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Exclusive: Pixxel, Enabled Intelligence Team Up

A labeled image where blue shows active lithium evaporation pods and green shows inactive pods. Image: Enabled Intelligence

Pixxel and Enabled Intelligence are announcing a new partnership under which the data labeling startup will annotate the space company’s hyperspectral imagery. 

The two companies are working together to make hyperspectral imagery more accessible by annotating and labeling the pictures, which can then be used to train AI and machine learning models. 

Meet Enabled Intelligence: Enabled Intelligence, which was founded four years ago to do data labeling, annotating, and analysis, already works with the NGA, NRO, DoD, and Space Force, among other agencies. 

“A big issue we kept seeing especially with our government customers would be like, the NGA would call and say, ‘Hey, we have all this satellite imagery. Could you help us find MiG-29s?’” CEO Peter Kant told Payload. “We would say, ‘Sure, give us the data.’ They give us the data and none of it is labeled.” 

  • More than half of the staff is neurodiverse, which Kant said gives them a “superpower” when it comes to the attention to detail required for the job. 
  • All the staff are US citizens, and more than half have a security clearance, allowing them to label sensitive intelligence.

Meet Pixxel: Pixxel, which has HQs in both the US and India, is building a constellation of hyperspectral satellites to collect high-resolution pictures of the Earth. Hyperspectral images offer a high level of detail for sectors ranging from defense and intelligence to agriculture and mining, but the complexity also means analyzing the collected data can quickly become difficult. 

Barrier to entry: The goal of the partnership is to make hyperspectral data accessible to a wider group of customers. 

“Hyperspectral imagery and hyperspectral data is an exceedingly powerful data set that can answer a lot of questions…but it is a tough data element to access for more commercial companies,” Kant said. “Artificial intelligence…can for lack of a better term democratize that data and make it more accessible and usable for a wider swath of folks.”

But AI models alone aren’t yet reliable enough to digest the complicated data by themselves, which is where Enabled Intelligence comes in.

“Machine processing has not caught up to hyperspectral,” said Skip Maselli, VP of US public sector at Pixxel. “It’s absolutely mandated that we have people in the loop.” 

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