* – This article has been archived and is no longer updated by our editorial team –
ObEN is an artificial intelligence company in Pasadena, California building Personal AI (PAI), intelligent 3D avatars that look, sound, sing and behave like the individual user. ObEN has adopted the Project PAI blockchain to secure and authenticate our PAI, allowing ObEN’s technology users to create, use, and manage their own PAI on a secure, decentralized platform. Below is our recent interview with Nikhil Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of ObEN:
Q: How did you come up to the idea for Personal Artificial Intelligence platform?
A: When my cofounder Adam Zheng and I first met, we both had incredibly hectic schedules that took us on business trips all over the world. One of our earliest conversations was about how much we wanted to leave a copy of ourselves at home while we traveled, so that our kids wouldn’t miss us so much when we were away. Realizing many people must share a similar desire, we began pursuing the technology that ultimately became ObEN’s Personal AI.
Q: Tell us more about the technology behind ObEN?
A: Our’s is a full-stack AI technology – which means that everything is created in-house, from the computer vision technology that creates the face, to the Speech and NLP technology that creates the voice and the chatbot abilities of each PAI. While many companies work on these elements individually, ObEN is the only company currently combining all these components, along with the underlying machine learning technology, into our core offering. In addition, our researchers have worked to minimize the amount of data needed to create these PAI’s – in the consumer facing version of our technology, all that’s need is a single selfie and short voice recording, and a user’s individual PAI is generated in seconds.
The applications for PAI are numerous – from personal assistants to PAI doctors for healthcare or PAI’s for education.
Q: You’ve recently announced the premiere of the first-ever Personal AI (PAI) art docent experience at the museum-retail space Shanghai K11 Art Mall; could you tell us something more?
A: ObEN’s strategy is to work with strategic partners to create solutions that allow us to bring our product to specific verticals. K11, one of Asia’s largest luxury retail players, saw the value of the Personal AI experience and previously invested 10 million into ObEN (our other investors include Tencent, Softbank, SM Entertainment and Vive X). Their retail spaces are unique in that they combine retail with art to create the world’s first Art Mall, and as part of their new exhibit at K11 Shanghai, we are launching the world’s first PAI concierge. The PAI of K11 founder Adrian Cheng, created and powered by ObEN’s technology, will serve as a personal guide for visitors at their new exhibit, providing information on select works, exhibit facts, curation process, and information about the artists, all through a visitor’s mobile device. The exhibit includes works from both American ceramic artist Betty Woodman and acclaimed Chinese painter Zhao Yang.
Q: How important is information security for you?
A: Information security is incredibly important to ObEN, not only because we deal with biometric data like your likeness and voice, but also because we recognize that our PAI can eventually serve as our user’s digital identity. That is why ObEN has adopted the Project PAI blockchain to authenticate and secure the PAI’s created with our applications.
The Project PAI Foundation is creating an open source blockchain protocol for Personal AI. On this decentralized network, all the PAI’s and associated data will be owned and controlled by the user, not any one company. Because the blockchain is open source, any developer and work to build experiences using PAI creating a ecosystem where everyone can use their PAI, and every PAI interaction can help to improve both the user experience and the overall capabilities of PAI’s on the network. Most importantly, the PAI’s are all authenticated and secured to ensure only you can create your own PAI, and your PAI can’t be misused.
Q: What is the ultimate goal for ObEN?
A: Our vision at ObEN is to enable everyone in the world to create, own and manage their own PAI. There are so many everyday tasks that take up our spare time, minimizing the work we can do, the time we can spend with our family, or the time we have just to do what we enjoy. By adopting an open source blockchain like the Project PAI blockchain, we envision an ecosystem where developers can come in and work on creating PAI based solutions that will help increase the applications of PAI. In addition, because the data on the blockchain is tied to and owned by the user, as people share more data with their PAI they can be compensated for their contributions, while simultaneously making their own and every PAI on the network more capable, allowing them to actively participate in the new AI economy. Eventually, we envision your PAI being able to help you manage your finances, your health records, do your shopping for you, and even manage your schedule.