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50 Smartest Companies Of The Year 2018

Helping Advertisers Avoid Common Pitfalls in Video Ad Placement, MANTIS-AI Rapidly Detects Inappropriate and Unfavorable Content

thesiliconreview-feras-maddah-ceo-mantis-ai-2018Over the past few years, the advancement in technology and change in consumer behavior have resulted in a new media landscape for content delivery. Advertising in online video publishing sites, like YouTube, Facebook, and SnapChat has completely changed the definitions of and approaches to video advertising.

Online video advertising has become a massive tide in the marketplace creating new opportunities for marketers to better connect and engage with their target audience across video platforms. Even though the popularity of video advertising is skyrocketing, there lies a serious problem advertisers face with online brand-safety, especially with confirmed reports about major global advertisers pulling campaigns out of social media and online video publishing sites.

To address these challenges, MANTIS-AI was founded in 2017. With increased reports about failed video vetting solutions, the time was ripe for the company to put in its science to resolve this major industry problem. Utilizing machine learning algorithms to analyze semantic data in any video, a team of AI video understanding scientists from KAUST and former advertising and marketing experts developed an AI capability.

MANTIS-AI was initially set up to offer advertisers fluid and efficient control over their content on ads and as an incentive to push its business forward, it offered its clients a free trial period. Since the advertising industry is the target client pool, solving the problem with brand-safe and content-relevant ad placement online became a clear business objective for MANTIS-AI. In turn, MANTIS-AI utilized its video understanding capabilities to build more robust and efficient services that address its clients’ current challenges with online campaign planning and spending.

The Road to Success

When MANTIS-AI started in 2017, the company’s core AI technology focused on understanding general video activity without a clear application in mind. Once the clear and massive problem in the global advertising industry appeared, it was evident that MANTIS-AI needed to hone in on the problem and focus on training the MANTIS-AI platform to vet online video content for advertising purposes, thereby establishing a competitive advantage over other online advertising auditing services.

MANTIS-AI’s core technology adapts to various applications when it comes to video understanding. However, fine-tuning the company’s AI capabilities for the purpose of solving targeted problems required a significant training and retargeting to address brand-specific or campaign-specific needs for individual clients.

MANTIS-AI interacted with a handful of advertising clients by offering test trials. During these trials, clients communicated specific guidelines for brand-safe and brand-relevant attributes. These attributes were tested on the MANTIS’ video understanding and moderation platform, producing results that were evaluated and improved upon based on trial feedback. This progressive learning feature of MANTIS’ technology enabled it to adapt to client demands for their ad campaign requirements. Moreover, these trials served a fundamental role in validating the functionality and commercial value of MANTIS in the current market.

Over the past year, MANTIS-AI has gained popularity in the industry through giving control back to the advertiser by offering video vetting technology that enforces brand-safety and brand-relevancy.

In-Conversation with CEO, Feras Maddah:

Q. What motivated you to shape your offerings and grow the company?

We are motivated to push our tech further by testing it on every nuance when it comes to understanding a brand’s language, identity, and definition of brand safety. At MANTIS-AI, we keep up-to-speed on the technology used by the ad industry with online campaign auditing, especially concerning video vetting AI, working diligently to ensure that our services and capabilities are competitive enough to stay ahead of the curve.

Q. Is your company a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’? Do you formulate your own core values?

We see ourselves as the catalyst for change within an industry that has been oversaturated with products and services that overcomplicate the process of digital marketing.

As a company, our core values stem from our passion for addressing market challenges and always delivering strong and advanced solutions that develop our clients’ business processes with effective and fresh functionality.

Q. “Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all actions,” how do you interpret this statement?

A consumer’s trust is initially earned through delivering a solid product or service that meets their expectation. Equally, a strong bond and trust are established when we chase every opportunity to connect with our clients and understand the obstacles they face, allowing us to better improve our services and provide a consistently high standard solution. At MANTIS-AI, we have preliminary testing periods where we secure all feedback and create an environment that helps our customers know that we are always listening to them and improving our business solutions.

Q. A company to be one the SMARTEST, its employees must be open-minded and creative, they need to feel they have a decent outlet for sharing their observations and ideas. Is this true with your company?

I believe innovation is about creating simple solutions to complex problems. It is crucial for our company to develop more capable and efficient solutions that address gaps in the market and challenge the current existing services.

At MANTIS-AI, we have an organic structure and our entire team contributes to creating our services. Every member of the MANTIS-AI team shares diverse ideas through their diverse experiences and expertise and brings every possibility to the table when initially designing a service or product.

Q.  What makes MANTIS-AI one of the SMARTEST companies in the industry and why?

Currently, the market needs a system that can cope with the massive and increasing video upload rate to popular video platforms (e.g. 400 hours of video to YouTube every minute), and we, at MANTIS-AI, offer a unique capability for advertisers: an automated advertiser-centric video understanding and moderation AI platform that can increase ad campaign efficiency and solve the dire problem with brand-safety online.

We always tell our clients that our system can replace the total reliance on human intervention for understanding video activity and auditing an online campaign’s performance. We automate and optimize the auditing process, making it faster and more capable of rapidly analyzing the online industry’s rapidly growing video upload rate.

MANTIS-AI is an optimal video vetting system that detects and flags videos for inappropriate content multiple times faster than real-time. Quintessentially, I believe this unique capability makes us one of the smartest companies in the industry right now.

The Future Vision

Being the first in the industry to offer video understanding AI and video content classification for advertisers, MANTIS-AI contributes to an innovative environment within the IT industry.

Looking into the future, MANTIS-AI believes that it will continue to maintain a hands-on relationship with clients, delivered through a responsive and attentive management team. The company’s goal is to directly understand current problems within targeted industries by implementing new and innovative methods to multiple business processes.

“The industry needs a system that can understand the concepts portrayed in video content in order to effectively understand what is or isn’t appropriate for viewing and/ or advertising. And this is where Mantis-AI comes in to fill the gap.”