Veritone enabling accessible & actionable AI: Interview with CEO Chad Steelberg

Veritone enabling accessible & actionable AI: Interview with CEO Chad Steelberg

First of all, we are grateful to Chad for his time. At appliedAI, we help companies identify how AI can help their business. As the leader of successful tech companies for more than 25 years and as the co-founder & CEO of Veritone, one of the very few publicly listed companies focused on AI, Chad is one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject.

If I had to summarize your business in a sentence, I would call it a scalable AI powered audio/video analysis tool. Is that a good description?

Veritone goes beyond audio and video analysis utilizing AI because, unlike other technology on the market, it makes artificial intelligence accessible and actionable through a single SaaS-based and can be deployed in virtually any environment, with the demonstrated ability to create opportunity and solve problems.

How would you describe your solution and its benefits for media companies or law firms?

Many professionals, whether in legal or media, fear artificial intelligence will take human jobs. With the time and money spent on securing a degree, that’s a valid perspective. But what isn’t factored into this fear is how AI can benefit the professions.

Using transcription and natural language processing in audio and video, AI takes thousands of hours of legwork out of discovery for legal professionals. Even with e-discovery software to handle text-based discovery, the amount of time it takes a lawyer to weed through audio and video files reduces them to admins… until AI enters the picture. Veritone aiWARE enables legal professionals to manage and analyze large volumes of both structured and unstructured evidentiary media, at a significantly lower cost than ever before.

For media customers like ESPN, iHeartRadio and FOX Sports, Veritone aiWARE provides enhanced ad and content tracking, comprehensive analytics, faster content extension and smarter media management. Customers can efficiently and cost-effectively process content to reveal valuable, unique multivariate insights from vast amounts of audio, video and structured data. With Veritone, mundane and repetitive tasks can be augmented via AI to assist teams in industries that deal with mass amounts of data.

Can you explain the founding story?

I founded Veritone with the belief that artificial intelligence will transform every facet of society and the enterprise. The Veritone mission is to deliver purpose-driven AI, solving real-world problems today and leading the way to the opportunities of the future.

My passion for computer science and math began at an early age. I began authoring software in elementary school, with early efforts focused on machine learning, networking, and chemical engineering.

I built and sold AdForce and founded dMarc Broadcasting, selling to Google in 2006, then moved on to Vertione as my next endeavour.

Veritone is building solutions in areas like sentiment analysis or face recognition where tech giants such as Google and Amazon are also building solutions. How would you compare your solutions with tech giants’ solutions?

The Veritone approach to AI is unique, both in terms of our value proposition to our customers as well as the proprietary science that powers it. Veritone solutions harness the power of a rapidly expanding set of cognitive engines (including those of Google and Amazon) and machine learning algorithms developed by third-parties within the global data science community, which are deployed through our platform and orchestrated by Veritone Conductor – our machine learning routing technology – to produce unprecedented levels of accuracy and multivariate intelligence for our customers.

How do you view these companies cognitive cloud efforts: Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon?

Infrastructure-based cloud computing vendors offering cognitive APIs, such as IBM Watson via Bluemix, Microsoft Cognitive Services via Azure and Amazon Machine Learning via AWS; typically, these solutions provide raw computing and storage solutions in conjunction with cognitive categories such as translation, transcription and object detection from which customers can build their own solutions.

Veritone aiWARE instead leverages algorithms to match media with the most appropriate processing path across individual or multiple engine classes, to meet customers’ cost, accuracy and speed requirements – without the requirement to build solutions and no data science or machine learning background needed.

How is your product priced? Based on compute cycles, features offered or some other metric?

Veritone assesses a platform access fee, seat licenses, and variable hourly cognitive engine processing fees, with nearly 200 engines (continuously-growing) across all major categories of cognition. Processing bundles and packages are also available for certain industries and a GSA Schedule is being finalized with Veritone’s FedRAMP certification anticipated this year.

Are there any new industries that are becoming a significant source of business for Veritone beyond Media & Entertainment, Legal & Compliance and Government?

Retail and healthcare are industries that can be improved and augmented by AI, but just Veritone is committed to constantly growing and improving our primary industries, artificial intelligence is also becoming smarter. In the future, we’ll begin seeing machines building their own systems. This type of innovation will open up possibilities for Veritone, but also for society as whole in ways that extend much further than Veritone’s initial use-cases.

I have not yet come across research on AI published by Veritone scientists. I know that most scientists working in AI are passionate about publishing their work. So first of all, are Veritone scientists publishing their findings? What is your stance on publishing results of research at Veritone?

Veritone research is yet to be published because our growing legions of data scientists, software developers, and engineers are so focused on our product offerings. But this is an important part of our work: ensuring that both business processes and the aiWARE platform is data-driven. Keep an eye out for research and additional news soon.

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