The rise of AI assistants in the last few years has been phenomenal. However, the reasons we use solutions like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa – using our voice on smartphones, and smart speakers, or by chatting with bots – are reasonably mundane.
Various studies agree that most requests include understanding the weather and finding out what song is playing in the bar you happen to frequent. And that is the issue – AI and voice assistants aren’t being stretched, and yet they are capable of so much more.
VAIOT – a developer of AI-powered digital services for businesses and consumers – has announced that the company secured €5 million ($6 million) through seed funding and a private sale of its VAI tokens.
The difference here is that VAIOT develops purpose-built intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) that allow companies to move processes to AI-powered channels and VAIOT-labeled IVAs for those companies’ consumers. The result is a virtual service channel that is more purpose-driven that the AI assistants we’re used to since they do not have to have a response for every possible question.
VAIOT’s first assistant will service the car insurance industry and is projected to be launched by Q3 2020
“There are a few reasons why we initially tackled the car insurance industry first,” Paweł Stopczyński, R&D Director at VAIOT. “First of all, in most countries, car insurance is mandatory, which translates into significant market opportunities for our solution. The market is vast; there are many car insurance providers with circa 950 separate entities in European countries only. The UK motor insurance market, which we targeted initially, amounts to 237 companies. Since we are initially offering VAIOT as an innovative digital service distribution channel for businesses, those numbers are promising.”
The company aims to expand its technology into the broader market.
“The car insurance industry and the intelligent sales channel are just a first step for VAIOT,” Stopczyński said. “There are many different business processes in various sectors that can be digitized using VAIOT’s technology and AI-based channels. We plan to tackle other use cases and other industries, gradually building up our portfolio. All of this leads us to our ultimate goal, which is AI Legal Assistant utilizing blockchain for digital contracts. To do all that, we need to expand our teams, build up our human potential, secure deals with clients and partners, and continuously learn from our experience, and this is what the funds will be used for in the first place.”
VAIOT’s seed and private sale have allocated close to 30 percent of the VAI Tokens to investors who support the project long-term. VAI Tokens will initially use the Ethereum token standard and eventually be mirrored on a proprietary blockchain.
Of course, one issue with AI assistants is how long they take to develop and train. And the answer, of course, is not an easy one. It depends.
“We have to remember that we are introducing a brand new, innovative digital channel for communication with the customers into existing enterprise solution architecture,” Paweł Andruszkiewicz, COO at VAIOT said. “The solution we offer right now has to be tailored for each insurance company separately. It depends on the business process to be digitized, on the extent to which the client’s organization and other surrounding business processes are digitized; how agile and innovative the company is; how the enterprise solution architecture looks like, and how many processes and applications need to be adjusted on the company’s side.”
The promise of customized business AI assistants is promising, and not exactly new (people have been creating personalized chatbots for a while), but what marks VAIOT out from the crowd is its underlying blockchain. That provides the ability for the assistant to extend to creating smart contracts, and for the full, transparent, and immutable recording of every transaction.
And that makes it ultimately an exciting and useful solution. It’s certainly more helpful than asking what the current weather is when you could just look out the window.