Spir­itAI was co-founded by Steve An­dre, pre­vi­ously a se­nior vice pres­i­dent in sales at IBM. His fo­cus was on Wat­son, IBM’s AI-driven nat­u­ral-lan­guage tech­nol­ogy, and, be­ing a keen gamer, he ap­proached Khan­daker to help him ex­plore the po­ten­tial for nat­u­ral lan­guage tech­nolo­gies for games. Early ver­sions of Spir­itAI’s tech were built on Wat­son, but the team found it too closed a plat­form to give them the flex­i­bil­ity they needed, so they de­vel­oped their own nat­u­ral­lan­guage clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tems. They raised $2 mil­lion in fund­ing last year, and, with a set of part­ners for Ally and demos es­tab­lished, are about to em­bark on rais­ing more.

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