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Which AI is best for app development: Insights from a Machine Learning Lead

Olga Gubanova


March 17, 2024

Igor Dostavalov, our dedicated Machine Learning Lead at Ptolemay, combines expertise in AI with a passion for advancing app development technologies.

Today, AI in app development and machine learning insights are not just trends—they're keys to new worlds, revolutionizing industries. Based in sunny California, Ptolemay stands out in this exciting landscape, boasting over 70 digital projects, including more than 30 with the innovative ChatGPT integration.

Recognized by Clutch as California’s top app development company in both 2020 and 2023, Ptolemay is at the forefront of AI technology trends. At the heart of these achievements is Igor Dostavalov, our ML team lead, whose deep expertise and forward-thinking approach to AI are shaping the future of technology. Join us as we dive into Igor’s insights and explore how AI is redefining what’s possible.

Introduction to AI and Machine Learning for App Development

In the tech world, "AI" and "machine learning" often get tossed around, but they're not quite the same. AI is the big dream - technology that mimics human intelligence, making decisions and learning on its own. Machine learning is a way to achieve that dream, a method where computers learn from data to improve their performance on tasks without being explicitly programmed for those tasks.

Diving deeper, we've got subsets like deep learning applications and reinforcement learning in robotics. Deep learning uses neural networks with many layers (hence "deep") to analyze patterns in data, mimicking how a human brain operates. It's behind many breakthroughs, from recognizing your face in photos to powering smart assistants.

Reinforcement learning is all about trial and error. Imagine teaching a robot to walk; it tries different movements (trials), and you reward the successful ones. Over time, the robot learns to walk smoothly. This approach is great for situations where you can't provide direct answers but can judge the outcomes, like in video games or robotic movements.

There are neural network models, and there are many of them, with even more architectures available. We have neural networks, boosting algorithms, linear regression, among others. The variations are numerous, and each one solves a specific task, but collectively, this all falls under the umbrella of machine learning.

Understanding these concepts isn't just academic; it's crucial for applying AI effectively. Whether it's choosing the right approach for a project or understanding the potential and limitations of AI, a solid grasp of these basics empowers us to innovate responsibly and effectively.

Introduction to AI and Machine Learning for App Development

Unlocking the Potential of ChatGPT in App Development

Deep learning and reinforcement learning are key to advancing AI, helping machines to mimic human-like understanding and responses.

Take GPT-4 by OpenAI, for example. Its creators are still unraveling how it makes decisions. With its billions of parameters, fully comprehending its inner workings is a challenge. This illustrates the vast potential and the extensive learning curve still ahead in AI.

To effectively use technologies like ChatGPT for a variety of tasks without the need for retraining the entire system, two key techniques are employed: prompt engineering techniques and an understanding of semantic search AI. Here’s how these elements work together to enhance the application of ChatGPT:

Prompt Engineering

Prompt engineering helps us get precise answers from ChatGPT. We do this by asking very specific questions. This way, ChatGPT knows exactly what we're looking for and gives us responses that meet our needs. It's like giving clear directions to someone so they can find their way without getting lost.

Tokenization and Semantic Search

Tokenization is a process that changes words into numbers. This is important for GPT models, like ChatGPT, because it lets them understand and work with human language. It turns the text into a form that the AI can easily handle, helping it spot patterns in language and create content that makes sense to us. Essentially, it's like translating our language into one that the computer can speak and understand fluently.

Semantic search uses embedding models to turn sentences or texts into vectors, which are points in a vast space. Each point has its own meaning, based on where it's located. When points are close together, it means the ideas are similar. This method helps find information that matches what a user is looking for. Once it finds the right points, semantic search turns them back into text. This text is then used to guide ChatGPT, helping it give responses that are right on topic and full of meaning. It's a bit like finding the closest match to your thoughts in a huge library, then using that match to have a meaningful conversation with ChatGPT.

ChatGPT uses these methodologies to understand and search through information more accurately, focusing on the meaning rather than just looking for words that match. This means ChatGPT can be tweaked for various jobs more easily, without having to rebuild it from scratch every time. It's a smart way for companies to use cutting-edge AI quickly and effectively, bringing new solutions to their clients without a huge effort.

