Weili Dai Uses AI to Help People Improve Their Lifestyles

A personalized voice assistant that matches your lifestyle

Weili Dai's mission is to help people make their lives more efficient using technology. 

Dai is the co-founder and executive chairwoman of MeetKai, developer of an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant that users can access via an application on smartphones and other tech devices. 

A portrait of Weili Dai
Weili Dai.

MeetKai

MeetKai was founded in 2018 by Dai and CEO, James Kaplan. The company uses artificial intelligence to engage in voice-operated, personalized search conversations with its users about recipes, books, games, fitness, weather, and more. The Kai platform is live in 36 countries and operates in more than 15 languages. 

"You can see today that AI is becoming a very important technology," Dai told Lifewire in a video interview. "Kai was created to make our lives more beautiful, easier, and efficient, all through voice technology and artificial intelligence."

Quick Facts

  • Name: Weili Dai
  • Age: 60
  • From: Shanghai, China
  • Random delight: "I'm a glass box on the outside, but I'm a traditional person on the inside."
  • Key quote or motto: "Giving, forgiving, fair, and caring. Whatever I have today is because of my parents' upbringing."

Impacting Lifestyles

Born in Shanghai, Dai played semi-professional basketball there before moving to the US at the age of 17. Dai considers herself a "geek by training" since she has a software development and computer science background. She remembers always being interested in STEM topics since she was a kid, so venturing into a career in technology was the perfect fit for her.

She earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. Dai's alma mater even named a hall after her and her husband, The Sutardja Dai Hall, where the university houses its Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society. The hall also acts as a hub for engineering research and tech innovation. 

Dai launched her first company in 1995 alongside her husband Sehat Sutardja, who also has a knack for engineering products. Marvell Technology, a publicly-traded company that develops semiconductors and other related technology products, is still in business today and annually brings in $2.9 billion in revenue. Dai, named one of the richest women in tech by Forbes, said this company is where MeetKai's journey really began. 

"The technology we are developing will impact the lifestyles of each of us for years to come," Dai said.

Screenshots of how a conversation with MeetKai looks compared to other products.

MeetKai

After more than 20 years leading Marvell, Dai and her husband parted ways with the company in 2016 and moved to Las Vegas in 2017. The couple began investing in real estate and technology before Dai set her focus on launching another tech company. 

When Dai and Kaplan started working on MeetKai in 2018, Dai said she wanted to create a genderless "mini-me" virtual product that would allow users to ask questions to improve their way of living. And yes, the virtual assistant actually identifies as they and them, according to MeetKai's website.

To compete with other virtual assistant products out there, Dai said it was also important to build a product that could understand the context of questions, retain previous conversations to alleviate repetition, and be conversational to build relationships. Unlike virtual assistant products manufactured by Apple and Google, Kai's patented tech offers a personal experience and fosters real-time discussions.  

The company released the first version of its AI assistant in May 2021. The application is compatible with Apple and Android products. 

"Each of us is always facing challenges. But my mom always taught me to be positive, giving, and forgiving."

Be Fair and Care

When facing challenges as a minority woman founder, Dai said she sticks to one philosophy when she finds herself in a rut: be fair and care. Even with her many accolades, this seasoned founder said she still faces doubt from other tech professionals. Dai is hopeful that her optimistic personality will encourage more minority women founders struggling to progress in the tech and AI industry. 

"Each of us is always facing challenges," Dai said. "But my mom always taught me to be positive, giving, and forgiving."

One of Dai's most significant wins during her entrepreneurial career has simply been seeing users interact with Kai in the ideation stage. She's eager to continue building out the company's proprietary tech and expand to more markets. 

MeetKai is financially supported by a group of private investments that Dai declined to disclose at this time. The company's co-founder said this next year would be "prime time" for MeetKai. The AI company has a team of 40 global employees, and Dai is looking to expand that headcount as the company works to reach more consumers. 

"How do you make technology a reality to directly impact a person's lifestyle and efficiency? That's what we're addressing at MeetKai," Dai said.  

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