Vancouver's Intuitive is hopping on the artificial intelligence (AI) bandwagon by creating a website that uses AI to respond to public questions about recycling, food waste and sustainability.
CEO Hassan Murad told BIV that this summer the site, dubbed Oscar Pocket, should be available for the general public. Someone in Kitsilano, for example, could say their location into the website, and ask it where the nearest recycling depot is.
"Say you've got a mass of Styrofoam and you're trying to find out where the heck should I throw it," he said. "You could be searching Google, but here on Oscar pocket you could just say, 'Hey, I'm here. Where do I take this?'"
Murad is seeking collaborators to go to Oscarpocket.com, join the site and play with the product to make it better, he said.
He compared his website to ChatGPT, which is a website that enables users can ask AI technology anything, and quickly get an answer automatically generated and printed on the screen. Intuitive's OscarPocket.com site would be specialized in knowing about recycling, and how to dispose of batteries, food, plastics and anything toxic. It would also auto-generate answers to users' questions.
Murad founded the business in 2017 with friend Vivek Vyas, and launched technology in 2019 that could be used by owners of food-service businesses, shopping malls and airports to help customers at food courts understand which products to put in which recycling bins.
Murad calls that technology Oscar Sort and it was first used at Vancouver International Airport and various shopping malls.
He said that he has hundreds of clients that have deployed the technology at about 500 sites. His client count, he said, is "tripling every year."
The profitable private company employs 15 engineers and two other workers, Murad said. Much of its sales for Oscar Sort come from what Murad called "channel partners," such as food-service giants Sodexo, Compass Group and Aramark.
Those partners sell Intuitive's technology to their end customers as part of the food-service companies' responsibility to help their customers reduce food and other waste, Murad said.
In the lead-up to 2019, Intuitive raised more than $2 million from many venture capitalists and angel investors across North America. One of those angels, Murad said, was Vancouver's Charles Chang, who founded and majority-owned the Burnaby-based nutrient-supplement company Vega before selling it in 2015 for US$550 million to WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE:WWAV).
"We haven't raised a round of funding, or anything, post 2019," Murad said.