AgentifAI – Everyone needs a girl like Alice

 In News, Start-Up

Since entrepreneur Rui Lopes introduced the world to Alice, she has become an absolute sweetheart for over 3 million customers Europe-wide. Essential Business spoke to the founder of AgentifAI to see what is behind her bedside manner.

Text: Chris Graeme
Photos: AgentifAI

We’ve all grown accustomed to Google’s Alexa, the home assistant who selects your music, can find and call a local takeaway restaurant, or set an oven timer in your kitchen.

But when it comes to more business-focused or routine services, like calling the doctor’s surgery to make an appointment or transferring money, we’re still kept waiting in a telephone queue, or make our silent transactions online via laptops or mobile phones.

Or we did, until Alice came onto the scene. Alice is friendly, and understands you and your needs. You won’t be able to take her out for dinner, but she will make sure you get to your doctor’s appointment on time and make payments without having to pop into an ATM Multibanco machine.

Alice is not an actual physical personal assistant, but she is the next best thing. The brainchild of entrepreneur Rui Lopes who came up with the idea in 2016 and created the startup AgentifAI which is based in Braga in the north of Portugal and employs a team of 30 professionals.

AgentifAI specialises in artificial intelligence. Since it was founded, it has attracted €11 million from investment funds like the Next Tech Fund.

And the remarkable thing about Alice is that she is a polyglot, an artificial intelligence robot who speaks in a lifelike and natural manner in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, with bank and healthcare customers.

The unique value proposition of the technology is that it can book appointments for scores of different medical procedures in the case of healthcare, or carry out financial operations easily employing intelligent, natural, empathetic, and human-centric language.

“This more human approach is trailblazing and state-of-the-art, which puts us a step ahead of other players in the market using existing digital assistant technology.”

“For example, you can book a medical appointment or an ultra-scan and electrocardiogram (ECG) or check your bank account balances, transfer money, and even pay your bills using Alice,” says Rui Lopes about the digital assistant that already caters to more than 3 million people in responding to their needs in the areas of health and financial services.

“Alice is the humanised artificial intelligence assistant that is increasingly in people’s ‘hearts’” he adds.

“We developed this tool precisely because some over-the-telephone voice bots have not offered very authentic and good experiences. Alice has made the conversion as close as possible to speaking to an actual human being, offering users a good experience, one that is not frustrating, that really works, and focused on specific sectors, in this case, banking, and healthcare,” he concludes.