Will.i.am's tech startup, I.am+, announced on Monday it is entering the world of artificial intelligence with a new voice assistant for powering customer service bots. Called "Omega," and described as similar to Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri, the AI-powered tool marks a departure for the 5-year-old company, which has primarily focused on consumer products like wireless headphones.
The launch was accompanied by the revelation that I.am+ has raised $117 million in venture funding, with the bulk -- $89 million -- raised by Salesforce Ventures in a round that closed in March but was never announced.
Will.i.am, who introduced Omega at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, told Reuters that the corporate community was ready for a new AI-powered voice assistant. "I wanted to create something that allows us to do many things," he said. "There’s so much you can do with a voice platform."