Have you used Siri? Have you used Amazon’s Echo? Have you used any other natural language assisted personal assistant? The world of AI is rife with speculations on where this field is going, and this discussion is a wonderful expose on that topic.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to Artificial Solutions and to the two of you. Tell us who you are, what your background is, and what Artificial Solutions is.
Andy Peart: I look after the marketing for Artificial Solutions. We’re going to double-act with my colleague, Andres. I’ll let him introduce himself.
Andreas Wieweg: I head the software development for Artificial Solutions.
Sramana Mitra: You are joining from Stockholm, right?
Andy Peart: Right.
Sramana Mitra: So Artificial Solutions is a Swedish company. Tell us about Artificial Solutions.
Andy Peart: We are very much an international company. The technology originated from Sweden, which as you’re probably aware, is quite the hot bed for disruptive technologies in Europe with the likes of Spotify and MySQL. We have offices in a number of key cities in Europe. More recently, we’ve been expanding significantly in the US. We’ve got offices actually just up the road in Mountain View.
Artificial Solutions is a product-led software company that focuses on the broad field of artificial intelligence (AI). The particular flavour or brand of AI that we work in is referred to as natural language interaction. It is basically the ability to allow people to speak to devices and applications using natural conversational language.
Basically, it’s allowing them to speak in a human-like and intelligent way to devices and for those devices to understand them. It’s pretty much making technology think. To put that into a little bit more of a perspective, it’s about changing the whole IT paradigm. Since IT started, it was the responsibility for us, as users, to learn how to use technology.
We believe that, in the very near future, the tables will be turned and technology will be understanding users. We can speak whatever language, be it French, German, Spanish, or American English. It doesn’t matter. We can ask in our own way across any platform whether that be mobile or web. It doesn’t matter. That is our goal.
We are approaching that in, we believe, a slightly different way than other people in the market because we have chosen to build a platform that allows non-specialists to be able to build really sophisticated natural language applications. The structure of the platform allows us to add new languages in a pretty quick, intuitive way. Indeed, we already support 35 different languages.
Not only are we able to build these intelligent applications, we’re able to collect the conversational data and analyze it to give our clients an unprecedented insight into what their users are actually thinking. What do they like or dislike? What are the major trends? What are they asking about? What were they talking about before they dropped out of a shopping cart?
When people speak in natural language, they reveal a vast amount of information about themselves. Think of it a little bit like a focus group. Instead of a focus group of 10 people over an hour’s period, you got a focus group of a million people 24/7. The massive value in that is just incredible. It’s a challenge that organizations have been grappling with.
Conversational data is pretty complex. If you say something like, “I love that.” What are you referring to? You need the context of the conversation. What were you talking about before that? What are you going to talk about afterwards? You need to be able to tie all that in and understand it to bring meaning to it. That’s what we do as part of the platform and beyond that, you can also close the loop so that you can then start to use that information in real-time to personalize the result.
We believe this combination of being able to build sophisticated natural language applications really quickly to be able to analyze the information and then use it in a closed-loop feedback is pretty unique in the market. That, in effect, is what we are about.