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Real-time AI Personalization That Gives Advice To Gamers” With Alisa Chumachenko

It is one thing to have an assistant who gives the same advice to all users — yet it’s completely different to have your personal friend in the game who knows what you want, knows how you like to play and knows what jokes you like! Artificial Intelligence and deep learning help our desktop assistant […]

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It is one thing to have an assistant who gives the same advice to all users — yet it’s completely different to have your personal friend in the game who knows what you want, knows how you like to play and knows what jokes you like! Artificial Intelligence and deep learning help our desktop assistant turn the game into what the player wants in a real-time, accessible format.

Asa part of our series about what’s around the corner for the toy, game, and video game industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alisa Chumachenko.

Alisa Chumachenko is the Founder and CEO of GOSU.ai, an AI-powered voice assistant for gamers that has amassed over 1 million users since its inception in 2016. Alisa is one of the world’s leading gaming entrepreneurs, winning entrepreneurial and business awards throughout her career. Alisa’s latest project, sees her embark on a business endeavour that she hopes can facilitate a better gaming experience for all.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share the “backstory” behind what brought you to this particular career path?

Before getting into the gaming industry, I worked as an acrobat in a circus on ice. There I met my first husband. Some time after our wedding, he went to work with Cirque du Soleil and we left together on the Alegria tour of North America.

I turned 22 when my son was born. While on maternity leave, I became addicted to online games. I remember rocking my son back and forth to help him sleep while playing video games on my computer.

During a competitive online game, I met a group of players who wanted to start their own game.

Upon our return to Moscow for the Cirque Du Soleil tour, we met with these gamers in person. Our first board meeting took place in a tiny kitchen with 6–10 gaming enthusiasts. After expressing my interest and passion for games, they invited me to join them. This business, called Astrum Online Entertainment, changed my whole life.

In 2010 after contemplating becoming my own boss, I decided to go into business by myself and founded Game Insight, now one of the world’s leading developers and publishers of free-to-play mobile games and social-network games. Game Insight is headquartered in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

In 2010, we started making games specifically for Android.

Then there was no Google Play as a platform, there were no free games and no games with microtransactions. At the time, the only mobile games that were available required purchase.

Developers’ accounts were created on Adsense. We were really looking forward to when Google would open their opportunity so we could begin launching microtransactions in games.

Game Insight was one of the first companies to launch a microtransaction game.

As soon as Google opened the opportunity, we launched our game and it gained popularity very quickly. Thanks to the game’s sudden popularity, Game Insight became the first company to make one million dollars through a microtransaction game.

This success was quickly followed by further profits.

Around the same time, Google announced that their online game store will be called Google Play and the accounts of the first developers who are already working with Google will be transferred from AdSense to the new platform. In the process of transferring, Google lost our account, which by that time had accumulated $10 million in revenue. For almost two years we tried to restore the account and get our revenue from Google. Because of this, we almost lost the company, as the cash gap was huge. To be honest, at times I thought that we would never get the money. But in the end everything ended well, Google cleared everything up, transferred it and paid.

The lesson from this is simple: plans, especially in a new turbulent market, may not materialize or can be disrupted at any time. In situations like this, it is vital to understand the risks and be as prepared as possible.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

In life, it is always not one person who influences you. Therefore, it is very difficult to single out one person. In my case, however, it is not very difficult, it is Igor Matsanyuk, who was my husband and business partner for over 13 years. Thanks to him, I learned a lot in business. In particular, make quick decisions, try to be the first and not be afraid of failure. He also taught me to be a very good partner.

I am very grateful to Igor, but when we are talking about getting experience and knowledge from other people — it’s not always like that. Not always you are learning from positive experiences. Not always a person will show you what to do to get results. It can be a negative experience as well. For example, the person that I’m talking about built toxic relationships inside the company. For me, it was a great lesson, because I knew that in my company I would never do such a thing. Overall, working and communicating with this person made me learn a lot, but I wouldn’t want the experience to happen again.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I’m a business person. Business is my passion and my drive. It might sound vain, but I generate employment opportunities in which people can show what they are best in. I’m supple when it comes to hiring talents. I don’t care about one’s education and work experience. I believe that by giving a person a chance to be joyful when they are doing their job can make one a little happier. Not only that person, but also their family and friends. By becoming successful in my business, I create job opportunities in which people become happier. That is my contribution to making the world a better place.

Can you tell us about the technological innovations in gaming that you are working on with GOSU.ai?

That is the most interesting thing about what we do.

