Semeon – Dawn of the Future!

Semeon - Dawn of the Future! Alkis Papadopoullos

As the world pushes for digitalization and automation, the AI industry has been receiving widespread attention with keen eyes on every move. Many companies have risen to the opportunity and are battling to become one of the top AI solution providers.

When talking about the leaders and innovators of the AI industry, meet Semeon. Semeon has changed the AI industry with its innovative and disruptive solutions. Their services are not only a step ahead of the competition but also lead the learning curve of the industry.

During a short period, they have developed a service arsenal that has become one of the most sought-after in the industry, embedding their brand as one of the top names in the AI space. The team of Semeon comprises industry professionals with diverse experience, that combine their ideas and creativity to create services that have set a benchmark for the whole industry.

A leap into the Future – Semeon

Semeon was founded in 2014 with its base of operations in Montreal, Québec. Despite being a young company, they quickly positioned themselves as a leading supplier of Voice of the Customer and Customer Experience data analysis. They shook the industry with their bleeding-edge technology rooted in both classic and deep machine learning approaches.

Semeon is an AI-driven text analytics Platform empowering Customer Experience.

Semeon and its team in a brief amount of time were quickly able to showcase the ability to automatically process complex unstructured customer feedback data in several industries and from many different sources (emails, call center data, survey feedback, web interactions, etc.). 

Semeon overcomes language complexity by detecting irony, sarcasm, cultural context, and bias and helps gather a correct representation of what customers are saying, enabling brands to be as responsive as possible. To become customer-centric is to be able in quasi-real-time to grasp the meaning behind what your customers say and the words they use. This helps your company build the best customer experience possible, informing adequately customer support, marketing, communication, product, and innovation departments while supporting organization transformation of processes, culture, and overall management.

They offer these groundbreaking services with unparalleled accuracy, and industry best support. This allowed Semeon and its team to help many of its customers cut Voice of the Customer analysis time tenfold, increase turnaround time for responses and significantly reduce costs. All these factors add to the brand name of Semeon, making them one of the most innovative artificial intelligence solution companies.

Initial hurdles faced by Semeon?

During their journey to become one of the leading names in the Artificial Intelligence field, the company had to go through two major challenges – one technical and the second financial.

They had to develop best of breed automated text analytics capabilities to process complex unstructured text that consists of written feedback from clients on all manner of products, services, etc., and ensure that they were well able to understand the underlying sentiment used to express their feedback. 

During their initial stages, several companies were attempting this with little success and little accuracy and doing so primarily in English. Semeon was attempting to achieve high automation rates, high accuracy with a command in several languages. The company and its team met this challenge head-on, leveraged more than 150 person-years in advanced machine learning expertise to achieve this technical goal in less than 3 years.

The second key challenge was convincing large corporations and government agencies that a small company could indeed rival the larger players in this space, all the while also trying to convince investors to back their ideas and productizing efforts. This challenge was also decimated by them through a network of nimble angel investors.

Factors that established Semeon’s success?

During their early stages, they were able to close their largest contracts with two of the largest public relations and communications firms in the world. The first is based in Montreal with offices in most major cities, had sophisticated market trend and consumer analytics challenges that they needed to tackle to accelerate the ability to pitch proposals, publicity campaign ideas, etc. to their Global 1000 customer base. This was needed to be achieved fast and often in at least three languages, namely English, French and Spanish.

The second large PR firm needed help with its largest customers’ brand and product positioning in the Emirates, ME, and Levant regions of the world. This allowed the team of Semeon to showcase deeply accurate consumer feedback analysis data from both public online sources and private sources in Arabic and English. Both led to a massive uptake in Semeon’s reputation as a strong entrant to help with Customer Feedback and Voice of the Customer analysis on an international scale.

This goes on to showcase the expert solutions offered by Semeon, which delivers on its promises with unwavering precision, stick-to-itiveness, and a single-minded dedication to customer satisfaction, with a dabble of strong technological differentiation.

All these factors added to the reputation of Semeon, propelling their growth, and establishing them as one of the breakthrough AI solutions providers.

Futuristic service offerings of Semeon, and what sets them apart?

Semeon focuses primarily on SaaS and PaaS-based customer feedback and voice-of-the-customer analysis solutions. These are available through easy-to-use online dashboards that help our clients quickly see and understand key trends in their own customers’ feedback, irrespective of the topic, source, or language. 

