Naomi Simson’s Big Red Group will resell the artificial intelligence technology that her famous startup RedBalloon used to perform a year’s worth of work in just 24 hours.
The group — which now acts as the parent company for RedBalloon, Big Albert AI, Redii, Wrapped and The Huddle – was established by Shark Tank judge Simson and group chief executive David Anderson last month, after he bought 50% of RedBalloon.
The holding company will now sell the AI software called Albert, which RedBalloon used for its electronic marketing efforts, to anyone who wants it.
“We have trialled this amazing technology across RedBalloon and Wrapped and it has proven its effectiveness beyond doubt,” said Simson.
RedBalloon said within 24 hours of deploying the technology on June 1, it was able to identify and execute more than 6,400 keywords to improve search engine performance at RedBalloon. The company claimed the same effort would take a human expert “up to a year” to accomplish.
The Big Red Group will sell the technology exclusively in Australia through its new business Big Albert AI Pty Ltd, targeting media companies and retailers.
Simson, who founded gift marketplace RedBalloon in 2001, said she was well aware of the stigma of artificial intelligence and its supposed capability to make human jobs redundant.
“We should not be fearful of this, as it frees our people up to focus on the higher value tasks like collaboration, strategy and creativity — human and higher functioning skills that at this point cannot be replicated, and certainly not replaced, by AI.”
Simson said when she started RedBalloon at the start of the millennium, it had only cost 5 cents to find one new customer. Since then, it had blown out to as much as $20.
“This is completely unsustainable for any business… We have seen Albert drive down the cost of customer acquisition by a quarter in a matter of weeks. Imagine the difference this sort of technology could make to businesses across the country.”
The same cost reductions were achieved 10 years ago by offshoring, according to the entrepreneur, but now technology would replace such roles.
“We’re not reducing our marketing budgets in any way, we’re simply ensuring that our dollars – and the dollars our partners pay us to do what we do – are working harder and harder day after day.”
Simson is the current “red judge” on the Ten Network’s startup pitching show Shark Tank and was the winner of the 2008 National Telstra Business Women Awards for Innovation and the 2011 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the industry category.
Albert was created in 2010 by a US company of the same name, which has offices in New York City and Tel Aviv.