TechRepublic's Dan Patterson talked with mode.ai founder and CEO Eitan Sharon about the company's chatbot partnerships with brands like Levi's and Louis Vuitton.
Watch the video, or read part of their conversation below:
Patterson: I wonder if you could help us understand not just how AI is being used, but the technology behind AI chatbots.
Sharon: Happy to. Nice talking to you and the audience Dan, and I'm happy to talk about that. You know the ability to do that more thoroughly recently is supported a lot by the advances in the field of artificial intelligence and deep learning, which allows us to understand the visual and the language requests of the users much better.
Patterson: So, tell me a little bit about the technology at play. It's one thing for us to say AI, but as we all know, there is predictive analytics, machine learning, natural language processing, how do AI-based chatbots take advantage of AI technologies?
Sharon: So, in our specific case, mode.ai, we have put the emphasis on visual analysis of the content. We believe that for things that have to do with clothing, apparel, home design, interior design, the visual aspect is pretty much overwhelming. It's very difficult to describe clothing fashion and things you see, to find it. To match it up with other things to show our opportunities and outfits and combinations to the users, so that we basically use artificial intelligence of image analysis, so that we find on people's looks, street style and others, what they wear. Similar in relevant things, combinations and we're able to recommend to them, in a personal way, how to improve and upgrade and refresh their inventory of clothing.
That is our case in combination with of course texts. We're talking chatbots at the end of the day and then people can take pictures and interact with pictures as well as use of course language to say cheaper, more luxurious, different colors and the combination of which starts conversation that we follow. We call this conversational AI.
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Patterson: In what way do you interact with business partners, say fashion brands or manufacturers to translate visual styles into a language that AI can understand?
Sharon: So, the common way we operate is we work with partners such as Levi's, Louis Vuitton and others and what we do is we offer a channel for them to basically talk to the users through a bot of the kind that describe. It would be a bot that is cobranded, but mainly branded as the retail order brand channel offered on their site ... as well as through Facebook Messenger and other venues and the users can talk to the brand and say, "You know, I'd like to buy something new. What do you have? I'm looking for things of that sort," and then they would be responded with images and offerings of inventory and they would click on them and ask for more like that and style me please and how to wear this and at the end of which they can actually buy. We basically power a business-to-business to consumer channel for one on one interaction with the user to and with the brand.
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Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.