It’s exactly a year ago today the blog post “Looking Back on a Year of Looking at the Future” was published to mark my one-year anniversary at Sanctuary AI. I find myself looking back on yet another year as Chief Marketing Officer and reflecting on the incredible developments our company has made in just 12 months. When I began my time at Sanctuary, my initial focus was on honing our public positioning. At the time, I used the analogy of building a foundation to explain the needs at hand. Little did I know, we were actually building a legacy.
One hundred and fifty pieces of original content and three platinum marketing and communications awards later, it has been exciting to see the public reaction to our work and I am astounded by how much the industry has changed over the last year. Our total audience has increased by 616% and we have had nearly 4 million impressions across owned channels. All of our growth and impressions were organic–we didn’t utilize a single ad or paid promotion. As I celebrate 25 years of working in the tech industry, the timing of these achievements could not be more apt for me on a personal level. At the beginning of 2022, we created a set of department goals and have smashed almost all of them with resounding success. And now, in the final quarter of 2023, we are celebrating the phenomenal recognition of having our Phoenix™ robot, being named as one of TIME's 2023 Best Inventions.
We began the year vying for public attention so we could educate people on AI and the benefits general-purpose systems can offer. Now AI is practically all anyone talks about when it comes to tech news. The conversation quickly shifted from why general-purpose robots and AI matter and what they are, to which company is doing what. From a software and hardware development and public perspective, we have managed to do a lot.
November ‘22 to November ‘23 Highlights
- Launch of the Robots Doing Stuff video series
- Celebrated our first commercial deployment
- Moved into a new state of the art office with numerous lab facilities
- Announced our ecosystem of partners
- Earned recognition as industry thought leaders with the start of the Ground Truth podcast and “How to Create a GPR” blog post series
- Unveiled our 6th generation of technology–Phoenix™ general-purpose robots, powered by Carbon™ AI control system
- Earned media coverage with top-tier outlets, including the BBC News, GeekWire, IEEE, Newsweek, and TechCrunch
- Recognized as a Top Startup by LinkedIn
- Earned three Platinum Awards for the public unveiling of Phoenix™ and Carbon™
- Recognized as one of TIME's 2023 Best Inventions
The initiative I am most proud of is one that didn’t get as much notice as it deserves, but is one of the driving forces behind the public response we’ve seen to our technology this year–the initiative of “truth.”
Our List of Truths
We’re aware there are still some people hesitant about new technologies, like general-purpose systems. It doesn’t take much time to determine where this concern comes from–simply reading through YouTube comments gets you the answer pretty fast–it’s grown from fiction and the dystopian narratives in pop culture, a genre I like to call “horror-science-fantasy.” We are fighting an uphill battle to undo the damage the movie industry has done casting technology as “the bad-guy.” Although there are others that appear to be fighting fiction with more fiction, we have chosen to utilize honesty in our marketing and communications and trust in robotics and AI as tools to combat it.
Smoke and mirrors marketing tactics are risky when working on a technology as important as what we are creating: it’s irresponsible and unethical. The public deserves full transparency on what’s going on so they can develop informed opinions that aren’t based on even more fiction. That is why when Sanctuary releases a video, we make it extremely clear exactly what is being shown (hence our #NotaRender callout at the end of the “Phoenix and Carbon Unveiled” video).
Here are all of the ways Sanctuary AI ensures we are honoring honesty, transparency, and truth in our communications, marketing, and storytelling.
- Videos of our technology are kept in real time, unless explicitly stated otherwise; for instance, all Robots Doing Stuff episodes are kept in real time 1x speed
- We talk openly about our progress and methodology, as seen on our blog and the Ground Truth Podcast
- The videos and photos we share are of our real technology–the only time we use renders or CGI is to articulate future concepts and we ensure the nature of the graphic of video is clear to viewers
- We keep our lab testing sessions true-to-life with real work props that have not been altered for the robots to improve performance
- We use LED lights to show which operation mode our robots are using (autonomous [blue], semi autonomous [yellow], or piloted [purple])
The Future is at Our Doorstep
The future where human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots are ingrained in society and helping us get work done that is either too dangerous or simply not desirable for people is at our doorstep. I could muse about where we’ll be a year from now, but if 2023 has taught me anything, it’s that our development and company is advancing so rapidly, there is no way of telling what a year may bring.
Sanctuary is on a mission to create the world’s first human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots that will help us work more safely, efficiently, and sustainably, helping to address the labor challenges facing many organizations today. Sanctuary's growing list of customers and investors represents a wide variety of industries across Canada, the U.S., and other countries around the world.
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