Marketing AI CEO Chats with GoCharlie AI Co-Founders Kostas Hatalis & Brennan Woodruff
Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | RSS | More
Let’s chat AI Marketing! Welcome, Kostas and Brennan of GoCharlie to our inaugural podcast!
Transcript of the CEO Chat
Scott (00:04): Hi, and welcome to the AIContentGen video podcast. And today we’re delighted to host Kostas, the CEO of GoCharlie, and also Brennan, the COO of GoCharlie. And we’re gonna be talking about how GoCharlie helps marketers get their work done. And so thanks for joining us. My name is Scott Sweeney. I’m one of the founders of AIContentGen.
John (00:33): And I’m John Cass, one of the co-founders of AIContentGen. Thanks so much, Scott. Well, it’s nice to see you, Kostas and Brennan. Perhaps we can start off by asking you to tell us about yourself and also your AI journey.
Kostas (00:50): Yeah. I’ll introduce myself and then Brennan. I think it’d be for him to introduce himself. I founded GoCharlie about a year ago, it’s our first birthday coming up soon. We founded coming outta my PhD, where I saw a massive opportunity that only a few short years ago, content generation of AI, whether it’s text now, images and audio and video was really considered science fix. And it’s still in the realm of academia and universities. And now we’re seeing, we’re starting to see the early days of this explosion and it’s only gonna pick up from here. So that was my main inspiration for starting the company.
Brennan (01:39): Yeah. So Brennan Woodruff here, I’m COO co-founder of GoCharlie.ai. My AI journey was, a little bit different than Kostas who’s obviously had a decade worth of experience in the field, I personally joined SoftBank back in 2019 working on the vision funds because I wanted to learn more about artificial intelligence. I saw that that’s where the world was going whether or not it be AI replacing humans or where I think we like to place is the enablement of human capabilities through artificial intelligence type technologies. What I found when I was at the vision funds is that there were a lot of different flavors of artificial intelligence but generative AI, I think has the potential to be the most transformative of any of the AI technologies I saw during my time there. And so when Kostas and team offered me the opportunity to jump aboard, it was a bit risky, but I wanted to take the plunge and learn as much as I could from some forefront thinkers in the space
Kostas (02:42): To mention our third co-founder could make the call. She’s she also has a PhD in AI and together we’re, we’re building our own technology from the ground up. So that’s one unique aspect about GoCharlie, is that unlike many of the other players in the space, especially for writing and for marketing it’s rare to find a company that’s developing their own technology, whereas instead of just plug and play from open AI or Google or IBM or existing technology is.
Scott (03:15): That’s really exciting. So does that mean that you don’t actually use any of the other technologies just your own AI?
Kostas (03:23): We do use some of the other technologies for three purposes. One is experimental to see if our AI meets or surpasses two for data augmentation, we do use, for instance, GPT-3 to help create data to train our own models. And we do also use a few other tools to augment our capabilities. Our plan by end of the year is to become a hundred percent self-sufficient. But that this, does take time. And as you guys may know that GPT-3, which we see as one of our competitors took a team of 30 PhDs years and I think 5 million to train. So we have a pretty big, you know mountain to climb.
Scott (04:14): Absolutely great. Well, that’s exciting to have a goal of being 100% your own AI by the end of the year.
John (04:24): So next, what’s the what does the software do, perhaps you can explain that to the folks.
Kostas (04:32): This is where it gets really unique. We’re proud to say that we’re one of the first to be able to analyze images, to create content. So first off we’re a platform to help create digital marketing content, primarily co caps text. So sort of a co-writing tool for the time being we focused initially on social media posts and ads, and now we’re slowly expanding into almost every use case. And as I mentioned in the beginning, we pride ourselves in that we are trying to be the first to be multimodal, to incorporate other types of media into the content process. For instance, we can take an image and create an entire or, or post out of it. And one of the first ones to do that, we’re working on prototypes with video and with audio, and soon towards the end of the year, next year, we’re also doing the opposite, which is to go from text to an image. You guys have definitely heard of Dolly too, so there’s another mountain to climb there. And that’s definitely a unique obstacle in the sense that those are great artistic pictures, like paintings, but none of them are quite there yet for professional, like marketing purposes. Brennan, I think you definitely have a lot of ideas there. A lot of opinions there too.
