AI personal assistant startup Ario raises $16 million, aims to democratize digital helpers

Don’t miss OpenAI, Chevron, Nvidia, Kaiser Permanente, and Capital One leaders only at VentureBeat Transform 2024. Gain essential insights about GenAI and expand your network at this exclusive three day event. Learn More

Ario, a startup developing an AI-powered personal assistant, announced today it has raised $16 million in funding to build what it calls “universal basic AI” — technology that aims to provide everyone with the equivalent of a digital personal assistant.

Founded by cybersecurity veterans, Ario is taking an unconventional approach in an increasingly crowded field of AI assistants. Rather than focusing solely on conversational abilities, the company is leveraging its founders’ background in data security to help users aggregate and make use of their personal data scattered across various online services.

“We’re using our 10 years of work at our prior company, which was in the business of preventing data from flowing out of every large bank, hotel, airline and e-commerce website in the United States,” said Sumit Agarwal, Ario’s founder and CEO, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’re using all of those lessons and we’re reversing them.”

From data security to data liberation: Ario’s unique approach

Ario’s first step is to help users collect their own data from major consumer websites and services — a process Agarwal describes as “adversarial ETL” (extract, transform, load). This data forms the basis for a highly personalized assistant.

Countdown to VB Transform 2024

Join enterprise leaders in San Francisco from July 9 to 11 for our flagship AI event. Connect with peers, explore the opportunities and challenges of Generative AI, and learn how to integrate AI applications into your industry. Register Now

“Even though we have GDPR coming from Europe, California Consumer Privacy Act…the reality is that every major company knows that user data is the most valuable thing on earth,” Agarwal told VentureBeat. “They try to follow GDPR to the minimum letter of the law, while making it next to impossible for users to get their data.”

The company’s ambitious goal is to provide users with thousands of dollars worth of personal assistance value annually, at little to no cost. This positions Ario in stark contrast to traditional personal assistant services, which can cost upwards of $100,000 per year.

“The revolutionary thing here is that you can literally, because of the amazing capabilities of generative AI, give people tens of thousands of dollars worth of value for free,” Agarwal claimed.

Challenging the tech giants: Can Ario deliver on its promises?

Ario faces significant challenges, including competition from tech giants like Google and Apple, as well as AI-focused startups. The company will need to prove it can deliver on its lofty promises while navigating complex privacy regulations and user trust concerns.

However, if successful, Ario could reshape how individuals interact with their personal data and digital services. The company’s focus on time-saving and personalization, rather than engagement, presents an intriguing alternative to current AI assistant models.

“My personal assistant is the opposite [of other consumer tech],” Agarwal said. “My real life personal assistant takes three minutes of instruction from me and quietly goes and does 30 minutes of work. So that’s a 10 to 1 leverage ratio.”

As AI capabilities continue to advance rapidly, Ario’s approach of combining data aggregation with personalized assistance could represent a significant step towards making advanced AI tools accessible and valuable to a broader audience. The coming months will be crucial as the company works to turn its vision into reality.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top