RALEIGH – From the entrepreneur who developed the technology behind Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant comes a new platform promising to make chatbots a whole lot chattier.

Pryon, an artificial intelligence startup (AI) led by veteran Raleigh entrepreneur Igor Jablokov, is launching its first commercial product, a natural language processing (NLP) platform that helps companies add capabilities to their AI assistants, chatbots and helpdesks.

“Today’s AI assistants and chatbots can only respond to a limited set of requests,” Jablokov told WRAL TechWire.

With Pryon’s AI, however, these chatbots can now answer “millions of natural language questions.”

Source: Pryon

The platform “reads, organizes, and retrieves information,” and can process repositories of documents, communications, intranet content, transcripts, and web pages in minutes. It then delivers results to natural language questions through text or voice interactions in an instant.

It is already piloting with a “well-known university,” which is using the platform to create a help desk solution for faculty, staff and students.

Consumer manufacturer Georgia-Pacific is another customer.

“Dozens of enterprises are in active trials, which will lead to deployments [this year],” Jablokov said.

“We see this a capability that all companies will need to remain competitive.”

Strong track record

Pryon is considered one of the Triangle’s most promising emerging companies. It made CNBC’s Upstart 100 List for 2019.

Jablokov already has a strong track record.

Back in 2011, he sold his company, Yap, to Amazon. Its technology is now incorporated into smart speakers Alexa and Echo.

Igor Jablokov, chief executive and founder of Pryon, at Innovate Raleigh on Thursday. Credit: Chantal Allam

He founded Pryon in 2017, raising close to $25 million in capital in two years.

Backers include the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, a creation of AOL founder Steve Case’s Revolution, along with Breyer Capital and Greycroft, as well as Digital Alpha Advisors.

“From the beginning, Pryon has operated under one mandate: automate everything to make AI accessible throughout the enterprise,” Jablokov said.

“[It] is the first company to deliver a horizontal NLP platform that works ‘out of the box,’ empowering every department to harness AI. “

Raleigh AI startup Pryon makes CNBC’s Upstart 100 List for 2019