Fin Trying to Build a Digital Assistant Consumers Can Trust

May 8, 2018

By Madison Alworth

If you're too busy running the usual errands this week and need help buying flowers and booking brunch reservations for Mother's Day, Fin wants to help. The artificial intelligence-enabled personal assistant uses machine learning and human know-how to accomplish tasks for you ー or your mom ー and will do so without a subscription for a limited time.

"Assistance is great, but it has to work, " said Sam Lessin, a co-founder of Fin. "It especially has to work in the real world, because as you know if you send someone to the wrong meeting or book the wrong plane flight, that's a lot worse than playing the wrong song on your Alexa at home."

Lessin, who sold his file sharing start-up Drop.io to Facebook in 2010, started Fin with Andrew Kortina, the co-founder of Venmo. They began tinkering in 2015 with the idea of a time-saving way to make the internet more useful, according to TechCrunch.

It was a competitive gambit in an already crowded realm of A.I.-enabled devices and smart-home products made by big players ー Amazon's Echo, Google's Home assistant, and Siri and HomePod by Apple.

Lessin wants Fin to do more than just tell you the weather. He said he wants his service to replace personal assistants with A.I. and a team of at-the-ready humans to execute essential tasks like buying airline tickets, booking meetings, and ordering gifts for mom. It’s tech, he said, that lets you outsource tasks to people for about $1 a minute.

The service usually requires a subscription, but Fin is offering a limited-time promotion around Mother’s Day to bring in new customers who will become subscribers.

When asked how they are hoping to capture that audience, Lessin said that Fin has to prove its reliability, consistently.

“It has to be repeated success,” he said. “You trust an A.I. platform and you trust any type of assistance platform because you have great experiences with it over time, and people you know have great experiences with it over time.”

For full interview, click here.

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