The entire global economy is smoothly moving to the online environment, b2b sales are becoming a thing of the past and are urgently converted into b2c - direct sales to customers. And for the most effective implementation of new schemes, artificial intelligence services and "digital twins" come to help businesses. In the 24/7 mode, they are ready to independently negotiate, look for new customers, talk about the product and sell it through online acquiring.
Business demand for such services in all countries of the world has grown significantly, and, given the democratic price, it will only increase. Services like Futurology help entrepreneurs to develop online sales without large financial investments, which is very useful in today's situation when businesses are forced to go online and cut staff.
A bright future in the "blue ocean"
Computer bots, which previously acted only as virtual assistants, answering simple questions on company accounts on social networks, are now able to replace most of the sales team, as well as perform a lot of different tasks, from finding a job for applicants and selecting a suitable pair to successful work on marketplaces.
Consulting company Condeco estimates that the virtual assistant market will grow 34.9% annually over the next seven years. PWC analysts believe that the use of AI technology could bring companies $ 16 trillion by 2030. And according to reports from the analytical company Marketsand Markets, the artificial intelligence market will reach $ 190.6 billion by 2025.
Dmitry Kochin, who graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in the early 2000s, already at that time took up work in the field of artificial intelligence and programming search robots - crawlers. In the process, Kochin met Alexander Neymark, who was involved in various projects in the digital field. They founded a company with the self-explanatory name Krawlly and began to build a large system that would allow accumulating information from all accounts of a person's social networks in one place, creating his “digital twin”. Later, Cochin and Neimark registered a firm Futurology AI, which was engaged in the creation of "virtual sellers" and training bots that can understand human speech and communicate with people.
Dmitry Kochin © Georgy Kardava
“I was looking for my first investment on LinkedIn,” says Alexander Neimark. - I addressed all investors in a row and wrote: "Hi, I am such and such, I have a cool idea and company, let's discuss it." Someone answered me, we entered into correspondence and so on. Gradually, I narrowed the sales funnel to one person who gave the first $ 200 thousand for the project. And I thought that it was possible to create an entire ecosystem that would conduct all negotiations for me and give me a ready-made solution. We discussed this with Dima and decided that we would take up these developments as soon as we find a client who would need such a development. And the client was quickly found. There was a crypto project Humaniq, founded by a Russian guy Alex Fork, whom I have known for a long time. And he asked, "Do you have any solution for LinkedIn?" - "Yes of course,we have a module of smart robots, "I replied."
The Humaniq project was to become a “cryptocurrency and bank for the poor” with an audience of 2 billion people and a special focus on India. Companions cloned a LinkedIn account for Fork, and the robot, according to a certain algorithm, began to knock on friends to various people, entered into negotiations with them, including asking: "Do you know about such a project as Humaniq?" If a person heard about a project, the robot would give him a certain block of information. If not, then another. The robot showed good results and helped attract investment.
“And then we thought that if our technology works so well, then why don't we use it for our own projects,” comments Alexander Neimark. - We easily attracted $ 300 thousand in investments. You see, social networks are a "blue ocean" in the marketing sense. If you connect all the social networks - WeChat, Facebook, Linkedln, and so on - then the total will be about 7 billion accounts. This is practically all of humanity. That is, this is a huge number of potential customers, which few people turn to, because they are in a closed database of social networks. It is closed to those who do not have the opportunity and technical means to obtain it. We have such competencies. It's as if the person himself went through the accounts and got to know everyone. So the robot enters into correspondence, meets,can just make friends and exchange a couple of phrases, but at the right moment it activates and does what we need."
Alexander Neimark © Georgy Kardava
In order to teach robots how to communicate properly with humans, the partners created Caty. On the one hand, it is global artificial intelligence. On the other hand, a kind of aggregator of common phrases. The point is that sales bots can only talk about sales. And if a person takes a step away from the prescribed script, then the robot does not understand this and continues to "mumble" in the script. At this moment, the Futurology AI system turns on "Cathy" - a server with general phrases like "Do you have a cat?", "What if the weather is bad today?" "Katie" is capable of giving real-time answers to a particular topic in English and Russian.
