x.ai – An Artificially Intelligent Assistant That Schedules MeetingsBlake Harris 02.02.2016
Earlier today, while scheduling an upcoming interview for the blog, I received back an e-mail that had this in the signature:
x.ai – an artificially intelligent assistant that schedules meetings
Who, exactly, is Amy Ingram, I wondered? Turns out that she is the “face” of x.ai, an innovative new tech company—who recently raised $12 million—and is looking to change how business meetings are scheduled. Let’s take a closer look…
In 2012, Dennis R. Mortensen had to manually schedule 1019 meetings. Even worse: nearly 700 of those meetings had to be updated in some form or fashion. As a result of that scheduling frustration, he set out to find a better way. Soon enough, he did: x.ai
Mortensen, who currently serves as x.ai’s CEO, launched the company in April 2014 along with Alex Poon (COO) and Matt Casey (CTO). With strong backgrounds in data analytics and an ambitious entrepreneurial spirit, the trio has been able to make major strides in a short amount of time. The team now has backing from several prominent investors (including FirstMark Capital and the Pritzker Group) and has grown to over fifty employees. All of whom are working to perfect Amy Ingram. Which leads us back to our original question: Who, exactly, is Amy Ingram?
As her initials indicate, Amy Ingram is not human; she’s artificially intelligent. And through x.ai, she’s here to serve as your personal scheduling assistant. Here’s a brief explainer of how she works:
1) A meeting request is made by e-mail
2) You reply and cc Amy
3) Amy, knowing your calendar and office location, e-mails back and forth with your counterpart to find a suitable date/time
4) Amy then sends out a meeting invitation to you and the other party
Now, the first question most people probably have is: Does this actually work? And amazingly the answer is yes, about 98% of the time. “[But] good enough isn’t good enough,” admits Mortensen, during an interview with CNN Money. “If i don’t trust Amy to set up meetings accurately every time, I can’t use it.”
So x.ai is still working on that, perfecting the final 2%. But as they do, and Amy Ingram continues to go through beta testing, her services are free. Then, if everything progresses smoothly, x.ai will eventually charge a small monthly fee (around $9-15) for her services, while still offering a free option as well. Who knows exactly when that transition will occur? But if my own smooth and successful personal experience from earlier today is any indication, it’s going to be soon.
To learn more about Amy Ingram and sign up for free beta access, you can visit x.ai’s site here.
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