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February 01, 2023

Equity.Guru

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Big plan, bright future: Verses Technologies (VERS.NEO) signs a heavy-weight

Verses Technologies (VERS.NEO) is a $38 million next-generation AI company providing foundational technology for the contextual computing era.

Modelled on the design principles of the human brain, Verses flagship offering, KOSM™, is a network operating system for generating distributed intelligence.

KOSM transforms disparate data into a universal context that fosters trustworthy collaboration between humans, machines, and AI, across digital and physical systems.

KOSM is designed to make things flow.

But it’s not a toilet or a tap – it’s a plumbing system.

Companies like Tesla, Alphabet and Snap are investing billions of dollars to improve the way AI interacts with real-world spatial environments.

On December 1st, 2022 Verses announced that Dr. Karl Friston, Professor of Neuroscience at University College London, had joined the Company as its Chief Scientist to direct and oversee advanced AI research and development.

Friston was ranked #1 most influential neuroscientist in the world by Semantic Scholar in 2016 has had an illustrious and decorated scientific career (it would double the size of this article to list his honors, achievements and publications).

On December 14, 2022, Verses AI Research Group – a dream-team of Computational Neuroscientists and AI Ph.D.’s – published a landmark research whitepaper entitled “Designing Ecosystems of Intelligence from First Principles.”

The paper presents a vision and roadmap for AI based on a field of research called Active Inference.  KOSM uses the Active Inference framework as the foundation for its AI decision-making and planning capabilities.

“Today’s AI models are custom-built for narrow problem sets,” states VERS, “for example, a model designed to alleviate traffic congestion can’t be applied to help identify medical issues in x-rays”.

“Operationally, Active Inference is a process of belief updating and propagation that has two aspects: inferring states of affairs in the world that generate data and inferring the best plans for actively acquiring more data,” states Friston.

“We are moving from the Information Age, this powerful science is the foundation of our KOSM platform,” confirms Verses CEO, Gabriel René, “Using Active Inference, KOSM enables the design and deployment of a new generation of intelligent agents capable of working together to provide unprecedented insights, recommendations, and autonomous capabilities to enhance any application across any industry”.

“Verses mission is to enable a smarter world where the power to design and deploy AI is extended beyond those with big data to anyone with big ideas,” added René.

A month ago, Verses announced its partnership with Blue Yonder, “a company specializing in digital supply chain and omni-channel commerce fulfillment empowering more than 3,000 retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers across the globe.

VERSES is expected to equip warehouses and distribution centers with adaptive intelligence and Spatial Twin management applications designed to generate a unified real time world model in order to better simulate and orchestrate workflow optimization, verifiable traceability, and intelligent automation”.

One of Verses spatial computing applications is the Wayfinder app powered by VERSES spatial networking technology.

Wayfinder utilizes spatial intelligence and AI to create a 3D twin model of a warehouse, allowing optimization of inventory location, storage space, and inventory flow for greater efficiency. The following are some benefits and features of Wayfinder:

  • Improved inventory turnover: Wayfinder allows workers to pick more items within the same allotted person-hours.
  • Unmatched compatibility: Wayfinder is compatible with handheld mobile devices and hands-free AR.
  • 3D-visual and voice guidance: This feature allows pickers to go to the exact location of items in less time with minimal effort. It evaluates and plugs optimum routes for workers in real-time, reducing travel time between picks.
  • High level of efficiency: With Wayfinder, there can be a 50% increase in daily order fulfillment across the distribution center (DC). Improvement at the DC has a positive downstream effect with customer satisfaction, retention and long-term loyalty – translating to rapid and sustained ROI and a better bottom line”.

Last summer VERSES announced that it is expanding deployment of Wayfinder spatial order picking software to all eighteen North American distribution centers for NRI Distribution Inc.

(NRI), a leading third-party logistics (3PL) provider, pursuant to a SaaS agreement previously entered into between VERSES and NRI.

This deployment builds upon the success of a multi-site Wayfinder pilot program and is an important step in NRI’s growth strategy to provide comprehensive logistics services for their omnichannel partners and the ongoing commercialization and expansion of VERSES technologies in the global supply chain sector.

“Wayfinder improves efficiency by reducing the cognitive effort that warehouse workers experience when utilizing text-based applications to look for products within the distribution center,” said René.

“We believe VERSES Wayfinder is a game changer, not only for us, but for the industry as a whole, which is why we are excited about our long-term relationship,” stated Peter McKenna, Chief Executive Officer of NRI. “Throughout our pilot, the Wayfinder application added significant and immediate value to our day-to-day operations, directing warehouse workers in the most efficient pathways to improve individual picking performance by nearly 40%.”

On November 23, 2022, Chris Parry, Equity Guru founder, “breaks down the spatial web in easy understandable language, lays out why it will fundamentally change the way we interact with our digital world and how Verses is poised to capitalize on this amazing digital transformation”.

“Versus is a great tech company doing really big futuristic things,” states Parry, “They’re involved in the spatial web and not everybody understands what that means. In fact, a lot of people who are tech savvy, do not know what that means.”

This Wayfinder pilot program comes at a time when supply chain disruptions continue to occur globally, forcing many companies to examine and optimize all aspects of their operations.

“Say my job is to pick things out of a warehouse,” said Parry, “If you’re an Amazon worker, you’ve got a little screen that you walk around with it says, go to this place. Now go to that place. You’ve got 25 seconds. All it really does is time Cindy, to make sure she’s faster than Sally”.

“We could have a different system that says, Alright Cindy, we know that you’ve been walking back and forth, grabbing items that are always paired together, we’re going to talk to the boss, and we’re going to move those items closer to save you a trip.”

“If you’re always getting people that buy cat litter, and a cat litter box, maybe those two things should be together. Maybe we should also track inventory, so that when you’re about to run out of cat food, we place an automated order to the supplier. So, when they’re low on supply, our system knows it and can order ahead of time to make sure that we don’t miss a delivery.”

“This is a vastly different system than what is used in most warehouses around the world,” stated Parry, “Currently, systems do not talk to each other, and factories do not talk to distribution centers. The trucks moving between those two locations, don’t talk to each other.”

“So, what we need is a system that from soup to nuts, talks, talks, talks, talks, and takes guys like me out of the equation. I’m all for people being employed, and the robots going and effing themselves. But at some point, you need a system that is smart enough that it doesn’t require me standing in the middle of things, looking for something that I identify as being a problem, then calling head office.”

The global AI market is projected to grow to USD $1.394 trillion by the end of the decade.  Despite its successful applications, the widespread use of AI is constrained by fundamental challenges which Verses is attempting to overcome.

“I’m not saying buy or sell Verses,” concluded Parry, “I’m just saying I really like it. I appreciate what they’re doing, the way they’re doing it, I think this thing is gonna be an absolute God.”

Full Disclosure: Verses Technologies is an Equity Guru marketing client.

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