For this week’s episode of the LodeStar Lending Leaders podcast—the very first of the new year!—CEO Jim Paolino sat down with Hoyt Mann, President and Co-Founder of Alanna.ai, a virtual assistant software for the title industry. We were excited to pick his brain about all things AI, machine learning, and technology in the mortgage and title industries.
You’re either born into title or tricked into it. Hoyt jokes that he was tricked. He was a software developer by trade, who developed a paperless closing portal for the title industry in 2001. He was tasked to address staffing issues. Everyone was overworked. He wanted to leverage a virtual assistant to help solve that.
The goal is to give the machines jobs that people shouldn’t be wasting their time on, and freeing people up to do the things machines can’t. People are irreplaceable. Not only can people address exceptions—things outside the measurable data trend—but they can tend relationships, experiment, try new approaches, and network person-to-person. “What do I do with all the staff this technology will force me to fire?” is a short-sighted question. “How can I free my staff from doing mundane, stare-and-compare tasks?” is a much better question.
These days, people don’t realize how much AI they use already. Netflix. Google Maps. Alexa. Siri. What people do in their personal lives tends to bleed over into business. AI has become mainstream.
The next frontier, Hoyt speculates, is more automated learning. As mainstream as AI is, AI still needs to be manually trained by people. But what about machine-led training? What if AI could contribute to its own advancement?
At the end of the day, all this talk of robots, automation, and machine learning, really does come back to the same tried-and-true ideas of running a good business based on human beings. AI virtual assistants help businesses become more efficient. But AI doesn’t replace people.
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