All articles

What is a true AI company? The story of why I joined Applica

After consulting for over 20 companies during the past decade in the enterprise architecture/integration/DevOps spaces, I’ve seen many fads come and go, and many lofty promises left unfulfilled. One of the biggest buzzwords in today’s business landscape is AI. But when you dig just below the surface of many of these so-called AI-based applications, they either have limited utility or tend to overstate their claims, something now known as “AI washing.” 

According to Enterprise AI, “AI washing is a marketing effort designed to imply that a company’s brands and products involve artificial intelligence technologies, even though the connection may be tenuous or non-existent.” Similarly, Gartner states that “over a thousand software vendors describe themselves as artificial intelligence vendors or claim that their products involve AI.” And perhaps most shockingly, “Gartner analysts consider AI mischaracterization to be one of the top three problems that are impeding real development and adoption of artificial intelligence.”

Honestly I was a bit skeptical when I was first introduced to Applica, because document processing through automation has been around for quite some time, and every other tool on the market has significant impediments, whether it’s the limited documents you can use with it, or the huge engineering effort required to get it up and running. But then I saw Applica’s demo, and that was a real “WOW” moment for me, and reinstated my confidence that true AI is here and the driving force behind the current (next) industrial revolution.

By thinking far outside any existing boxes of what was possible, the Applica team spent years coming up with a new way to solve long standing business problems. Their research-driven, academic approach, led by a team of data science and engineering PhDs, is one of the reasons Applica is so different. It wasn’t designed to solely make money or exploit a hole in the market. The Applica team wanted to accomplish something that no one had ever done before, and the end result of their efforts combines progressive deep learning methodologies and contextually aware language models. Therefore, complex and variable documents, previously an impediment to straight-through processing, are done seamlessly. And the deployment and maintenance are shockingly easy for the frontend user, as it’s no code and doesn’t require the use of laborious templates or rules.

Specifically, I’m fascinated by the way TILT (Applica’s latest product feature) is able to perform contextual abstraction with minimal training and high accuracy. 

  • It’s a true product differentiator and will fundamentally change the human role in document processing, freeing them up to perform higher value tasks instead of repetitive work. 
  • Furthermore, it can be leveraged across all industries, meaning the growth potential is boundless. 

Applica is unique in that for a relatively small company, it is full of extremely talented and motivated individuals that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with technology, and as a result consistently outperform R&D teams at some of the world’s largest tech giants. 

My role at Applica is to leverage my solutions consulting experience to help drive customer success. Working closely with customers to understand the business needs, existing business workflow processes, and help implement solutions. My ultimate goal everyday is to help guide our customers and Applica to outstanding results. 

Hopefully if you’re reading this you or someone on your team will be working with me soon. Until then, let’s connect on LinkedIn.

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 14 month old son.