Synopsis: In this AI Leadership Insights video interview, Amanda Razani speaks with Dimitris Vassos, CEO and co-founder of Omilia, about conversational AI and its impact on the enterprise.

Amanda Razani: Hello, I’m Amanda Razani with, and I’m excited to be here today with Dimitris Vassos. He is the CEO and co-founder of Omilia. How are you doing today?

Dimitris Vassos: Doing great, Amanda. Very nice to be here.

Amanda Razani: So glad you can be here today. Can you share with our audience about Omilia and the services that you provide?

Dimitris Vassos: Absolutely. Omilia is an AI company that focuses in customer service automation. We’re leveraging the latest and greatest of AI technology to automate the customer service experiences with human-like quality. We have been active in the enterprise customer service market for over 21 years now, so we’ve built quite a lot of know-how experience, but of course also a leading platform where our customers can leverage and really reap the benefits of AI in a very meaningful and protected way. I stress the word protected because there is a lot of noise, a lot of hype these days, especially around generative AI and the safety of that technology for enterprise.

Amanda Razani: Absolutely. I believe your company was recently at the VOICE & AI summit, correct?

Dimitris Vassos: That is correct. That was a very good summit where we were able to present some of the cutting edge work that we’re doing and some real world results that we are getting with rolling out our generative AI technology for solving some interesting challenges, especially around the quick serve restaurants.

Amanda Razani: Can you share a little bit about that?

Dimitris Vassos: Absolutely. I cannot share the partner we’re working with, that’s still confidential, but it is one of the largest quick serve restaurants. What we’re partnering to achieve is automating the drive-through voice ordering experience so that we can have faster order taking without requiring human intervention. That frees up the quick serve operations inside the kitchen to allow them to focus on preparing your food faster and getting you a better service overall.

Amanda Razani: Where is the enterprise right now as it concerns conversational AI? How advanced is it and how do you perceive industries being able to use this moving forward?

Dimitris Vassos: Well, the technology is very mature. It has been very mature for many years. I think there was some last remaining, I would say, skepticism about AI in the enterprise, whether it’s ready for prime time or not and all that noise. But since, I think, last November with ChatGPT going public, I think even my mother realizes now that AI is a real thing, it’s not magic. Everybody realizes that it can definitely bring value to enterprises. The question is how do we do that in a safe way? How do we do that in a controlled way, in a compliant way? Because enterprise is all about data privacy, it’s all about security, it’s all about controllability. So that’s where the focus of Omilia has been also to bring this amazing new technology out to the enterprise market in a way that it brings real value.

Amanda Razani: Yeah, it seems like ChatGPT just exploded on the market rapidly, and now everyone I know is using it, which is so great because it has really opened so many doors. But there is that concern about safety, and I know especially I’m hearing a lot about deepfakes. How do we protect against these very high quality deepfakes? How do we know what’s real and what isn’t real moving forward?

Dimitris Vassos: Well, it’s an arms race really. The same technology that enables fraudster today to attempt fraud is the same technology that will also protect us from fraudsters. So the same technology that creates the deepfakes, if you turn it on its side, it’s that technology that helps you also figure out that it is a deepfake. So really what we are trying to do now is stay ahead of the race and equip enterprises with the latest and greatest, which we keep updating continuously, so that we can be one step ahead of fraud of deepfakes and all that, which I really believe it’s going to be a very big thing in the coming years, not just for enterprise, but for social as well.
We will see that the explosion of deepfakes. Now we may see deepfakes as funny things that we see on Instagram or for our entertainment, but make no mistake, there is fraudsters there which are getting more and more familiar with these generative AI technologies. They’re definitely orchestrating campaigns to rule the world. Definitely enterprises that we’re talking to understand that and they are arming up to defend themselves.

Amanda Razani: Yeah, I know across different parts of the world, including the US, the governments are trying to get control of AI and put some regulations in place, which is good and definitely needs to be done. So let’s talk a little bit more about implementation of AI in the enterprise. From your experience, what are some of the roadblocks that business leaders have when they’re trying to implement this new technology and what are your solutions?

Dimitris Vassos: Yeah, classic roadblocks would be data privacy, because these technologies require data so that they can be trained to bring the desired results and data is a very sensitive topic. You need to have as an enterprise, very good governance of your data so that you can allow people to use that data in a safe way. So that’s a big focus. Another, I think, topic that is top of mind for enterprises is controllability. We all know about generative AI and the term hallucinations, and even if we don’t go to the extreme of hallucinations where the model will just bluntly lie in its response, there are other issues where all enterprises have a culture, they have a brand that they want to bring and communicate to their customers with, and how do we make generative AI compliant to that brand that we want to project? So controllability really of AI and techniques to achieve that.

Amanda Razani: As this technology rapidly is advancing. What is the one key takeaway you’d want to leave our audience with today as it applies to AI?

Dimitris Vassos: I think if I was to choose one thing, I would say what we are experiencing today with AI, and I’m old enough to remember, is what we experienced with the internet back a few decades. It’s when the internet came out, we didn’t really understand what it meant. We thought, okay, this is a gimmick for geeks, or this is for businesses only. But now we understand that it’s okay to not have running water. It’s maybe okay not to have power in our house, but if the internet goes down, that’s not acceptable. So it’s become the lifeblood of our lives. I think AI is heading that way. It’s going to be such a big part of everybody’s life that those who don’t embrace AI now are going to definitely be left behind.

Amanda Razani: Absolutely, thank you for leaving your insights with us today.

Dimitris Vassos: Absolutely. Thank you very much.