Pranay Prakash: Transforming the Digital Marketing Industry with AI

Pranay Prakash

Artificial intelligence has evolved far beyond software that can communicate with us, such as Alexa or Siri. Today, AI is incorporated into a huge spectrum of tools and applications and, when it comes to the business world, AI has proven to have superior learning capabilities and improves consistently without additional input from humans. Technology is now capable of completing a variety of tasks that actually require thinking and decision-making processes.

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, weighed in on AI, saying, "We're at the beginning of a golden age of AI. Recent advancements have already led to inventions that previously lived in the realm of science fiction - and we've only scratched the surface of what's possible."

Innovative AI Technologies Bring Fresh Spin to Email Marketing

With multimedia advertising becoming increasingly popular, digital marketers have to constantly keep up with the latest trends. Although email marketing may not be the latest innovation, it does continue to be one of the most effective marketing methods - in particular when it appears to be directed specifically and personally. Statistics reveal that the use of videos in emails significantly improves brand awareness and customer engagement. So, the question arises, how can email marketers utilize the engaging element of video while still feeling personal and intimate?

This is where Windsor steps in, creating AI powered personalized videos for digital marketers. With the use of synthetic media generation, also known as "deepfakes", Windsor's users can create videos en-masse to send to their clients and each one looks and sounds personal to the recipient. Although deepfake technology has gotten a bad reputation from scandalous fake videos of politicians and celebrities, it is clearly impressive enough technology to be convincing.

Windsor's AI technology can personalize videos the way that Mailchimp can personalize emails. Users start by recording a single video for a single name on their email list. For each remaining name, Windsor's AI will edit the video to look and sound like you recorded each video individually. Users pay a monthly recurring fee based on the number of actors and videos sent.

The company has already raised over $3M in funding, and has generated and delivered more than 40,000 personalized videos. At this time, the service is only offered in English but the company has plans to diversify. Their current target is to refine the process so that new users can sign up and send 1,000 videos within just one hour. It is an ambitious goal, but they are only a few months away from making it happen.

The Brains Behind It All

Pranay Prakash is the driving force behind Windsor. He was born and raised in Oman, a small country in the Middle East. At just eight years old, he started coding from a hand-me-down book that he had received about basic HTML. It was immediately obvious that he not only had the passion, but also the skills, to be an innovative computer scientist and his path started to become more clear.

Fast forward to college - Pranay attended the highly-reputable University Of Illinois, one of the best colleges for computer science in the world. It was there that he met his roommate Andrew Faust, and they enjoyed gaming together in their free time. At one point, they became quite enthralled with a popular mobile quiz game that ran quizzes everyday, rewarding players with real money if they made it through all the questions. Using their skills, Pranay and Andrew developed a "bot" that would login and play the game on their behalf. Thanks to their intelligent AI model, the bot was successful in winning quite often. The duo saw a profitable opportunity and decided to scale their project to over 2,000 bots, each of which would automatically login and play the game everyday, without any human input. In no time, they were raking in hundreds of dollars a day and, on one of the quizzes, the bots accounted for over one third of all the winners. Shortly after, they were forced to shut down the project and were both extremely disappointed. However, this gave them a great deal of insight about their passions and talent for using AI technology.

In his last year at college, Pranay was brought on as one of the very first employees at Vercel, which is now a billion dollar company in the developer tools space. Although he took the position to develop his skills as a software developer, the experience actually gave him insight into entrepreneurship because he spent a great deal of time with the CEO. It was there that he found the inspiration and motivation to start his own business.

One of the most difficult decisions that Pranay had to face was choosing between the offer to be a full-time engineer at Vercel, Facebook - the opportunity of a lifetime - and pursuing his own project. Although he had already completed an incredible internship with Facebook, he decided to listen to his gut instinct and decided to convince Andrew to drop out of his plans to pursue a PhD. They launched Windsor officially in November 2018 and then, in January, they were admitted into the prestigious Y Combinator. The rest is history.

The duo has no regrets about risking it all to pursue the path of entrepreneurship. Windsor is changing the landscape of digital marketing and, with the use of powerful AI technology, the opportunities are endless.

This article was first published on April 8, 2022
Related topics : Artificial intelligence