earned Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 Technology Innovation Leadership Award. This award recognizes companies that have developed a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid acceptance in the market. The award recognizes the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables.


Frost & Sullivan believes that Beyond Limits’ Cognitive AI is the future of artificial intelligence; the technology utilizes a unique hybrid approach that combines the best of conventional machine learning and numeric AI, alongside advanced symbolic AI techniques, to deliver reasoning and recommendations that reflect human intelligence and intuition. The company’s cognitive reasoning engines are trained on data and educated by expert knowledge to solve complex problems and deliver actionable information—resulting in faster, better decisions that reduce risk, decrease waste, and increase efficiency.


This next generation of AI applications involves high-value assets that require a human-like understanding of complex domains, and that can adapt to uncertainty in both their knowledge and data. Beyond Limits considers the hybrid approach — combining numeric machine learning technologies and symbolic reasoners to accomplish cognitive intelligence — the stepping-stone to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)/Super AI, which they have sights on achieving in the next decade.


Beyond Limits works with highly regulated, high-risk/high-value industries such as energy, finance, and healthcare, where machines are often making high-stakes decisions constantly. Managers often cannot take these decisions at face value, with no understanding of its reasoning. With Beyond Limits’ solutions practicing Explainable AI (XAI), humans are always in the loop.


More often than not, conventional AI techniques require clean data to formulate answers in a black box, with no clear explanation of the reasoning behind their recommendations. Beyond Limits’ cognitive agents deliver transparent audit trails, designed to be clearly understood by humans, thus building essential trust in the technology. On the symbolic side: human knowledge, expertise, and experience are codified so the Cognitive AI system can reason (even with missing or misleading data) to most effectively simulate human decision-makers.


Advancements in AI technology are being made each year, and the opportunity is substantial. Innovative technology companies and the industries they help run are driving new efficiency solutions, workflows, business models, and — in evolving use cases, like finance — consumer experiences. According to PwC’s “Sizing the Prize” Global Artificial Intelligence Study, the global AI marketplace could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030. Another perspective on the upside for AI is from ARK Invest, which projects that deep learning alone could create more economic value than the Internet. Since 2012, deep learning has created $1 trillion in market capitalization, and ARK believes it will add $30 trillion by 2037.


Beyond Limits is focused on developing strategic applications for high-value assets, in situations where even slightly improving process margins can yield millions of dollars in savings. The company’s Cognitive AI, optimization, and results-oriented solutions can be applied to a variety of industries. They can be customized for the highly complex needs of specific use cases, and they have made great strides in heavy production environments thus far. Surpassing simple predictive maintenance, Beyond Limits technology understands the entire system of production operations as a linked whole and enables continuous operations with greater efficiency.


10 April 2020
Glendale, CA


Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices awards distinguish companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.

Analysis of the North American symbolic artificial intelligence for business process automation (BAS) market has encouraged Frost & Sullivan to recognize Beyond Limits with the 2019 North American Technology Innovation Award in that category.



Recognition of this magnitude highlights the capabilities of Beyond Limits’ innovative Cognitive AI to successfully apply optimization and results-oriented solutions that are generally applicable to a variety of production environments; solutions that can be customized for the complex needs of various customers. In situations where slightly changing process margins can yield millions of dollars in savings, Beyond Limits is focused on developing strategic applications for industries with complex and high-value assets.

By surpassing simple predictive maintenance, Beyond Limits Cognitive AI provides tangible results and recommendations that are always explainable, illustrating an understanding of the entire system of production operations as a linked whole and enabling continuous operations with greater efficiency.

In a time where disruptive technology like AI is inevitable, expert human decision-makers are going to want differentiating solutions like Cognitive AI to keep them in the loop and provide them with the tools they need to tackle those higher-value skills only they can supply this ever-evolving world. This Frost & Sullivan award confirms that Beyond Limits is exactly the artificial intelligence company necessary to hit that target.


