A Wave Of Billion-Dollar Language AI Startups Is Coming

Language is at the heart of human intelligence. It is the basis of our communication. It is therefore at the heart of our efforts to build artificial intelligence. No sophisticated AI can exist without mastery of language.

And the field of language AI—also referred to as natural language processing, or NLP—has undergone breathtaking advances over the past few years.

We now stand at an exhilarating inflection point in human history.

Where Language AI is poised to make the leap from academic research, to widespread real-world adoption. Generating billions of dollars of value, and transforming entire industries in the process.

A Technology Revolution

A handful of Startups is at the vanguard of this technological upheaval. These companies have begun to apply cutting-edge NLP across sectors with a wide range of different product visions and business models.

Given language’s foundational importance throughout society and the economy, few areas of technology will have a more far-reaching impact in the years ahead.

Writing Assistants

In today’s information-based economy, perhaps no skill matters more than effective writing.

But good writing is an art. There’s spelling, grammar, diction and tone to consider, and let’s not forget the power of story telling.

As anyone who has experienced writer’s block can attest, writing can be a frustrating experience. The act of translating inchoate thoughts into well-crafted language—of finding the right words—can be time-consuming and unsystematic.

Next-gen NLP promises to transform how humans write, reconceptualizing one of civilization’s most basic and vital activities.

Given some input prompts from a human, these generative models can automatically produce novel sentences, paragraphs or even entire memos that are strikingly coherent, insightful, creative—almost magically so.

This technology will transform writing from an act of solo creation to a collaboration between human and machine.

The AI Writing Startup Surge

This novel paradigm for AI-augmented writing is already starting to become a reality, driven forward by a handful of interesting startups.

The most established player in this category is Grammarly. Founded in 2009, Grammarly has admirably remained abreast of the latest NLP technologies over the years.

The company raised funding late last year at a whopping $13 billion valuation. Grammarly’s product provides automated recommendations for improved spelling, grammar, diction and phrasing in real-time as users write.

New to the (Language AI) Party

Textio, LitLingo, Writer and overwrite.ai are four newer entrants using next-generation language AI to build advanced Grammarly-like solutions for more targeted use cases. Textio focuses on hiring and recruiting, LitLingo on business compliance and risk management. Writer on company-wide style and brand consistency. overwrite.ai, on real estate marketing content.

Trained on millions of property listing samples, overwrite.ai’s NLG engine asks for a set of property particulars from its users, and converts these datapoints into richly woven, often story-themed text, optimised for omni-channel marketing.

The Next (Generation) Frontier

Of the five companies mentioned, four of them use AI primarily to provide recommendations and insights on existing text that humans have already written. Only overwrite.ai goes one step further. To the next frontier in AI-augmented writing. Where the AI generates novel written content itself based on guidance from the human user.

CopyAI is a Tennessee-based startup backed by Sequoia, Tiger Global and Wing VC that auto-generates customized marketing copy. The way it works is simple.

Like with overwrite.ai, CopyAI users enter basic information about their company and select a content format: say, a blog title, a Facebook ad, even an Instagram hashtag.

CopyAI’s NLP engine, which is powered by GPT-3, then spits out ten samples of text at a time for the user to use, adapt, or take inspiration from. According to the company, over half a million content marketers are using its technology today, including at organizations like Nestle and Microsoft.

To temper expectations, we should not expect that today’s NLP will immediately take over all writing from humans. Some forms of writing—brief formulaic content like marketing copy or social media posts—will yield more naturally to these new AI tools than will others. Original, analytical, creative work—say, op-eds, thought pieces or investigative journalism—will resist automation for the time being.

The Transformation to Real-World Adoption

Make no mistake: in the years ahead, whether we like it or not, NLP will fundamentally change how humans produce the written word.

Ten years from now, writing one’s own content from scratch may well be considered an artisanal craft, with the vast majority of the world’s written text produced or at least augmented by AI.

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For Full Article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robtoews/2022/03/27/a-wave-of-billion-dollar-language-ai-startups-is-coming/?sh=23ee0f5f2b14
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