16:13 | 31.03.21 | Interviews | exclusive 44944

Samvel Martirosyan: Hoory will do the unexpected

Last week Hoory announced that media and IT security expert Samvel Martirosyan became the startup’s CEO.

Itel.am has talked with Samvel Martirosyan about his new job and the vision for the startup’s development.

You have worked mostly alone so far. How unusual is it for you to work as an executive officer? Was it easy to accept the proposal?

I have experience with managing projects. I have worked with teams, most of them had about 10 members. Here responsibility is much bigger, of course, because the team is larger and there are more projects. Previously, I worked on projects designed for Armenia, and Hoory is aimed at entering the international market.

Tell us about Hoory AI assistant. What are its main functions?

Hoory is a chatbot assistant that allows automating and simplifying the communication between business and client. To put it briefly, Hoory is a service department representative - not a real person but a robot that can be taught. Based on its tools, one of which is based on AI, the chatbot speaks with the customer in the place of a real chat operator.

That is the basis. Horry, which is named after the main character of the popular Armenian folk tale Lazy Hoory, has a main tool set that enables it to add a range of new tools. We will speak of these additional functions in the future, as they are being developed now. We have very unexpected things planned, things that even the global market does not have yet.

What is the vision for Hoory’s development? What are the startup’s next steps?

Of course, Hoory is a young startup. The chatbot we have now is the first stage of development. Soon, it will get into the second stage, so there will be the second version, which is going to be a much more serious tool and will included multiple innovations. Since the chatbot has AI and machine learning elements, it has the ability of self-learning on top of the main tool set. It means that the client can create databases, based on which the chatbot will learn and later communicate better with humans.

The task is to create a chatbot that in some respects will replace humans in dealing with customers and will improve over time. In addition, it is very important that Hoory works with a multilingual audience. Chatbot understands the language in which it is addressed and immediately switches to that language.

Hoory will allow both large and medium-sized businesses to save time and human resources, work with customers more efficiently.

What challenges might the team face in the near future? How do you plan to overcome them?

Unfortunately, there are some restrictions. Armenian languages is absent in such translation-related areas, which is a global problem, not a specific issue of Hoory. Armenian IT industry needs to find a solution to this with joint efforts.

We have the issue with Armenian on all international platforms. That is why, for instance, we cannot place normal ads on Youtube and make money on it – something vide bloggers do worldwide. Armenian could work in dozens of areas, if there was the base of Armenian language and if it was studied, so we could add it to machine learning. We at Hoory are facing the issue, which we cannot resolve with our own resources yet. That is why we might have some restrictions in the Armenian market.

How many experts are working at Hoory? Do you plan to enlarge the team?

Hoory is a new business, but the team is rather large already – several dozen people work there. The startup is an independent company within a large one, SoftConstruct, and it is still growing. Further growth will depend on the general expansion, which is a matter of the future.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Samvel Martirosyan