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AI In The Consumer Space (Update)

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Artificial intelligence is no longer some term thrown around by programmers, engineers, or hollywood producers. AI is now a major selling point for consumer products, both software and hardware, in how they can automate tasks and make the purchaser’s life that much easier.

As you’ll find, some make good on this promise while others may leave consumers a little disillusioned. Here are a few examples of AI consumer products available today and what they proport to achieve for those looking to incorporate them into their everyday life.

Facebook Messenger Bots

For several years now, Facebook has been advertising the evolution of its Messenger platform from an AI standpoint. What started in early 2015 as simple bot integrations and the M assistant (allowing businesses to maintain a messenger which could – for example – provide users with package tracking information or order an Uber ride from within the chat) evolved a little over a year later into their Bot Platform.

As it stands now, Messenger Bots can perform several tasks for consumers, like those mentioned above, as well as book flights and travel options, contribute to Spotify and Apple Music playlists, join group conversations to answer questions, and much more. They serve to keep users inside Facebook’s ecosystem while performing tasks they would otherwise have to leave the app or site and spend time to complete. Messenger bots have the capability to perform more arduous AI based tasks, but we have not seen any mass adoption of this yet.

Most Recent Deployment: Facebook Messenger

Further Reading On Facebook Messenger:
Facebook Launches A Bot Platform – The Verge
Facebook Messenger Launches Group Bots and Bot Discovery Tab – Techcrunch

Apple Siri

Siri is Apple’s artificial intelligence product built within iOS and later macOS. Described as a digital assistant, Siri was introduced on a grand scale in the fall of 2011, evolving from a standalone app which Apple had purchased from the original creators in 2010. Replacing the iPhone’s previous dictation focused software, Voice Control, Siri let iOS users interact with with their phones in a much more natural way.

Though limited to the phone upon the original release and lacking any true AI capabilities, Siri is now an integral software piece of the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV – allowing consumers to control most of their telecommunication and entertainment needs strictly through voice commands and AI assisted learning of user behaviour. At Apple’s most recent World Wide Developer’s Conference, Siri’s latest integration was introduced in the Homepod, an always-on speaker geared towards music lovers, but with Siri’s capabilities baked in.

Most Recent Deployment: iOS 10, Homepod

Further Reading On Siri:
iOS 11: What to Expect in Apple’s Next Big Mobile Update – T3
Apple reportedly developing a dedicated AI chip for the iPhone – The Verge

Google Assistant/Google Home

Google Assistant is the latest name for a long parade of bot and AI implementations from Google which capitalizes on their strength in internet search, as well as their knowledge of their own consumers. Initially launched under the name Google Now in the summer of 2012, Google presented users with a screen with information related to their most searched items (local weather, travel times and traffic reports, sports scores, etc) and items their algorithms determined a user mind find interesting based on their browser history (news articles, consumer item reviews, television recaps).

With the launch of their revamped mobile phone offering, and their home speaker Google Home, Google rebranded this effort as Google Assistant and added more AI infused features related to home automation (controlling lighting, creating playlists and controlling music) and letting users interact with both simultaneously while saying “OK, Google,” within the vicinity of their phones or speakers. Those without the Pixel or Home can can still access Google Assistant by itself or within a group chat by installing Google’s little used chat platform, Allo. The assistant can interact with users intelligently and naturally, performing both simple tasks, and larger endeavours which require contextual learning.

At the most recent Oct 4 launch event, Google revealed a slew of new devices taking advantage of Assistant, including the Pixel 2, the new Pixelbook, Pixel Buds, the Home Mini and Max, and integrated devices from other manufacturers like Bose, Sony, JBL, Onkyo, Anker, and more.

Most Recent Deployment: Google Home, Android Oreo

Further Reading on Google Assistant:
What Is Google Assistant, How Does It Work, and Which Devices Offer It? – Pocket Lint
Everything New You Can Do With Google Home – The Verge
Here’s Why Google’s Assistant Sounds More Realistic Than Ever Before – Fortune

Amazon Alexa

Amazon’s Echo, an internet connected speaker released in the fall of 2014, endeared itself to consumers with the sheer amount of third party connections or plugins available to its users. By casually interacting with Alexa, Amazon’s own AI intelligent personal assistant, users can check the weather, control their Spotify, Apple Music, or Google accounts or play programming from ESPN, NPR, iHeartRadio and more, updates from over 15 international sporting leagues, ask general questions, order Ubers and an array of takeout food, control lighting and heating within their home, and of course purchase items from Amazon.