Unlocking the Potential of ChatGPT in App Development

Uncover the top 10 ChatGPT examples and use cases for startups by visiting our article.

Training ChatGPT for Custom App Development Needs

When developing custom applications with ChatGPT, we're entering the world of large language models. These models are huge, with GPT-4 rumored to have over 500 billion parameters. To work with such models, you need a lot of computing power, usually from many high-end GPUs. This can get expensive, especially for individual developers.

OpenAI has put some limits on further training GPT-4 but allows for tweaking GPT-3.5, a slightly smaller model rumored to have around 20 billion parameters. Here's where it gets interesting for app developers: not every problem needs you to retrain the whole model. Often, you can use prompt engineering to get the job done. This approach is quicker and cheaper, avoiding the high costs and effort of retraining big models like GPT-3.5.

But there's more to consider than just the architecture of these neural networks. The data you feed into them is crucial. Good quality data can make a model perform much better. On the flip side, even the most advanced model won't do well with bad data.

So, as a lead in machine learning for app development, I see two main paths forward. One is about the model's architecture—choosing the right framework and settings for your AI. The other path is all about data. Making sure your data is clean, relevant, and well-prepared is key. Both approaches are vital for creating powerful, efficient applications with AI like ChatGPT.

Key Considerations for App Development with AI:

  1. Computational Resources: The sheer size of models like GPT-4 demands a lot of computing power. For developers, this means preparing for the expense of high-end GPUs or cloud computing services capable of handling such demands.
  2. Model Training: While OpenAI limits further training of GPT-4, it allows for modifications to GPT-3.5, which still offers considerable capabilities. This opens up a strategic decision for app developers: to work within these constraints, often opting for prompt engineering as a more cost-effective and efficient solution.
  3. Data Quality: The performance of AI models is heavily dependent on the quality of data they're trained on. Investing in clean, high-quality data is essential, as even the most advanced models will struggle to perform well if trained on poor-quality data.
  4. Cost Management: Developing applications with AI like ChatGPT involves balancing the costs of computational resources, model training, and data preparation. For those looking to develop custom applications, understanding these costs is crucial for budgeting and planning your project.
  5. Prompt Engineering vs. Retraining: For many app development needs, prompt engineering—a method of carefully crafting input prompts to guide the AI—can be a more practical approach than retraining the model. This method saves both time and resources, providing a viable path to leveraging AI's power without the extensive costs associated with model training.

Indeed, exploring and researching network architectures is a viable approach, yet often, the quality of data plays a more significant role in achieving superior results. Enhancing the data quality can substantially improve model performance. Conversely, no matter how advanced a model is, training it on poor-quality data will inevitably degrade its performance.

How AI Transforms Our Company's Project Approach

AI is big in tech right now, and we're all in. Thanks to OpenAI making ChatGPT more affordable, it's become a key player in our toolkit.

Here's the thing: our projects are about bringing new ideas to life, ideas that regular code just can't handle. That's where AI steps in. It's not just about coding; it's about creating something that users can interact with, something that feels a bit like magic. We use AI, like GPT-3.5, to tailor solutions right to our needs, making our projects smarter and more responsive.

But, not everything needs AI. If we can solve a problem the straightforward way, without diving into the complex world of machine learning, we go for it. It's usually quicker and keeps things running smoothly. However, when we're faced with a real head-scratcher, something only AI can solve, that's when we get to work. Machine learning lets us sift through data, spot patterns, and get insights that just aren't possible with traditional methods.

Solving Business Problems with Advanced AI Solutions

The versatility of AI is showcased in its ability to adapt to different sectors. It can generate images from text descriptions, perform object segmentation in visuals, and facilitate robots' learning processes through reinforcement learning. This adaptability makes AI an invaluable asset across various fields.

