How AI advances will create massive efficiencies over the next decade

Nyla’s CTO Christine Spang talks about how companies use machine learning and conversation AI to stay competitive.

Nylas is a developer API platform that helps build productivity features directly into applications. Earlier this year, the company raised $ 120 million in Series C financing led by Tiger Global. The round also featured individual investments from some notable entrepreneurs, including Stripe co-founders Patrick and John Collison.

APIs are used by many companies as a way to integrate complex functionality into their platforms. Nylas was founded in 2015 and started with email and scheduling APIs, but has since expanded to security, automation, intelligence and UI / UX.

Earlier this month, the company announced plans to expand its activities across Europe. While operating with an external workforce, the company has offices in London and Amsterdam and may add more locations in Europe as part of its expansion.

Christine Spang is co-founder and CTO at Nylas, where she leads the company’s technical strategy and the development of productivity-driven products and experiences for software developers and technical teams. She spends much of her time developing strategies about the software of the future and how Nylas can lean into existing and new trends and applications to push the platform forward.

Prior to founding Nylas, she was a lead developer at Ksplice and Oracle, focusing on back-end systems. Spang is also a strong advocate for diversity in the technology community through organizations such as Lesbians Who Tech, DevColor and Women Who Code. She has a degree in computer science from MIT.

‘Digital transformation goes beyond assessing day-to-day operations, it’s a culture shift’

Are you at the forefront of some major product or IT initiatives you can tell us about?

Although there are several exciting projects underway right now at Nylas, one that is hugely exciting is the adoption of our neural API, and how our customers leverage machine learning and conversation AI.

We see that companies through our Neural API utilize automation to build better, more intelligent workflows that free up their employees and teams to focus on projects with greater impact and significance.

How big is your team?

Nylas is more than 200 people across numerous locations, countries and continents. Our engineering team recently exceeded 100 people. We seek to outsource when relevant. Whether it’s for specific projects or through unique integrations, we’ve found that the combination of outsourcing and automation combined with hiring good people has been a core component of our ability to send products, features and services faster without compromise on quality.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation and how do you tackle it?

Digital transformation is the process of fundamentally transforming your business through the use of digital tools, technology and processes. Digital transformation goes beyond assessing day-to-day operations, it is a culture shift.

It reconsiders business interactions for both employees and customers and identifies where and how to incorporate modern technology into these processes. Over the next decade, advances in AI / machine learning will drive massive efficiency, making this transformation absolutely necessary to remain competitive.

What major technology trends do you think are changing the world?

Companies are increasingly seeing AI and automation not as a way to replace people, but as a way to support them and help them be more productive and effective in their roles. This will involve the use of artificial intelligence and automation to more efficiently access and structure data, enabling people to come up with real-time information to perform tasks more productively.

Companies will also increasingly seek to build automated workflows that can remove people from administrative tasks such as entering information, downloading attachments, creating meetings, etc. so they can focus on more touch-sensitive and critical issues.

In terms of security, what are your thoughts on how we can better protect data?

As software becomes more complex, automation becomes board games, not only for building features but also for security. And while there are several compliance-as-a-service options available that can dramatically accelerate security and compliance, start and end security with people.

Training and educating employees on how to identify and report suspicious behavior is the best way to reduce risks and prevent sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

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