People want results and they want them quickly! When attempting to interact with clients, what matters most is how efficient you are and the quality of your services. The team at Satisfi Labs is well aware of this, so they do all they can to ensure that their clients are able to interact with their customers in real time without the worry of a delay. Don White and his team have made it possible for even the most complex tasks to become simplified wherever and whenever you want. As a “high-energy strategist” Don is changing the game one innovative solution at a time.
Tamara: Can you share a story that inspired you to get involved in AI?
Don: The founders all have backgrounds in algorithmic trading and big data analysis. We felt that the skills we applied to finance, where we built machines for trading and customer insight analysis, could be applied to areas where data was absent. As we walked through retail stores, sports stadiums and outdoor events we saw the opportunity to build something unique and useful and we have been thrilled with the rapid adoption.
Tamara: Describe your company and the AI/predictive analytics/data analytics products/services you offer.
Don: Satisfi Labs is a conversational interface that can be rapidly trained in places where content is constantly changing like physical locations or events. We create the interface for the property owner to analyze consumer intent and retrain the platform to provide the best answers that will accelerate transactions or improve customer experience.
Tamara: How do you see the AI/data analytics/predictive analysis industry evolving in the future?
Don: AI becomes smarter as data becomes more available. The evolution will be in the rapid expansion of channels to interact with AI. First it was mobile, then the home and now cars. From text to voice to now rapid language expansions, you will see more physical installations in robotics and holograms where the conversational experience will include supplemental visual effects.
Tamara: What is the biggest challenge facing the industry today in your opinion?
Don: There is a lot of noise in this space. The technology momentum has encouraged companies to enter very quickly and without much expertise which makes it hard for the buyer to differentiate what has real potential from new tech that may not supply the ROI they’re looking for.
Tamara: How do you see your products/services evolving going forward?
Don: The great thing about having a large customer base is our product roadmap is heavily influenced by their feedback. We are focused on tools that will enable our customers to enhance personalization and drive more direct revenue through conversational transactions. While on-demand information is a great tool, automating transactions to drive sales has a greater impact on our customer’s bottom line.
Tamara: What is your favorite AI movie and why?
Don: Ex-Machina which came out in 2014 is the first that comes to mind. The drive to create machines that “think” and “feel” is well laid out in this movie and challenges the true capabilities of this technology.
Tamara: What type of advice would you give my readers about AI?
Don: It is very important to look behind the marketing and read about great use cases. AI has become a very broad term which makes it hard to differentiate the true machine intelligence platforms from a simple flow diagram chatbot. My advice is to find the industries that are moving forward like healthcare, auto and retail as that is where you will see some great investments which in turn will produce the best technology.
Tamara: How does AI, particularly your product/service, bring goodness to the world? Can you explain how you help people?
Don: Our product brings human conversations to a digital level with a focus on physical locations. We service hundreds and thousands of people each day that have a need for digital conversations because of a disability, language barrier, or staffing issues. It’s been very encouraging to solve these problems and see people get the answers they need while attending an event.
Tamara: What would be the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you during your company’s evolution?
Don: When we were first framing out the product with Macy’s, I asked to be an employee for a day in order to make sure what we were doing would really help the Macy’s employee in the store and the visiting customer. I got my marching orders from the manager and was put on the floor helping people find items and trailing one of their best associates. I was having so much fun I wanted to make sure I sold something so I called one of our investors who lived in the area and begged him to come to the store so I could sell him something. He ended up walking out with a Macy’s bag that day and I think I earned some credibility with my coworkers as a result. When we launched the product I was able to speak to the store managers as someone who had walked in the shoes of their workers (even for a day) rather than as just a vendor.
Tamara: What are the 3-5 things that most excite you about AI? Why? (industry specific)
Don: Several things come to mind with this question.
Physical activations for AI are becoming very popular. Robotics and holograms that serve as the “face” of AI applications is a merge of the physical and the digital and it’s exciting to see consumers interact with them.
Self-driving cars are one of the most talked about areas of AI and rightfully so. I’m very excited to see this area develop and the amount of productivity time that will be returned to automotive commuters.
Lastly, the way AI is enabled for multi-language communication excites me greatly. Language barriers have been an evergreen problem for many industries, but new AI technology that can speak in many languages or translate languages in real-time will provide easy channels for people to connect and engage.
Tamara: What are the 3-5 things worry you about AI? Why? (industry specific)
Don: I would say that there are a few things that make me somewhat concerned.
Anyone who has seen the Boston Dynamics robots is thinking the same thing as I am each time we see a video. While the mobility and functionality is astounding, are we building a dystopian movie we’ve already seen?
While self-driving cars is an area that excites me, it is also worrisome. Companies in this field need to analyze the biases AI takes in regards to decisions about safety of the driver and passengers. Should the AI always protect the driver? What if all outcomes are equally detrimental?
If AI makes understanding new languages so easy, will people still be driven to learn them? In education there will be a challenge to learn what has been automated and that feels to me like something will be lost there.
Tamara: Over the next three years, name at least one thing that we can expect in the future related to AI?
Don: Within 3 years, the number of daily conversations with an AI will increase dramatically and close in on the number of conversations we have with other humans.