Autonomy is important, and they work hard to ensure that despite the high complexity involved in analyzing customer feedback data, it is easy for users to navigate key ideas, trends, and problems raised by those providing feedback about products, services, public policy initiatives, etc. 

To achieve the same, and stay ahead of the learning curve, they are continuously staying abreast of the latest mathematical approaches in machine-learning and knowledge representation efforts (the latter being a library science discipline) and working to integrate those the team deems the most useful to the technical challenges raised by the type of data we analyze.

As the AI industry is constantly evolving and undergoing surreal changes, how does Semeon adapt, and stay ahead of the competition?

Semeon and its team believe that the most important key is continually working to integrate their analysis technology into environments where customer feedback and the voice of the customer data are collected and stored. This typically involves developing layers around analysis engines for connecting to CRM, ECM, and BI systems. 

They also go a step beyond by integrating with the largest survey and customer feedback data collection companies, call center software, and Speech-to-Text solutions. They believe that containerization and microservices-based approaches for automating these types of connectors via APIs are the way to go. 

As mentioned above, staying abreast of the latest mathematical approaches in machine-learning and knowledge representation efforts and working to integrate those the team deems the most useful is essential.

Although the process seems complicated, this is where Semeon’s team takes the stage with their expertise and successful implementation across diverse companies. This process of constant evolution, striving for perfection, and pushing for innovation is what sets them apart, and enables them to stay ahead of the competition.

“Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind” – Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

Brains powering the AI revolutions – Semeon

A highly technological and advanced company not only requires vision and expertise, but also resolute leadership, taking the reins of the company and team, fueling their motivation, and taking them to success! 

Semeon and its team have been blessed with an unmatched and charismatic leadership that not only fosters innovation, but also enables the team to grow, and the company to take its rightful and deserved position in the AI industry.

Alkis Papadopoullos is the Founder and CTO of Semeon.

Alkis is an experienced Chief Technology Officer with a demonstrated history of working in search engine technology development, and advanced data analytics solutions applied to a wide range of industries including marketing and advertising, finance, CPG, Telecom, Security, etc.

He commands through skills in complex data structure analysis, cutting edge machine learning algorithms, Artificial Intelligence applied to human behavioral patterns and transactional data, Software as a Service (SaaS), Start-ups, Product Development, Business Intelligence, and managing top tier teams. 

Alkis truly is an inspiration and a model showcasing strong entrepreneurship. He holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Physics, from Université du Québec – Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique with one of the premier labs in North America, that collaborated with world-class research groups at Bell Labs, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and PSL Sciences et Matériaux.

As AI is relatively new, the applications are still being tested in various fields and domains. What does Alkis think is the future of AI?

With the advent of deep learning approaches, AI is entering so many facets of our lives in numerous industries that the biggest challenge I believe AI technology and proponents face is not technological but ethical. There are already today a plethora of AI approaches that can be used, but at the end of the day, what many forget is that AI is only as good as the data it is trained with. 

As they say: Garbage In, Garbage Out. We must be very careful as training sets required today are huge, so much so that it is henceforth more and more difficult to have human analysts supervise said data, a process known as data curation. This is critical as proper data curation is the only way to ensure that data bias, and data errors are eliminated from training sets. 

As an example, if an AI agent or module is being trained to understand dialog and discourse between individuals online, and the majority of data that it is subjected to show confrontational and polarizing exchanges between individuals, the agent will learn that this is an appropriate way to exchange ideas. It is not as we have seen from acute failures of common social media platform’s AI algorithms to minimize manipulation, fake news, and hate speech. The field of data curation will require innovative means to assist critical thinking analysts to wade through, understand, and cleanse these massive training data sets. 

There is also a massive environmental cost to use these new types of deep learning approaches, as the data center size and cooling costs are exploding, but that is possibly a story for another article!

Alkis’s views on the responsibilities of an entrepreneur?

Leadership qualities. Lead by example, inspire and maximize what your company and team can do by making the most of their strengths, but understand that they are human beings and treat them as such with respect and trust.

Alkis’s views on constant vigilance as a need or a strategy?

Neither. It is an illusion. Vigilance though important, cannot be constant, for should it be, it would become too all-consuming and a paralyzing factor. We should be vigilant but must at some point trust our instinct, judgment, and competence to push our ideas forward, and not constantly worry about everything else going on out there!

How does Alkis cope with the rat race in the market?

Daedalus. Don’t be another rat. Be the one building the maze instead!

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