14 February 2020
Originally Posted: 07 February 2020 for InsideBigData


In this special guest feature, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond Limits, takes a look at the tech industry’s hype cycle, in particular for how it often falls short of expectations when related to AI. Beyond Limits is a full-stack Artificial Intelligence engineering company creating advanced software solutions that go beyond conventional AI. Founded in 2014, Beyond Limits is transforming proven technologies from Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory into advanced AI solutions, hardened to industrial strength, and put to work for forward-looking companies on earth.

Despite what we see in science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is not likely going to produce sentient machines that will take over Earth, subordinate human beings, or change the hierarchy of the planet’s food chain. Nor will it be humanity’s savior.

AI essentially equates to the ability of machines to perform tasks that usually require human reasoning. The concept of artificial intelligence has existed for more than 60 years, and modern AI systems are revolutionizing how people live and work. However, conventional AI solutions do not use the technology to its fullest potential.


Decisions are usually made inside “black boxes”

Conventional AI solutions operate inside “black boxes,” unable to explain or substantiate their reasoning or decisions. These solutions depend on intricate neural networks that are too complex for people to understand. Companies utilizing conventional AI approaches primarily are in somewhat of a quandary because they don’t know how or why the system produces its conclusions, and most AI firms refuse to divulge, or are unable to divulge, the inner workings of their technology.

However, these “smart” systems aren’t generally all that smart. They can process very large, complex data sets, but cannot employ human-like reasoning or problem-solving. They “see” data as a series of numbers, label those numbers based on how they were trained, and depend on recognition to solve problems. When presented with data, a conventional AI system asks itself if it has seen the information before and, if so, how it labeled that data last time. It cannot diagnose or solve problems in real-time unless it has the ability to communicate with human operators.

Scenarios do exist where AI users may not be as concerned about collecting information around reasoning because the consequences of a negative outcome are minimal, such as algorithms that recommend items based on consumers’ purchasing or viewing history. However, trusting the decisions of black box-oriented AI is extremely problematic in high-value, high-risk industries such as finance, healthcare, and energy where machines may be tasked to make recommendations on which millions of dollars, or the safety and well being of humans, hang in the balance.


Imperfect edge conditions complicate matters

Enterprises are increasingly deploying AI systems to monitor IoT devices in far-flung environments where humans are not always present, and internet connectivity is spotty at best; think highway cams, drones that survey farmlands, or an oil rig infrastructure in the middle of the ocean. One-quarter of organizations with established IoT strategies are also investing in AI.


Cognitive AI solves these problems

Cognitive AI solutions solve these issues by employing human-like problem-solving and reasoning skills that let users see inside the black box. They do not replace complex neural networks applied by conventional solutions, but instead interpret their outputs and use natural-language declarations to provide an annotated narrative that humans can understand. Cognitive AI systems understand how they solve problems and are also aware of the context that makes the information relevant. So instead of being asked to implicitly trust the conclusions of a machine, with cognitive AI, human users can actually obtain audit trails that substantiate the system’s recommendations with evidence, risk assessment, certainty, and uncertainty.

The level of “explainability” generated by an AI system is based on its use case. In general, the higher the stakes, the more explainability is needed. A robust cognitive AI system should have the autonomy to adjust the depth of its explanations based on who is viewing the information and in what context.

Audit trails in the form of decision trees are one of the most helpful methods for illustrating the cognitive AI reasoning process behind recommendations. The top of a tree represents the minimum amount of information explaining a decision-process, while the bottom denotes explanations that go into the greatest amount of detail. For this reason, explainability is classified into two categories, top-down or bottom-up.

The top-down approach is for end users who don’t require intricate details, only a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ point of reference about whether or not an answer is correct. For example, a manager may think that a panel on a solar farm isn’t working properly and simply needs to know the status of the solar panel; a cognitive AI system could generate a prediction around how much energy the panel will generate in its current condition.

On the other hand, a bottom-up approach would be more useful for engineers dispatched to fix the problem. These users could query the cognitive AI system at any point along its decision tree and obtain detailed information and suggestions to remedy the problem.

If the ultimate expectation for AI is to live up to its promise of transforming society, human users must be comfortable with the idea of trusting machine-generated decisions. Cognitive, explainable AI makes this possible. It breaks down organizational silos and bridges gaps between IT personnel and non-technical executive decision-makers of an organization, enabling optimal effectiveness in governance, compliance, risk management and quality assurance, while improving accountability.


