Not Your Father’s Toolbox

SEMA News—September 2017 


By Joe Dysart

Not Your Father’s Toolbox

New Ready-to-Run Artificial Intelligence Business Tools

You can start dabbling in artificial intelligence right now—and for free—with open-source software such as Datumbox (

Of course, it’s always your call if you want to trust an entity whose heart literally beats with all the warmth of an Intel or similar multiprocessor. But if you’re curious about what the future of business software will look like, here’s a sampling of what’s coming down the pike.

Artificial Intelligence App Makers

You can start dabbling in artificial intelligence right now—and for free—with open-source software such as Datumbox ( Targeted to businesses with one or more programmers on staff (or an extremely brave PC power-user), Datum is an AI platform that enables you to design and build your own AI apps from scratch.

Specific tools you can create with Datumbox include:

  • AI Sentiment Analyzers: These tools enable you to unleash an app on social media and similar digital locations that will see what people are saying about your company and/or products and services and also determine if the sentiments behind those posts are
    positive, negative or neutral.
  • AI Text Readability Analysis: This tool can be used to ensure that your marketing copy is extremely accessible or, conversely, appeals to a more discriminating audience.
  • AI Gender Analysis: Whether its soaring praise or withering criticism, this tool will enable you to determine who is behind posts about your company, a man or a woman.

Similar software includes Lexalytics ( and Bitext (

AI Dashboard Maker

One of AI’s notable characteristics is its ability to retrieve data from all corners of the web and then package it in easy-to-understand graphic dashboards. Qlik (, for example, enables you to develop AI dashboards that can monitor dozens, hundreds or even thousands of websites and/or web properties across cyberspace and then bring back all that data for instant analysis.

With Qlik, you’ll be able to compare and contrast the performance of all your websites in terms of clicks, visits, purchases, successful calls to action and more. Plus the software promises to bring back associations and insights you may not have thought to consider. Similar products include Metric Insights ( and Tableau (

AI Self-Designing Websites

Not all of us are Da Vincis in the making. Fortunately, with Grid (—an online service that will auto-design a website for you—that doesn’t matter when it comes to designing your online business presence. With Grid, you simply upload the content you want on your website—text, images and video—and the service places everything just where it’s supposed to go.

Once all of your components are in place, you also have the ability to tweak the resulting design. You can get an in-depth look at how Grid works with its introductory video (56 minutes) on YouTube. A similar online service is Wix (

Nick Brestoff, founder of Intraspexion, makes AI software that can sniff out lawsuits before they happen.

AI Call-Center Matchmaker

Any business exec who has winced listening to a call-center rep clashing with a customer will want to look into Affinti ( Designed to find birds-of-a-feather personality matches between your call-center reps and your customers, Affiniti processes more than one billion calculations a second in its never-ending quest to sniff out the personality of anyone who happens to be calling your business.

Essentially, this AI software works by retrieving, storing and analyzing psychographic and demographic data on customers across the United States, which it sources from the world’s identity data brokers, including Allant, Axciom, Experian, Facebook, LinkedIn and Targus. Specific data Affiniti is incessantly gobbling includes income level, credit-card usage, profession, gender, telecommunication usage patterns, responsiveness to marketing, political persuasion and travel habits.

Most likely, it also knows if your toenails need trimming.

Meanwhile, Affiniti analyzes the other side of the equation—the personalities of your call center reps—by studying how your reps interact with customers over a 60- to 90-day period and by crunching data from a 20-minute survey that you can administer to your call-center reps when they’re first hired. The result: In a perfect world, you get a match made in bits-and-bytes heaven that hopefully will result in a better customer-service experience and perhaps heavier sales.

AI Early-Warning Lawsuit Alerter

When it comes to lawsuits, the only thing better than an attorney who strikes sheer terror into the opposition is one who can scope out potential lawsuits before they happen and steer you clear of any trouble. That’s the premise behind Intraspexion (, ingenious lawsuit-prevention software developed by seasoned attorney Nick Brestoff.

Intraspexion works by relentlessly analyzing every single email your employees send to or receive from the outside world and then studying those emails for telltale signs of trouble ahead. As soon as it finds an email that it believes could be the start of an impending lawsuit, it instantly alerts your attorney or in-house counsel, requesting human intervention.

According to Brestoff, Intraspexion’s accuracy had been verified by a third party source at 99%. Interestingly, Intraspexion is built on Google TensorFlow (, a free open-source deep-learning software developed by researchers and engineers on the Google Brain team.

“TensorFlow is quickly becoming a viable option for companies interested in deploying deep learning,” said Rajat Monga, engineering leader for TensorFlow at Google.

The software is being pilot tested by a New York Stock Exchange-level company and is currently programmed only to analyze employee emails for potential employee discrimination suits, simply because those suits are among the most common. But Brestoff said that he can easily rework his code to do the same kind of monitoring for breach-of-contract suits, fraud suits, and more than 150 other categories of lawsuits that businesses must dodge every day. 

Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan.


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