Will.i.am made a name for himself as the frontman for the Grammy-award winning hip-hop group “The Black Eyed Peas” but unbeknownst to most, he is a businessman and a ground-shaker in the tech industry.
Since 2012, I.am+ has made a mark in Silicon Valley for its consumer electronics devices such as headphones.
Now, the company has entered a new phase and garnered more attention when it introduced a new artificial intelligence product called Omega, similar to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. This new direction for the company was announced Mon., Nov. 6 to the surprise of many in the tech industry.
Reuters reports that the electronic assistant is only the beginning of the company’s foray into A.I. There are plans to use the technology to build several more enterprise voice A.I. products in the near future.
Omega has been implemented to power an A.I. customer support chatbot since July of this year with great success.
“I wanted to create something that allows us to do many things,” said Will.i.am, founder and chief executive of the company, in a telephone interview with Reuters. “There’s so much you can do with a voice platform.”
Will.i.am’s company has also made headlines for its recent funding round which included an $89 million investment by a group including Salesforce Ventures made in March. In about five years, the company has gained more than $117 million in total funding, according to estimates.