29 January 2020
Author: AJ Abdallat, Beyond Limits CEO
Originally Posted on Forbes Tech Council


As disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) fundamentally alter the way we live and do business, C-suite attitudes toward IT spending and utilization are shifting. Once considered a cost of doing business, technology is now viewed as a business driver that’s critical to an organization’s ability to perform core functions, even in industries far removed from Silicon Valley.

However, many executives still struggle to determine the ROI to justify investments in AI and machine learning, even as AI becomes increasingly crucial to 21st century business decision-making.



The Changing Role Of Technology In The Enterprise

Except for the IT industry itself, C-suites have historically viewed IT expenses as a cost of entry to do business in the digital age, not revenue-generating investments. Then came new technologies such as mobile, cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT). Suddenly, virtually every enterprise became a de facto software company, and firms that clung to pre-digital ways of doing business were left behind. Executives realized that investing in technology directly contributed to their organizations’ goals — and bottom lines — by minimizing costs, enhancing efficiency and powering innovation.

However, amid this shift in organizational attitudes toward technology investments, AI and machine learning (ML) have been overlooked. A study by TechRepublic found that while organizations recognize there is value in AI and ML, most remain uncertain about how investments in this area can benefit them. The study revealed 56% of respondents predicted that implementing AI/ML solutions would be more difficult than previous IT projects. This isn’t surprising, considering 53% said their users had unclear expectations for enterprise AI/ML projects.


Maximizing The Potential Of AI Means Maximizing ROI

Big data processing and image recognition can be achieved through machine learning, neural networks or deep learning. These technologies are good at handling large datasets and making complex mathematical calculations, but they cannot handle missing/incomplete data and have no situational awareness, nor can they explain their thinking.

As the CEO of a company that combines numeric and symbolic AI to form cognitive AI with humanlike powers of reasoning, I’ve seen firsthand how cognitive AI systems consume and comprehend vast amounts of data generated by large-scale industrial facilities and factor in human expertise to make recommendations at system-wide or device-specific levels. This combination of humanlike reasoning and automation helps business leaders make difficult decisions and identify opportunities. The resulting increases in production efficiency and reductions in waste can generate new revenue and profits, especially in high-value industries. That’s revenue from AI (RAI).


Steps To Achieving RAI In The Enterprise

Cognitive AI is great for solving complex issues where industrial processes involve a continuous flow of data. Examples include energy, refining, power generation and process manufacturing — enterprises where operations never stop, and where IoT alone is insufficient because systemwide oversight is required. However, to realize a return on AI investments, fundamental prerequisites are necessary:



All of this boils down the most important factor in achieving a successful return from AI investments: trust. The value of AI systems may be measured in terms of increased efficiency, decreased waste or accelerated speed. The greatest value lies in providing humans with actionable intelligence so they make better decisions. Keeping humans in the loop via explainable AI is key to developing a symbiotic relationship with the technology and building trust in its results.


AI Is Generating Major Revenue In Major Industries

Today, energy companies use cognitive AI solutions designed to reduce refinery operational costs, improve new product time to market, slash subsurface analysis from months to hours and increase upstream production. For example, the Telegraph reports (paywall) that BP is using cognitive AI solutions designed to increase offshore oil production.

Energy isn’t the only vertical seeing tremendous results from the strategic use of cognitive AI solutions. A report from Morgan Stanley provides quantitative examples of ROI from AI applications:



21 October 2019
Glendale, CA


Meghan Sharp named Chief Operating Officer by Cognitive AI company

Beyond Limits, a rising advanced Artificial Intelligence software engineering company, announced that Meghan Sharp, Ph.D., former Managing Director of BP Ventures/Americas, has transitioned from a Beyond Limits investor and board member to become their new COO. In her new role, Sharp will assume responsibility for the company’s business operations. The addition of an executive of Sharp’s stature reinforces the optimistic outlook for Beyond Limits growth potential.

