Keller Williams wants to start making its internet technology for agents better much faster, including its artificial intelligence mobile assistant Kelle, and it’s turning to an outside party for help.

The Texas-based real estate franchise announced a partnership Thursday with Austin startup CognitiveScale to improve the Keller Cloud suite of agent-facing software through Cognitive’s Cortex 5 product.

Keller Williams KW banner

Keller Williams Chief Product Officer Neil Dholakia said the partnership will speed the brokerage’s research and development efforts by enabling the data team to break down the elements of an AI capability and build each element simultaneously, rather than one at a time.

“CognitiveScale is providing us an AI platform that allows us to componentize the elements of an AI capability,” Dholakia said in an emailed statement. “From there, we can then subdivide the work. Meaning, our data scientists can focus on machine learning modeling, while data engineers prepare data feeds and application engineers create and utilize AI application programming interfaces (APIs).”

“This componentization of AI and specialization of work allows our Keller Williams technologists to work on multiple AI initiatives simultaneously versus remaining focused on a current serial project,” he added. “We are taking a factory approach to AI versus an artisan approach.”

What Cortex5 offers | Photo credit: CognitiveScale

Specifically, Dholakia said CognitiveScale’s capabilities will aid them in accelerating the creation of new skills for Kelle, the brokerage’s award winning voice-activated artificial assistant, which agents use to plan their schedules, track performance, and connect with clients.

“We are currently working in parallel on a range of components to support new Kelle skills,” he said. “Around offer management alone, we’re currently maturing an AI skill to read offer contracts and parse relevant details for presentation to agents, analyze the collected data across all contracts to provide recommendations to agents to strengthen future offers, and combine offer data and offer outcome with extrinsic data feeds to create valuation models.”

CognitiveScale Chief Customer Officer Nij Chawla said that he’s excited to work with Keller Williams and that his company’s focus on augmented intelligence — a subset of AI that focuses on connecting people and machines instead of replacing people with machines — will help the real estate giant achieve its tech goals “while making every agent their best agent.”

Keller Williams has been on a spree of tech deals, as it seeks to fulfill founder Gary Keller’s vision of making his namesake franchise into a technology company.

On Sept. 5, the brokerage announced the acquisition of mobile-first platform SmarterAgent and plans to use the company’s capabilities to a consumer-facing app that will be released in 2019. And on Sept. 6, Keller Williams revealed a new Kelle contract-reading skill being built by AI company KUNGFU.AI.

Email Marian McPherson.

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