While the future of AI is open to all that we can imagine, there are two main problems currently confronting the AI industry: trust and data value. Trust is key, especially when we trust these systems to make decisions about our health, finances, family, transportation, and work. The value of data is also key as it is the data provided by users that makes AI, itself, valuable.
Machine Learning (ML) is currently based on large libraries; however, we are seeing emerging research indicating that smaller sets of data may provide equally valuable predictive models. One example, in theories developed by Bruce Wilcox, a four-time winner of the Loebner Prize in AI is “fundamental meaning.” These notions and demonstrations approach the problem of intent recognition from the opposite direction as seen in Machine Learning today. We are still, as an industry, learning.
Evolution of Botanic Technologies
Botanic Technologies, Inc. provides companies with conversational interfaces, enabling personalized relationships that scale. These multi-modal interfaces can be text (chatbots), voice (virtual assistants), or visual characters (avatars). In all cases, and by any modality, the unique personality is consistent, allowing for high trust and high touch personal interactions with low cost.
Botanic’s deep expertise in AI, robotics, and conversational interfaces help their customers to get rapid time-to-value with their deployments. The company holds nearly a dozen patents and patents-pending, including a patent on a voice-to-blockchain bridge.
The company’s customers include Fortune-100 corporations, three government bodies, and startups around the globe. Use cases include conversational interfaces that help women with breast cancer find financial resources, help children with social anxiety, provide job interview coaching, help people find jobs, provide wellness counseling, media interfaces, game characters and others.
Interesting Journey of Botanic Technologies
The mastermind of Botanic Technologies, Founder and CEO,Mark Stephen Meadows, has been in the AI world for more than 15 years. In 2002, he built his first conversational interface in the form of an interactive portrait named St Elmo, which he exhibited at his art gallery in Paris’s 18eme. Meadows has published three books in this space, I, Avatar,We, Robot, and Pause and Effect, on building conversational avatars and robots, while also exploring the social and economic impact. He founded Botanic Technologies in 2011, initially as “Gepetto Labs,” to build an interactive book of fables. Meadows found success in providing conversational interfaces with personality templates to early adopters. In 2017, the company was re-incorporated as Botanic Technologies, Inc. and now provides both services and software to enterprises around the globe.
Stories that Bring Value to the Company
Botanic has been on the forefront of breaking ground in technological advancements and creating extraordinary results for their customers. The organization holds more than nine patents and patents-pending, including a patent on a voice-to-blockchain bridge.
Some of their notable work includes working with Monash University to build a chatbot for youth-at-risk who may have difficulty seeking help for problems they may be experiencing, helping enterprises reduce call center costs while increasing customer retention, and working with Seed Vault Ltd to create an open, global, trusted bot economy using blockchain.
Masterly People of Botanic Technologies
Meadows’ primary areas of AI expertise are in natural language processing and affect recognition. He has written books and patents that address social robotics with a focus on multi-modal communication. Though Meadows has worked in the tech industry since 1989, his education was focused on the classics and fine art. Consequently, Meadows actively examines the cultural, social and ethical aspects of emerging technologies and AI in particular. The team at Botanic consists of software and knowledge-based industry heavy-hitters, award-winning writers and designers who craft the conversational experiences, and boasts more than 100 person-years of experience in AI, robotics, and conversational interfaces. Meadows has a broad network including key movers and shakers in Silicon Valley.
Beneficial Approach to their Clients
Botanic works closely with customers to approach AI from the perspective of the user. This approach means that the solutions deployed help users understand the value of the system and how to interact with it. User-driven AI design helps users achieve goals, accomplish tasks, and interact with a system in a way that represents their values.
Overcoming Challenges in the Business
As a company breaking ground in new technologies, they work to adapt and lead changes in a dynamic landscape, educate businesses on the tremendous value conversational interfaces and AI can bring to their users and their organization, and rise above the noise in a market that is filled with misconceptions and is still trying to figure itself out.
Future Footsteps of Botanic Technologies
Botanic Technologies constantly learns and walks into new territory with their customers. They aim to explore the edges of a virtual frontier and also help to build that frontier with their happy customers.