“It is a huge compliment when your investor becomes one of your key executives,” says Beyond Limits CEO AJ Abdallat. “It says a lot about Beyond Limits to have a professional of Meghan’s caliber joining our ranks. Her deep experience in energy and venture capital is invaluable as we mature from a start-up to a serious force in AI for industries around the globe. We are at a pivotal moment of growth and can greatly benefit from her expertise.”

In 2017, Sharp facilitated BP Venture’s exclusive series-B investment in Beyond Limits for $25 million and became a board member. Upon accepting the position as COO, her Beyond Limits board seat has been filled by BP’s VP of Business Development, David Gilmour.

“For over 15 years my career has focused on helping start-ups and venture-backed companies grow and scale,” says Sharp. “A good board member is an extension of the management team, and I’ve always enjoyed being an active board member of my portfolio companies. I particularly loved my role on the Beyond Limits board and my engagement with the company. So when I started talking about my next step, it was a very natural transition to join the Beyond Limits team.”

As Managing Director of BP Ventures/Americas, Sharp focused on the transformation of BP’s core businesses and looking for new opportunities in low carbon products, carbon management, power and storage, advanced mobility, and digital. During the last nine years, Sharp helped build BP’s investment portfolio of over $600 million with investments into more than 50 companies. Earlier this year Sharp was featured in the number two spot on Global Corporate Venturing’s 2019 Rising Stars Awards list. GCV profiles the top .5% of 20,000 researched applicants to recognize a list of 100 professionals for the Rising Stars Awards.

With years of experience driving the transition of energy to a lower carbon future while simultaneously meeting the challenge of today’s energy demand, Sharp will play a fundamental role in supporting Beyond Limits’ ambitions in the energy and renewables spheres. At the end of October Sharp will represent Beyond Limits as COO at the 2019 Arab Artificial Intelligence Summit in Amman, Jordan (AAIS) as a keynote speaker, focusing on how AI will play a crucial role in the future of energy renewables and sustainability.

“I see us involved in numerous sectors,” says Sharp. “We want AI to be in renewables, healthcare, financial services, energy, agriculture and more – but what we really want to ensure is that AI is doing good for the planet and its people. This technology is a mighty tool, let’s wield it to help solve our most important problems. AI for good.”



Beyond Limits is a pioneering Artificial Intelligence engineering company creating advanced software solutions that go beyond conventional AI. Founded in 2014, Beyond Limits is transforming proven technologies from Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory into advanced AI solutions, hardened to industrial strength, and put to work for forward-looking companies on earth. Beyond Limits leverages this unparalleled innovation portfolio, along with proprietary cognitive technologies, to help companies solve tough, complex, mission-critical problems and transform their business. They apply a unique hybrid approach to AI, combining numeric AI techniques like machine learning with higher order symbolic AI and expert human knowledge to deliver intuitive cognitive reasoning and information. The result is faster, better decisions that reduce risk and increase revenue. For more information, please visit www.beyond.ai.


Media Contact:

Edward Yang
Firecracker PR
1-888-317-4687 ext. 702

17 October 2019
Glendale, CA


AI Pioneer Partners with Phi Science Institute to Host Artificial Intelligence Summit in Jordan

Beyond Limits, a pioneering American Artificial Intelligence software engineering company, is working in cooperation with Phi Science Institute to present the 2019 Arab Artificial Intelligence Summit (AAIS). Sponsors are prepared to host over 1,600 AI professionals, scientists, government representatives, start-ups, and stakeholders from all over the world between October 29-30 on the Dead Sea in Jordan.

AAIS Theme: The Future is Now – Share the Vision. Inspire the Future.
Beyond Limits’ CEO, AJ Abdallat is returning to his hometown for this event to give the keynote speech. A leading goal is to share the vision and inspire the future around the important role Cognitive AI will play in evolving technology. The conference will afford the chance for companies like Beyond Limits to come together with the AAIS community to exchange ideas, expertise and knowledge, with the goal of encouraging younger generations to establish projects powered by AI to solve complex problems facing both science and society.

