Kiwi AI Startup takes global stage with IBM Think 2019


Auckland: Kiwi AI company Spacetime recently work showcased on the global stage at the prestigious IBM Think 2019 in San Francisco, where it was invited to present on its Knowledge Discovery Engine for healthcare.

The Auckland-based company – the only ANZ company presenting at the event, which attracted more than 30,000 attendees – provides a range of AI solutions to provide increased customer insights, intelligent virtual assistants and automation of business processes through machine learning.

Alex Bartley Catt, Managing Director of Spacetime says Spacetime’s attendance at the event has bolstered their international recognition. “Our session was well attended by a cross-section of industries from around the world who understood the potential of natural language search.

“Being invited to attend such a prestigious event so early in our company’s development has been invaluable in enabling us to develop new contacts and business leads.”

The Knowledge Discovery Engine for healthcare solution provides healthcare professionals with accurate real-time search that can graphically highlight relationships between drugs and other relevant entities.

The solution can save time for healthcare professionals, providing them with quick access to relevant information using natural language questions, while also highlighting potentially risky prescribing.

The solution was developed as part of the IBM Watson Build challenge for 2018, with Spacetime taking an impressive runner up position for Asia Pacific.

Alex Bartley Catt says, “We started Spacetime to solve problems for people by leveraging artificial intelligence technologies and design thinking. In this instance, we wanted to solve problems for healthcare professionals by making it quick and easy for them to access the information they need. IBM saw the value in this solution and asked us to share it on the global stage.”

A verbal Google search for health – with added benefits

Much like the commonly used Google search, Spacetime’s solution brings information together from multiple sources and allows users to search through that information by asking questions in plain English.

But the Knowledge Discovery Engine goes a step further in providing a graphic, enabling users to visualise the relationship between the returned search results.

Dr Peter Catt, Director of Customer Solutions who presented at the event notes “Not only does the solution allow doctors to focus more on patients by reducing the time to find critical clinical information, it highlights potentially risky prescribing through a built-in knowledge graph.

“Research shows that when the wide-ranging information needs of doctors are met, patient outcomes are improved. However, accessing the required information is often difficult with doctors facing barriers including uncertainty about which resource to use, time wasted accessing multiple platforms and low confidence in using those platforms to get the information they require.

“Spacetime’s solution directly addresses those problems by allowing professionals to access the information they need through a single, easy-to-use interface.”

Moving beyond health

The same knowledge engine can be used across industries and is especially useful for quickly finding detail in complex documents, for example, insurance policies, legal documents and training or repair manuals. All of its uses reduce the time spent by professionals finding information. The solution also has built-in speech recognition, so questions can be either typed or spoken.

The use of AI driven natural language interaction provides an intuitive and human-friendly interface that anyone can use, enabling them to get value from the solution early, while gaining valuable insight with ease. The use of Natural Language Understanding technology also enables new insight and analysis by enriching the previously unstructured data contained in the document sets used.

Dr Catt says, “Natural language search is a really exciting development as these systems understand the users intent and provide much more accurate search results than basic keyword searches.”

Spacetime is a team of New Zealand-based Artificial Intelligence and Design Thinking specialists working to enable smarter interactions between people and computers. Spacetime adopts Design Thinking as a framework for identifying and understanding problems worth solving. Founded in 2017, Spacetime is working with businesses and government to solve a range of important problems with Natural Language Understanding and other cognitive technologies.