SRI International launches Kasisto, a next-generation virtual personal assistant

Kasisto WEBSRI International has announced the launch of Kasisto, its latest spin-off venture. Using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology, Kasisto aims to improve the consumer experience on mobile devices through intelligent conversation.

Siri, also an SRI spinoff, first popularized the idea of conversation with a mobile virtual personal assistant. Kasisto takes mobile conversation to the next level, enabling consumers to perform complex tasks, which often require deep domain knowledge and human interaction, on a mobile device.

The Kasisto conversational artificial intelligence platform allows enterprises to rapidly and cost-effectively integrate branded conversational virtual personal assistants into their mobile applications.

“Virtual personal assistant technology has revolutionized consumer interaction with mobile devices,” said Norman Winarsky, Ph.D., vice president, SRI Ventures. “Now consumers expect a more human-like experience when interacting online. Kasisto represents a new user experience –one that  is context aware, personalized, and more effective.”

Kasisto’s first customers are in the financial services industry. The company is leveraging decades of R&D at SRI and work done in collaboration with BBVA, a global financial services group. BBVA is a strategic partner to Kasisto, bringing in-depth knowledge of the banking industry and its regulatory requirements, and deep understanding of customer needs.

“BBVA is committed to moving the banking industry into the 21st century, and our collaboration with Kasisto moves that vision forward,” said Dave Kucera, director of innovation for BBVA’s U.S. unit, BBVA Compass. “Our commitment is to innovation and to the best technologies that enhance customer experience. We expect our work with Kasisto will do just that for us, and for other banks as well.”

Kasisto is being unveiled at the FinTech Innovation Lab Demo Day in New York City. The FinTech Innovation Lab is an annual program featuring six early and growth-stage companies that are developing cutting-edge technology products for the financial services industry. The Lab was co-founded by Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City. Program participants are hand-selected by CTOs from some of Wall Street’s largest banks.

“Through the FinTech program, we were able to work with some of the industry’s top financial institutions and validate the market need for convenient, effective mobile banking,” said Zor Gorelov, CEO and co-founder of Kasisto. “Our innovative approach to intelligent system design, combined with low-cost deployment, will help banks improve customer service and maximize investment in the mobile channel.”