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Schedule - PGConf.EU 2023

Vectors are the new JSON

Date: 2023-12-13
Time: 11:10–12:00
Room: Meridian

Vectors are a centuries old, well-studied mathematical concept, yet they pose many challenges around efficient storage and retrieval in database systems. The heightened ease-of-use of AI/ML has lead to a surge of interested of storing vector data alongside application data, leading to some unique challenges. PostgreSQL has seen this story before with JSON, when JSON became the lingua franca of the web. So how can you use PostgreSQL to manage your vector data, and what challenges should you be aware of?

In this session, we'll review what vectors are, how they are used in applications, and what users are looking for in vector storage and search systems. We'll then see how you can search for vector data in PostgreSQL, including looking at best practices for using pgvector, an extension that adds additional vector search capabilities to PostgreSQL. Finally, we'll review ongoing development in both PostgreSQL and pgvector that will make it easier and more performant to search vector data in PostgreSQL.


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Jonathan S. Katz