What's next in artificial-intelligence helpers? Ask Dennis Mortensen

Inman, the leader in independent real estate and technology news and events, is pleased to announce Dennis Mortensen as a speaker for Inman Connect New York which takes place January 26 through 29.

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As the CEO and Founder of x.ai, Mortensen has created an artificial-intelligence-driven personal assistant that lets people easily schedule meetings by simply copying amy@x.ai in an email.

Mortensen is a pioneer and expert in the analytics, optimization and big data space and has been since its inception — he is also a fully fledged entrepreneur and has successfully delivered a number of company exits. He’s an accredited Associate Analytics Instructor at the University of British Columbia, the Author of Data Driven Insights from Wiley and a frequent speaker on the subject of Analytics and Data. A native of Denmark, Mortensen currently calls New York City his home.

Since the theme of ICNY16 is “What’s Next,” it seemed only natural that we explore the notion of artificial intelligence and how it will shape our lives going forward. Fortunately for us, Mortensen agreed to speak at ICNY on this topic. Here, he gives us a bit of a teaser.

What led you to create x.ai?

I think we’d all agree that scheduling meetings is a huge pain point and a productivity killer. I personally scheduled 1,019 meetings the year before we started x.ai, and I had 670 updates or reschedules.

Think about that! That is such a massive amount of pain.  It was almost obvious for me to work on a solution. We believe artificial intelligence is that solution.

The personal assistant we developed is called Amy,  and she was born to schedule meetings (as was her brother, Andrew).

What do you think the future of artificial intelligence holds for the business world?

We believe in this idea of verticalized AI, which is an intelligent agent that does one specific job and does it extremely well. For us, it’s scheduling meetings.

Simply cc Amy (or Andrew), and she takes on the job in full — she’s not an app that helps a human do the job; she actually does the job.

We just might see a future of an intelligent agent marketplace — all focused on specific jobs, perhaps accessed by Siri (“Siri, have Amy find time for John and I to have coffee next week”).

I truly think every employee should have access to their own personal assistant. Scheduling meetings simply should not be a job for humans.

We are really committed to democratizing access to personal assistants. And if you have a human assistant, let’s take scheduling meetings off their plate; surely they have better things to focus their time and energy on.

What’s the best part of your job?

The excitement! Myself and 54 propeller-heads are entering new territory, and we might even set the standard for a new software paradigm — Invisible Software — in which you no longer see or feel like you are interacting with technology. Those 119 apps on your phone are not the future.

The results we’re seeing motivate us more and more each day. So much so that we started a collection of Amy’s love notes.

Join us on Wednesday, January 27 at Inman Connect New York to hear Dennis Mortensen discuss artificial intelligence and the future of work.

Email Jennye Garibaldi.