Business

Siri's new cousin is going fishing where the rich fish are

Apple TV Siri
Image Credit: Illustration by Eric Blattberg / VentureBeat

Since its introduction as part of iOS 5 in 2011, Siri has become an emblematic part of iOS and arguably the most famous product to come out of SRI International, an independent research and development institute originally established by Stanford University’s trustees.

But today the institute unveiled Kasisto, a mobile virtual assistant aimed at enterprises and their employees, at the FinTech Innovation Lab demo day in New York City. Kasisto is spinning out of SRI International.

Kasisto uses a combination of speech recognition, natural language understanding and generating, and artificial intelligence, all wrapped up into mobile apps to assist finance employees in their jobs.

Kasisto is first tackling the financial services industry with its partnership with BBVA, a global financial services group. Companies can integrate Kasisto’s conversational virtual assistant into their mobile apps, creating a sort of personalized intelligent helper for employees when they need to work with complex data or information requiring expertise.

“Virtual personal assistant technology has revolutionized consumer interaction with mobile devices,” said SRI Ventures vice president Norman Winarsky, Ph.D. in an official statement.

“Now consumers expect a more human-like experience when interacting online. Kasisto represents a new user experience—one that is context aware, personalized, and more effective,” he added.

Kasisto participated in the FinTech Innovation Lab, a 12-week program for six early and growth-stage companies developing products for the financial services industry. The companies participating are hand-picked by the chief technology officers of some of Wall Street’s largest banks. The other companies in the program were Enigma, LMRKTS, pymetrics, RevolutionCredit, and Standard Treasury.

“Through the FinTech program, we were able to work with some of the industry’s top financial institutions and validate the market need for convenient, effective mobile banking,” said Kasisto cofounder and chief executive Zor Gorelov in an official statement.

“Our innovative approach to intelligent system design, combined with low-cost deployment, will help banks improve customer service and maximize investment in the mobile channel,” he said.

Kasisto was founded in 2013 by Dror Oren, Sasha Caskey, and Zor Gorelov, and is based in Menlo Park, Calif.

Kasisto -- SRI International virtual personal assitant


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