“Despite the fact that the Russian language is much more complicated,” explains Dmitry Kochin, “and English is more structured, we have clients in Russia who buy this service in Russian, so we have made an adaptation, and our systems are already working in two languages. … Research continues, Spanish and Chinese languages are next, and this will give us coverage of 90% of the world's population."
RBC Style correspondent Alexander Pigarev spoke with the founding fathers of Futurology AI.
- As I understand it, your business is based on artificial intelligence systems and technology for creating "digital twins" of a person, using, among other things, the data of his accounts on social networks?
- Dmitry Kochin: Yes, this is our main concept. We now use it primarily for social media sales. At the most basic level, these are some robots that replace humans in terms of sales. The robot makes an initial acquaintance with a potential buyer, communicates a little, and then makes an offer. Accordingly, artificial intelligence must ennoble these robots so that communication with them resembles communication with a human.
- Alexander Neimark:We have several main areas of work in Russia. The first direction is b2b sales, when digital twins are used. For this we have Caty AI. This is similar to what we did for the Humaniq project. A "digital twin" is created, that is, the server is given control over the person's profile. In this case, the employee can intervene at any minute. The robot addresses a person using his social network account, starts a correspondence and later makes an unobtrusive offer. If a person is interested in this offer in advance, then it is carefully connected with a living person-sales. We tell the client: you don't need a large sales force, you can leave two people to work with hot leads. The client pays us a small installation fee for setting up, and we get started.If we bring a certain amount of money into sales, then we take a small percentage from them (from 3 to 5%, depending on the business).
© Georgy Kardava
- With this line of activity it is clear. But digital doubles, in addition to sales, allow you to remove most of the manual work from a person?
- Alexander Neimark: Correctly. Our other areas of activity are b2c. For example, this is a job search and dating using digital twins. It's simple. A person contacts our company, registers in the system and communicates with "Katie", answering the questions: "Who are you?", "What can you do?", "In which city and what job do you want to find?" He links his social network account to the system. “Katie” forms the right resume for him, builds targeting (certain companies and job positions), begins to enter into correspondence with hundreds and thousands of potential employers and says: “Look, I'm a great young professional, I can work for adequate money, I am very proactive, here my resume for you. Let's meet and talk? " And when the system receives consent, it writes to the client: “Boy,I found you a job and signed up for an interview. It will take place on Thursday at 12:00 at this address. And don't forget to dress nicely!"
The big plus of this scheme is that until we find suitable employers for the client, we will not stop. An ordinary person, after six or eight unsuccessful negotiations and interviews, already begins to doubt his competencies, but the robot does not care and continues to carry out the program.
The search for a suitable candidate for a relationship using Tinder and other social networks can work in a similar way: a young man creates his digital twin, describes targeting, region, language of communication, preferences, and artificial intelligence begins to meet girls on his behalf. AI consistently bypasses all potential candidates on social networks, pays attention to the content of their profiles (clothes, places to travel, occupation). AI makes the right compliments and offers to communicate, make friends, can make a date. If a girl becomes interested and she is ready to continue communication, AI notifies the young man about this and he continues to communicate personally.
- Judging by the Humaniq project, do you work well with the aggregation of financial data?
- Alexander Neimark:Yes, we have been in this business since 2011. This is a new type of platform where shoppers will be asked to control all their finances right in the smart marketplace. Let's say an MFO client wants to get a loan, fills out a questionnaire, the MFO offers him to log in to the Internet bank of Sberbank or MTS. The client enters the username and password in a special form, accepts our offer, and a special robot quickly retrieves the data of the Sberbank personal account, including spending, accounts, money movements, debts, loans, deposits, converts for MFOs into a special format and sends encrypted to the scoring MFI program. Aggregation of financial data will allow you to find out the entire financial picture of all clients, as well as their family members: who buys what, where and how much money is spent on it. And a client with a good credit history gets the necessary loan quickly.
