Stuff Digital Edition

Arcanum to launch three new AI assistants to fast track growth

Aimee Shaw Senior Business Reporter

Wellington-based artificial intelligence and automation company Arcanum AI has announced a multi-year collaboration with Amazon Web Services to fast track generative AI adoption for New Zealand small and medium enterprises.

The move comes as part of wider plans to double the size of its business by 2025, and plans to launch three new artificial intelligence (AI) assistants and expand operations into the United States next year, with the support of Amazon Web Services (AWS), a global cloud-based computing company.

Founded in 2016, Arcanum has been at the forefront of building and simplifying the adoption of AI technologies for SMEs in New Zealand and Australia, and has built its business helping hotel and food chain industry finance staff use AI and GPT technology, which automates back-office tasks such as data entry and repetitive email communication.

Arcanum is an AWS AI and machine learning developer partner and, as part of the agreement the companies will work together to increase the adoption of AI.

Arcanum says it wants to help businesses overcome digital skills gaps to enable growth and greater productivity. It is focused on helping SMEs in the hospitality, construction, manufacturing, and financial services sectors with limited or no access to the latest technologies or skills.

According to AWS and research from global consulting company Zinnov, AI adoption helps firms boost productivity and operate 20% faster than their traditional counterparts.

Arcanum chief executive Asa Cox said the company had launched on AWS in 2016 and has been through support programs like AWS Activate, which have enabled it to rapidly scale its business.

AWS provide funding and technical support to help Arcanum scale and launch three new AI assistants and expand into the sustainability, sales and human resources sectors, Cox said.

The AI assistants would help solve staffing issues, and issues recruiting and retaining talent.

“Whilst there is a lot of talk economically of a downturn, there are still a lot of challenges for these businesses for recruiting and retaining talent, and still a lot of manual work that is going into running these businesses,” Cox said.

“So our focus is really helping them release their internal capacity to work on more meaningful things and have more impact in their businesses.

“We want to help the SME market leap frog from where they are technically into the current day and into the future.”

Archie, one of Arcanum’s AI assistants, focuses on financial back-end operations and supports accounts administration to improve cash flow visibility.

Arcos, an AI customer support assistant, provides frequently asked questions to free up staff time.

On Tuesday, Amazon announced that it is set to launch an AI-powered chatbot for businesses. Amazon Q, the chatbot, was developed by Amazon’s cloud computing division AWS and aims to help workers with daily tasks, such as summarising documents, filing out internal support tickets and answering questions about company policies.

The product was announced on the second day of Amazon Web Services’ annual re:Invent conference held in Las Vegas.

Dr Swami Sivasubramanian, AWS vice president of data and artificial Intelligence, said generative AI had the potential to “spur a technological shift that will reshape how people do everything from searching for information and exploring new ideas to writing and building applications”.





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