Vidora on How Artificial Intelligence is Shaping the Future of Business

Artificial intelligence is going to completely revolutionize the way we work.

Vidora Founder on the Future of Artificial Intelligence in Business

Being in business for yourself means embracing change.

Whether it's a pivot in your business model, a lackluster product launch, or complete failure that sends you back to working a day job, one thing is guaranteed for the lifestyle that entrepreneurs choose to lead: nothing is permanent

This has forced me into constantly seeking out new technologies, uncovering potential solutions, and soliciting advice from the greats, with the goal of helping me better build and grow successful businesses.

In my pursuits, I've had the opportunity to get business advice from Tim Ferriss, interview founders about building a company that's worthy of a billion dollar acquisition, and take a close look at how technology is positively impacting the healthcare industry.

Today, I had the opportunity to learn about a particularly interesting industry that's innovating in ways that'll soon begin reshaping the ways we live and do business. I'm talking about artificial intelligence.

Here to share more about the role artificial intelligence will soon play in the way our businesses operate, is Alex Holub, the co-founder of Vidora, an artificial intelligence-based marketing platform that helps brands optimize their user engagement by leveraging large scale data to create unique experiences for different types of customers.

Ryan: Can you tell me a bit about yourself, Vidora, what makes your product unique?

Alex: "I’ve had a strong interest in A.I.

dating back to my days as an undergraduate at Cornell University. My focus at Cornell was around modeling human cognition inside a computer (I ended up double majoring in Neurobiology and Computer Science). My PhD at Caltech was in a program called ‘Computation and Neural Systems (CNS)’ with the goal of understanding computational similarities across the brain, machines, and even DNA.

The CNS program really highlighted the strengths of weaknesses of different computational platforms - e.g. human brains are great at synergizing and contextualizing information while computers are great at crunching and analyzing data quickly and at scale. One the areas we are really interested in at Vidora is combining the best parts of human and computer-based computation."

"Vidora is an A.I.-based marketing platform which allows our partners to communicate effectively and at scale with each customer while taking into account broader strategic goals. Our vision for Vidora, and the OmniSense A.I. engine which powers it, is to combine human strategic and creative thinking with the rote computation power and speed of computers. For instance humans are really good at coming up with broad creatives and messaging to best engage target audiences, but computers on the other hand have the ability to take that messaging and tailor it for individual users. As we build out the product we are really excited to effectuate the synergies between human and machine intelligence."

Ryan: How does Vidora think about Artificial Intelligence? How does this differ from mainstream perceptions?

Alex: "A.I. is a really broad field with a bunch of different sub-branches.

For instance in the 70s a lot of A.I. work involved ‘expert systems’ which focused on having humans enter in a lot of knowledge and rules around that knowledge. One of the most active areas right now is Machine Learning where a system adapts and learns based on new information it receives. What’s great about Machine Learning is that the algorithm will adapt and optimize over time based on a specific goal you set for it. It’s a really powerful paradigm."

"The vision for Vidora is for a marketer or executive team to set a business goal, for instance ‘maximize total newsletter signups this month’, ‘maximize new user retention’, or ‘minimize customer churn’, and have OmniSense automatically determine the best way to maximize those strategic goals across the various customer touchpoints. In this context, humans are coming up with the broad business strategies and OmniSense goes to work in executing those strategies by learning and leveraging data at scale to engage each user uniquely."

Ryan: How are your current clients experiencing the benefits of integrating your technology with their websites?

Alex: "Vidora works with some of the largest global brands across a variety of verticals. The most interesting deployments are when Vidora has access to the largest amounts of user data and greatest control of the outbound marketing channels. More data and control really allow OmniSense to move the needle around core marketing KPIs for our customers. To give you a sense of our scale, Vidora sees about 10m daily unique users and process about 200m daily behavioral events."

"One of our more exciting deployments is with MobiTV. MobiTV works with several of the largest global telcos. In particular, Vidora provides an intelligence backbone for MobiTV customers across mobile deployments. Vidora collects behavioral data on user activity and leverages that information to optimize customer touch-points to KPIs like increasing app engagement, reducing user subscription churn, and increasing 7-day uniques."

Ryan: How do you see AI influencing websites and the way we do online business over the next 5-10 years?

Alex: "The next 5-10 years are going to be really exciting. If we look at the past few years we’ve seen a lot of Venture Capital activity and companies being built around big data infrastructure. In 2016 you will see a lot of interest on how to effectively use all the data which is being stored. Given the scale of data, it becomes increasingly important to have powerful intelligent systems which can help sift through it all, which is where A.I. and machine learning come into play."

"What’s been eye-opening for us as we take OmniSense to market are the number of businesses we can see transitioning to being almost entirely powered by A.I. systems. In the next 5 years, we will see businesses emerge where a centralized intelligent system will dominate decisions across a variety of business areas. This A.I. will have a hand in decisions ranging from media buys, to employee pay scales, to how sales leads should be engaged optimally. If we fast-forward another 5 years, I can envision a world where executive management and boards are deciding on broad corporate strategies, but technologies like OmniSense are tactically executing and battling against one another in the marketplace."