The dream of no-code AI in constant FLUX

No-code AI takes a step closer in Japan with funding for FLUX, a company specializing in machine learning tools for content publishers and digital advertisers.
22 June 2023

Created by a no-code AI image creator. Source: Shutterstock

• No-code AI would be a transformative technology.
• FLUX gives line-of-business professionals access to NLP.
• FLUX could be especially useful in Japan.

The specter of artificial intelligence transforming business practices has taken a step closer with a significant funding round being won by FLUX, the Japanese company behind FLUX AI, a no-code AI platform.

Until a bare few months ago, any commercial organization wishing to set a machine learning mind onto its data required the employment of a phalanx of data scientists, database administrators, analysts and drones (either human or silicon) capable of data cleaning.

While some of those specialists are still 100% necessary to ensure the best results from a learning corpus that will likely contain dirty data (dupes, corrupted field contents, significant outliers, etc.), the process of building a model could be made a whole lot easier by means of a low-code programming environment designed exactly for this purpose.

A no-code AI could allow citizen developers to address a fairly straightforward GUI, dragging and dropping elements onscreen to construct queries and data correlations that would otherwise have taken expensive experts months or longer to hand-code.

Citizen programmers with a no-code AI platform?

The FLUX AI’s no-code AI platform gives line-of-business professionals access to NLP (natural language processing), predictive analytics and large language models without having to open the copy of Python for Dummies they maybe bought themselves in a rare moment of imagined self-improvement.

The Tokyo company has secured $32m in a Series B funding round, bringing the total rasised to date up to $40m. Investors include multinational NTT Docomo’s venture capital arm, NTT Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, and Aozora Corporate Investments.

No-code AI in Japan

FLUX’s domestic market is said to be particularly short of AI talent, so the no-code AI will help bridge the skills gap until the country can educate and train the next generation of ML-savvy expertise.

The domestic sectors targeted by the company are digital advertising and marketing, and it’s predicted that the new funding round will improve existing services for its current roster of 1,100+ publishers and advertisers.

The increasing availability of rich data detailing online activities and habits has highlighted a need to parse large amounts of information quickly and accurately to get the most streamlined advertising operations, optimized ad revenues, and a more accurately identified and targeted audience.

There is currently something of an arms race to provide end-users in business with practical and usable tools that leverage AI in new and different ways. After all, if every organization in a sector is using, for instance, large language models to produce text content, then any advantage accrued by being an early adopter will soon be lost.

By equipping companies with an easy, build-you-own-application facility, businesses can create bespoke tools that help them differentiate themselves.

Could a no-code AI ever be viable?

Like any low-code or no-code programming environment, there is often a large gap between the elevator pitch of “anyone can code” and the reality, which tends to be “people who already code will get the most out of this tool.” A fully no-code AI environment sounds like a perfect prospect, a platform with which any line-of-business specialist can create the next generation of ChatGPT.

Whatever the effectiveness of any no-code/low-code AI programming environment, it’s likely to be an intriguing few years in the space.

Illustration of a company's blog on no code AI.

“How to make a great home page” from the FLUX blog. Source: Twitter

The Financial interest from Salesforce and NTT shown in the FLUX AI project is evidence that huge sums of money are being speculated by large enterprises keen to offer just such a solution to their existing customers.

It’s thought that FLUX aims to invest the new funding into research into new AI technologies and methods. It too is operating in a competitive space, so committing to significant R&D seems like a strategy to ensure that the company has some longevity.