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Guy Katabi, Lightkey: “one of the biggest challenges of our modern times is staying focused”


In today’s ever-changing, fast-paced world, creating quality content can often be a challenging task.

As most of our daily communications move online, some find it hard to adjust to this new environment. With so many distractions, notifications, and channels, writing engaging and error-free text can be a hassle.

Our guest today believes, that along with games, social media apps, and VPN software, more people should download tools that can help their productivity or provide valuable insights. To talk about how AI can be harnessed to improve one’s writing, we caught up with Guy Katabi, Founder and CEO of Lightkey – a company providing an AI-powered writing assistant.

What has your journey been like? How did the idea of Lightkey come about?

Lightkey’s journey started in 2012 when I moved from software development to a management position. Instead of using my highly productive development environment, I found myself writing the same texts over and over again across emails, documents, and presentations. At some point, I asked myself if it was normal to spend so much time typing? I was frustrated to discover that there isn’t any tool out there that could boost my typing and get me home earlier… and as a result, decided to build one. A few years later, Lightkey turned from a small side project into a company driven to redefine the field of typing on personal computers.

Can you introduce us to your writing assistant? What are its key features?

Lightkey is a personalized AI-powered writing assistant that can increase your typing speed, accuracy, and quality. It does that by learning your writing patterns and offering text predictions, spelling, and grammar corrections. Beyond the common phrases that we might get from Google’s Smart Compose when writing emails, Lightkey offers in-depth predictions in over 60 content domains, including technology, healthcare, professional services, academia, and more. Furthermore, Lightkey is a local solution that will never submit your content to the cloud and does not rely on Internet connectivity.

Lightkey integrates into MS Office (versions 2010 onwards), as well as into millions of web applications and websites, allowing it to learn your typing habits across all the apps you are using. For example, if you type a “coded” project name in MS Word, you will get it as a prediction in WhatsApp on your browser. In terms of language support, Lightkey supports 85 languages, including English (US and UK), French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Arabic, Italian and more.

How did the recent global events affect your field of work? Were there any new challenges you had to adapt to?

I think that the pandemic accelerated and somewhat normalized the concept of the remote workforce which was also helpful for us in terms of operating in our target markets.

Recently, maintaining creativity has been a serious struggle for some organizations. How can companies foster creativity and innovation when the majority of employees are working remotely?

This is a big and important question and we believe that typing has a major part in it. The reason is that we spend about 30 workdays a year just typing. Which is a lot of time! More importantly, there is a huge gap between the speed in which we form our thoughts (1,000 – 3,000 words per minute) and the speed at which we are able to type them (40 words per minute on average). If you combine these data points, you find yourself spending a lot of time writing your content, and when you do so, your brain is stuck in a huge traffic jam, which leaves very little room for creativity.

As we see it, Lightkey tries to save you as many keystrokes as possible, allowing you to express yourself faster, leaving much more room for creative thoughts and ideas.

What other tools do you think can greatly increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace?

I believe that one of the biggest problems of our modern times is the challenge of staying focused. There are so many interruptions and notifications that pull us out of our context to (yet another) infinite scrolling journey on some social network. This is not a surprise, given the tremendous amount of AI-powered compute power invested to tempt us to be on their platform and keep us there for as long as possible. Therefore, any tool that can help employees to stay focused, whether it is an app or an add-on will be great both for organizations and their employees.

Talking about the future, where do you expect to see AI used more widely in the upcoming years?

I think that AI-powered assistants will be a major part of the future of any industry. For example, a (human) doctor can see tens of thousands of patients in his or her lifespan, whereas an AI healthcare assistant can analyze millions of patient records and provide in-depth insights that could otherwise never be achieved. Hopefully, these domain-based AI-powered assistants will help us get better and more insightful decisions and improve the quality of our lives.

What does the future hold for Lightkey?

Our vision is to let you type at the speed of your mind, and we follow this vision with every new release of our product. We want people to stream their thoughts onto their digital devices quickly and easily, allowing them to focus on their ideas instead of the typing mechanics required to convey them.



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