Friday, July 20, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Startups: Derq & Shoptelligence

For many people, artificial intelligence lives purely in the realm of science fiction. However, artificial intelligence is already all around us. Every time you type something into your GPS, your search engine autocorrects, or your Netflix account predicts what shows you’ll want to watch next, you are using artificial intelligence.

We had two AI startups visit to speak with our Digital Marketing interns- Will Foss from Derq and Richard Millunchick from Shoptelligence.

Derq

One of the most creative uses of artificial intelligence technology is using it to predict traffic accidents before they occur. Derq is one of the AI startups on the forefront of this predictive technology. Will Foss, Director of Business Development and Partnerships, describes what Derq does this way:

"What if we told you, you could prevent an accident from happening while you are driving? Sure, you may have an autonomous vehicle that tells you what is happening, but that is not good enough. You need to be able to look 2-3 seconds into the future to say what is going to happen."

This is when Derq comes in. They have developed an artificial intelligence that can predict road accidents before they happen by using a variety of factors. These factors can include the weight of a car, if the driver is texting, and if pedestrians are crossing the street; and Derq can take this information and utilize AI technology to understand the actions cars are taking and to use these trends to predict future actions. Foss also detailed some of the struggles that Derq faced as a company:

"In recent years, technology has been evolving and growing. Derq, since the beginning, has also been changing the way they do things. Like most AI companies, it takes a long period of time to develop and train the algorithm to adjust itself and improve."

Due to the contemporary nature of artificial intelligence, Derq is making rapid advancements to their technology. With each deployment of their device, the company receives more data, allowing them to fine-tune their product. The more accurate Derq's predictions are, the more accidents they will be able to prevent and the more human lives they will be able to save.

Shoptelligence

When people go into stores, there’s typically a very specific reason for the trip. They might just be grocery shopping, finding the perfect dress for a night out, or maybe they just want a new movie to watch. When a person does this, a sales associate is almost always available to offer assistance. However, when you shop online, there’s no way to get this level of interaction with the store because it lacks the personal attention a face-to-face conversation provides. What Shoptelligence does for the consumer is take shopping data and use a complex set of algorithms in order to predict what the individual is likely to want to buy today and in the future, much like the sales associate would. In short, Shoptelligence is your own personal sales associate, here to make sure your online shopping experience is as short and successful as possible.

Shoptelligence targets retailers as its primary clients, because retailers have the audience and the inventory, providing the perfect platform with which they can reach their end user, the consumer. Richard Millunchick describes a little about these retailers:

"Retailers, believe it or not, know very little about their consumer and less about their inventory. They have these catalogs with 100,000 different items and don’t know how to use it to their advantage."

Shoptelligence uses basic shopping data and the relationships products have between other potential purchases to deliver a satisfying result to the consumer. For instance, if a consumer is interested in a particular piece of clothing, it will suggest other accessories and more clothes that the shopper may be interested in. With the use of these contextual algorithms, natural language processing, and image recognition software, they created a comprehensive set of algorithms that helps recommend items to consumers and what would go great with the specific product they are shopping for.

Derq and Shoptelligence both represent very practical uses of artificial intelligence technology. Derq helps save human lives and Shoptelligence makes the consumer's life much more simple. Artificial intelligence has a way of enriching lives, and startups like these are only building more traction in order to make lives even better.

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