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Australian AI startup takes on Google

Technology

AN Australian software company is so confident its Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology will improve efficiency that it only charges its clients after the program has proved its worth.

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Presagen is a behaviour-based automation start-up in South Australia that uses AI techniques to automate a range of human-centric tasks.

Presagen’s founders, husband and wife team Dr Don Perugini and Dr Michelle Perugini, previously founded global tech company ISD Analytics, which focused on human behaviour prediction.

Their latest venture aims to increase production efficiency by delegating time-consuming work such as administration tasks, accounting, travel, data entry and payroll processing to a custom-built automated assistant.

Managing Director Don Perugini said because of the hype surrounding AI automation, Presagen developed a risk/reward model to help discourage doubters.

“We are happy to back ourselves and devote our own time and money for clients,” he said.

“Clients will work with us to identify a certain problem and once we do that, we go and build that automation system for them and demonstrate that it works – and only if it works and has the ability to roll it out, do they pay a subscription fee.”

Dr Perugini said the technology emerged from the defence industry and allowed companies to automate complex human behaviour too difficult or not possible with mainstream AI techniques that use machine learning such as IBM’s Watson and Google’s DeepMind.

He said Presagen was not aimed at replacing human employees but would help position them to focus on more creative tasks, increasing company productivity by about five per cent.

Dr Perugini’s former company ISD Analytics was acquired by Ernst & Young (EY) in 2015 and was responsible for creating the award-winning predictive analytics product Simulait.

Using Simulait, EY was able to predict the behaviour of a population of consumers to more than 90 per cent accuracy.

Presagen is aimed primarily at the financial services sector but would also eventually be released more broadly.

There are three main layers to Presagen – the first is the platform engine, the second is the library of human behaviours that is programmed into the system and the final layer is made up of modules that automate the human centric tasks such as scheduling meetings or automating security measures.

Presagen’s robust nature means every client can have their own platform designed specifically for their needs.

Don said his intention was to make the software easy to use and have a system that could respond by text and voice.

“It’s really about making life easier for people and allowing them to get software to do things that are simple and time consuming but still complex enough,” Dr Perugini said.

“We captured the cognitive decision process of how people make decisions and the context they make certain choices in.

“We still haven’t seen anyone get to the level of sophistication of what we have done previously and come to this venture with a lot more confidence – with this we plan to take on the big tech giants.”

The company plans to initially use the platform in-house to create a suite of automation products that businesses globally can access on-demand.

It then plans to publicly release its library of human-behaviours and range of task-specific automation products to partners and developers, creating an ecosystem where others can develop their own automation products. 

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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