Sramana Mitra: We’ve talked in the context of retail. Is there any other finding in other verticals?
Jana Eggers: I mentioned healthcare before. A quick example that everyone understands is doctor and patient matching. When someone who just moved has a specific condition that he/she wants a right doctor for, we help them by giving suggestions on which doctor in their network fits that patient. I mentioned oil and gas. What they’re working on is lots of knowledge in the enterprise. When someone searches their knowledge base, it should give a different answer to a VP Operations as opposed to a Process Engineer.
Sramana Mitra: That’s a much smaller parameter set that you’re personalizing against. In an enterprise oil and gas context, that number of parameters is much smaller.
Jana Eggers: Not on the knowledge side. On the individual side, it definitely can be. It can be on the retail side too when someone’s coming in and it’s the cold start problem. The information side is really not small. They have hundreds of thousands of processed documents. They’re building $60 billion oil rigs. There’s a lot of information that goes into that. Now they’re working on another project. What is the fine-tuned information that actually helps and allows them to do that better and more efficiently.
Sramana Mitra: Lift yourself to the 30,000 foot level, and talk to me about what you’re seeing in AI applications in general. AI is very hot right now. What open problems do you see out there that you would steer other people interested in building AI software companies towards?
Jana Eggers: It is very hot. I would say that it is still very young. We’re really only at the beginning stages. I think that people need to start out in the small specific use cases. You’re bringing up a lot of points about focus. I think there’s a lot of areas that people can look at. Part of my scientific work was actually in AI before I went into technology as a business. If you haven’t worked in it before, I would start with, “Let me see what tools are out there?” There’s a lot out there right now. I think that’s the biggest and fastest area.
Sramana Mitra: I’m actually looking for entrepreneurial opportunities. Our audience is all entrepreneurs. I’m looking for open problems that are worth solving for and for an entrepreneur to build a company around.
Jana Eggers: That’s what I mean. I think you can take AI right now and the tools that are out there and apply that to a specific industry. I think there’s huge opportunities for entrepreneurs there now. The big opportunity is applying AI in industry. For AI itself, it’s difficult because it’s a specialty field now. I think there’s a lot in mobile development.
Mobile is such a small screen space that we really need our answers to come up very quickly. I think that on the phone side and the mobile area, there’s a lot of opportunities for connecting information and giving very contextual answers. I’d say applying AI and/or working on the mobile side are good places for entrepreneur who wants to work in the AI space.
Sramana Mitra: Very good. Thank you for your time.
Jana Eggers: I’m really excited about what you’re doing by the way. One Million by One Million is quite an inspiration. I’ve read through what you’re doing on the mentorship side and what you’re offering. People need that peer network. Especially as a CEO, you feel so alone.
Sramana Mitra: Yes, and you don’t have people to talk to. There’s so much learning out there and you go and repeat the same mistakes, which are completely avoidable mistakes.
Jana Eggers: Exactly. I very much appreciate that.
Sramana Mitra: It was great talking to you.