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ObEN PAI: Building a World of Personal AI Avatars

Published 19 Mar 2020
Reference 6562
Topic Strategy
Region North America
Summary

The case charts the creation and development of ObEN, a Los Angeles start-up that offers two kinds of personal artificial intelligence avatars – consumer avatars that can be created by individuals on their smartphones, and avatars that recreate a celebrity persona (requiring more data). It explores the challenges facing the company: building prototypes, recruiting staff, identifying markets, dealing with public acceptance issues, and attracting funding, while developing new technology and exploiting innovations such as blockchain (the commercial applications of which are still to be identified).

Teaching objectives

1. The entrepreneurial journey from idea to product development: identifying offerings and markets, attracting funding, and building a sustainable business in a competitive environment. The case illustrates the challenges along the way, particularly in the technology arena. 2. Exploiting nascent technologies: in this case an AI application that leverages blockchain technology. Despite the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies, commercial uses of blockchain are still at an early stage. The case explains how blockchain works, and how ObEN uses it to secure digital rights. More generally, it considers the challenge of developing new technologies and turning them into commercial offerings. 3. Identifying business models in a blue ocean space: ObEN identifies two business models for its avatars – in entertainment and healthcare. The case explains how the company developed its offerings, as well as other potential applications of personal AI avatars.

Keywords
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Blockchain
  • Digital Avatars
  • Computer Vision
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Token Economy
  • Entertainment Industry
  • Data Annotation
  • Data Sharing
  • Startups
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Innovation
  • Q12020