Yepic header
hardware icon

Around 30

GPU instances in production.

play

1 million videos

generated by the Yepic Studio service.

Piggy Bank icon

Monthly income

from $2k to $50k in five months.

The context

A robotic receptionist greets visitors arriving at a campus or a company; an ultra-realistic presenter reads out a firm’s quarterly results on its YouTube channel; while your face is dubbed live deepfaked in Chinese so you can speak to someone on the other side of the world; this is the technology that Yepic.AI – a start-up with unique services – is offering.     

The technology is already familiar in the form of deepfake, but the founders of Yepic.AI are determined to make it not only a useful tool for companies, but a new means of communication that could truly revolutionise international trade.    

In 2021,  the start-up launched its first product, the Yepic Studio online service. This tool allows users to generate a video based on a simple text. Simply choose an avatar and type what you want to say. The video becomes available a few minutes later. And the results are stunning. They have acquired 500 devout monthly users in the last 5 months. The second tool is a simultaneous voice translation service known as VidVoice. Users can have conversations with anyone in the world and receive a simultaneous translation without the need for human interpreters. And you don’t even need a transcription of what participants are saying.

Aaron Jones, the CEO of Yepic.AI, explains how these ground-breaking tools work, “We are developing tools to help companies communicate by video, but it really is more than just for business usage. Our goal is to optimise how people communicate in global organisations and make it easier to access healthcare. Twenty-five million Americans don’t speak English, and in the UK nearly 1 million people can’t speak English well enough to access healthcare without an interpreter. With a tool like this one, the whole world will gain access to knowledge and services in their mother tongue, simply by speaking.”

The challenge

Yepic.AI’s core expertise is to generate videos. The start-up works closely with the field’s most advanced researchers in the United Kingdom, including those at the CVSSP (Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing) as well as other researchers from the universities of Oxford, Warwick, Birmingham, and Kingston University London. A huge amount of machine power is required to generate perfectly natural-sounding videos that are synchronised with text readings. The technology is based on Machine Learning algorithms. It produces a video in real-time, just like the VidVoice service. The process requires the most efficient GPUs on the market with the maximum amount of possible memory.

But Yepic.AI is still just a ten-person start-up. Its human resources are nothing like those available to AI giants like as Facebook, Microsoft, and Deepmind. As a result, its researchers needed extremely powerful, as well as highly industrialised, tools to create, test, and produce their AI algorithms, and they had to find a reliable and efficient GPU infrastructure. That’s why Aaron Jones turned to OVHcloud.

The solution

While Yepic.AI researchers began developing their tools using Cloud services provided by American hyperscalers, they very quickly switched to OVHcloud services. Aaron Jones explains why, “I found out about OVHcloud at a virtual event. I felt that we shared the same values and they quickly invited us to join their start-up program.” The founder of Yepic.AI was on the lookout for a solid partner for the scale-up phase of Yepic Studio. “A business can use this tool to enter a script in forty languages, choose an avatar and generate a video in just a few minutes. In these early stages, the service is available online to business users.” The tool consumes a lot of GPU resources and if the launch was to be successful – a must for any start-up – it meant having an efficient and reliable infrastructure.

Yepic.AI uses around thirty OVHcloud ML Serving GPU instances to provide its services. Meanwhile, researchers are making good use of Jupyter notebooks in managed mode using OVHcloud’s AI Notebooks solution. “Being able to use OVHcloud notebooks has been a game changer for us. The seamless integration between AI Notebooks and ML Serving saves us a lot of time. We no longer have to go through weeks of waiting before bringing in an innovation: we can automate how we load an algorithm on multiple GPUs from the notebook.” The agility and speed of execution allow the start-up to bring in new features very quickly: a key asset for a fledgling business.

 

Yepic.ai diagram

 

The result

Even though Yepic.AI’s technical infrastructure is starting to implement OVHcloud’s managed databases, the start-up’s core activity is based on the GPUs that are made available by the European cloud leader. “OVHcloud’s AI Notebooks give us access to much more GPU memory than we could get from other cloud providers. For a company whose business is 100% machine learning, that’s absolutely crucial.” Unlike the main cloud providers on the market, OVHcloud provides access to NVidia’s Tesla V100S GPU rather than the classic V100 version. The V100S version offers 32 GB of memory, which is double the memory offered by the V100 from other cloud providers. “Having 32 GB of memory rather than 16 GB makes all the difference when it comes to outputting video at 60 frames per second. To achieve this level of performance, all the data must be stored in GPU memory. That level of performance and rendering quality is impossible if you have less memory and need to write data to disk.”

Likewise, the integration between OVHcloud AI Notebooks and OVHcloud ML Serving is a key asset for the start-up,“Our researchers can try out new AI models in a test environment very quickly. The Notebook architecture provided by OVHcloud allows us to make fast adjustments to the resources consumed, which helps save on operating costs while bringing a huge productivity gain for our team.” The founder of Yepic.AI estimates that productivity gain to be multiplied by a factor of 3 to 4 because by using a service handled by OVHcloud, it is much simpler to manage the different versions of the CUDA, TensorFlow and PyTorch libraries. “Managing framework versions is a real problem. Look at the example of PyTorch, each new version brings its share of differences and incompatibilities. You need to be able to run the versions of PyTorch with which your code was written. With the concept of containers and OVHcloud’s AI Notebooks architecture, it is relatively easy. Having the right containers is a key point in delivering services to our customers without delay.”

“We’ve tried out all the leading American hyperscalers and OVHcloud is certainly
the Cloud service we found most user friendly. In just a few days, the whole team
was fully operational, so our researchers could start innovating more quickly. The
production infrastructure delivered by OVHcloud brings us the best performing GPUs,
which is absolutely critical for our business.”
Aaron Jones, CEO of Yepic.AI