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AI is becoming a way of life for many of us. We check on flights using a chatbot like Mezi, we benefit from the AI within the booking engine used at Hopper’s website, and we are sending messages to businesses easier thanks to the machine learning at Yelp.
It should not come as a big surprise when the AI improves, advances, and becomes even more helpful. After all, taking a cue from the human brain, AI is always adapting, looking for new ways to help us on a constant iteration cycle. The engineers behind AI are keen to make the technology more powerful and integrated into our daily workflow, even when things get really complex.
That’s why several companies are not interested in spinning their wheels when it comes to AI. Today at MB 2017, four companies made a splash with announcements that are intended to make their services even more competitive — and help make your life easier.
One interesting upgrade has to do with the Mezi chatbot. The app uses AI algorithms to help with flight searches and other duties but is also powered by human agents. Today, they have announced Mezi for Business. The new service, intended for travel agents and corporate travel reps, will improve efficiency and productivity.
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Similar to the consumer app, it employs algorithms to help with travel booking and management … and much more.
“We have decided to go all-in on travel,” says Swapnil Shinde, the CEO and founder of Mezi, speaking at MB 2017. “We empower businesses with a suite of travel bots that automate requests. For travel agents we offer a state-of-the-art travel dashboard.”
Another example of gaining traction — Yelp is using machine learning to facilitate and improve the interactions between customers and businesses. It’s fine-tuned behind the scenes by an AI. 35,000 messages are fed through their machine learning tech. They use data from service companies to find out about geofencing parameters. They extract data about the services as well. Yelp is also using machine learning to weed through content and verify it, making sure that five-star review of an auto repair business is valid.
The last feature, requesting a quote from a business, is also AI enabled. For example, it makes sure a business matches the request.
“We estimate that every month, Yelp sends billions of dollars of leads to local service businesses listed on our site through the ‘Request A Quote’ feature,” says Jim Blomo, the director of engineering at Yelp. “Growth of this feature has been through the roof, and a lot of that progress can be attributed to the machine learning work on this product, allowing us to surface the most useful and relevant businesses when a consumer types ‘iPhone 7 screen repair’ or ‘overflowing toilet’ into Yelp.”
Another company, GobTech, is using AI in its iOS and Android app called Neural Sandbox. The apps let you experiment with neural networks. At MB 2017, the startup is launching a way to compare neural networks called Gauntlet. Users can compare their score against other users using the Google Play leaderboard.
“GobTech is exploring new frontiers in AI for gaming using a unique combination of neural networks and genetic algorithms,” says Gabriel Kauffman, the CEO of GobTech. “This combo, known as neuroevolution, is a way for neural networks to evolve through natural selection, in our case to learn to play a game by itself.”
Meanwhile, Hopper is using machine learning to improve its back-end booking agent. It’s an effort to make booking work more like you have a human helping you find the best travel deals. Maggie Moran, the Head of Product at Hopper, explained how the “AI bunny” empowers travelers about how to find the best deals.
GoPro revealed how they are using AI. Meghan Laffey, the VP of product at GoPro, explained how the app is central to their product offering. “The phone has made it easy to go from capturing to sharing,” she says. “It’s been a challenge to go from the experience to the actual playback.”
A new feature called Quik Stories allows users to film and edit videos without the hassle of watching all of your footage. With a single tap, stories are generated automatically. Algorithms analyze content and find the best moments, syncing them to music.
These announcements show how AI will ultimately gain traction — by iterating, improving, and capturing new audiences.
The ability to use AI within an app is nothing new. What will create a differentiator in the long run is when companies keep enhancing the AI, when the machine learning power an app or website is so compelling that it attracts new users.