High workloads and a tight labor market mean that companies seek better tools to work more efficiently. Hans de Penning, the former founder and CEO of share car company Amber, founded Neople: an employment agency for digital colleagues who can perform repetitive work in information gathering and communication more efficiently using AI. By training the “neople” (an artificial personal assistant) on all the knowledge an employee needs, De Penning wants to ensure that all companies can use AI easily and safely.
According to De Penning, research by McKinsey shows that nearly 50% of our work week is spent looking up information and then processing it into messages such as emails. Through Neople, employees will have a personal assistant to help them with these repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks that humans are actually better suited for. In this way, De Penning aims to make work more human again.
First Neople already active in work field
The first Neople are already active in the field, with the launching customer being e-commerce party Toppy. Toppy processes some 250,000 orders annually, including many outdoor products such as Jacuzzis, swimming pools, and garden equipment. Neople Bob is trained on all product information, FAQs, the website and more and is ready to answer incoming questions from colleagues.
Generative AI technology
Over the past year, various AI technologies followed each other rapidly. From Dall-E to Midjourney and, as icing on the cake, ChatGPT. Many companies see the value but are often unsure how to deploy these technologies properly. Neople wants to change this by using ChatGPT and improving it by training Neople on company-specific documents and data. This will allow answers to become more reliable.
Neople is initially focusing on companies with a large support department because a lot can be gained there, by more efficient ways of working. Besides Toppy, pilots are now running at several large corporates in the Netherlands, such as an accounting firm and an airline, to support their HR teams. Twenty Neople are expected to be active by the second quarter. Within a company, Neople can be accessed through existing communication channels, such as Slack, WhatsApp or e-mail.