You’re under tremendous market and shareholder pressure to deliver right now. We’ve been there too, while working on self-driving cars.
You’ve spent years and raised millions in a bid to launch & scale your next generation automation product. Now it’s time to release. But as impressive as your product is in controlled settings, it’s not quite ready for the infinite variability of the real-world. Rest assured – you are not alone. Every company doing anything interesting with AI – from warehouse automation to drone inspection – is facing the same reality: AI is hard to perfect. At its core, the challenge is that AI is missing cognition (read more in our earlier post).
Here’s what you’re up against
Prevailing winds are converging into a perfect storm that makes right now both the best time and the hardest time to bring automation products to market.
Exploding demand for AI & robotics. Massive labor shortages and soaring consumer demand are powering an unprecedented need for autonomous systems that move, monitor, inspect, and count things. Orders for workplace robots increased by over 40% in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
Investor pressure to deliver. Companies that raised (hundreds) of millions of dollars at high valuations in the recent venture boom are now under extreme pressure to deliver. They have two options: (1) raise more money at a fraction of previous valuations, (2) weather the storm. Usually that second option comes with mass layoff, reorgs, recapitalizations, and even CEO firings. We’re all seeing this play out. Example. Example. Example. Example. You get the picture…
It’s not just startups. Public company CEOs and innovation leaders who bet the house on next-gen AI & robotics products transforming their businesses are also feeling the pressure. Years into their big bets, shareholders want answers: Where are the goods?
An engineering speed limit. Though we often take it for granted, AI is still very much an emerging science. The task required of your engineering teams to bring AI to new applications is often nothing short of raw invention. Invention on a schedule never quite works out, and more money or bodies can’t change that.
Underlying all of these motions is one inconvenient, inescapable, indisputable reality:
AI is not getting any easier to perfect. Self-driving car companies – with billions of miles of driving data and a multi-trillion dollar mobility market up for grabs, are bellwethers for what’s possible at the AI frontier. More than a decade later, they’re still not ready. The problem is not data, and it’s not money – it’s a fundamental gap in how we build and train models. That gap leaves AI systems – self-driving cars or otherwise – unable to adapt when the world looks different than how they were trained. This is a cognition problem that will take several once-in-a-decade innovations to solve.
Don’t let anything stop you
You have a vision of the future. We’re here to help you deliver it, now.
Commercializing AI products today is about assembling building blocks. One of those building blocks is cognition. AI cannot survive in the real-world without it. Until we can solve for it artificially, the most ambitious, world-changing AI applications will be stuck in R&D.
You’ve probably been contending with this in your own ways: downgrading your launch feature-set, delaying your breakout from small scale pilots, or leaning on expensive, on-site human operators to help your robots when they struggle.
Here’s where SparkAI comes in. We’ve generalized technology and methods we originally perfected in the self-driving car industry, to fill the cognitive gaps in AI that are obstructing your progress and costing you money.
How it works (simply): in moments of confusion, instead of breaking down, your AI system calls SparkAI and sends situational data via API (image, video, etc.). In real-time, trained human specialists, plus our tech, resolve the difficult-to-discern details that are confusing your AI. (Example: What is this obstacle? Which box should I pick? Is it safe for me to proceed?). This resolution is returned to your AI in real-time, enabling a confident decision in the live production environment. (More detail here).
All of this happens in seconds, and is configured to the nuances of your specific application.
The outcomes are momentous. Launch & scale your products today, with AI that’s still imperfect. Instantly bridge performance gaps to commercial viability. Introduce new competitive features earlier than otherwise possible. Offset the need for operationally intensive and expensive on-site human support.
Further still, this approach de-escalates the high stakes race against the clock that your engineers are facing. Give them the breathing room and time to develop AI models thoughtfully, without the do-or-die business pressure from the top.
AI is hard. Incorporating solutions to fill universal gaps in AI capability is neither a failure nor an admission of defeat. It’s a strategic decision that the most forward-thinking, fast-moving companies are embracing to reach product viability in one of the most demanding markets ever.
This intertwining of AI decision-making and human cognition – in real-time – is the key to unlocking the next few decades of automation innovation, and is today enabling our Fortune 500 and startup enterprise customers to launch & scale revolutionary AI and robotics products.
We’re behind you all the way
The promise at the core of our offering is to bring your next-gen automation products to market faster, and enable them to do more than you ever thought possible.
We built this company because we fundamentally believe in the promise of AI to advance human progress. Our mission is to accelerate its proliferation in everyday life, but it’s up to you to figure out where it belongs. We’re here because we believe in you and the future you want to create; our business is built on you successfully getting to market and growing there. Now is the time to start a conversation. We’re behind you all the way.
With confidence in the future, Michael & the SparkAI Team