Siri creators develop Kasisto, virtual personal assistant for business

iPhone 4S advert (Siri 001)

SRI International, the startup behind the Siri personal assistant that Apple famously bought four years ago and implemented across its iOS device lineup, has spun off a new company called Kasisto that has developed a namesake personal assistant for businesses, Re/code reported Friday.

The business-minded personal assistant is aimed at companies wishing to implement Siri-like functionality within apps for industry verticals such as healthcare, automotive and more. Companies can train Kasisto for specific areas to perform complex tasks, which often require deep domain knowledge and human interaction…

Unveiled today at the FinTech Innovation Lab Demo Day in New York City, Kasisto is designed to improve the consumer experience on mobile devices through “intelligent conversation,” writes SRI in its media release.

The solution provides text, touch, and speech modalities, and natural language understanding and reasoning.

From the Re/code report:

The product enables companies to integrate their own branded virtual personal assistants within apps, helping consumers navigate complex tasks through a conversational artificial intelligence program.

This sounds a lot like Siri’s laid-back conversational approach.

Norman Winarsky, one of the co-founders of SRI and vice president of SRI Ventures, said that consumers can expect a more “human-like experience” when interacting online because Kasisto is “context aware, personalized, and more effective.”

Kasisto (teaser 001)

Noting Apple’s Siri popularized the idea of conversation with a mobile virtual personal assistant, the startup has now developed a software development kit (SDK) that allows businesses to integrate Kasisto within existing mobile apps, a process said to take days or weeks instead of months.

BBVA, a global financial services group, is named as Kasisto’s strategic partner and other companies are expected to deploy the personal assistant across their business processes.

The Menlo Park, California based firm previously developed and spun off Siri, which Apple acquired in 2010.