X.ai Email Assistant “Amy”: An interview with CEO Dennis Mortensen


X.ai is an NYC based artificial intelligence company that’s raised over $30 million. They are the responsible of ‘Amy’, an AI email assistant.

I sat down with the founder Dennis Mortensen to learn more about how they’re positioning and selling their product to the enterprise.

Talking to him got me super curious about the rise of artificial intelligence, and I hope this interview does similar for you.

What’s this AI Email Assistant ‘Amy’?

Amy is an AI email assistant or agent that can manage your calendar. The way this works is illustrated in the following email example:

Alex

Hey Dennis, do you have time for us to have a chat on Skype one of these weeks?

Dennis

You know what Alex, that sounds wonderful, I have CC’d in Amy, my assistant who can help put something on my calender.

This is where the action starts. You might think that Amy is a human working in the front office who will help figure out when we are supposed to meet.

But the truth is that our Amy is a machine, an AI email assistant.

So she basically removes you from the conversation, reaches out to whoever you’re talking with using a very human-like dialogue, then schedule the meeting, let’s say on Friday, July 29 at 11:30 on Skype, and that’s it.

What’s the business model for X.ai?

Dennis told us that they expect to offer some kind of “free personal edition” of Amy in the coming future. Moreover, he said:

Then hopefully you fall in love and you can see that you should bring this to work. And as I bring it to work I should upgrade to the Pro Edition.

Now I can change the signature, I can do unlimited meetings, my VIP colleagues can have it too, and then you pay me something around 2030$.

Also, Amy is capable of scheduling both external and internal meetings.

How do you compete with the dozens of other calendar tools in the current ecosystem?

Dennis commented on about when something not normal takes place between the user and the app, or some kind of complexity, the system will normally break up.

Therefore, anything which is not normal need of some agent that can negotiate on your behalf, and that’s the weak point of their competitors.

Really, all you want to do is just continue that conversation, not to take yourself out of your inbox into some app, pick three times, go to the app website, and then pick three times, and there’s your assistant. I don’t believe in that.

What’s next for X.ai?

They are planning to stick with meeting scheduling for a long time. Anything that ends up on our calendars, they want to be the ones who scheduled it.

That’s what we are hunting, no more no less. I want to make sure that those meetings are being set up in the most sexy way… that’s a year-long endeavor we’ve just started.

Well, that was a summary of our interview with Dennis. Hope you guys enjoyed this post and video.

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