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Gradually… Then, suddenly!

Feb 26, 2019


Listen in as I interview John Berkowitz, Co-Founder and CEO of OJO Labs in Austin, Texas.  As we enter the early days of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the convergence of large amounts of data being capture on various devices and distributed computing power has ushered in a new world of artificial intelligence and machine learning.  Many new commercial iterations AI have focused on service industries and trying to create applications that can service consumers better than the level of service historically provided by humans.  John provides his thoughts on the promise of AI in real estate and what OJO Labs is doing to help both consumers and agents get value out this new technology.


  • AI is technology that allows machines to perform tasks that previously were better performed by humans
  • Artificial General Intelligence is where machines are able to “think” like humans and we are far away from that level of AI
  • More narrow AI based on natural language processing, visual perception and pattern recognition is available today
  • OJO launched in 2015 and it was not initially designed to be an AI company.  It is now focused on helping consumers make better decisions.
  • Initially launched a text bot and tested with consumers and learned that consumers will ask questions that they might not ask with humans but that the technology needed to be conversational in nature
  • They are still very early in their tech development process
  • OJO is trying to solve the problem where prospective home buyers are unwilling to talk with a human early in their home search process and provide them with meaningful assistance that can eventually act as a bridge to real estate agents
  • OJO's customer is the consumer but deeply believes that real estate professionals are essential to a consumer's real estate journey
  • Biggest challenge is trying to develop an application based on a complex and changing consumer dynamic
  • He sees technology as reducing the number of agents necessary to service the demand but does not see the agent role going away