Sentient is on tour! This month, Sentient Co-Founder and Chairman Antoine Blondeau and Senior Vice President, Jonathan Epstein, spoke at ShopTalk Europe in Copenhagen and the South Summit competition in Madrid, respectively, about AI personalization in ecommerce and evolutionary computation.
Antoine Blondeau gave a compelling presentation about ecommerce personalization at ShopTalk Copenhagen, a conference that brought together 2000 retailers, brands, startups, and investors to talk about innovation in retail and ecommerce. In his presentation, he brings up the question: “What if you could understand user intent at the point of sale?”
Jonathan Epstein echoed this same concept at his South Summit presentation:
How do you find out what works for today’s users when they change all the time? Business moves fast and the current model of testing user experiences is very slow and manual and most tests fail. Is this layout going to be better? Is this headline going to be better? Is this color going to be better? You just don’t know. And the industry average is that only 1 in every 6 tests wins. At Sentient, we had the opportunity to apply evolutionary AI to solve this problem [and optimize] for websites of all sizes–some big and some not so big. We created Sentient Ascend which applies this evolutionary algorithms to website optimization–currently with websites and mobile web, but soon also advertising as well. Sentient Ascend offers a goal-oriented multivariate testing program that optimizes towards a certain outcome, like higher sales. So where A/B testing can test only two designs at once, our multivariate testing program usually tests around 32-64 designs at a time and can look at millions of different designs and find the best one for your website. This is the secret for evolution: you can find for the best design out of millions of designs with only hundreds of tests.
At South Summit, Jonathan joined 300 international speakers and gave the audience an introduction to Evolutionary Computation in which he compared website optimization to evolutionary success in nature:
What constitutes evolutionary success? For animals and humans it’s about having children–and the more the better. For optimizing websites it’s about conversion, or websites that sell better. For hedge funds, it’s about making money. Think of a website breeding program. Combination as a function says if you take two successful designs, better than average, and you combine them in some way, some of their “kids” will be better than the parents, some won’t be. It’s a way to climb the performance hill. Evolution is really good at looking through large quantities of data and input and very efficiently searching for the optimal design. Sentient holds the record for the largest instance of evolutionary computation. We make sure we explore the unexplored, that we find the unexpected, and that we are searching through the whole solutions map.
South Summit connects creative entrepreneurs with investors and corporations seeking to improve their global competitiveness through innovation. The summit included 100 start up companies in the Startup Competition, 150 international investment funds with a portfolio of $34 billion, 650 investors and business angels, and 300 international speakers.
Want to meet up with Sentient at a conference? Check out our list of upcoming events.