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Artificial Intelligence

RUNWITHIT Synthetics is your Doc Brown when you want to learn the future of your business

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June 12, 2019

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Myrna Bittner, CEO and Co-Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics, is in the business of the future.

Far removed from a fortune teller and a crystal ball, Bittner and her team are closer to Marty McFly and Doc Brown from Back to the Future. Their version of the modified DeLorean is a system of synthetics, and rather than dialing in a date and stepping on the gas, they simulate realistic futures to help businesses grow with certainty.

Along with Dean, her partner in business and in life, Bittner has decades of experience building technology products. Over the years, the pair gained a deep understanding of the gap between development practices and what happened to systems when they went live.

“In life, unexpected things happen, and teams end up spending a lot of time firefighting,” Bittner says. “There was brand damage, and people always seemed to be behind or reactive. We really felt that there was an opportunity there, because there is always an opportunity wherever there’s a problem.”

We use AI to find the needles in the needle stack
Myrna Bittner CEO and Co-Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics

For Bittner, the opportunity was taking their synthetic intelligence platform and offering it to help companies de-risk their high-value, complex systems. (A complex system could be anything from a minimum viable product to a smart airport to a pipeline.)

The core of RUNWITHIT is synthetic intelligence environments — pieces of AI-driven code that act and respond like humans, weather patterns, vehicles, or “whatever is required to create a world around the technology we’re addressing,” Bittner explains. What companies can’t see coming is what hurts them.

Bittner is currently working with Levven Electronics as they conquer the vast requirements related to wireless smart home automation systems. The Edmonton-based company is convincing homebuilders to forgo installing copper wire in their homes. While this would save builders money and time, it comes with a certain amount of risk: the system needs to deliver flawlessly because there isn’t a backup hard-wired into the house to make sure the family isn’t eating dinner in the dark.

RUNWITHIT-Synthetics took all the available information from Levven’s devices and created a scenario where they could imagine any conceivable future and get real data on how everything from homeowner behaviour to radio frequency noise would impact their installed product.

“Sometimes interfaces have behaviours that we need to make very realistic. They need to be responsive, creative, interactive, and even take time to ponder what they need to do next — just like the actual user of a system,” Bittner says. “They need to do this in a varied way, not predictable or sequential way. That’s when we most often use AI — creating entities that decide who they are, and can plan what tasks they want to do.”

AI is also used on the intelligence side of the environment. The AI used there examines extensive live data sets coming off the systems as RUNWITHIT brings them to life.

“We use AI to find the needles in the needle stack. These systems produce massive amounts of data and metrics, and we want to see what’s correlated with a specific event in time or utilization of a system,” Bittner says. “We want to see all the bits and pieces of the system that are affected in that same point in time. We use the AI to get the people building product diagnostics very quickly.”

Bittner sees the promise of technology, but understands deeply the frustration her peers feel when the technology they build fails, especially when that technology is solving massive problems for cities, businesses, and real people.

“Technology holds such a promise for so many, and it’s our entire world. We’re surrounded by technology every day and when the promise fails it can be frustrating and profoundly expensive for many people,” she says. “Being part of a passionate group of people delivering technology to other companies and seeing the trust, hope, and the promise of technology fulfilled, actually being able to help them deliver flawlessly is an incredibly engaging place to be.”

Last year RUNWITHIT Synthetics was recognized as a Manning Innovation Award nominee for their work with six Edmonton-based clients. The nomination is a testament not only to the technical achievement of their product, but also to the company’s ongoing commitment to improving the lives of Canadians and others around the world with their commercialized innovations. In 2018, their synthetics put in over 4.2 trillion hours on systems leading the world for clients including INVIDI/AT&T.

The next time you are concerned about the security of your information when you use online banking technology, wonder who is informing the design of energy systems to reduce carbon emissions in smart cities, and consider how A.I. is understood in medical devices — think of Bittner and her team, who are taking their synthetics global, finding limitless opportunities to apply their modified Delorean to solve problems before the future arrives.

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