The implementation was fully AI from the start, and Amazon’s plan to throw everything at Alexa and see what sticks has worked out. The assistant is also available in their Fire products (TV and tablet) and the Echo is currently the top consumer choice and the ubiquitous answer when you ask the average person about an automated digital home assistant.

Several new products from Amazon and other manufacturers utilize Alexa’s smarts. The Echo Show is larger version of the smart assistant with a built in screen displaying media, news, and weather information for users. The Echo Mini – a low cost, smaller version of the speaker which gives users the option to have Alexa in every room in their home.

Most Recent Deployment: Amazon Echo

Further Reading on Amazon Alexa:
How Amazon’s Echo Went From a Smart Speaker to the Center of Your Home – Business Insider
Leaked Images Reportedly Show Amazon Echo with Touchscreen – Fortune
Amazon Is Winning The Smart Home Speaker Wars By A Huge Margin – CNBC

Microsoft Cortana

Named after Master Chief’s companion from the popular XBox game series Halo, Cortana is Microsoft’s catch-up answer to its competitors head start in the AI space. Though development had started as early as 2009, Microsoft didn’t announce Cortana’s debut until early 2015, with initial availability for Windows 10, Windows Mobile offerings, Xbox, iOS, Android and as a bot in their Skype services.

Due to Microsoft’s late entry, Cortana skipped the simple bot phase of its predecessors. The assistant’s capabilities mirror those above with the standout being it’s ability to track those you communicate with at certain times and automatically reminding you if you miss one of these informal sessions. While limited in that it currently only uses Microsoft’s Bing for search, Microsoft that Cortana is slated to offer third party integrations later in 2017

Most Recent Deployment: Windows 10

Further Reading on Microsoft Cortana:
Cortana Just Got Microsoft Back in the Smartphone Game – Wired
Microsoft Cortana Is Finally Playing Catch-Up With Amazon Alexa – CNBC

Samsung Bixby

As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electronics and brains beyond one of the few phones competitive with Apple’s smartphone dominance, it was only a matter of time before Samsung dipped its toes into the AI pool. Samsung’s Bixby is its answer to the AI hype, touting a contextually aware solution that monitors your behaviour and provides answers and solutions before you even know you need them based on your location and past actions.

Or at least it promised. Many users have found the implementation in the Samsung Galaxy 8 and Note 8 lacking, opting to instead turn off the dedicated Bixby button and voice commands as they were accidentally activating it – claiming that performing tasks using Bixby requires more effort and time than performing those tasks themselves. Samsung has hinted at a Bixby reboot coming down the pipe quite soon.

Most Recent Deployment: Samsung Galaxy 8

Further Reading on Bixby:
Life With Bixby Is Equal Parts Futuristic And Frustrating – Engadget
Siri vs. Google Assistant vs. Bixby – CNET

 

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Data Scientist

As a Data Scientist, your day-to-day will involve writing queries, building dashboards, and preparing analytical reports about product performance for our clients and the Wysdom.AI team.  You will work with SQL, Tableau, and Python and ML Frameworks/libraries (among other tools) to create stunning visuals showing how Wysdom.AI is making their customers’ experience even better.

Implementation Engineer

As an Implementation Engineer you will be responsible for the solution integration of an enterprise grade conversational AI experience from a technical perspective. You will work closely with the lead solutions architect and be the technical face of the implementation team and lead the customer through the entire implementation cycle. You will work with one of the most diverse teams of linguists, data scientists, and innovators to deliver the best AI enabled customer experience.

Solution Architect

As a Solutions Architect within the Client Services team, you act as trusted advisor, responsible for the technical requirements and end to end solutions integration of Wysdom cognitive services within the client’s environment.  You will work with one of the most diverse teams of linguists, data scientists, and innovators to deliver the best AI enabled customer experience.

