Oto snags $5.3M seed to use AI to understand voice intonation

Oto, a startup spun off from research at SRI International to help customer service operations understand voice intonation, announced a $5.3 million seed round today. Participants in the round included Firstminute Capital, Fusion Fund, Interlace Ventures, SAP.iO and SRI International . The total includes a previous $1 million seed round, according to the company. Teo Borschberg, co-founder and CEO at Oto, says the company launched out of SRI International, the same company where Apple’s Siri technology was originally developed. It has been developing intonation data, based originally on SRI research, to help customer service operations respond better to caller’s emotions. The goal is to use this area of artificial intelligence to improve interactions between customer service reps (CSRs) and customers …

Is your products AI annoying people?

James Glasnapp Artificial intelligence is allowing us all to consider surprising new ways to simplify the lives of our customers. As a product developer, your central focus is always on the customer. But new problems can arise when the specific solution under development helps one customer while alienating others. Let’s consider one personal example taken from my own use of Amy.ai, a service (from x.ai) that provides AI assistants named Amy and Andrew Ingram. Amy and Andrew are AI assistants that help schedule meetings for up to four people. This service solves the very relatable problem of scheduling meetings over email, at least for the person who is trying to do the scheduling. In concept, this idea seems advantageous to …