Looking for information? Well, search is social, but the challenge with the current setup is that one needs a mix of curated plus social intelligence and that’s where online personal assistants come into the picture.
myBantu.com is a free online personal assistant that sources recommendations from humanized Web using its patent pending technology – ActiveRelevance.
State your need to myBantu.com – the virtual personal assistant understands your intent plus context and gives you 3 to 9 personalized and relevant recommendations from humanized Web (Web, Personal Network and Trusted Professionals).
If you like any recommendation but not sure about it, myBantu assists you in getting opinions from your friends & social networks.
myBantu uses different tools like search engines, semantic engines, Social networking sites, and other specialized sites like Yelp, Yahoo, OpenTable, RottenTomatoes, Amazon etc., for sourcing relevant recommendations to the users.
Unlike search engines i.e. the indexing & sorting method, an AI-based virtual assistant will give different answers depending on the individual preferences and personal context (place, time, history). myBantu’s competitive landscape includes Siri ( mobile based virtual personal assistant, acquired by Apple ). The other competitors include Hunch ( personalized recommendation system ) and Aardvark ( acquired by Google ).
While Siri is predominantly mobile centric artificial intelligence based assistant, myBantu leverages both artificial intelligence and social networks through friends recommendations and opinions.
myBantu is tuned for Entertainment related needs like – Dining, movies, music, online shopping -and it plans to expand to Travel, Health in Beta release planned in Q4, 2010 and other domains as well in 2011.
The product is very US focused and most of search query specific to India didn’t work so well. The Bangalore (and US based) company has secured $1.3 million funding and is planning to raise $6mn as part of the next round.
Primary revenue model is transaction based, whenever the user likes a recommendation and gets it done through myBantu, a transaction commission is realized from service provider. Currently myBantu has integrated with ~2200 such service providers in US from whom the potentially the revenue can be generated.
Do give myBantu a spin and share your feedback.