Applying artificial intelligence to create more attractive ads is the core of PhotoIlike’s business, a spin-off company that was born within the Citic (Research Center for Information and Communication Technologies) of the University of Coruña (UdC) and that with just one year of life already has the support of very important clients in the real estate sector, including Abanca. Looking to the immediate future, it is already aiming to extend its activity to other sectors such as the automotive industry or online second-hand product stores, which are also adapted to the solutions proposed by PhotoIlike.
Juan Romero, majority shareholder and head of research at the company, explains that the project arose from the Rnasa Imedir del Citic research group, dedicated to the study of different possibilities of applying artificial intelligence. “We had been working on the application of artificial intelligence in the arts for twenty years and we already had a high level in this field worldwide. That is why we took the step to create the spin-off, which was established in March 2021 after the development carried out through the Igicia program of the Galician Innovation Agency (Gain) of the Xunta de Galicia over the two years previous ones”, explains Romero.
The operation of the system developed by PhotoIlike is very simple. It is about “guessing” the majority tastes of the clients and being able to order a set of photographs of a property that is intended to be sold. Artificial intelligence made it possible to create a tool that facilitates a significant increase in visits to real estate ads, since the most attractive photos for customers automatically come to occupy the first positions. “Abanca has already tested the system and managed to increase visits by 15 percent and the number of people who ask about the properties by 20 percent,” says Romero.
Currently the AutoAd solution designed by PhotoIlike is being marketed above all by real estate agencies, portals in this sector, virtual tour companies and investment funds that acquire real estate. In the short term, Romero points out that other types of solutions will be developed for the sector, such as an auto-renewal system for advertisements, since it is something demanded by the buyer, and a tool to improve photos. But the possibilities of applying artificial intelligence to photographs can be successfully extended to other sectors.
The spin-off from Coruña has already planned to enter the automobile and second-hand market in the coming months. In addition, they are working on the possibility of applying the model to e-commerce, which would allow customers, when they do a search in an online store, what they are going to see corresponds to their tastes and not just those of the majority of customers. To give an idea of the growth that PhotoIlike is registering, suffice it to point out that in one year more than 15 million photos were evaluated.
The PhotoIlike research manager assures that the initial help from the Ignicia program was essential for the development of the company and they also obtained support from Igape. “The fact of being a technology company helps us to access financing and we also have state aid through Enisa,” says Romero. Internationalization is a very clear goal of the project from the beginning and they are already working on this line.
Slowly but surely, PhotoIlike aspires to consolidate itself in a sector that has many possibilities for growth, since online sales continue to grow after the pandemic and having a virtual showcase that is as attractive as possible is a fundamental requirement to survive in a shop. increasingly competitive. The spin-off from Coruña has the knowledge and a human team backed by many years of research, which is still in the company’s DNA.