“It’s important to spread the message that AI is here now,” says Abdallat. “We are on a mission to bring science and tech proven in space down to improve life here on Earth. The Middle East is fertile ground for innovation, and we are really excited that AAIS will afford us the invaluable opportunity of coming together in collaboration with diverse nations, businesses, young entrepreneurs, and more to share our vision and inspire the future through partnership, mentorship, progress, growth, opportunity and ambition. We are honored to be included in such a distinguished summit – working together toward accomplishing common goals that matter.”

Key Executives Presenting
Abdallat, alongside Beyond Limits’ COO, Dr. Meghan Sharp will both act as keynote speakers. Abdallat will be presenting on the importance of AI, why it matters, and how it affects governments and private companies. Sharp will be presenting on how AI will play a crucial role in the future of energy, renewables, and sustainability. Beyond Limits’ Technical Head of Industrial IoT, Dr. Kristin Lennox will also be providing a talk about how machines think compared to humans. Another notable keynote guest includes Dr. Saad Al Barrak, a Beyond Limits board member, who will be speaking on the topic of innovation and entrepreneurship – how to get funding and support young entrepreneurs. Lynnwood Farr, President of industrial power systems developer Xcell, will also attend the summit and speak on their partnership with Beyond Limits to build the world’s first power plant guided by Cognitive AI.

AAIC: Solving World Challenges
Beyond Limits and Phi Science Institute have also come together to collaborate on the launch of the summit’s first Arab AI Challenge. AAIC’19 will open the door for AI start-ups and developers to gain visibility by showcasing their cutting-edge solutions while connecting with key regional governments and investors. Challenge participants will also be competing for the chance to earn prize winnings to put toward their projects. All details concerning AAIC’19 can be found here.

Beyond Conventional Artificial Intelligence – Cognitive AI That’s also Explainable (XAI)
Beyond Limits powers solutions that go beyond the barriers of commonly employed conventional AI, to deliver a hybrid approach that combines numeric machine learning and deep learning techniques with higher-order symbolic AI. These Cognitive AI engines deliver human-like reasoning to provide clear, understandable solutions to complex problems. Unlike most “black box” AI techniques, Beyond Limits has pioneered “glass box” Explainable AI with encoded expert human knowledge to yield recommendations that can be understood by people and interpreted by machines.

Beyond Limits is a full-stack Artificial Intelligence engineering company creating advanced software solutions that go beyond conventional AI. Founded in 2014, Beyond Limits is transforming proven technologies from Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory into advanced AI solutions, hardened to industrial strength, and put to work for forward-looking companies on earth. Beyond Limits leverages this unparalleled innovation portfolio, along with proprietary cognitive technologies, to help companies solve tough, complex, mission-critical problems and transform their business. They apply a unique hybrid approach to AI, combining numeric AI techniques like machine learning with higher order symbolic AI and expert human knowledge to deliver intuitive cognitive reasoning and information. The result is faster, better decisions that reduce risk and increase revenue. For more information, please visit www.beyond.ai.

Media Contact:
Edward Yang
Firecracker PR
1-888-317-4687 ext. 702

SOURCE: Beyond Limits

2 October 2019
Original Article Posted 10/1/2019
Author: S. C. Stuart for PCMag.com


PCMAG featured Beyond Limits in an in-depth interview-style article, written by S.C. Stuart. Stuart took the time to chat with our very own CEO, AJ Abdallat to highlight the unique capabilities of our advanced Cognitive AI. Stuart and Abdallat took the opportunity to explore the finer details of our company’s origin story, spotlight the pioneering artificial intelligence technology that’s already powering valuable solutions, and elucidate on what the future looks like for our Explainable AI.

“We specialize in solving complex problems in high-risk environments. Unlike the conventional machine learning, neural networks, and deep learning techniques that are gaining traction today, we take a different approach by adding a symbolic reasoning layer to produce cognitive, human-like reasoning. Beyond Limits has deep roots in what we call bio-inspired algorithms that imitate the functions of a human brain. It allows us to do things like deductive, inductive, and abductive human-like reasoning.”  [AJ Abdallat]

Read the full article here.