Are you Seriously Thinking About Becoming №1 in the World?

On February 10, AI inside announced that CEO, Toguchi, will take on the chief product officer (CPO) role concurrently. We took this opportunity to ask why the CEO would choose to become CPO and his goals.

Don’t be blinded to follow every voice of the customer

- Can you give us some background behind your decision to take on the role of CPO in addition to CEO?

I have already made many various company-wide decisions as CEO, but taking on the additional duties of the CPO allows me to clarify my position concerning the decisions of product development. It is a vital step toward constructing a global #1 AI platform.

- Why did you choose to become CPO in addition to your current role?

We need strong leadership to make this transformation happen as quickly as possible, so I thought that taking on the role of CPO would make it more solid. I was already working as a PdM (product manager) for “Learning Center” as of October 2021. From now on, I will decide on the directions for all our products, including “DX Suite.”

- How has getting involved as PdM worked out?

I believe that things were going well for our company even before I became directly involved as a PdM, but there were many sources of frustration.

First of all, I believe that frustration leads to product development and innovation. It is the desire to improve something in the world. Our company’s mission statement is “to bring AI to every being in the world and contribute to a richer future society.” Therefore, to realize this and help people make things that could make the world better, I felt it was necessary to get directly involved in developing our products.

- Can you give an example of the type of things you were compelled to improve?

Our handling of VoC (voice of customer) is a specific example. Such things tend to grow out of control quickly once you start measuring them. If you try to collect it all on a spreadsheet, sort the data into broad categories, and order them by priority, you will fail. It might sound obvious, but I believe that it is a common mistake that should never be attempted. Even exceptional teams find themselves in this type of mess before they know it.

This was the first thing I changed on assuming this role. We started by removing about 90% of the VoCs from consideration, deeply investigating the remaining 10%, and putting them onto a development list.

We should consider whether our process is user first; in other words, does it provide users with the best experience, or does it give value to the world. You have to offer value that exceeds user expectations. To achieve that, many decisions must be made before ordering your priorities.

- Is there anything that has changed regarding the products?

Our pricing is another example of something that has changed. We recently changed the pricing model for our “Learning Center” from a monthly fee to a one-second-based billing. Rather than paying an entire month’s fee for the month someone uses our service, we now charge based on the computational time spent on training and inference in one-second units.

This simpler, cheaper, and user-friendly change was made considering the user experience. This allows users to not worry about the timing of their use of our product and instead pay for what they actually use. This way, we can ensure more versatile usage of our service.

We have also made significant changes to our less visible infrastructure and AI architecture. However, the core concept is that adding features does not mean adding buttons. We have automated and incorporated high-level processes in the background to keep the user interface (UI) from becoming too cluttered, thereby granting a better user experience (UX) without the users realizing it. There were many changes like that.

Evolutions seen in the products are not“evolutions” yet

- ”DX Suite” has grown compatible with many semi-structured forms since its release in 2017. Will it continue to evolve in the future?

The product evolutions we have made thus far are still far from our target evolution standards. Society still did not have a clear idea of what AI was at its release, so we developed and offered “DX Suite” as an easy-to-understand AI-OCR.

Looking at how it has been used, the input industry has adopted it as a “tool” to support and automate their workflow. However, we aim for AI to be used for far greater purposes. It will continue to undergo significant evolution as a platform.

- How do you hope AI will be used?

Based on our mission statement, “To bring AI to every being in the world and contribute to a richer future society,” we want it to be used to build a prosperous future (i.e., human evolution).

Business productivity is a challenge that is often discussed nowadays, but there are also multiple significant societal and foundational problems to be solved. We aim to bring out the creativity in different people to solve these problems and reassess what we value. To do that, we need to build a platform that can withstand those changes.

To become the №1 global AI platform that will change the world

- Becoming №1 in the world sounds like a big goal, but is that really what you are aiming for? Can that really be realized?

Yes, we can. There is no metaphor here; it’s as it says. If we are going to work, why not do it for an enterprise that will allow humanity to evolve?

- Will there come a day when you are no longer the CPO?

Anyone who has read this far could become a CPO one day. I want to meet them as soon as possible if I have not already.

However, a CPO alone cannot change the world; we also need a team that is №1 in the world.

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AI inside Inc.

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This is the official account of AI inside Inc.

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