Colorado Industries Capitalizing Off Artificial Intelligence

Colorado Industries Capitalizing Off Artificial Intelligence

Colorado Industries Capitalizing Off...

Recent artificial intelligence advancements in hospitality, waste management, gender pay inequity and home service technology have been happening all around Colorado. This begs the question, how will artificial intelligence change Colorado in the near future? The following companies have been early adopters of AI, and have already begun shaping how Colorado will be changed by artificial intelligence.

Food Service

Earlier this year, Denver fast-food chain Good Times debuted a new technology that could change the drive-thru experience forever. An artificial intelligence ordering system named Holly has been created by Denver tech-startup Valyant. Currently only at Good Times’ Broadway and Evans location in South Denver, Holly may be familiar to some as the technology operates similarly to other popular AI devices including Alexa and Siri.

The technology eliminates the need to have a human employee talking to customers in the drive-thru. Holly talks to customers to take their order and instantly sends the customer’s order to human employees in the kitchen. It’s still too early to tell how much Holly will impact Good Times’ business, having launched in late March and only being used for breakfast. However, Good Times manager, Herlinda Arredondo has already spoken Holly’s praises, telling CBS Denver “I like it, because (Holly) is going to take the orders all the time… And she doesn’t call off (work).”

Valyant, it should be noted, had a bit of a language barrier in front of them when designing this innovative technology. The food industry is highly nuanced and subject to colloquialisms– many items may have multiple names. For example, depending on the customer, a cola fountain drink may be referred to as soda, pop, or Coke. Holly specializes in food industry language, and her complex coding allows her to decipher even the trickiest customer orders.

Waste Management

Alpine Waste & Recycling is a twenty-year-old waste management company that first opened its doors in Denver’s Washington Park neighborhood as Alpine Disposal. Since then, the company has expanded and adapted with the times with a large portion of their work now focused on recycled materials. Indeed, they continue to innovate with their newest venture into AI: Clarke. Created by AMP Robotics in Louisville, Colorado, Clarke is able to identify specific materials on a conveyor belt, remove them, and place them in their designated bins (see explainer video here).

The machine is able to look at recycled materials and quickly process the patterns and colors to determine what should go where, similar to how humans would work. Just how efficient is the AI-based technology? Right now, Clarke can dispose of 60 items per minute, which is far faster than a human can work. AMP Robotics creates robots for various waste industries, specializing in electronic waste, construction demolition, and municipal waste.

Health Care

Even doctors are beginning to see how AI can help them work more efficiently and effectively. Sopris Health, a healthcare start-up in Denver’s River North Art District, developed software it claims will allow doctors to spend more time with patients. Formerly Listen.MD, Sopris Health listens in on the patient-doctor conversation and enters a patient’s data into the physician’s files. Sopris reported that doctors on average spend 50% of their time performing data entry and only 27% of their time with patients. The healthcare startup’s website says it aims to “empower clinicians with the intelligent, efficiency-driving tools needed to unlock the promise and possibilities of healthcare.”

Gender Equity

One of the most surprising ways Colorado startups are utilizing AI is to fight the gender wage gap. Founded in Denver, Pipeline Equity created as SaaS platform that utilizes AI to identify, confront, and take action against gender biases in U.S. companies. The goal is to help companies increase financial performance by closing the gender pay gap. Colorado is the perfect location for this new technology, as the gender pay gap in Colorado rose to 18% in 2017. In 2017, Colorado was 21st in a ranking of states with the lowest gender pay discrepancy, ranking just below the national average 20%.

Part of the company’s work requires shifting the narrative about the pay gap. By focusing on the lost productivity, low morale and even money that companies could be losing, as a result, any gaps,  it hopes to persuade companies, and entire industries, to finally close the wage gap.


Home assistant devices are becoming more and more popular as major tech companies such as Google and Amazon continue to expand their product lines. While there are already numerous in-home AI products on the market, many Colorado startups are actively advancing the industry.

Josh is an in-home AI technology that allows consumers to control their home’s lighting, music, temperature, and more. Josh is compatible with a multitude of smart services and devices. This Denver-based company is currently focused on allowing consumers to connect all of their devices at home but soon hopes to expand into transportation, education, and other industries.

Another Colorado-based tech company wants to bring technology to every home. Misty Robotics was founded in Boulder and hopes to make home and office life easier with through artificial intelligence. Head of Misty Robotics, Tim Enwall, and founder, Ian Bernstein, have both expressed interest in using this software to help elderly and disabled individuals live independently.

Thanks to these innovative Colorado-based startups, artificial intelligence is here to stay. According to a 2015 study, artificial intelligence could potentially be implemented in every industry and 45% of tasks currently being done by humans could become automated. Although Colorado is one of the major hubs of AI technology, experts believe that Coloradans will be relatively unphased by the upcoming AI expansion.

About Eddie Fitzgerald: Eddie is a senior at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, and Swyft’s Denver PR intern. He is moving to Denver after graduation and is looking forward to experiencing the world of public relations in the Mile High City. As Swyft’s Denver PR Intern, he utilizes social media, blogging, and tech PR activities to support clients. Swyft is a tech PR firm in Austin, Austin, Denver, and Antwerp that provides PR services and trade show PR support for tech companies around the world. Some of their services include media relations, content and inbound marketing, CPC campaigns, and marketing automation consulting.

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