Brennan (06:01): Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the way that we’ve approached generative AI is transformative technology. And while we see a bunch of competitors having success in purely the writing space, we think that that’s almost a disservice to the technologies capabilities. You, as you’ve seen with DALL·E 2 and a couple of other WebOs dream apps. There’s definitely an appetite for apps where you can go from text to an image. We also have seen a significant appetite for having a video and being able to turn that into text content. You know, we really want to make the starting point wherever the user is. So maybe the user has a photo or they have a video, but they have no idea what to say to optimize their content and engage their target audience. We want to be that bridge between the modalities with our AI. So we’re looking a little bit beyond writing, but we’re finding that that’s a good space to start out in because the learning there applies to so many different other mediums of media.
Scott (07:06): Great. Our next question is kind actually, you may have felt like you already answered it, but I’m gonna ask you anyway, is what’s the strength of your software
Kostas (07:19): And in its current state, I would say three main strengths first is that we’re trying to be driven by, our customers, our users, like building this in public, getting instant feedback. Again, we’re very small. We have several hundred users but we listen to every single one of them. And to that end, because we’re building a lot of this ourselves, we are going this multimodal aspect. So, and we hear a lot of, you know, demand, Hey, I want to use this image or this video and create content out of it. Another thing is it, blogs, Brennan and I were discussing the other day are like, Hey, can you take this blog and gimme 10, you know, tweets or, or Facebook posts out of this single blog? So that’s, our core strength is being able to innovate very fast with our own ideas and implement them from the ground up.
And the third is not to be that strength, but something I would say is that we try to be fun. And this is actually Brendan’s idea which I absolutely love this is that we have, for instance, these tones. So when you’re creating content on our platform, you can choose a tone and we’ve added some fun tones like a pirate, Brooklyn, and Shakespeare. And, when you start playing with ’em, they’re so incredibly fun and you can’t just help yourself, but giggle a little bit or just smile. So that’s a philosophy that we’re adapting is that when you’re using our tool so not just help you be more productive, but it should be fun to play with and just make you happy to use it.
John (08:57): Yeah, almost like the old Groupon model where they had that different style. That was the whole approach. Wasn’t it using a content style?
Brennan (09:07): definitely. And I think Kostas hit the nail on the head, you know, in a post-pandemic world where everyone’s experiencing burnout. We’re trying to introduce tools that make work feel as fun as playing with a puppy. So that’s, that’s GoCharlie. But we think some of those new tones are definitely a massive step towards that in making work feel like play.
John (09:29): So how do you support the client’s content design approach, you know perhaps in the areas of ideas and research briefing, actually writing the content, optimizing the content, you know, you talked about doing some of those extra things, even expansion metrics, you know, do you have how do you, how do you follow that content design teams sort of framework for how they do things?
Kostas (09:56): So, Brennan, you wanna talk about the customer aspect and I’ll talk more about the technical aspect next.
Brennan (10:01): Yeah, yeah, definitely. So John, I, I think you’re hitting the nail on the head, as you know, like when we think about a land and expand strategy, we’re, we’re starting to think about all right. Yeah. We’re generating the content, but, the creative process for humans and marketers and anyone that needs to create content really is like, you have to start from an idea. And so for some people that idea, we see more with like an influencer type customer. That idea is more life experience. It’s something that’s like really created this learning. They want to share with people to engage their audience in a more organic storytelling-driven way. For marketers, it seems to be a little bit more driven about like, what’s trending. So while it’s not there yet we actually have a hashtag and recommendations and trending functionality that’s being developed to really start you at that ideation point based on what’s performing what’s working well in your industry what topics are trending, which hashtags are trending that gets us a little bit more into that SEO space.
Brennan (11:03): So it’s still to be determined if we’ll grow that through partnerships or not. But then as we kind of go from ideation into that content creation piece, that piece, I feel like we’re completely addressing right now, but expanding the number of use use cases we go across then the next piece which I think is a huge differentiator for us is that we have content scoring. So content scoring too, if you’re unfamiliar is the ability to assess the content that we’ve created against the industry’s most engaging pieces of content that we’ve analyzed indexed, and fed through our models and really give you actionable insights as to how you can improve it. So not only are we giving you insights on how to improve and edit, but then if you think about the application of this in an enterprise setting that can, our content scoring can become part of your review process.
Brennan (11:52): So rather than living independently through a bunch of different emails, you just check the box that, Hey, you’ve scored an on GoCharlie’s content scoring. Therefore it’s good by me. And then the last piece obviously is, you know, publishing that content. And we’re, we’re happy to say that in the next month and a half, we’ll have the ability to post directly from GoCharlie into 10 different platforms that are most commonly used by our marketers that we’ve talked to. So that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube TikTok. So we’re really trying to land and expand from just the content generation piece to a full sort of content creation platform methodology.
Kostas (12:31): Excellent.