Here are some ways AI is being used to solve business challenges:

  1. Creating 3D Models for Gaming: AI can automatically generate detailed 3D models from simple sketches, significantly speeding up the game development process. For instance, a game studio could use AI to turn concept art into playable characters and environments, reducing the time and cost associated with manual modeling.
  2. Generating Images Based on Thematic Requests: Marketing agencies can use AI to produce creative visuals for campaigns by simply describing the theme or mood they're aiming for. This means getting custom artwork for a new product launch might be as easy as telling the AI, "Create an image that captures the excitement of discovery."
  3. Segmenting Objects Within an Image: E-commerce platforms can enhance their product catalogs by using AI to automatically cut out product images from their backgrounds. This could help online retailers quickly prepare high-quality product photos for listings without the need for manual editing.
  4. Enabling Robots to Learn and Adapt Through Reinforcement Learning: Manufacturing companies can deploy robots that improve their efficiency over time. For example, a robot in an assembly line could learn to optimize its movements to increase production speed or reduce energy consumption, all thanks to AI's ability to learn from experience.
  5. Automating Customer Service with Chatbots: AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries 24/7, providing instant responses to common questions. This not only improves customer satisfaction but also allows human customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues. Imagine a chatbot that can resolve 70% of common queries, freeing up human agents to provide more personalized service.
  6. Predictive Maintenance in Manufacturing: AI can predict when machines are likely to fail or need maintenance, helping factories avoid unexpected downtime. By analyzing data from sensors on equipment, AI can alert managers before a breakdown occurs, ensuring that maintenance can be carried out in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  7. Personalizing Online Shopping Experiences: Online retailers can use AI to recommend products tailored to individual customers' preferences, increasing the likelihood of a sale. By analyzing past purchase history and browsing behavior, an AI system could suggest items that a shopper is likely to buy, making their shopping experience both easier and more enjoyable.
  8. Optimizing Logistics and Supply Chain Management: AI can forecast demand, plan inventory levels, and optimize delivery routes. For a logistics company, this could mean using AI to analyze traffic patterns and weather data to determine the fastest, most cost-effective delivery routes.

Discover how to revolutionize your business with ChatGPT: dive into our article and explore 20 features that open up new prospects.

Mastering Multi-Integration of AI

In one standout project, we combined AI's multiple facets. It was a special AI project to help people with limited tech skills create professional resumes. Here's how we did it:

  1. Writing the Resumes: We used an AI model, like ChatGPT, to automatically write resumes from basic info. This made creating professional-looking resumes easy and effective.
  2. Improving Photos: Next, we used another AI tool to adjust the applicants' photos to fit the job they were applying for. This step made sure the visual part of the resume matched the job's tone, whether formal or casual.
  3. Finding Job Matches: Lastly, we used semantic search to find jobs that fit these resumes. Instead of just matching keywords, our AI compared the whole resume and job description as numbers. This method found more accurate job matches because it looked at the full picture, not just one or two words.
Mastering Multi-Integration of AI

This project showed how AI can solve real problems by combining different AI tools—making tasks like resume writing and job searching more tailored and effective.

Comprehensive Integration Process of AI Technologies in App Development

Integrating AI technologies into our software development projects starts with a detailed process:


We first assess if an existing AI model can meet the project's needs, considering the complexities of data analysis and machine learning models. This step is critical, as it guides the strategic direction, especially in areas like fraud detection and driving cars, where precision and reliability are paramount.


Finding a suitable model leads to its integration into our system, addressing various data set requirements and ensuring compatibility with artificial intelligence (AI) principles. For example, adapting a deep learning model for image recognition or natural language processing (NLP) to enhance user experience in social media apps.

Development and Testing

The creation of a new AI model involves experimenting with different computer science techniques, including deep learning and reinforcement learning, to achieve desired outcomes, such as improved user behavior analysis. Rigorous testing ensures the model performs accurately across diverse scenarios, contributing to robust app functionalities.

For an in-depth exploration of harnessing ChatGPT's potential for businesses, I highly recommend reading "Mastering ChatGPT: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses”.

Navigating the Challenges of AI Integration in the Tech Industry

Large AI models demand substantial computing resources. Our solution is a mix of in-house computing capabilities for initial development and cloud services for scalability. For instance, when working with AI models like GPT-3.5, we rely on cloud platforms like DigitalOcean, which offer the needed computational power without the upfront cost of expensive hardware.

Data Handling

Ensuring AI models can process various data types involves sophisticated preprocessing techniques. We convert all input data—whether text, images, or audio—into a uniform format that our AI models can understand. This preprocessing step is vital for models to perform accurately across different tasks.

