Life at ElectrifAi: Josh Ciccone, Senior Technical Product Manager
In order to reconcile the demands of our technology and management teams, our Senior Technical Product Manager, Josh Ciccone, works hard to fully understand both sides of the story. Though he can definitely “geek out on the technical side of things,” he also is just as committed to making effective business decisions in the ever-changing world of AI and ML.
What’s your role at ElectrifAi?
As the Senior Technical Product Manager, I’m very involved with the technical aspects of how the product and technology teams overlap. For the products we’re building, there has to be a level of involvement from both the business side and the technology side and I help to bring them together.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I attend a lot of calls and meetings because there are a lot of decisions that the technology team is looking to make that could affect larger product decisions going forward. Right now, we’re building out a new underlying infrastructure for all of our products so a lot of discussions are being had about that.
What product(s) are you focusing on at the moment?
I’ve been fortunate to have actually been able to work with a lot of different products but my primary focuses are ProcurementAi, ContractAi, and the underlying infrastructure team that I mentioned before.
Which product has been your favorite to work on?
I can kind of geek out on the technical side of things on our infrastructure project since it’ll be an underlying part of all of the products moving forward, but that’s not really a product in itself. If I had to choose a specific one, it’d be ContractAi just because it’s still in its early stages and we’re in the process of planning the release behind it. It’s always exciting to start things off right from the beginning.
What is the main problem that ElectrifAi is solving with this product?
Anybody that’s had to deal with contracts in the past understands that having to go back and make a determination as to what the requirements are in the contracts, when a contract might be ending, or what types of clauses are in the contract understands the pain of having to go back and read through almost the entire contract to find that information. It’s very labor intensive to look for particular clauses, determine how they might affect you, and find out if there are any other clauses that might affect that decision as well. ContractAi goes through the most common clauses that are in contracts, extracts them for you and points you to exactly what it is you’re looking for without having to read through an entire contract. It’s a huge time saver.
How is ElectrifAi’s approach to this solution unique?
As an AI company, what’s unique about us is how we’re able to focus on multiple verticals at the same time. With ContractAi, we have the ability to focus on not just what legal needs or just what another particular vertical needs. Instead, we’re able to approach contracts in a way that can focus on any vertical we come across from a partnership perspective or a customer perspective. The level of flexibility we have going out into the market is incredibly interesting.
What is the added value of using AI and ML instead of a rules-based system in this solution?
The biggest value is really just the level of flexibility AI provides because the model is able to learn the shifts that are happening within an organization and the changes that are coming up in the way that contracts are being drafted. Rules based statements would make it very difficult down the road to manually adapt to these changes.
What’s an example of #AIforgood that you think is particularly inspiring?
Honestly the coolest thing that I’ve come across is actually something that we’re working on!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while working at ElectrifAi?
With all that we’re doing there’s honestly so many things to pull from. We’re a fast-paced company and we’re doing an awful lot so I think the biggest lesson I’m learning is the value of having patience and taking a breath to ensure that things are still being done in a high-quality way. I say I’m learning that because that’s exactly how this team is operating and it’s impressive to me that we can be moving as fast as we are and still be stopping and analyzing things at the right time to ensure that we’re doing things the right way. It’s really cool to see that amongst the team.
Is there anything that’s surprised you about working at ElectrifAi?
Going back to my previous answer, it’s the fact that we’re able to move as fast as we are and still create such high quality software. I’ve been working in tech for around 15 years now and things take time, especially when you want to put out good products. The fact that we’ve been able to accomplish that and still do it as quickly as we have has been impressive.
Now that we’ve reached 2020, how do you predict the world of AI and ML will change over the course of this decade?
I think the biggest change is definitely going to be just how often we’re going to see it. AI and ML are starting to touch everything- even problems that probably were never even thought of in the past with regards to being able to be solved with software. We’re seeing startups launch all over the place that solve all kinds of problems using AI and ML. Overall, the frequency in which we’ll see it is what’s going to blow us all away over the next 10 years.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I’m a very family-oriented person so I love being able to spend time with them. I also have two dogs and I’m one of those crazy people who cares a great deal about my dogs so I like being able to spend time with them as well. It’s really about focusing on the people and the things that are most important to me in my down time.