Algo.ai is a fast-growing private SaaS company based outside of Detroit that can trace its origins to Founder and CEO Amjad Hussain who foresaw the potential of Artificial Intelligence to “revolutionize the way we work” even before the AI goldrush hit.
Amjad has always had a passion for building data-driven business intelligence solutions and robust data platforms for large enterprises. He began studying Artificial Intelligence decades ago, and now that developments in computing power and data storage have brought about an AI renaissance, Amjad tapped into a network of talent he had been building for years to launch Algo.ai to bring data-driven workflow automation to the Supply Chain space.
“I have long had a vision of a future where humans and machines work seamlessly together, achieving successes that are much greater than either could accomplish on their own,” reminisces Hussain. Passion led to innovation. Today Amjad is working with an innovative team towards a multi-faceted, flexible, and resilient RPA platform called Algo™ that combines the explainability of business-rules engines with the self-learning capabilities of deep learning and the collaborative nature of human interaction. “We believe this approach can make RPA a much more prolific technology that many more people can use in everyday business scenarios,” says Hussain.
"At Algo.ai we build smart workflows that include both humans and robots. These workflows are not just using a single RPA algorithm to make decisions; rather they use an architecture that is carefully designed to weigh multiple outputs and select the best course of action based on the information that is known."
Founded in 2016 Algo.ai is undoubtedly one of the hottest SaaS companies in the midwest. The company has grown tremendously in three years with headquarters in Metro Detroit, a West Coast office in Los Angeles and a presence in Seattle, New Jersey, and London as well. Designed by MIT trained scientists and engineers, Algo™ is a full-stack RPA platform that has realized significant ROI for all of its customers within months of implementation, evidenced by their impressive track record of zero customer churn.
With its easy-to-use conversational interface and flexible architecture, Algo™ brings integrated augmented reality, natural language understanding, machine learning, and robust optimization technology it’s enterprise clients, which are mainly Fortune 500/1000 retailers, distributors, and manufacturers.
The company’s domain knowledge of supply chain processes allows it to rapidly train Algo™ on analytically rich workflows and business functions – like Demand and Inventory Planning, Sales Forecasting, New Product Lifecycle Management, Assortment Optimization and more. Algo™ is always on, doing tedious work, mining and scoring opportunities, looking for meaningful patterns in data, and creating net new value for its customers worldwide.
Algo™ is the only full-stack workflow automation platform that has proven B2B integration capability including integrated AR applications built on Machine Vision and Deep Learning architectures that connect to real-time organizational data (both Big Data and small), and then turns around and deploys RPA to execute tasks for users.
Innovating Rapid Growth
This innovative software platform combined with the team’s deep domain expertise and strong track record for successful enterprise integrations with tight SLAs makes for a unique recipe that isn’t easily replicated.
Amjad Hussain, Founder & CEO
Amjad attributes Algo.ai’s success to his team’s pioneering spirit, grit, and hard work. Amjad thus sees his role as CEO mainly as a servant leader who promotes a flat organizational structure to ensure each and every employee gets a chance to make their ideas heard and for their innovative spirit to shine. As an organization, they place a significant emphasis on mentoring and tend to hire people more on their potential and enthusiasm rather than a rigid checklist of skills or accomplishments. They also value diversity of thought and experience on the team, believing that creativity is unleashed when diverse minds come together and challenge the status quo.
RPA and the Future of Work
Even so, he is fully aware of the unique challenges facing mass adoption of RPA, especially considering its impact on employment and jobs. “We believe RPA (and more broadly AI) to be accelerators to business, and those that are using it to replace workers are short-sighted. Every new technological revolution brings about changes to the workforce, and RPA is no different. Just as personal computers revolutionized the business world and made many jobs redundant, such as the role of human ‘computers’ who did manual computations, we didn’t see the computer causing large scale layoffs and reduced employment levels. Instead, we saw productivity and creativity rise, companies grow, and whole new sectors of the economy created by the technology people were now able to create with computers – for example, the software industry. So we believe RPA to be an analog to that, enabling workers to use RPA to reduce some of the redundancy and tediousness of their jobs, allowing them to be more strategic and creative. This will create in the coming years untold numbers of jobs we would have never imagined,” clarifies Hussain.
Moreover, he adds that currently, robots are only intelligent in a very narrow sense. “They can take decisions and make sense of information based on training and historical data. They can also continue to learn based on the actions of their human counterparts through ongoing learning or periodic re-training, but they cannot make new types of decisions on the fly or think outside the box like people. This is why RPA with no human element is very limited and brittle.”
Amjad believes his approach –which can be better described as hybrid-RPA – to be more pragmatic, as there is always a chance that a robot can either have an error based on flawed training data, bias, or some other unknown. “This is why at Algo.ai we build smart workflows that include both humans and robots. These workflows are not just using a single RPA algorithm to make decisions; rather they use an architecture that is carefully designed to weigh multiple outputs and select the best course of action based on the information that is known. The system evaluates it’s own level of confidence and hands the task off to a human if there is a chance of a low-confidence answer or possible erroneous action that could have negative consequences,” says Hussain. This approach is advantageous in several ways over traditional RPA that tries to program out the human interaction, especially considering that Algo™ can continue to learn from users leading to better efficiency, higher adoption, and faster ROI.
The company is continually reinvesting its profits into R&D and expanding the capabilities of its team and technology. With the recent launch of AlgoVision Lab – an innovation lab that takes cutting edge AI research from an academic setting to the real world, there should be many more exciting innovations to watch in the coming year. Additionally, Amjad and his team are focused on advancing the core product roadmap for the Algo™ platform. Meanwhile, they are always on the look-out for great talent and particularly small entrepreneurial teams that have come up with unique technology that they can roll into the Algo™ platform.
In the future, the company will be seen speeding up its international expansion just as they expanded their presence outside of the US with a team in London last year. Clearly, this is the start of something big, and we will be watching what comes next from Algo.ai.