Organizational Challenges

Bridging the gap between AI potential and business objectives is often a challenge. We tackle this by hosting workshops and regular meetings between our AI team and stakeholders. This ensures everyone understands the technical possibilities and business needs, fostering a common vision.

Managing client expectations is critical, especially when outcomes are uncertain. We keep communication open and transparent, setting realistic timelines and deliverables. For custom projects, we involve clients in the development process, allowing for feedback and adjustments, ensuring the final product closely aligns with their needs.

Customizing AI Solutions for Diverse Clients and Industries

When it comes to customizing AI solutions, our approach is tailored to meet the unique needs of each client and industry. Here’s how we do it:

Model Fine-Tuning

For AI models that require updates or retraining, we set up a process to fine-tune them. This could involve regular updates to keep up with market changes, like predicting customer churn or stock prices in banking. It's about making small, strategic adjustments to the model based on new data.

Image Generation Models

Smaller than large language models, image generators can often run on 6-8 GB of video memory. We sometimes retrain these on specific image sets to match the style a client wants. This isn't about starting from scratch but fine-tuning with less data, time, and memory.

Caution with Large Language Models

Retraining big models like GPT-3.5 isn't always advisable. Going down this path could use a lot of resources without guaranteeing better results. Since these models learned from vast amounts of data, adding small, unclean datasets might actually degrade their performance.

Leveraging Existing Knowledge

Instead of retraining, we often prefer to connect models to customized databases for tasks like semantic search. This way, the AI can access specific knowledge without the need for direct retraining, offering a more efficient form of customization.

The Future of AI and Machine Learning in Application Development

As we look ahead, the AI developments in technologies, particularly with the anticipation of GPT-5, are set to accelerate innovation even further. Unlike its predecessors, GPT-5 is rumored to be multimodal, meaning it could handle not just natural language processing but also computer vision and potentially more. This advancement could overshadow many current research areas or significantly enhance them.

One area that excites me personally is reinforcement learning, especially its application in robotics. This approach, where AI learns from interactions within its environment, is also an integral part of evolving models like GPT. It suggests a future where AI could learn and adapt in ways similar to human learning.
The Future of AI and Machine Learning in Application Development

Essential Learning Resources for AI and ML Enthusiasts

For those eager to dive deeper into AI and Machine Learning, several resources stand out. Online platforms like Coursera and edX offer comprehensive courses designed by leading universities and tech companies. Specialized in AI topics, DeepLearning.AI and provide focused, practical learning experiences. Engaging with these resources can significantly enhance your understanding and skills in the field.

Andrew Ng is renowned in the AI field, offering a wealth of courses on Coursera, ranging from foundational machine learning concepts to advanced topics like crafting prompts for GPT models.

Andrej Karpathy, with his tenure at OpenAI as a leading developer, has established himself as one of the foremost experts in machine learning globally. His YouTube channel is a treasure trove of insights, where he delves into language models, NLP tasks, and beyond, sharing his deep understanding and coding expertise directly, including GPT architectures and optimizers, covering a wide array of subjects often untouched by others.

Yoshua Bengio, another luminary in AI, has contributed extensively to the understanding of neural networks and deep learning architectures, pushing forward the boundaries of AI and machine learning with his research and writings.

These professionals offer invaluable resources for anyone looking to deepen their knowledge in AI and machine learning, from fundamental concepts to cutting-edge applications and techniques.

The journey into AI and ML is both challenging and rewarding. Embrace a mindset of continuous learning and stay updated with the latest research and developments. Practical experience, through projects or collaborations, is invaluable. Don't shy away from experimenting with new models and algorithms to discover what works best for specific problems.

Conclusion: The Significance of AI and ML in Today's World

AI and Machine Learning have transformed how we live, work, and think about the future. These technologies drive innovation across industries, making operations smarter, more efficient, and opening up new possibilities.

At Ptolemay, we're at the forefront of AI technology development, committed to pushing the boundaries of what's possible. Our team of experts leverages cutting-edge AI and ML to solve complex challenges, driving forward innovation and excellence.

We invite collaboration and partnership. Whether you're looking to explore AI solutions for your business or interested in contributing to pioneering AI research, join us at Ptolemay. Together, we can shape the future of technology.