Praelexis - What does the name mean?

  • January 19, 2024

Praelexis - what is the significance of the name?

“Praelexis sounds like a character out of a Star Wars movie,” says Gillian Arends, Deputy Director at the University of Stellenbosch, as he asks McElory Hoffmann about the origin of Praelexis’s name. This discussion was a part of Praelexis’s edutainment festivities to celebrate 10 years of existence. You can watch a snippet of the evening here. About Praelexis Gillian concludes: “It’s really about getting machines and people together”

According to McElory, the name Praelxis tells you what the company does. Praelexis is a machine learning and artificial intelligence company. The name plays on this. “Prae” (Latin) or “pre” means “before” or “forward”. Like it is used in “predict”: “pre” means “before” and “dict” means “say”. “Predict” then simply means to “say before”. However, Praelexis did not simply want to use the word “predict” as their name.  “Lexis” (Latin) is translated as “word” or “diction”. Praelexis then means “fore-word” and it plays with the idea that data can help us predict trends. As a company, we say the first word about the future. McElory explains: “Now, of course, we do more than just predictions, there are all sorts of other things that you could do with machine learning, apart from that, but it is at the heart of it.” 

Figure 1: The name

Image depicting that "praelexis" means "fore-word"

Consider the logo. Next to the “P” there are some dots. These dots, combined with the curve of the “P” signify Decision Boundary, a key concept in machine learning.

Want to learn more about Decision Boundaries? Consider the following sources:

  1. Praelexian Prof Ben Herbst (co-author)’s article on the subdivision of curves and surfaces. 
  2. Herman Kemper’s video explaining decision boundary and weight vector. 
  3. A trusty Wikipedia entry explaining the basics of decision boundary. 

Our logo plays with the idea that we classify things. However, as we improve with machine learning, we will probably move from being descriptive to prescriptive. We want to generate knowledge on which one can act. 


Figure 2: The logo

Image depicting how the Praelexis "P" shows decision boundary

At Praelexis we create value for our customers with responsible, data-driven AI solutions. We are crafters of machine learning for a sustainable future. Contact us to start your company’s Praelexis AI journey. 

View our 10 year celebration videos here: 


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