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The Ten Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies of 2017

December 15, 2017
4 min read

When it comes to analytics, it is important that simply having data does not guarantee results. By contrast, it becomes critical for companies to pay close attention to monitor and optimize customer engagement efforts to drive profit.

RapportBoost is an artificial intelligence platform that helps large brands communicate more effectively with their customers through live chat and messaging. The goal of the organization is to help companies reduce churn, increase conversion rates, improve average order size, and build strong relationships with customers by understanding how to interact with them through front-line chat agents and eventually bot.

Promising Services of RapportBoost

RapportRoadMap: Feed chat data and KPIs to our platform, which reverse engineer a positive conversation, offers up dozens of actionable insights around agent chat behavior, simulates improvements to conversations along those lines, and provides a readout of how much money has been left on the table (and can be captured through the next two phases)

RapportCoach: A more frequenty readout of RapportRoadMap generated at a monthly, weekly, or daily cadence (per the customer's request) and broken down at the level of the individual live chat agent. In essence, it's a coaching and training tool that provides feedback to chat agents and helps them engage more successfully with customers.

RapportMentor: A widget that monitors individual interactions in real-time and provides guidance and suggestions on how to engage with a specific customer, based on the linguistic cues that they're sharing in their communication. Think of it as a real-time spell-check but for emotion, tone, and friendliness.

Evolution of RapportBoost

The mission of RapportBoost has always been to enhance digital communication. Various forms of digital communication like chat and messaging are particularly challenging because they lack non-verbal cues and often utilize a variety of linguistic building blocks that people have grown accustomed to (e.g., emojis, GIFs, etc). The organization highly believes in innovating live chats and mesaging that are mediums ripe for miscommunications in which people often struggle to build authentic relationships.

The company aims to fix that by leveraging recent advances in artificial intelligence to provide deeper insight into how to understand and communicate with the person on the other side of the chat window. After building the platform over the course of several years and working with a number of companies to enhance their live chat implementations, we're now expanding the footprint to larger and larger brands with more emotional sales. As we continue to see success, we'll inevitably expand the platform's scope to both non-human chat operators (e.g., bots, virtual assistance) and to other forms of communication (e.g., email, voice, etc).

Proud Moments of RapportBoost in AI Industry

Although the company has only existed for a couple of years, all of their customers are referenceable and have seen and incredibly positive feedback from their customers for the sort of gains that had allowed them to achieve.

"We are excited to continue our partnership with RapportBoost to drive our business to the next level, stay ahead of the curve, and realize the full potential of our chat channel"

- CEO of e-commerce retailer

The technology they have been able to build has earned the attention of leaders in the deep learning space. NVidia selected RapportBoost for its Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence Inception Program in 2017. Tech in Motion awarded RapportBoost first runner up for Best Workplace in Los Angeles for Diversity in 2017, and named RapportBoost.AI a finalist for Best Tech Management in Los Angeles in 2017.

Team Behind Establishing RapportBoost

Michael Housman, Co-Founder and Chief Data Science Officer is a world-recognized expert in the field of artificial intelligence and has spent the past 15 years building artificial intelligence platforms for early-stage technology compnanies. He identified the need in the marketplace for a platform like RapportBoost.AI and spent two years architecting the platform single-handedly and working with the initial pilot clients to deploy the software and iterate on it. He now leads the data science team charged with engaging in R&D, developing new methods of optimizing chat, and then workign with the Engineering team to productize them.

Tony Medrano, CEO and Co-Founder

Tony started his career as a technology entrepreneur out of his Stanford University dorn as a Co-Founder and President of DoDots, the first desktop-to-mobile app platform. He build the company to 100+ employees, raised 25M USD in venture capital and managed all company operations, personnel, and deals. Tony has dedicated his career in technology to leading sales teams and understands the need for automation tools that help sales reps increase efficiency, close more business, and increase margins.

Megan is passionate about helping companies unlock their potential through technology. She makes complex solutions approachable, shows meaningful business impact, and fosters tight-knit relationships with customers. In addition to growing and mentoring the sales, customer success and service teams, she was an individual contributor in large strategic deals and partnerships with a special focus in launching the company into new markets. She was an essential force behind its acquisition in 2015.

Promising Services Leads to Best Customer Service

Clients that have worked with RapportBoost.AI's technology have been double-digit percentage growth in customer acquisition rates, retention rates, and lifetime value. They are seeing significant improvements at all stages of their sales funne, they're seeing improved net promoter scores because the algorithms are training their agents to deliver a better experience.

More broadly, RapportBoost.AI is treading new ground in the artificial language that is far messier than has been done in the past. most sentiment tools were trained on movie reviews or similar language that has a clear-cut structure. Chat and messaging contain colloquialisms, euphemisms, slang, emoticons, emojis, misspelings, and other attributes that make them far more difficult to handle. For that reason, they've been fairly resistant to most deep learning approaches to automate communication.

Challenges Faced by RapportBoost

The company alluded previously to one of the two big technical challenges involved in building a platform capable of optimizing chat and messaging:

1) Language: Chat is laden with colloquialisms, euphemisms, slang, emoticons, emojis, misspellings and other unique characteristics. As such, the company had to build very large and deep libraries of content that are capable of deciphering these unique linguistic patterns. In other words, when a new word or emoji appears on the scence, their computational linguists quickly identify it, study it empirically, and develop an understanding of its common usage.

2) Causality: Chat is difficult because it's a two-way street. Whatever you say to someone may have been directly influenced by something they already said to you. As such, it's very difficult to engage in causal inference when analyzing chat-based conversations, but RapportBoost developed a unique method of utilizing empirical results of retrospective analyses to generate hypotheses that inform experiments. Over time, they are able to determine the true causal impact of a manner of speaking.

Future Plans to Execute by RapportBoost

The company is big believers in conversational commerce and they think that how consumers purchase products will inevitably shift towards chat and, ultimately, voice. Bots are going to play a huge role in that transformation but the fact of the matter is that they're still in their relative infancy. So, the company sees a very long road ahead with lots of twists and turns as companies learn how to utilize this new medium to engage with their customers and provide a superior experience of buying and selling online.

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