This week, Website Planet had the opportunity to interview Guy Katabi, Founder and CEO of Lightkey. We discussed how the company evolved, what features it offers, and what he sees in the future of his industry.
Please Present Lightkey To Our Audience. What Services And Products Do You Offer?
Lightkey is the world’s leading AI-powered writing assistant for Windows, delivering personalized predictive typing and real-time correction experience when creating any kind of content, ranging from casual conversational through academic to highly professional.
Once installed Lightkey seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office as well as with Chrome and Edge browsers, and essentially boosts content creation in millions of applications. One of Lightkey’s most unique characteristics is the fact that it does not rely on internet connectivity whatsoever as it works purely offline and will never submit the user’s content to the cloud.
What’s Your Story? What Sparked The Idea, And How Has It Evolved So Far?
The story of Lightkey began in 2012, as I moved from software development to management position. In essence, I switched from highly productive code-writing tools to spending endless hours drafting emails, documents and presentations, that were somewhat repetitive. As a result, I found myself tirelessly typing in a way that felt extremely unproductive.
This deep frustration combined with the fact that there wasn’t any solution out there that provided an intelligent writing experience sparked Lightkey’s journey. Since its inception, Lightkey successfully predicted over a billion keystrokes to typists in more than 170 countries worldwide.
What Is Your Mission?
Our mission is to allow typing at the speed of mind. We want to redefine the mundane typing experience as we know it, by shifting the focus from the underlying typing mechanics to the actual creation intent.
First, we designed Lightkey to grow with the user as a truly personalized assistant that learns the user’s unique writing style across different apps and contexts. Over time, Lightkey gains its confidence and predicts longer sequences based on the user’s activity, reaching up to 18 words ahead including punctuations.
Second, we wanted to challenge the traditional ‘back-looking’ approach taken by existing spelling/grammar tools. In essence, today’s tools work in retrospect as they point out your mistakes and suggest their corrections post creation. This approach results in what we experience as pausing the creation process, going back to the highlighted words and phrases, considering the various alternatives, and finally selecting the best option to correct our text.
In today’s world, where our basic sense of focus is highly challenged by default, these back-and-forth dynamics break the line of thought and decrease overall productivity. Therefore, we decided to design a different forward-facing experience, whereby one can correct their mistakes on-the-go, without ever needing to go back.
What Makes You Stand Out From Your Competitors?
At its core, Lightkey is a highly personalized solution. Furthermore, you can drag and drop your knowledge-base into Lightkey and instantly get full sentence predictions that are based on your own content without ever sending it “outside” of your machine or the organizational premise. In addition, Lightkey works in millions of websites and supports over 80 languages.
Who Are Your Typical Customers’ And What Pain Points You Help Them Solve?
It took us a while to figure out this question, as early adopters from every industry found Lightkey useful, including financial services, legal services, language services, professional services, academia and more. However, while most industry professionals use Lightkey for better productivity, during our journey we came to realize that Lightkey is extremely beneficial and sometimes life-changing for people with disabilities who struggle with communication.
For example, those who suffer from dyslexia are able to communicate with confidence thanks to Lightkey’s real-time correction technology. Others who suffer from dexterity or other physical typing difficulties benefit from Lightkey’s text prediction power as it significantly reduces the amount of energy required to produce their content.
As a result, we decided to be very active in the Assistive Technology (AT) market, building partnerships with AT providers all around the world.
What Trends Are Going To Shape The Future Of Your Industry?
Projecting the current developments of natural language processing into the future, it may be possible that a large portion of our communication will be handled by virtual assistants. For example, imagine a virtual assistant that autonomously decides what emails it can respond to on your behalf; or a virtual assistant that screens incoming phone calls on your behalf.
Therefore, it is expected to become much harder to distinguish between AI-powered and human originated communication, which raises interesting questions about how we interact as a society in a healthy way? And how we maintain our basic need for communication and not sacrifice it in the name of productivity.
Taking this understanding to our own domain, we are passionate in helping people express themselves faster with confidence, and equally passionate about never trying to replace them in the process.
Lastly, Any Exciting News Or Developments That You Would Like To Share About Lightkey?
Recently, we launched the first-of-its-kind real-time correction technology that is capable of correcting multiple words typed incorrectly, all at once in real-time. This new experience is releasing users from the burden of pausing their line of thought in order to go back and consider various correction alternatives. Here is a live demo video capture: