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Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

AI Touted as New Paradigm

Artificial intelligence, the simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems, is growing increasingly smarter and more powerful, making it a technology that companies across various industries want to get their hands on – including San Fernando Valley-based companies.

Encino-based health care technology company mPulse Mobile, for example, uses conversational artificial intelligence and digital engagement solutions to improve relationships between health care organizations and their consumers.

MPulse uses the technology to facilitate two-way text message campaigns and health streaming content to promote healthy behaviors such as improving medication adherence, improving preventive screenings and supporting well-child visits.

Different forms of artificial intelligence can help businesses by improving predictions in customer behavior, allowing companies to make decisions more rapidly. It can also help companies save time and money by automating processes and tasks and increasing productivity.

In line with today’s economic conditions, investment in artificial intelligence technology has dropped, but that by no means signifies a decline in popularity. According to the State of AI Report released last year by AI investors Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth, big companies have expanded their artificial intelligence teams and partnered with AI startups.

MeetKai, a Marina del Rey-based conversational AI company, recently partnered with the Los Angeles Chargers, an affiliation that will help the franchise create digital products for its fanbase.

What AI can do

Weili Dai, co-founder and chairwoman of MeetKai, said artificial intelligence can be for anybody, and added that she is happy to see companies big and small using artificial intelligence.

“Our vision is mapping the real world imagined through a virtual space, the metaverse, and then leveraging that AI technology and capabilities and features and tools in the virtual world,” Dai said.

She added that the most practical element that artificial intelligence can help businesses improve is their training practices, to not only cut costs but also get better results.

“A partner came up to me and said, ‘I have over 16 (global employees) and I have to constantly train them,’ and travel is so costly. And then it depends on who is training them, it might not have a similar quality or result,” Dai said. “But guess what happens with AI? You can do all these trainings in a virtual space, at the speed of light, and everything is going to be copied exactly. It’s consistent.”

Of the partnership with the Chargers, Dai said, “I’m so happy to see MeetKai’s innovation and technology leadership in driving advanced AI solutions, across different industries, to better lives for all. We are extremely excited about our partnership with the Los Angeles Chargers, and I believe this will lead the pack for the sports industry.”

The Chargers will use MeetKai’s AI technology, which is capable of processing natural conversation and personalized search results, to develop new in-stadium and at-home experiences, including an AI-based locker room tour.

Jim Rushton, L.A. Chargers’ senior vice president of stadium affairs and strategy, said adopting artificial intelligence technology is a way to improve relationships with customers, or in their case, fans.

“There’s so much out there relative to personalized experiences. The AI side of MeetKai, which is their conversational AI chatbot, will give the chance for the organization or the companies to better service their customers based upon the personalized questions that they’re asking and that they need answers to,” Rushton said. “Then on the 3D mapping perspective, it is an opportunity to give the customers, or fans in our instance, the opportunity to get some behind-the-scenes insight into the organization and/or create different and new experiences for their customers.”

With 20 games making up a football season, Rushton said this partnership opens the opportunity to keep fans engaged the other 345 days of the year.

“In today’s world, in the sports world and certainly in Los Angeles, it’s become extremely competitive for people’s time for them to consume product, and so we need to always be looking for opportunities to create deeper and more meaningful relationships with our fans,” Rushton added.

Future of AI

Adam Struck, founder and managing partner of Santa Monica-based VC firm Struck Capital, said that a lot of the innovation that’s being pushed forward in AI, and what he considers to be highly commoditized, is within the application layer, a component within an app that controls communication with other devices. He said companies across industries can benefit from utilizing AI because the technology can help them learn from data and improve products and services.

“In the same way that we consider ourselves getting ‘more wise’ over time because we experience various forms of adversity, learn from it, and hopefully make a change to the right direction, with a proprietary data set and artificial intelligence and machine learning you can essentially go through the ‘trials and tribulations’ of life or product development systematically and automatically with machines,” Struck explained. “I think for the first time now there’s a real opportunity to just ingest data, essentially create a feedback loop and learn from that data and have that inform the accuracy of whatever product you’re building. Technology innovation can literally be used anywhere or on anything as long as there’s some semblance of tech and some semblance of a product.”

Struck said the hottest topic in the AI space right now is generative AI, an artificial intelligence that can generate “fake” content. Generative AI models produce text and images from blog posts, poetry, and artwork.

“I think if you spoke to 100 VCs and you ask them, ‘what is the sort of area that you’re most excited to invest in?’ I think any sort of piece of core technology innovation that has an (artificial intelligence or machine learning) sort of automated feedback loop is going to be a big part of investments,” Struck said.

Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk is a managing editor at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She previously covered real estate for the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has done work with publications including The Orange County Register, The Real Deal and doityourself.com.

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