Cognitive Data Specialist

As a Cognitive Data Specialist, you will be responsible for the performance of the AI and quality of the corpus and will focus primarily on the VA training.  You will work with the client as required to ensure corpus is performing in an optimal manner.

Conversational Experience Designer

As a Conversational Experience Designer, you will be responsible for the designs of the overall customer experience, including the end-to-end dialog flows & journeys of the solution ensuring  design leverages  UxD best practices for optimal customer experience.

Conversational AI Specialist

As a Conversational AI Optimization Specialist, your responsibility will be to help drive the success of our solution for our clients. This involves building conversation flows, performing AI training, and partnering with clients to enhance their deployments.

Conversational AI Lead

As a Conversational AI Lead, you will be responsible for leading all Conversational AI program activities.  You will work with all team members to ensure deliverables are completed on time, with high quality and exceeds client expectations and goals.

Program Director

Responsible for the overall success for the client, including the end-to-end delivery and optimization of the solution, you will manage the sales process from pillar to post, including technical and commercial proposals, pipeline management, sales forecasting, and contractual documentation.

David Trotter, Wysdom

David Trotter

SVP, Sales & Marketing

David has 30 years of global sales leadership experience as a collaborative leader who believes in a strong team concept within sales and marketing organizations. David has spent many years working with growth companies and enjoys being face to face with customers and partners to create solutions that have a lasting effect on the customer’s business environment. 


Prior to joining Wysdom, David was the Vice President, Sales at Scalepad, and previously spent 11 years as Vice President for Latin America and Asia Pacific for Absolute Software. He also held senior sales management positions at GE Capital and Clevest.  

Michel Benitah

VP, Optimization & Delivery

Michel has 20 years of experience in leading the successful delivery of Conversational AI and Natural Language Customer Care solutions to some of the largest financial, telco, healthcare, utilities, and retail enterprises throughout North America. 

 

Prior to joining Wysdom, Michel spent 20 years at Nuance Communications, holding senior management and leadership positions within the enterprise division, most recently as director of the Toronto office and professional services team.

Frederic Lam

SVP, Sales

Fred brings in 25 years of international experience in sales and business development across North America, the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle-East.

 

Prior to Wysdom.AI, he held sales leadership positions at Oracle, Redknee, and Movius/Glenayre, successfully growing revenues in both large and small organizations. Fred has also been involved in the start-up community in the earlier stages of his career as an Investment Manager with SP Capital and was an alternate director on a few investee companies.

Karen Chan

Chief Engineering Officer, Co-Founder

With 20 years of experience in software and mobile, Karen has held senior technical roles at 5 startups, including Wysdom.AI, Clickfree, Mobile Diagnostix (HP), Teamatic, and Virtualthere.

Karthik Balakrishnan

Chief Technology Officer

Karthik has over a decade of hands-on, proven global expertise in emerging technologies and implementing intricate platforms and solutions for telecommunications and enterprise during his time at Amdocs, with senior positions in their India, Cyprus, America, and Canada offices.

Nitin Singhal

Chief Operating Officer

Nitin has over 20 years of success in global executions of business technology, driving operational efficiency and digital scalability for some of the world’s largest enterprise clients. 

 

Nitin spent 16 years at Redknee holding executive positions in Research and Development, Customer Operations, Partner Alliances, and most recently as COO.

Jeff Brunet​

President, Co-Founder

Jeff has more than 20 years of experience in the startup world, founding and growing 4 software companies: AracNet, Mobile Diagnostix (HP), ClickFree, and Wysdom.AI. 

 

His in-depth understanding of software development and the challenges in making new technologies successful in the startup world prove invaluable as he serves on the boards of XMG, SurfEasy (Opera), Locationary (Apple), Groupie, and as an advisor to Pushlife (Google), LogMeIn (IPO) and HP. 

 

Jeff holds 23 issued patents in the wireless and consumer electronics spaces and is the lead inventor on 30+ pending patents.

Ian Collins​

CEO, Co-Founder

Ian has founded and grown 6 technology companies over the past 20 years, primarily in the enterprise software space including Wyrex, Mobile Diagnostix (HP), Clickfree, and most recently Wysdom.AI. 

 

Ian invests, mentors, and sits on the boards of several startups in the Toronto area.