We recently sat down with Advanced Intelligent Systems CEO, Afshin Doust, to discuss viewing the AI products we build as a service. It’s a great conversation for anyone curious about the future of AI.
You can catch the entire conversation with AIS CEO Afshin Doust on building AI products and viewing AI as a service in the full episode of Product Talk. Otherwise, the highlights are detailed for you below.

On his love for building AI products

For Doust, the ability to affect change in our world is a driving force.

“I love change, I love making technology accessible, and I love the impact technology’s making on our lives. We see small kids being able to do things that scientists wouldn’t have been able to do 20 years ago. So, when I see how things are more accessible, how the world around us is changing, and how we are impacting the quality of life of everyone through technology, that’s what keeps me going and keeps me interested.”

On machine as a service

Building AI and framing it as a service is an interesting take from Doust.

“I get really excited when we talk about machine as a service. What we did was when we wanted to offer our services to nursery and greenhouse owners, we went out there and we asked what they were willing to pay for it. And one of the hesitations was, well, when it works, we would love to pay for it. But because it’s a new technology, we don’t know how well it’s going to work and what the impact is going to be on our environment. 

So we said, okay, what if we charge you by the amount of impacts we create for you? I’ll give you a very simple example. We went out there and we said, you pay a very small fee for licensing our technology on a monthly basis. And you pay for the amount of work it does, or the impact it creates in your environment. 

Unless we choose the right customer to deploy our technology, we won’t get paid because we will have to be able to conduct proper work and to create an impact in order to get paid for it. So, machine as a service is something that’s enabled through our system, where we can see what we’re doing for the customer, how we are helping their bottom line, and how we build them for that impact is created on their bottom line.”

On what makes a great AI product

The same basic tenants of a great product also apply to building AI products.

“I think a great product has to have impact, but it has to be practical. It shouldn’t lose its novelty and it should be a pleasure to use. You should also alleviate a real pain and add real value to people lives.”

On what makes a great product manager

It takes a special person to be a great product manager.

“They have to have talked the talk and walked the walked, and they should be able to understand the processes and the pain points in different environments so they can produce a product that will hit the bullseye, and will be something exciting to use and will be something that’s a pleasure to use.”

About the speaker
Afshin Doust Advanced Intelligent Systems Inc., CEO Member

Afshin Doust is the CEO at Advanced Intelligent Systems. He is a big believer in empowering teams to achieve their goals. Afshin loves numbers, people and business challenges. Advanced Intelligent Systems started with a team of talented and dedicated engineers focused on the desire to provide custom robotic solutions to industries faced with automation challenges, and have since grown the company to collaborate with five universities and many industry partners, united in a vision to create innovations in autonomous robots to solve labor shortage problems.

About the host
Nikki Ahmadi Universal Electronics, Director of Product - Cloud & Software

Nikki is a cloud and software product Director who works with a global team of talented engineers and architects in designing and implementing innovative solutions from product inception to production. After spending over a decade working in product engineering and management for multimillion dollar technology and start-up companies, Nikki believes what truly drives innovation is not only a commitment to technological breakthroughs but also people’s passion in improving everyday lives by building products that leave a lasting impact, disrupt the industry, and are vehicles of change, while providing the best user experience. When Nikki isn’t working on her next big product release or entrepreneurial endeavors she is spending much needed time with friends and family discussing the latest politics, or simply the meaning of life. She’s an adventurous traveler who also enjoys capturing moments through photography. Nikki also holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering , M.S. in Electrical Engineering and has a corporate innovation certificate as part of the LEAD program.

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