intelligent voice assistant robot

An eye on AI

Looking back I recall so much fear over AI in the media. Today it is prevalent and everywhere. It’s on all our digital devices. Our communities are run by it. It is helping people make decisions that impact the world and yes even outer space travel.

Looking at today I feel like we’re nearing the vista of what AI can do for humankind.

The reality of AI today though is cluttered. I’ve recently seen someone selling a macro that searches a 50 MB spreadsheet as AI. I’ve read a lot about bias, integrity, and intent needing to be clear and regulated. To an extent this is obvious and to another extent it clear this comes from the vision presented to of by Hollywood of AI taking over the world. From my perspective if AI did take over the world I’d prefer it to be more like the AI from the movie WALL-E. It just wanted to keep all of humanity happy, occupied, and engaged with each other. Never mind the other aspects of what all that time in space did to people and the AI’s unwillingness to return to earth – which came from a human command anyways.

I joined speak2web because of Walter Angerer, our Founder and CEO. I’ve known him for several years and when he called I knew could trust whatever he had to say because he’s always been an ethical and dedicated business man in my experiences with him. When Walter told me about the company and his history and legacy in AI and voice processing I knew this was the right opportunity and jumped immediately.

Simon AI is built on his legacy. Helping to develop AI at IBM before and during Watson. Helping to develop AI at Siemens for smart grids. These are no small feats. This level of expertise and purview from the history of AI is not found in most companies calling themselves AI providers today.

The mission of speak2web is what truly resonated with me the most. Developing solutions for eCommerce companies wanting to implement virtual personal assistants that help shoppers uncover what they intend to buy faster. My legacy has been in marketing optimization and any product that can do this ethically is something I want to be a part of. I hope it something retailers see and value and want to be a part of as well.

My favorite element of Simon AI is the voice chat function. I’ve used Google Assistant for a long time on my Android devices. My children played with Alexa a lot when we had an Echo Dot but grew tired of it and it sat collecting dust. With Simon the chat function is so much different. It’s about interactive and contextual dialog. If Simon isn’t clear on the users intent or needs more information Simon will ask for it to help deliver the best results.

In eCommerce this is huge. I can tell Alexa to reorder a product and know it will show up. What I can’t do with her is engage in dialog. Last night I was on a website that lets me build custom PC’s. We’re trying to build one for our sons who want to start a YouTube and Twitch channel. This site offered a broad variety of components and I kept thinking to myself how great it would have been to done this with Simon.
“Hello I’m here to build a custom gaming rig with live capture and streaming capabilities.”
“Sounds cool. I hope you get lots of subscribers. Let’s start with the computer case. Do you have a preference on size?”
“What features would you like in the case such as RGB lighting or lots of cooling.”
“Okay here’s five I think you’ll like”
This coversation could continue on into the motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, etc… and even alert the user if they’ve gone over their budget, etc… or make add on recommendations if they haven’t hit it. It could help them through the cart and help them with the financing application as well.

I really like that with Simon I can engage in a human conversation with a website. There is no bias because Simon’s knowledge graph is purely built on a massive reference library and the portals it’s connected to. All it knows is how to help and have conversations. It’s there to assist. It cares more about clarity than it does persuasion. It won’t sell users hype because it’s able to understand what they’re intending to find through listening to what they’re saying. It’s the ultimate relational tool and despite being AI it actually has more empathy than many inside sales and customer service people I’ve met in my 20+ years in marketing and sales.

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