Scott (12:32): That’s great. I, I have a question about that. How are customers doing with the scoring you know, one of the areas I’m always interested in being several businesses over the years is metrics? So is there a way to are there customer success stories or are there proof points on how that works?
Kostas (12:56): So still in the early days, we’re actually in the process of creating use cases now and hopefully band of the summer, we’ll be able to publish a few white papers on those use cases. Content scoring is, is becoming quite popular with our users. There’s still a lot for us to figure out what’s the best way to deliver it. We have quite a big UI. So we’re trying to take out an approach of optimizing for mobile, which we’re realizing almost all of our customers are on their mobiles. And that’s something none of our competitors are doing either is, okay, how can you deliver an immense amount of value on a much smaller screen? And we’re also seeing quite a bit of demand in addition to the quality of the writing is to what audiences will, you know, a content resonate with specific demographics, gender location, so forth.
Kostas (13:48): And part of our multimodality aspect is to analyze we’re building right now, the ability to analyze the content and tell you, okay, this is great for gen Z, or this is great for millennials, but also given an in image or video, okay, will this also appeal? So it’s more of a complete all-in-one packet analyzing quality than analyzing the appeal. And we’re in the process of seeking out a few partnerships with something data marketing companies to then start getting more performance statistics and say, okay, we can give you a quality score and audience score, but now let’s start predicting how many clicks, how many likes we will. We also start getting with your content especially as it gets mixed up with videos and images in different modalities, that’s something we’re also cooking up in our, in our MADLAB, <laugh>,
Scott (14:38): It’s exciting. So I think that leads us to our, our final question for today. And it’s one that I always find very insightful from business leaders, in general, is if there’s one thing that you believe that most people believe about AI content generation that most people think is true, but you actually take a contrarian view. You don’t think it’s actually that true.
Kostas (15:08): I’ll go last cause as a Ph.D. in AI, I have a lot of opinions about <laugh> the world is different than actually is.
Brennan (15:15): So just to make sure I, I understand the question correctly, Scott, you, you wanna know what the masses think about generating content with AI that we don’t necessarily think is true? Correct.
Brennan (15:27): Got it. I think that there is a large portion of folks that look at AI content generation as a spam tool. And they, you know, they’ve cherry-picked validation of that belief through some of the Google policies about AI content and, and rather than delving into, you know, the science behind that and what was actually said, they just believe the headlines for what they are and, you know, we don’t, we don’t really subscribe to that, that idea. We believe that there could be bad users in, in abusers of such technologies to create content that is spammy or that is trying to be manipulative. But, but we believe that the majority of users of an AI content generation tour are, are really trying to pursue just making their dreams come true, whether that’s, you know, creating content to help grow their business or creating content, to create awareness around a passion that they care about, or, or maybe even just helping their friend grow their business so that they can be sustainable in, in this economically wild world that we’re living in. So, so for us, we, I, I would say that we don’t really subscribe to the AI content generation being a spam tool. It’s more an enabler, of people’s personal pursuits. And, and that’s how we choose to view AI is just, we’re enabling, what’s already there. We’re just giving you a way to unlock it.
Kostas (17:01): And I also add, cause that comes with two fears is one, AI is gonna spam you, but also AI may replace you. And that’s another belief we don’t have is that it, our whole philosophy is that it’s gonna augment your life, make your life easier, the same way that Photoshop 20 years ago made designers’ life easier instead of just doing things by hand. And that’s how we see AI. Maybe in 10, or 20 years, it’ll start replacing jobs, but we’re nowhere near there. And to be honest, we don’t wanna be in the business of replacing people’s jobs either. We wanna make them as productive and as fun as possible, really that that’s our whole core mission at GoCharlie.
Scott (17:43): I love the comparison to Photoshop and yeah. And especially for your application, I, I think that’s a really good analogy and you know, who knows what kind of jobs are gonna be around 10 to 20 years from now. Right, exactly. So so that’s a kind of a long time frame.
John (18:05): And, and I agree Kostas, I mean, isn’t it true when I’ve spoken to so many folks in the industry where I think these tools are, are helping those marketers and writers to get more out of their profession by doing more so I think it’s, I think that’s very true. So I think it’s a good idea. I think that that saying that you have about making it fun again is, is, is pretty insightful. So I really really appreciate Kostas and Brennan for joining us on the content video podcast. I also wanna thank the audience for supporting us. Thank you, Kostas. Thank you, Brennan.
Scott (18:47): Thank you, guys. Take care. We’ll look forward to talking to you again sometime soon. <Laugh> thank you.