We had a really special recent live call, Tom shared the Interview Mic with Paco Cantero for the first time! Together they interviewed Mem.ai Co-founder Dennis Xu. They discussed the inspiration for Mem.ai, and the exciting plans afoot for the hot and upancoming A.I. company. Plus spoke about just how fast AI is evolving and why we shouldn’t fear its progress but rather, embrace the tech and leverage it for our benefit; productivity, and beyond.
Hit play to listen to the Podcast! Take it all in – digest the full blog post below!
The Mem.ai Story
Back in 2014, Kevin Moody and Dennis Xu were both stumped as to why information stored in our brains is compounded and built on top of itself, whilst information captured into digital storage systems seemed to do the opposite. They felt repeatedly confronted with the problem at work and in their daily life; the information they actually had access to was just not being utilized to its maximum potential. Whether it was their notes, taken directly from their email or CRM, — or any data source for that matter. They always felt their information was simply trapped inside of its own application.
They dreamed about the possibility of a “Me API”, a knowledge graph that consolidated everything, plus it being secure so it would function for themselves, rather than the likes of Facebook or Google, giving them back ownership of their data. As both creatives and inventors, they believed in this possibility. Frustrated that this didn’t exist, it became their mission and vision, to make the right information get to the right person, at the right time. Rather than spending time processing new information, and making use of past and collaborative information — there had to be a better way.
Fast forward to 2021, Mem.ai was born. Described as the world’s first self-organizing workspace, it is the fastest way to capture, connect, and make use of our information.
A World Without TagsDennis Xu, CoFounder of Mem
Resurfacing Data You Forgot You Had
At first, Tom saw Mem.ai as simply another approach to note-taking. His revelation of the app’s unique proposition began when he tested the AI-enabled search tool — MemX.
As you type, recommendations are shown, resurfacing data Tom hadn’t anticipated it would. It was mind-blowing! MemX understands all the major languages, so this allowed MemX to recommend and highlight numerous data points for Tom whether in German or English. If Tom had written it Tom could access it.
The tool is so good Tom’s Solid Feature in our previous blog was about it as well.
Spending time processing new information, and making use of past and collaborative information is an evergreen problem. Granted, no one can ever truly solve such a problem — it’s just too complex. But, Mem is tackling it head-on!
A.I. and Productivity
Dennis shares that the role of AI is at a very exciting point in time right now. The rate of development is phenomenal. Forbes reports that 50% of enterprises plan to spend more on AI and machine learning in 2021 and 20% report significant increases in their budgets. The market size of AI is gaining serious momentum.
We already spend a great deal of time deciding how to enter a piece of information into our knowledge base. We do this so that we can retrieve it properly later. But, deciding which folder, or how to tag the item can be a nightmare! With Mem.ai technology-enabled solutions they eliminate all of this mediocre work, cognitive thinking, and manual labor. No more organizing our files! Let A.I. do it! Can you imagine how much time you would save? Incorporating AI into your business processes suddenly makes A LOT of sense.
How does MemX’s AI work?
When it comes to the recommended search results, Mem.ai’s tech has the ability to understand the user’s intent based on what the person enters in the search box. These reinforcement examples help create fine-tuned searchability. Plus it utilizes a range of technologies, such as natural language processing and machine learning. This is to better understand what each user wants. It’s far more advanced than a mere few years ago! Dennis shares MemX has the intelligence to begin to create connections and patterns just from one search query.
When will MemX be released?
Currently, there is a waitlist for MemX. Dennis is reluctant to give a specific dates as he doesn’t want to spoil the surprise. He did say that the Mem team is super focussed on delivering a product that is robust and reliable. They did announce earlier this year that they are in the process of, exiting the beta stage – so it is coming really soon!
A.I. – A New Way of Thinking
As Tom shares, before using the tool, he advocated the need to process his information, in order to easily find it later on. Therefore, it made sense to include tags, and /or folders. But with MemX activated, it was the first time he felt it didn’t matter if he distilled or organized his data, perhaps even the long-form version of the text was now more beneficial by providing the AI tool more context. Discovering Mem.ai has been a fundamental mindset shift.
Send to via Mem Spotlight
A simple yet fantastic time-saving feature, is Mem’s Spotlight feature. Here you can append content to existing mems via Mem Spotlight. Whether you’re researching an important topic, saving a Tweet, or following along with a meeting agenda, you can be sure that your important knowledge goes exactly where it needs to without missing a beat.
To try out Send to via Mem Spotlight, navigate to a page that you want to capture and open Mem Spotlight with ⌘⇧Space. You’ll see two new options under Mem It:
- Send to the mem you most recently sent to, or
- Send to an existing mem that you search for.
You can then edit how the new information will be appended to the mem right in Spotlight before pressing ⌘ Enter to save your new knowledge!
Security and True Data Ownership
There is currently a minority view in the tech world of users who are concerned about data ownership and as a result, prefer to use plain text and for their data to be local only.
Dennis and Paco acknowledge this view, but have radically differing opinions. To be able to have our data at our fingertips, or have data portability with specifically the ability to actually make use of the information that you have as well as in the context that you need it in requires us to leverage the new technology. So our data does need to live online. Being able to access our data when and how we want it, is what Dennis calls true data ownership.
Mem.ai isn’t just about AI, the team collaboration feature is one that we are really excited about. What is the point in collecting all our data if we can’t share it with others?
Dennis explains, that from the outset they wanted to differentiate themselves from the average app. To accomplish this they made a lot of decisions very early on to ensure that they would be in the position to properly support collaborative use cases down the line.
They recognized the demand but also saw the complexity of creating such a function. As Dennis explains, many users start with Mem as a private knowledge base. However, once they see the power and potential they are keen to share this new approach with colleagues. The challenge becomes how to share certain aspects, and keep other personal data secure at the same time.
The MemX team recognizes the major complexity but also sees it as a much-needed requirement for users. Currently, you can share any Mem that you have with anyone and they are able to see and collaborate on it. This shared data is now absorbed into their own knowledge base, so they too can leverage the power of the AI-driven, search recommendations as well.
The next step with their collaborative sharing is to make it super easy and seamless to move something from a private space, into a shared space, and always in a ‘Mem’way – one that is actually understandable to you. It’s great to be able to resurface information that we have captured before – this is of immense value. But the Mem vision, is something even more valuable, to be able to access information across a team, where you might not even know something exists, yet. If we don’t know that it exists, we don’t even know what to ask for.
Suddenly the future Kevin and Dennis dreamed of is looking very possible. AI is here to stay, and Mem.ai is changing the way we use and share our knowledge.
The future is looking very exciting!