DigitalGenius is announcing its Human+AI customer service platform today, along with a $4.1 million seed investment. The platform integrates with existing customer service software suites — like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Oracle — to automate the most repetitive parts of customer service through AI and machine learning-powered chatbots. The work is to augment the process, while still keeping the human element decidedly at the center of things. It’s interesting to note that Salesforce was part of the deal, as that could conceivably help the startup scale quickly in this space, thanks to Salesforce’s massive distribution network and its suite of automation products ripe for AI.
AI is the biggest buzzword of 2016
Haven’t you heard? #Botopia is officially upon us. Facebook made it so! I talked to DigitalGenius chief strategy officer Mikhail Naumov to clarify what AI is and isn’t. “It’s important to decipher between Hollywood AI and practical AI you can use today,” he said. Right now, the media is throwing around technical terms like “AI,” “machine learning” or “deep learning” interchangeably, buzzword-izing the whole landscape. As Benedict Evans from Andreessen Horowitz aptly put it in an epic Tweet rant, “People try to bolt AI onto every new user interface model. But we don’t actually have HAL 9000, and may be 50 Nobel Prizes away from that.”