No Code Artificial Intelligence: Making AI Accessible To All
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most rapidly changing areas of technology today. Models built on proprietary frameworks even a year ago are already obsolete.
Businesses and individuals are looking for ways to create new AI products to better serve their customers. Do a simple Google search and you’ll find a bunch of guides, online courses, and such that walk you through the coding languages that can help you build these AI products.
However, not everyone is fluent in these languages which is why there are no code platforms that significantly simplify the process of building an AI product. Metaranx is one such platform.
We spoke with Samantha Lloyd, the co-founder and CEO of Metaranx, host of the Toronto startup podcast, Float or Founder, and a digital marketing expert.
1. What’s the story behind Metaranx? What inspired you to get on this journey?
Metaranx is a no code artificial intelligence (AI) building software platform and marketplace. But we didn’t always start out that way. This story feels like ancient history even though it was our reality only a few months ago when we began as an AI digital marketing platform for small to medium businesses.
We wanted to build tools to tackle content marketing, SEO, and more through AI. During this time, my co-founder and Metaranx’s CTO Lisen Kaci noticed a lot of similarities between different applications he was building and also challenges and hurdles he faced and was frustrated by.
From this, a no code AI building software platform was born. It allows anyone, regardless of skill or experience in coding or the AI field, to build AI applications.
After learning about the bias that persists in this industry and existing AI systems, as well as the huge gap in the industry for the talent we knew there was work to be done and a solution was needed to open up this field. Whether you’re looking for sentiment analysis, image recognition, audio and text generation – you will be able to do it all on Metaranx.
You can be an individual AI hobbyist, someone looking to launch the next big AI startup or a company that needs AI applications built on their own data. No matter who you are or your needs in artificial intelligence, Metaranx can get you there.
2. How has the current COVID-19 crisis affected your business and what did you do to overcome those challenges?
We wrote about launching a startup in COVID-19 to provide advice to other founders. It’s definitely not easy but has really helped us focus on what matters most in the early stages: product development and community building.
Our original marketing budget and plan have been pushed due to COVID-19 and we haven’t pursued any paid avenues as of yet. We’ve been focusing on content and social media and other organic means of reaching our audience, such as attending virtual events.
We’ve been able to take this opportunity to focus on the product and user feedback as we iterate. It’s allowed us to create a software platform that accomplishes our goals and we’re really excited about that. We can’t wait to see where the platform grows and how it changes as we launch into our closed beta.
We have continued to apply for funding and accelerator programs and have had a positive experience and good feedback. People are still keen to meet (virtually!). Programs and pitch competitions have gone virtual, which have some positives and negatives, and some VCs have expanded their typical investment strategy to include startups in other countries.
We’ve been able to practice our pitch a lot during this time and that’s been a huge benefit. If you’re a company in Canada, Hockeystick has a list of active funders you can apply to.
3. Can someone who has no knowledge of coding whatsoever use your platform to build a great AI tool?
Yes, anyone can build an AI application on Metaranx without having to code – but it’s been a journey to get here. Beyond not needing to code, our creators and builders also need a platform that empowers them to understand Artificial Intelligence (AI).
AI is a complex field – when making any artificial intelligence model you need a clean dataset, the correct model for your data, and you need to allocate GPUs or CPUs to train on (plus a whole lot more). It’s not intuitive to create an artificial intelligence application, even without having to code.
We’ve created a software platform that handles those choices for you so that our creators can focus on their AI goals. You can see our product growth from stage one on our YouTube channel and blog – it’s crazy to see how much we’ve iterated on the Metaranx platform since day one!
The product will look different on closed beta launch to better help you achieve AI goals without code. We have been able to accomplish this thanks to the feedback and support from the wonderful #nocode community.
4. What marketing channels have you been using to educate and spread the word about your platform?
We started marketing on all social channels and put a big focus on SEO and content marketing since that’s my background. Twitter has been our most successful channel for obtaining sign-ups, with newsletter features from the no code community following as a close second, and organic search as the third.
Every day, I follow Twitter accounts of people in the no code and AI space, as well as tech entrepreneurs and designers. I engage with the no code community as often as I can.
I write content, both on and off page, to build links and provide value to our audience. I would like to participate more in Slack or similar channels and learn about more newsletters in the no code community, so that’s my next step.
My advice for other founders looking to pursue organic marketing strategies during this time is to find:
- Where your community lives online: is it Twitter or forums or a Slack channel
- Virtual events your community attends: go to virtual meetups and networking to connect with community members
- Newsletters and content your audience reads most often: offer to do content swaps, interviews, or sponsorship if you have the budget
- Write content: fill up your blog with content to help your website achieve a good ranking for your keywords in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), such as Google Search.
- Companies to partner with: Offer to do content swaps, social shares, and newsletter features with other companies who target the same market or who have a similar product. Don’t be afraid of competition in the field – make solid partnerships with everyone. You never know how you and another company can help one another out.
5. What are the future plans for Metaranx?
Our closed beta will be released on 1st July 2020, which means we will slowly invite our sign-ups to join our platform to start building AI applications. If you’re interested in joining the closed beta, please sign up.
Beyond that, we hope to run a company that people build AI startups off of – hopefully startups that will be even more successful and valuable than our own. We can’t wait to see what people build and also what they sell and share on the marketplace and what others buy and use of the marketplace.
It’s going to be a really exciting time in artificial intelligence when everyone can participate. We have so many plans on how we can grow this company and what we want to do – from running hackathons to funding STEM programs, to a digital magazine featuring our talented creators and builders, to a four-day workweek… we’ve thought of everything.
The future is too exciting and we can’t wait to get there!