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Tampa startup’s AI robot keeps learning

According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company’s estimates, artificial intelligence (AI) could create a $13 trillion increase in economic output by 2030.

Maya Ai, a Tampa-based machine learning platform, hopes to play a significant role in that economic windfall through its patent-pending technology.

Co-founder Sat Ramphal said his startup’s AI robot combines external market research and intelligence data tp create real-time business insights, and conglomerates like IBM are taking notice.

Ramphal, a Tampa native, co-founded the platform with his two brothers, Sean and Shivam. Ramphal said they are building memories for robots together, which he called the initial level of machine consciousness.

“Maya is a self-learning robot,” said Ramphal. “And so, her intelligence is getting smarter day after day, second after second – on her own. It’s pretty wild.”

Maya, said Ramphal, can answer why something happened in the market, ascertain how that relates to a specific industry and help business leaders use the information to propel company efforts. He said the platform currently focuses on the retail, pharmaceutical, healthcare and banking sectors.

Ramphal believes most companies’ problems stem from basing decisions on internal data rather than factoring in external influences. He used the war in Ukraine, global supply chain disruptions and labor shortages as examples.

“We’ve added that layer to help them with the decision-making process a little bit further,” he said.

Co-founder Sat Ramphal.

Users can talk to Maya, said Ramphal, and the bot replies conversationally. For instance, he said someone could ask it how to increase sales by 10% tomorrow, and they would receive a response based on innumerable market data points.

Maya’s co-founders launched the technology to the public earlier this year after pivoting from a previous platform called XiByte. Ramphal said several companies already take advantage of its capabilities. According to its website, Maya integrates with other platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Snowflake and Databricks.

“She is extremely smart out of the box,” he said. “Because we’ve been training her for two years, and she’s continuously learning as time goes along. Granted, two years ago, she was dumb as a box of rocks.”

Ramphal called Maya’s insights unique and not found through typical search engines, as the machine creates inferences based on previously learned data. After hearing several requests for the AI to host a podcast, he and his team made it happen.

Found on the startup’s website and streaming on Spotify and other services, Ramphal said Market Bytes is “the world’s first robo-hosted podcast – and that’s been doing astronomically.” Maya Ai releases episodes weekly, with Wednesday’s installment centering around the impacts of of social media on bullying.

In addition, Ramphal said his AI robot would soon begin taking college courses.

“We’re going to be sending her to a virtual class,” he said. “Because she can take in video and assess it in real-time into her knowledge base, and then take tests and exams and everything based on that. So, just like a student.”

The Maya Ai machine learning interface.

Ramphal noted his initial inclination was to sign Maya up for classes at the local University of South Florida. However, he mentioned other institutions – like the University of Colorado – have shown a willingness to partner. He and his co-founders, said Ramphal, want to determine what school would provide the most significant market impact for the startup.

He explained that most of the AI seen today, like chatbots, is built for the average consumer. He called that technology static and decision-tree-oriented and said it doesn’t constitute true artificial intelligence. What separates Maya Ai, added Ramphal, is the impetus on external data to create deep learning with no guidance.

The bootstrapped startup now has six employees and 14 interns, and the young entrepreneur said he would soon add more to the mix. Maya Ai is participating in the Tampa Bay Wave’s TechDiversity 2022 Accelerator program, and Ramphal expects to begin focusing on “Generation 3 Maya” at the end of the year.

“Generation 3 Maya is a more intuitive, smarter robot,” he explained. “That can now detect sentiment analysis, feelings, and emotion detection.”


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