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Findo, an AI-focused smart search startup that’s striving to help people find information buried in cloud accounts, documents, and email attachments, has announced a new personal assistant designed to automatically create tasks and reminders based on the content of your emails.
Similar to Findo’s other AI-infused productivity tools, Yva.ai uses natural language processing (NLP) to dissect and understand the content of your emails, while leaning on machine learning to identify tasks issued to you within any of your emails.
Email: alive and kicking
Email may be on the decline in some spheres, with mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp now the main communication conduit for billions of people around the world. But email does actually remain in rude health, particularly in business.
Recent reports suggest there will be more than 2.9 billion email users worldwide and 246 billion emails sent and received per day by 2019, up from 205 billion messages in 2015. Put simply, reports of email’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated.
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And this is why Findo is still focusing heavily on email: Yva is all about saving you from manually extracting every task and request from every email, giving you an actionable to-do-list that’s created automatically.
It scans texts, observing action-focused requests such as “please take,” “please reply,” and “let us know,” while also recognizing when deadlines are and prioritizing accordingly.
Founded out of Menlo Park, California, in 2016, the broader Findo service is basically an intelligent assistant for iPhone and the web that makes it easier for users to search locally stored files or connect their cloud-based accounts from the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Gmail, to search for information — even if you can only remember vague details. Given that it supports NLP, in theory you should be able to enter a search term such as “phone number of that guy I met in London” or “PowerPoint document sent by George last Friday” to find what you need.
Yva continues on the same trajectory, and borrows from similar concepts already out there such as X.ai, a fledgling AI startup that lets you schedule meetings automatically based on information in your emails.
Yva, however, is all about providing “invisible” task management beyond that of scheduling meetings, while automating many features of other task management services.
“A year ago, we released the Findo search assistant — a Google-like search across corporate and personal email and files,” explained Findo CEO and cofounder Gary Fowler. “We help solve the problem: You know that file exists, but you can’t find it. But then we realized that tasks were the most requested search objects. Businesses and individual professionals wanted Findo to remind them if they had overlooked something important. So we decided to create Yva.”
Yva will be invite-only at first, and though the task-scheduling smarts will be available directly through Findo itself, there will also be a native Yva iOS app and web apps for Android and desktop. Yva can also work without any client software, with users able to CC: a task to firstname.lastname@example.org to have Yva later remind them about an approaching deadline (by email).
Yva is compatible with corporate and personal emails, including Gmail, Outlook.com, Exchange Online, iCouldMail, and Yahoo.