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Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Dave Excell, Co-Founder and CTO of Featurespace (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 27th 2018

Sramana Mitra: When you go into a customer, do you find a lot of historic data that is formatted in a way that your algorithm can use that data?

Dave Excell: Usually, we have to work with that customer to make sure that we find and understand all of that data and to make sure that it’s in a consistent and usable format. That is part of the initial engagement.

Sramana Mitra: How long does it take for your algorithm, in a particular customer instance, to gather enough history or enough mileage to be able to be effective?

Dave Excell: If all the data’s available, it will be able to process all of the data in a few hours and be able to generate a score or a decision, which is able to solve that particular problem. Once data is available, the actual mechanics of running the software and being able to generate effective score is very fast.

Sramana Mitra: But you’re saying that data is not always available, right? What is the reality? When you go into an account, how long does it take for the algorithm to start being effective?

Dave Excell: When we start an integration project with a client, usually that’s three months from that initial starting point to where we’ve got a solution that we can then go to market with.

Sramana Mitra: Is your primary segment within financial services credit cards?

Dave Excell: It’s credit cards and also within the banking environment.

Sramana Mitra: If you look around in the financial services space, what are some of the trends that you are seeing vis-a-vis AI applications.

Dave Excell: The banks are really looking at how AI can be used across their data that are underutilized. The banks are looking at the best ways to pull that data together to have a more consistent view of who their customers are and starting to see the fruits of that in terms of banks providing better information about their customers on how they spend money or how they can improve their budgeting. Some of those are in customer service applications like chatbots.

Sramana Mitra: If you were starting a company today in AI, where would you start that company?

Dave Excell: If you look at the way in which commerce takes place, it has gone from a situation where you would walk into a shop and you have cash in your wallet and go buy something. If you look at online transactions, they’re more convenient in terms of you not needing to go to the shop.

They’re still reasonably cumbersome in terms of you needing to create an account and entering your card details. It’s that ease-of-use in terms how you can acquire goods and also purchase goods. Even in a simple example of booking a flight to New York, there’s no voice technology that can tell me what flight options are available to fly to New York and also be able to book through that. Those types of things don’t quite exist yet.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Dave Excell, Co-Founder and CTO of Featurespace
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