Start-up watch: It's getting hard to keep up with all these new, high-stepping personal assistants. After Google’s Now, Microsoft’s Cortana and AT&T’s Contax, we bring you news of x.ai. x.ai is a mere start-up ranged against tech’s big hitters, but is just picked up $9.2 million in funding from the likes of FirstMark Capital and SoftBank Capital. What does it plan to do with this cash influx? Spend it on artificial intelligence for business meeting scheduling, that’s what.
x.ai says it has spent the past eight months building an artificial intelligence-powered personal assistant to helps users schedule meetings via a simple email in plain English to ‘Amy’ or ‘Andrew’ along the lines of “please setup a meeting with John end of next week”. CBS News says ‘Amy feels like the future… seems seamlessly human and as effective as a real person doing the same task’.
The company says it sees the problem of a free or low-cost personal scheduling assistant as solvable through hard science and engineering. So, with its new batch of cash, x.ai is looking for data scientists and engineers, hiring the smartest people it can find. That must mean a trip to Silicon Valley, then.