It is one thing to have an assistant who gives the same advice to all users — yet it’s completely different to have your personal friend in the game who knows what you want, knows how you like to play and knows what jokes you like! Artificial Intelligence and deep learning help our desktop assistant turn the game into what the player wants in a real-time, accessible format.

Real-time AI personalization is the future of games. It is the magic that our AI will achieve now and will do even better in the future. There is a lot of talk about AI right now — we are doing a very simple thing — we are not developing a super-magical AI that is talked about breathlessly at business conferences.

We adapt existing technologies to a specific product, to a specific game, so to speak. If you dig deep into it, there is no magic inside. It is our job to take the available technology and adapt it to the application tasks. However, if you look at it through the eyes of the user, it is magic in action. This is the future that is already here, in a way. This is already a reality for us.

Our assistant now has no competitors on the market. Companies that are trying to make such a product are now three years behind us. For us, it’s magic to make the game what the player wants it to be — convenient, personalized and adaptable to their wishes in real-time.

We are ready to make this truly magical and big — that’s why we opened our product to all users, that’s why we want to build a partnership with game publishers — because with their help we will do it much faster. We want to do it faster, because now we are sure, when we talk about GOSU Voice Assistant, we are talking about a big thing that will undoubtedly affect the game industry.

How do you think GOSU might disrupt the status quo?

Recently while I was driving, I heard the news that it was Richard Drew’s birthday, the man who invented sellotape. At that second I thought to myself, it’s cool to think that just over 80 years ago people were living a life without sellotape. It surprised me how quickly it became a household item and eventually a part of everyday life.

I hope that one day AI is going to become a part of the world that we are living in just like one day Richard Drew and his invention did.

What is the “purpose” or mission behind GOSU.ai?

Our purpose is to bring the magic of AI closer to the user. We are already doing it right now. GOSU Voice Assistant can already have personalized conversations to help players in-game. It is personalized based on the habits, preferences and abilities displayed in-game. Real-time personalization is our goal and the future that we are working towards. Our overall mission is to bring more fun and satisfaction to the gaming experience. To help with their in-game frustrations and stop them from being toxic.

I’m very interested in the link between games and education. How do you think more people (parents, teachers etc.) or institutions (work, school etc.) can leverage toys or gamification to enhance education?

I think that games bring much more good than bad. Games are developing soft skills, fine motor skills, ability to work in a team and long time decision making. This is critical to the future success of each individual. My kids are playing video games a lot.

I believe that education can be borrowed a lot from games and I really believe in gamification. When EdTech startups ask me for advice, I am always happy to help them! I believe gamification is the future of education.

How would you define a “successful” game or toy? Can you share an example of a game that you hold up as an aspiration?

Well, as I said I’m a business person and I can give you the definition of a successful game from a business perspective.

A successful game is a game where you have a lot of users that are willing to pay. If a lot of people are ready to spend money on the game — it’s a success. What comes to examples I can’t specify. Wake me up in the middle of the night and I will give 500 successful examples!

What are the “5 Things You Need to Know To Create a Successful Game” and why?

Game knowledge. You have to play a lot of video games.

Making a game is not a creative process- there should be a lot of creativity going into it- but it’s not the base.

If you have money for one video game, that means you probably only have one third for creation of a video game. The process of production is a lot like building — you are never going to make it into the first iteration of the budget.

Try finding a team that is going to finish the video game. There are a lot of amazing and talented people in the industry that are doing a great job. But often they’re not able to finish the video game and get it all into one working spot. Try finding people that are going to finish and polish your video game.

You don’t need to love the video game you’re making — you are supposed to play it a lot and understand why your users love it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Lately I was inspired by a really important quote for me of Jeff Bezos — It’s harder to be kind than to be clever. It’s the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift. Kindness is a choice.”

If I led any type of movement it would be a movement where it would help business people understand this quote. Entrepreneurs and businesspeople are leading this world. If a business person will understand why being kind is harder than being clever, they will propel the world into a world of kindness.

Can you please give us your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You will never have a second chance to make a first impression”. I believe this is self explanatory, but in my case, this quote was relevant throughout my life, most notably, my first introduction to the team at Astrum Online Entertainment. Had I not made a great first impression, perhaps I would not be where I am today!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I have two favorite social networks. I run my facebook in Russian (https://www.facebook.com/neudachnica) and my twitter (https://twitter.com/Neudachnica) in english.

I would be delighted to receive more followers and I will try to be interesting and useful for them.

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