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Laurie Voss Oct 2, 2023

LlamaIndex + Laurie Voss: an alpaca joins the llamas

Hi, I’m Laurie, and today is my first day as VP of Developer Relations at LlamaIndex!

Quick background on me: I started my career 27 years ago as a web developer, founded a couple of companies including npm Inc., and have always been about talking to developers about the state of the development world and how we fit into it, whether that’s on my personal site, in conference talks, or in big community surveys.

I wrote last week about why LLMs are the future of software. To summarize that post: until now computers have been very good at ingesting, sorting, and transmitting data, but understanding what they were working with was beyond them. Very recently, with tools like GPT-4 and Llama 2 that threshold has been crossed. Software can now read, summarize, and make novel connections within arbitrarily large sets of data. It can write software, it can use tools, it can generate text, images and music. A huge new set of capabilities have been unlocked.

The last time I saw a shift this big in the technological landscape was probably the original iPhone. Suddenly, everybody who was doing everything needed to also do it for mobile devices. You sell real estate? Now you do it with an app. You run a dating site? Now you do it with an app. There was a gigantic rush as everyone who did everything in software suddenly saw huge benefits from moving onto a new platform.

But the most interesting applications that platform shift enabled were the ones that couldn’t have existed before. Uber relies on everyone — drivers as well as customers — already owning a piece of mobile hardware that can connect to the Internet and use GPS to locate them. Prior to the mobile revolution, that would have been an absurd business plan. After it happened, it was taken for granted. So in the same way, I’m especially interested in seeing what the applications of LLMs are that were simply impossible before.

All of which is why I’m delighted to be at a company at the center of the LLM universe. If you’re new to LlamaIndex, it’s a Python and JavaScript framework that lets you quickly put together totally customizable, production-class applications that use LLMs. We let you ingest data from dozens of sources and use any model you want, and we make it simple to link everything together.

The team at LlamaIndex is absolutely amazing and I am looking forward to working with Jerry, Simon and Yi. Yi will be focusing more on partnerships.

Want to see a demo? Our SEC Insights app lets you ingest regulatory documents from major corporations and then ask questions about them. Want to dive and build your own? Get started in Python or JavaScript!

P.S. If you’re wondering “why an alpaca?” it’s because my personal mascot is an alpaca and has been for years. Alpacas and llamas are a great match!