Novelis ranks 2nd in international NLP Research Challenge

One more step towards the democratization of Artificial Intelligence and NLP (Natural Language Processing)


Paris, March 25, 2021 – Novelis, an innovative consulting and technology company, is currently taking part in two international research challenges aiming to automatically generate SQL queries thanks to natural language. Following the recent publication of its work, Novelis is positioned alongside Artificial Intelligence leaders, such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Google and others.


The worldwide volume of data processed daily has never been so big. These data are mostly gathered in so-called relational databases, which require mastering a Structured Query Language SQL to store or manipulate the aforementioned data. Novelis’ project aims to democratize access to these data by automatically generating technically complex queries from human language, also known as Natural Language Processing (NLP).


Novelis in major international challenges SPIDER and WikiSQL


Led by Yale University, the Spider Challenge brings together a large-scale complex cross-domain semantic data set and SQL queries. The goal is to transform natural English text into executable SQL-queries, also called “Text-to-SQL task”. The Challenge consists of 10,181 questions, 5,693 unique complex SQL-queries on 200 databases with multiple tables covering 138 domains. Following the publication of its work, Novelis has been ranked 2nd worldwide alongside SalesForce, and only 2.9 points behind the leader: Tel-Aviv University & Allen Institute for AI. Follow the link for more information and complete results: Spider: Yale Semantic Parsing and Text-to-SQL Challenge (yale-lily.github.io)

The objective of the WikiSQL Challenge is the same as for Spider but with different constraints and contexts. Here, the participants only deal with one table from models with unsupervised learning (where the machine works on its own) or with supervised learning (where the machine relies on hints from which it generates predictions). Leading companies in Artificial Intelligence and NLP are taking part in this challenge along with reknowned universities: Microsoft, Google, Alibaba, Salesforce, the Universities of California, Berkeley, Fudan… For this event, Novelis has developed a hybrid learning model that ranks 7th out of 31 scientific projects. Follow the link for more information and complete results: GitHub – salesforce/WikiSQL: A large annotated semantic parsing corpus for developing natural language interfaces.


Innovation and R&D: A strategic priority for Novelis’ development


Since its beginning, Novelis has been investing massively (30% of its turnover) in Research and Development. According to Mehdi Nafe, CEO of Novelis: “Beyond the impact on fundamental research, our objective is to change the software design model to achieve operational excellence, change the relationship we have with technologies, and have a sustainable impact on innovation processes within society. In the last years, the major progress of data science, AI and, more recently, NLP, represents a huge potential in terms of business process optimization and use. The creation of an R&D Lab is one of Novelis’ founding acts. For a technology company, engaging in research is a key element. It is essential for better serving our customers.”