- Dmitry Kochin: Another area is connected with “smart” marketplaces. There is a huge e-commerce market (Ozon, Avito, Wildberries) - these are large companies that control 60% of the market. And there are 40% of independent sellers. Their problem is that the "big guys" tell them: "Here is an interface for you, tune yourself, update, upload product catalogs and so on." And if I'm a girl who sews dresses, then will I integrate with Ozon? Of course not. I started a page on Instagram, and my boyfriend, at best, wrote down a selling landing page for me. All! And then our AI comes to the rescue, which itself collects all catalogs, extracting information from sites.
For example, we started with the flower market. This is a billion dollar market, but its main problem is that there are a huge number of sites that compete with each other, offering the same product at different prices. We have written a special robot that visits all sites, picks up catalogs of flowers from there, “glues” them into one ecosystem and monitors all prices in real time. Accordingly, all this data is rolled out into a single marketplace. We named it CatyMall. Now there are only flowers, but this year there will be clothes, shoes, baby products, cosmetics and perfumery, and a service sector. We come to the seller and say: “All your data is already on our website, you don't need to upload anything anywhere, you just sign the contract. If we bring buyers to you, you will pay us a commission. If we don't bring it, then you won't pay anything”."Katie" can be useful to us here too. It will focus on increasing sales of the smart marketplace - hence the name.
Кроме того, мы выстроили огромную федеральную сеть агентов, которые готовы нам помогать распространять информацию об «умном» маркетплейсе. У нашего партнера по бизнесу Дмитрия Радковича многолетний опыт управления большими партнерскими сетями, он сейчас активно подключает регионы России: Урал, Татарстан, Санкт-Петербург, Краснодарский край, есть договоры о работе в Казахстане, Белоруссии, Европе. Также он предложил, на наш взгляд, гениальную идею: если менеджер по продажам работает хорошо и выполняет недельный (месячный) план продаж, он в подарок от нас получает своего цифрового двойника, который начинает работать на него, а весь доход с продаж получает владелец робота (т.е. компания, которая заключила договор и получила роботов в пользование. - «РБК Стиль») за вычетом небольшой комиссии компании. Таким образом, мы видим стопроцентную совместимость разных направлений нашего бизнеса: люди помогают «умным» роботам, а роботы делают жизнь людей проще и помогают зарабатывать деньги.
An ordinary person, after six or eight unsuccessful negotiations and interviews, already begins to doubt his competencies, but the robot does not care and continues to carry out the program.
- It seems to me that by being able to monitor all market prices in real time, you can offer sellers much more.
- Alexander Neimark: Of course. Second step: we provide a revolving interface that allows a person to arbitrate. For example, a seller sees that his competitors are dumping on some items and can react accordingly by changing their prices. He can do all this manually, but it is easier to buy a subscription from us for little money, and our robots will adjust prices themselves, adjusting to changing market conditions (but, of course, within the limits agreed with the customer) in order to sell to the maximum. Or the seller may say that this month he needs to sell goods for 100 thousand rubles in order to pay, for example, training. Such is the KPI. Of course, you can't guarantee 100% that everything will turn out like this, but with the right settings, the probability of successful sales is much higher. The main idea isto remove 80% of manual work from a person and leave him an opportunity for creativity, which will only benefit the business.
- How do you connect to your system?
- Dmitry Kochin: We have a small installation payment, and then we still work on the success fee principle. That is, if we made a certain sale, then we get a percentage for it. But we honestly warn that if we catch a client cheating, then penalties will follow, up to the point that we can set up the robots so that they write to everyone: “The guys deceived us, and you shouldn't trust them …” (Laughs.) We we will not do this, because it is ugly, but in principle such a possibility exists.
