i-Free Innovations' Everfriends Artificial Intelligence Technology wins Turing100
(St. Petersburg, Russia) – June 28, 2012 – i-Free Innovations, a Russian mobile applications and games developer and publisher, today announced that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology developed by a team led by engineer Vladimir Veselov, in cooperation with i-Free Innovations for its Everfriends Android-based virtual mobile assistant, has won the prestigious Turing100 “AI Machines Competition” held in Bletchley Park, London on June 23, 2012. Everfriends, which uses this technology, is now seen as a major rival to Siri from Apple.
The Turing100 Competition, which featured more than 150 separate dialogs, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famous British mathematician and cryptographer, Alan Turing, and is considered the most important competition in the global AI industry, with the adjudicating board including 30 experts, 25 “hidden” users and 5 elite chat bots.
Veselov said of his team’s win, "We are very happy with this success as recognition from the world's leading experts is very important for any developer. I believe that, in cooperation with i-Free, and based on our technology, we will be able to create extremely useful products that will be very much sought-after by people all over the world."
Veselov and his team spent more than 10 years developing the technology that was presented for the competition, and in November 2011, i-Free Innovations purchased this technology and continued to develop it, aiming to create a range of intellectual products: a series of Android-based virtual assistants able to compete with Siri.
The first product implementing this technology is the Everfriends virtual assistant, developed by i-Free. The application is currently available on Google Play with over one million downloads to date with most users having awarded it the highest rating. It uses assistant visualization based on modern 3D technologies as well as making it possible to use API for the creation of services, and SDK for integrating a meaning recognition system for third-party applications.
VisionMobile, a leading market analysis and strategy firm for all things connected, recently performed a study of the virtual assistant market and remarked the following: "Everfriends is a good case study for VA business models."*
Kirill Petrov, Managing Director at i-Free Innovations, remarked of Everfriends: "While working on a range of Android-based products able to compete with Siri, we got to know the technology developed by Vladimir Veselov and purchased the property rights to it. Today, thanks to this technology, our virtual assistants not only help smartphone owners access a lot of different services, from calls to shopping, but can also to discuss various topics with them.”
i-Free Innovations continues the development of its products: in the near future the Everfriends range of virtual assistants will become even more practical and helpful in solving daily tasks. More specifically, the speech recognition and synthesis system will be significantly improved, the app’s performance and quality will increase, and user interfaces will become even easier to use, especially in terms of quick access to services.
About Vladimir Veselov
Vladimir Veselov graduated from Mozhaisky Military Academy of Space Engineers in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1991, and in 1997, completed his Ph.D. at the same school in Technical Sciences. After graduating, Veselov worked as a researcher and lecturer at Mozhaisky Academy where he developed methods of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the control of spacecrafts. In 1999, he worked for Artificial Life, Inc. (a Boston, MA, USA Company) where he continued his work in developing artificial intelligence systems. After moving to the United States in 2000, he co-founded Princeton AI in 2001 and developed his own AI platform. Since 2002, Veselov has been employed by Johnson & Johnson and works with matters of analytical laboratory automation and in-vitro data processing. In November 2011, when i-Free purchased the technology developed under Veselov from Princeton AI, he has continued to develop the platform in cooperation with i-Free. More information about Dr. Veselov can be found on his LinkedIn profile.
About i-Free Innovations
i-Free Innovations, a subsidiary of i-Free Ltd., features a unique team of professionals dedicated to the development and publishing of applications and games for smartphones and new network devices. Under the i-Free umbrella, i-Free Innovations is constantly engaged in research of new prospective technologies for a company that has experienced tremendous growth in the CIS since 2001 and internationally since 2006. i-Free, known as a specialist developer and implementer of innovative projects in mobile and NFC technology, electronic finance, digital content distribution, and electronic payments and micropayments, makes its products available in more than 100 countries, grossing over US $200 Million in sales in 2011. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Russia, i-Free also successfully operates offices in Moscow, Kyiv (Ukraine), Minsk (Belarus), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Mumbai (India), Beijing (China) and Sao-Paolo (Brazil), employing over 500 staff. i-Free partners with the leading cellular operators in Russia and the CIS, with global mobile equipment vendors, banks, transnational brands and trademarks, major media holdings, publishers and Internet resources. For more information, visit www.i-free.com/en/.