What do you get when you take the former head of platform at Facebook, a former Mozilla engineer, veterans of other companies like Microsoft and Amazon, and an interest in building an assistive chatbot that stands apart from competitors in the space?
The answer is Ozlo, a chatbot in the form of a cute, blue critter that answers questions from users with cards that contain deep links to relevant apps and websites.
The company built around the service – headed up by CEO Charles Jolley, the former Facebook platform head – has offices in Palo Alto and Seattle and a workforce of 28.
What Jolley and his team wanted to build was not just a personal digital assistant that s helpful and there with the right answers when the user needs them, but one that can also synthesize all the facts it s been fed and give advice — the same way you d look at a trusted friend.
What really makes Ozlo different is he has two parts, Jolley said, always using the masculine personal pronoun when talking about the chatbot, later stressing how important it is that Ozlo be seen to have a human-like personality.
The team decided to start with food and restaurants and learn about people and their behavior from there before adding to Ozlo s bag of tricks.