Personalized AI soars to new altitude with alt Inc.
By TAM Hock Chuan and Calvin TAN
Laboro - slaves and Opera - free citizens. Visionary alt CEO, Kazutaka Yonekura founded the deep-technology firm from Japan with the goal of empowering humanity to evolve from Laboro to Opera. Yonekura dreams of a world where humans attain “Freedom from unproductive labour” and instead, spend their time freely on the things they enjoy, thereby unleashing the full potential of human creativity and innovation.
alt’s cornerstone product is AI GIJIROKU, a speech-to-text software with unrivalled speed and accuracy. Those in the transcription industry will know that a voice accuracy of 99.8% is not something that can be easily overtaken, and this can be attributed to alt’s deep R&D heritage and rich IP portfolio. AI GIJIROKU MAX technology helps transcribe up to six speakers accurately and can identify the speakers even when they speak over each other. This powerful technology will transform the minute-taking process and reduce labour cost and time as it produces near-real-time transcription output. The sheer sophistication of alt’s technology is quickly winning over significant market share in Japan and in 2022, Al GIJIROKU has attracted 5,000 company users with the potential for further exponential growth.
Al GIJIROKU’s users span a wide variety of industries. Pharmaceutical firms are among the largest users and alt can customise its software for the unique requirements of any industry. The media and publishing industry is another heavy adopter of the speech-to-text software. In fact, one of the largest newspaper companies in Japan has introduced AI GIJIROKU to its 5,000 journalists. Previously, copious volumes of interview notes and information were laboriously documented daily. Today, the company has reduced frantic note-taking time by 80%, thus freeing journalists with the time to investigate their stories more thoroughly and to focus on news making. In the construction world, headquarter operations are often challenged with the need to provide clear communications and guidance to personnel on a construction site. However, given the default noisy work environment, verbal communications can be challenging. By transcribing communications from headquarters into text, labour time on documentation and reports can be reduced by 80% and accuracy of work performed on construction sites is expected to improve significantly.
Personalized AI at its Peak
The sophisticated speech-to-text software is not the only innovation for alt. Instead, the company is advancing the adoption of Personalized AI to serve essential human and organisational functions. Nulltitude is alt’s latest product, and can be adopted by call centres and survey companies. By collecting data of likes and dislikes, habits, thoughts and personality traits of people, Nulltitude assimilates and synthesises the data according to its algorithm, eventually building a prototype known as an artificial intelligence clone. This clone is equipped to answer questions accurately, and the more clones exist, the greater the artificial intelligence sample size and thus more useful it will be for survey collection purposes. Once launched, Nulltitude will play a crucial role in answering mass questionnaires, in particular, straightforward factual questions, saving individuals and businesses precious time and raising their productivity. One day, it could even be empowered to make accurate decisions based on the existing knowledge encapsulated of each individual. Nulltitude can even be used to predict TV ratings due to its highly personalized and accurate clones of real human beings and ability to predict their entertainment choices. The inspiration for Nulltitude originated from Yonekura’s bold vision of alt’s predictive software engines to surpass their makers.
Another application of Personalized AI technology is that of AI CALL CENTER, where a Personalized AI serves as customer service officer to respond to relatively straightforward and common enquiries from customers. With similar technologies, information of the company and customer is retained and processed through its proprietary algorithm, giving tailored responses. Reducing exposure to unpleasantness from customers leads to a significant transformation of work experiences of call centre officers. On the other end, customers receive prompter, consistent and 24/7 service as well. Needless to mention, companies can cut substantial costs by only hiring customer service staff for attending to complex customer issues. Consequently, these cost savings and extra manpower can be channelled into innovative, analytical and more productive purposes.
Riding the Digital Transformation (DX) Wave in Japan
alt’s technology is timely and ideal for advancing Japanese companies forward in their digital transformation. In 2018, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) published a report outlining Japan’s priority for digital transformation (DX). The report also indicated that Japan may suffer an economic loss of up to 12 trillion yen per year after the 2025 Digital Cliff. Following this report, the Japanese government launched a concerted drive to ensure companies leverage new digital technologies to develop innovative business models or transform existing ones, all with the goal of pushing revenue growth and enhancing the country’s competitiveness.
With METI taking the lead in promoting DX, alt is expanding in the market at an opportune time and the company is expected to see significant growth given the favourable operating environment. This foresight is also shared by its investor Vertex Growth, who led their recent Series D round.
Vertex Growth is no stranger to the transcription industry, having invested in Verbit – the world’s leading AI-powered real-time transcription and captioning platform. Back in November 2020, we identified Verbit as a category leader and was fortunate to be able to participate in their meteoric rise and transformation. With their recently raised Series E round, Verbit is now valued at USD 2 billion, cementing their unicorn status. Verbit’s solution is also well-recognized by the industry and won multiple awards such as the “Best Speech to Text” solution award by AI Breakthrough and the LegalTech Breakthrough Award for “Best use of AI in LegalTech”.
Verbit’s success highlights the transcription industry’s potential and we believe alt’s solution can achieve the same growth trajectory. Tam Hock Chuan, General Partner of Vertex Growth commented, “Similar to Verbit’s success in the US, we believe alt is well placed to capture the growth in the speech-to-text industry in Japan. The country is committed to digitalising corporations across the country, creating an immense pipeline of opportunities for the company. As alt continues to push the boundaries in the area of Personalized AI, we expect further adoption of alt’s technologies across a myriad of industries. We commit to working closely with the company to expand its reach in Japan and ultimately, globally.”
The Future with alt
Unmistakably, alt’s competencies extend beyond effective transcribing. Its core product is ultimately its personalized AI concept and technology, which can be applied to a multitude of human and corporate functions. These functions range from informed predictions of people’s response to repetitive survey questionnaires in Nulltitude, speedy live audio interpretation for online meetings as in Linguacode.AI or AI TSUYAKU, as well as performing tasks of a call centre staff all around the clock as in AI CALL CENTER which has been launched. The Nulltitude and AI TSUYAKU are presently in alpha and beta test stages, but when the time is ripe, these products will irreversibly revolutionise businesses across all industries.
In bold strides, alt is radically transforming the way organisations run. Imagine the cost savings for businesses and potential that is unleashed from automating repetitive tasks. Imagine the benefits to psychological and emotional well-being that this freedom extends - freeing employees’ minds and time to perform more advanced and fulfilling roles. What would a world with everyday Personalized AI look like? Yonekura effervesced with excitement as he posed this question. alt’s technology is propelling the future and Yonekura is certain that it will make our lives lighter and brighter. Even though we may not be able to ascertain how different the future would eventually become, one thing we can be sure - alt would be at the forefront.