The Desert of Ica, Peru
Bespoken – AI, Diagnostics and Llamas
We started Bespoken to help people build great AI-based applications – it’s based on the belief that at the foundation of modern software are exceptional automation and diagnostic tools. These are the building blocks from which great systems can be built, confidently and iteratively.
In 2017, I had been working on speech recognition systems for more than five years. At XAPPmedia, we had built the first interactive audio ads for mobile applications – we were slightly ahead of our time 🙂 Prior to that, I founded and led the technology efforts of companies in the RFID space and financial services (fintech). I like to credit Amazon with making sense of my career, as my work in FinTech was based around expert systems (a branch of AI), RFID relates to the internet of things (IoT), and automatic speech recognition (ASR) is obviously an essential part of Alexa – Amazon pulled all these technologies together into a neat package when they launched first Echo Smart Speaker in 2014.
With it, they created a new platform and new opportunities for app developers and content creators. They also created a need for AI-focused diagnostics – the ability to measure, tune and optimize machine-learning driven systems. Bespoken was created to solve exactly these challenges, grounded in my own experience optimizing a complex speech-recognition system, designed to serve thousands of interactive ads per second to mobile devices. The experience was instructive – we found that for every line of code we changed, we might run 1000s of tests. As someone who considered themselves a hardcore programmer, suddenly I found myself deeply entrenched in QA.
That’s because with an AI-based system, we could not stop at functional
tests (though this was also essential). We needed to know with every change if, at scale, users would be better understood, errors reduced, handling of tricky accents improved, etc. These are the questions we were always asking ourselves – it’s a shift to a new mindset, one oriented towards optimization rather than simplistic pass/fail testing decisions.
My co-founder, Frank Raines, and I believed we could play a vital role in helping developers adjust to this new ecosystem. And we are proud to have been there since nearly day one, helping wild-eyed hackers, scrappy startups, and innovative enterprise customers alike along the way. We look forward to helping more as we see where these AI-based platforms will go next.
Our logo, the Bespoken Llama, the trusty beast of burden of the Andes, is meant to symbolize our dedication to helping developers scale these new challenges. It’s also a reference to the fact that I am an expat living in southern Peru with my wife and daughter. We have built our team and company here, and we are proud to be part of the emergent technology scene in Latin America. It’s also a great pleasure for me to take advantage of everything that Peru has to offer – mountain biking, exploring the desert on the Peruvian coast, the Andes and traveling around neighboring parts of Latin America. If you are in the neighborhood, the Pisco Sours are on us 🙂
Don’t just stop by for drinks though – drop me a line to discuss any of the following:
- If you have a Voice App and you are not happy with its performance.
- If your team spends too much time testing manually. We will make your QA 10X faster and your produce 10X less buggy.
- If you want to improve your ratings in the Alexa skill store and get more engagement from your customers.
And last but not least, if you care deeply about voice and AI, and believe it is at the core of your enterprises’s initiatives – we are your people.
Drop me a line – firstname.lastname@example.org or just setup a demo here.
Our Core Values
Creating Automated Voice, together
At Bespoken, we put our members first. Which means empowering our customers. Listening to them. Inviting them to build incredible Voice Experiences with us. We’re committed to improving artificial intelligence with an engaged, supportive community that takes centre stage.
We really care about our team. No small cogs in a giant machine. We want them to enjoy their work and get real satisfaction from it. We’re making sure to provide equal opportunities at Bespoken. We’re starting in Peru where most of our team resides, and on to the rest of the world