Welcome to Enterprise Radio, the signature show of the Enterprise Podcast Network featuring some of the most prominent business professionals in the world today. And now your host, Eric Dye.
Host Eric Dye: This is Eric Dye. And once again, welcome to Enterprise Radio, part of EPN, the Enterprise Podcast Network. Today on the program, we’re speaking with Chris Piche, the founder and CEO of Smarter AI, a groundbreaking enablement software platform for AI cameras. Chris, thanks so much for joining us here today.
Chris Piche: Thanks for having me. It’s my pleasure to be here.
Host Eric Dye: Good to have you with us. Thanks for your time and looking forward to hearing more about Smarter AI. Tell us a little about Smarter AI and what inspired you to start this company.
Chris Piche: Sure. Smarter AI is a software platform for AI cameras. Smarter AI is to cameras as Android and iOS are to phones. I was inspired to start Smarter AI about ten years ago when I helped a little Canadian company called BlackBerry develop the first BlackBerry smartphone. Soon, I saw how quickly the iPhone and Android phones disrupted the mobile phone market.
When I founded Smarter AI four years ago, it was because I saw the same disruption that had happened in the phone market ten years ago was about to happen in the camera market. Ten years ago, we used our BlackBerry, Motorola, or Nokia phones. Then a couple of critical enabling technologies – mobile broadband networks and touchscreen computing – made smartphones possible.
iPhone and Android leveraged these enabling technologies to figure out the product market fit – in other words, they figured out how to make a popular smartphone. Once they identified the product market fit, the market share of mobile phones shifted very quickly. In about 2 to 3 years, smartphones became popular.
Four years ago, I predicted that, in the same way we had legacy phones ten years ago, we would soon have legacy cameras, recording video, storing it on a disk, or maybe playing it on a screen. Even today, though there’s a lot of valuable data in that video, most of it needed to be analyzed because it was too time-consuming for a person or even a team to review all that video.
In the same way that smartphones were made possible by mobile broadband networks and touchscreen computing, I thought that two new enabling technologies, neural network models and neural network accelerators, would soon make AI cameras a reality.
An AI camera automates the process of reviewing and understanding all the video that it captures to tell us when something important or interesting happens. And in the same way that Android and iOS enabled iPhone and Google smartphones, I realized that a similar software platform was needed to enable AI cameras. That was my inspiration for Smarter AI.
Host Eric Dye: Well, it’s impressive that you saw a need in the space. You were paying attention enough to fill the gap there. Good stuff. AI has undoubtedly revolutionized various industries, including surveillance and security; however, with the rise of AI cameras, privacy concerns have also emerged. How does Smarter AI address these privacy concerns while seeing the power of artificial intelligence?
Chris Piche: Privacy is indeed a crucial aspect of AI cameras. At Smarter AI, we’re committed to privacy by design. So, instead of building our cameras and then going back to figure out how to protect the camera data, data privacy is one of our fundamental design principles.
Our Smarter AI platform enables state-of-the-art, privacy-enhancing technologies, such as edge AI. Instead of sending all the video by a camera back to our servers or somewhere else in the cloud for analysis, we can perform the analysis on the camera level with edge AI.
Whatever data is captured by a Smarter AI camera, including potentially personal data, that data never leaves our cameras unless our customer chooses to do so. In addition, we provide tools that empower our customers to control access to their cameras and data.
Host Eric Dye: I do appreciate the details there. And it’s no surprise that you’re all over it when it comes to privacy concerns for sure. Now, as the Founder and CEO of Smarter AI, you are at the forefront of entrepreneurship in the AI industry.
What inspired you to start this venture? And what unique challenges did you face in building and scaling a company focused on AI enablement?
Chris Piche: I was inspired by smartphones when I played a small role in the smartphone revolution. Ten years ago, I used my BlackBerry or Motorola phone for 5 minutes daily. I’d send a couple of text messages and make a couple of phone calls, and that’s about all. Today, I use my smartphone for close to 5 hours per day because it is so much more useful. I was inspired by the opportunity to transform cameras in the same way by enabling them with artificial intelligence.
You asked about challenges. We have opportunities to serve customers in many different industries with AI cameras.
