In this Q&A, SenzIT CEO Shibi Salim explains how the Watson Build Challenge helped his company integrate AI capabilities into Evidencer and create new use cases for this innovative solution.
How did you react when you learned you were the 2017 Watson Build Middle East and Africa Champion?
The team was first shocked and then ecstatic. Deep down we knew we had a chance to win because we truly believe our Evidencer solution fills a critical need for smarter, faster justice.
Creating a cognitive solution using Watson APIs requires innovative thinking. How did you come up with your solution concept?
We heard from government officials who needed to modernize their court systems. They wanted to record video and audio to efficiently archive court proceedings. While some companies have developed e-court solutions in an effort to sell A/V hardware, we saw an opportunity to create a more flexible, software-oriented solution.
We started development in 2010 and sold the product to more than a dozen courts, earning almost 90 percent of the Middle East market share. We continued to improve our product and started working with an IBM Innovation Center back in 2013.
We recognized that incorporating AI capabilities could support additional use cases. For example, using speech-to-text capabilities, Evidencer can help speed up immigration processes that require both audio transcription and translation. Using AI, Evidencer can provide translation in real time, shortening processes by several days and saving money.
Enhancing Evidencer through Watson Build
How did the Watson Build Challenge help you improve your solution?
We had a business plan and were deep into product development before Watson Build. Through the challenge, we integrated Watson APIs and drew from IBM technical resources. Our IBM mentor helped us address some of the small technical issues we encountered.
We also benefited from all the nontechnical assistance. We were amazed at the encouragement of IBM mentors and specialists who helped us present and promote our product. All aspects of product development and launch were covered—right down to the PR and marketing templates that IBM provided, which helped us promote Evidencer across media channels.
Overall, the Watson Build Challenge enabled us to showcase Evidencer on a global level that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. IBM teams provided key insights into product development that made the product more market-ready. We were all working on the same goal—it was truly a “cognitive collaboration.” The ultimate experience was attending IBM Think 2018 and meeting “extended team members” in person.
Why is your solution a game-changer?
Evidencer is a unique platform based on almost a decade of research and development. It can streamline previously time-consuming processes, help ensure fairness and potentially save lives.
By using machine learning and AI technologies, Evidencer can help judges, police officers, border security agents and members of city operations teams make smarter, faster decisions.
Going forward, do you anticipate working with other IBM Business Partners?
Yes. We plan to collaborate with other Business Partners in target regions to hone our go-to-market strategy. We’ve already begun implementing our product suite via connections with other IBM business partners across the Middle East and Africa regions who provide law enforcement, border security, court case management and smart city solutions.
We recently signed a MOU Agreement with one of the largest immigration departments in the Middle East for our Border Security AI system.
Advice for future participants
What advice would you give to companies considering participating in the Watson Build Challenge this year?
Understand that the competition is intense, but it’s a one-of-a-kind program that can unlock tremendous opportunities. Participants should have a strong business focus and a clear, easily understood plan. Also, keep the solution simple, integrating just one or two APIs. If participants put in the time, they can truly benefit from IBM resources and advance on their product journey.
For more information
Thanks, Shibi, for sharing your Watson Build experience! For those of you who want to learn more about SenzIT Evidencer, please visit: http://www.evidencer.us/
To learn more about more SenzIT AI & Cognitive Solutions, visit: http://senzit.net/