- Alexander Neimark: There is another fairly global direction - the OasisDDB decentralized database. In the modern world of high technologies and total control, we too often encounter fakes and restrictions on access to information. Websites are constantly blocked, the authorities are trying to get access to our private correspondence in messengers. OasisDDB forms a decentralized network of farmer computers that provide their resources (memory and computing power). Database users (companies, legal entities, websites) use these resources for a modest fee in ODDB tokens. The data uploaded by users to the database is duplicated and divided into packages to ensure their safety, immutability and high speed of access to them. Unlike many popular blockchains, nodes (nodes of a computer network.- "RBC Style") OasisDDB are not copies of each other, and each of them stores a part of the downloaded data package.
© Georgy Kardava
- I read that artificial intelligence is now actively used as a means of protecting both information and people. Surely your AI is also capable of helping humanity?
- Alexander Neimark:That's right, and the fourth area of our activity is swarm defense. The cyberbullying (cyberbullying) market is huge, and according to statistics, at least 63% of American teens have been bullied at least once in their lives. As we know, there are a huge number of Telegram channels that are engaged in the dissemination of compromising evidence to people. And if you are a victim of bullying, then you find yourself alone against the system and practically unable to do anything. And if you are a schoolboy or student, then there are no protection options at all … Now a person can go to our website swarmdefense.com, register, indicate the community address and context. After that, an army of bots is created, which begins to attack this community and massively complain to the administration of the social network in which the community is located about this post, demanding to remove it.Our base rate is $ 100. The idea is that the victims of cyberbullying are united into a kind of virtual group, $ 100 is thrown off, and if there are a thousand such people, then the total project budget is about $ 100 thousand.The cost of production is not more than 30% of the budget (after all, a huge amount of money has already been invested in this), everything else net of taxes is net profit.
- Protecting people from cyberbullying is a noble and, as it turned out, very profitable business. But it seems to me that such an army of robots can be used for other purposes …
- Dmitry Kochin:Yes, for example, for copyright protection. In the United States, the video piracy market is about $ 30 billion a year (such amounts are lost by video producers due to lost profits - RBC Style). The dynamics of the growth in viewing content is hundreds of billions of views per year, and the growth in the dynamics of payment for this content is orders of magnitude less. Copyright holders contact Google and ask them to remove pirated links, and Google removes them. But they remove them more slowly than pirates create mirrors of their sites. What are we doing? We release a swarm of bots that create thousands of mirrors and spam the entire broadcast with them. Moreover, all links lead to paid content. And an ordinary person, having spent 10-15 minutes looking for freebies, will spit and buy a movie. Accordingly, if we save at least 10% of the market from piracy, then it will be approximately $ 3 billion.With our 15% commission, we generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in net income. This is a very interesting case, and we are now seriously engaged in negotiations with filmmakers.
- With big business, the situation is clear, but what can your technologies give start-up entrepreneurs and small businesses?
- Alexander Neimark: Recently, we were approached by guys who want to make a competitor to Business of Youth. They are great at delivering trainings, and we are great at bringing clients. The idea is simple. We take a young man and say: “You are investing 30 thousand rubles. (conditional price). Together we come up with a business based on your interests and capabilities. We help from a legal point of view: registering a legal entity, launching a simple online store or landing page. And we will also catch up with the audience for free on your site with the help of "smart" robots, until we compensate the cost of training, those same 30 thousand rubles. " This is our key competitive advantage. Most of the trainings are about distributing a person for money - he pays, but no one guarantees him anything. But he doesn't need training, he needs clients and sales. This actually allows us to open up a new market.A huge number of young people want to try themselves in business, but they have no money, no knowledge, they are afraid. We do not guarantee that the business will fly right away, because nobody canceled business risks. And if a person sells trash, something low-quality or there are problems with the service, then I'm sorry. We have already launched such pilot projects in Russia, and we continue to move on.>