One of the most challenging things for me, and for many entrepreneurs, is to say no. It’s tempting to pursue all of the opportunities that come our way. One of the keys to our success has been precisely that – to say, there are no opportunities outside our focus.
Host Eric Dye: I appreciate the visit and introducing Smarter AI to the audience. We’re speaking with Chris Piche, the founder and CEO of Smarter AI, a ground-breaking enablement software platform for AI cameras. He’s joined us today on Enterprise Radio, a part of EPN, the Enterprise Podcast Network.
AI cameras have already proven their value in numerous applications, from enhancing security to improving public safety. Looking ahead, what do you envision for the future of AI cameras, and how do you think they will continue to impact our lives?
Chris Piche: The future of AI cameras promises huge benefits for people from all walks of life. In public safety, AI cameras will play a crucial role in preventing and mitigating crimes, ensuring safer public spaces, and even aiding law enforcement agencies in their investigations. AI cameras will also optimize industrial processes, improve traffic management, and enhance customer experiences through personalized services.
To unlock this potential, we need to continue investing in real-time analytics and edge AI to enable AI cameras to process and interpret video more efficiently. Computer vision models will continue to become more sophisticated, capable of understanding more complex events, recognizing people and extracting valuable insights with greater precision.
However, as we mentioned earlier, it will be crucial to balance the benefits of AI cameras respecting personal data privacy and ensuring data is used responsibly and transparently.
Host Eric Dye: Now, regarding advice, I’m sure listeners would love to hear from you. What advice would you give entrepreneurs interested in building AI-powered products or services?
Chris Piche: My first advice would be to start small and focus on solving a particular problem.One of the exciting things about AI for me and many others is that it is applied to solve innumerable problems. But as an entrepreneur, it’s important to identify and solve one valuable problem.
Secondly, of course, surround yourself with a strong team. We all know the expression “location, location, location” in real estate. In technology, it’s all about people and teams. Focus on solving an important problem and surround yourself with the best people and team.
Host Eric Dye: That’s sound advice from you, and I appreciate that. As we conclude, how do you envision AI shaping society for the next generation? And what are the potential benefits and challenges that would come with that?
Chris Piche: In terms of benefits, there are a lot of them. Healthcare is really exciting. AI will enable us to manage our health and get ahead of potential health problems before they become serious. AI has the potential to democratize health care by putting the best quality health care in the hands of every person in the world, not just those of us who can afford the most expensive insurance.
AI will have a significant impact on education. AI will allow us to personalize education according to individual needs and the speed at which different people learn.
And then, in smart cities or smarter cities, AI will help our governments allocate resources and manage energy consumption and transportation systems to do a much more efficient job of managing our cities.
In terms of challenges, there are a couple that stand out.
One that we discussed earlier is data privacy. Data privacy is a challenge where our governments must step up and play a role. Anytime in recent history when there have been new technologies, there has also been a role for the government to regulate those technologies and set boundaries to balance the benefits and the potential risks.
The second challenge is job displacement. As AI automates processes, whether in healthcare, education, or city management, this will also present the opportunity and challenge of taking the people who were employed in those roles and finding new ways for those people to contribute to society.
Host Eric Dye: Well, Mr. Piche, we do appreciate your time. All the insight and information shared certainly helped me learn a lot from hearing from you today on behalf of Smarter AI. And speaking of which, if listeners wanted to get more information on Smarter AI, where’s the best place online to do so?
Chris Piche: Our website, https://smarterai.camera/.
Host Eric Dye: And that certainly is easy enough. And we’ll include that link within the show notes of this broadcast to aid the audience. Again, Mr. Piche, all the best. Thanks for joining us here today on Enterprise Radio.
Chris Piche: Thanks again for having me.
Host Eric Dye: And you’re more than welcome anytime again. We’ve been speaking with Chris Piche, the Founder and CEO of Smarter AI, a groundbreaking enablement software platform for AI cameras. And for all the details, visit smarterai.camera. And this is Eric Dye. You’ve been listening to Enterprise Radio, a part of EPN, the Enterprise Podcast Network. Tune into our live location as we are streaming live 24/7 around the world at epodcastnetwork.com/live. You can also find our live stream on iTunes Radio and tune-in radio and the tune-in radio app for your listening convenience. And as always, we thank you for your support and tuning in.