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May 20th, 2021

The Humans Behind the Bots: Mady Mantha

  • portrait of Rasa


At Rasa, our team is building the standard infrastructure for conversational AI. Behind the scenes, the people of Rasa come together from diverse backgrounds to solve today's most interesting challenges in NLP and dialogue management. We're pulling back the curtain to highlight a few of the humans behind the bots.

Today we're talking with Mady, Head of Conversational AI Evangelism at Rasa. We'll learn Mady's story and explore the day-to-day projects and technologies she's passionate about.

Hi, Mady. Tell us about yourself! What was your path to joining Rasa?

I worked at think tanks, startups, and enterprise companies prior to joining Rasa. I always liked experimenting with products and trying out new ways to do things. A few years ago, my team was building conversational software for a large enterprise. We tested the limits of the platform we were using. Then I looked up open source conversational AI and found Rasa. I installed it and it worked pretty well.

My team started to build on top of Rasa and soon, we had something that showed better results. A year or so later, I gave a talk at the Rasa Summit in San Francisco. Alex reached out to me a few days later and asked me if I wanted to join the company. A few months later, I went to Berlin and met all of my colleagues irl.

Take us through a typical day as a Head of Conversational AI Evangelism. What types of projects do you work on?

My days vary a lot - which is part of what makes my job exciting. On a high level, I communicate the potential of natural language interfaces to transform the customer experience.

Depending on the week, I might give a talk, draft a whitepaper, handle PR, speak to research analysts or our amazing customers about how they can scale customer service with Rasa. I conduct market research and help contribute to company messaging, positioning, and strategy. I spend a lot of my time collaborating with the product, sales, and leadership teams to make sure the story we're telling resonates with our customers and prospects. It also doesn't hurt that everyone at Rasa wants our customers and their end users to have the most successful and impactful experience.

Which areas of your work are you most passionate about?

I enjoy talking to the wider conversational AI leadership community about the potential to transform the customer experience with natural language interfaces. It's incredibly rewarding when our customers are able to prove the value of their implementations and make their customers' lives easier.

What's an important problem you're solving at Rasa?

The new normal in today's digital economy is self-service. Companies that embrace this are more successful. Despite efforts, many customers still get stuck in an incredibly hard-to-navigate IVR system or get put on hold for ages. That's the problem. The answer is that conversational AI is an essential customer experience technology - AI assistants are uniquely equipped to actually help customers. Customers want to talk to companies in their own words, on their own terms, so we need to let them do it.

Companies want to get this right and we want to help them get it right with us.

How would you describe Rasa in three words?

Ambitious. Humble. Vibes.

How do you collaborate with other teams at Rasa?

In a literal sense, we have a host of tools like Slack, Zoom, and Notion where collaboration happens. I work with the product, sales, and leadership teams that are globally distributed. This means it's important to get creative at how you work together. For example, not everything needs to be a meeting so get feedback via Slack--preferably in a channel for transparency and consistency-- or a working doc of your choice. It also means overcommunication is the right amount of communication.

In a broader sense, everyone at Rasa wants to help you succeed - whether it's nudging you to consider a different perspective or giving you additional data points so you can make sound decisions, they're here for you and I am glad for the help and support.

What does a culture of diversity mean for you at Rasa?

It means having the opportunity and space to succeed, but also to make mistakes that you can learn from.

How has working at Rasa helped your professional development?

Working at an ambitious and fast-growing startup means you get to build. You get to work on business development, build new teams and communities that evangelize the potential of conversational AI for the customer experience, and other impactful projects. I learned a lot about company building, carving out new paths, and the importance of having a true north star. Rasa is genuinely interested in creating and nurturing leaders and I'm here for it.It means having the opportunity and space to succeed, but also to make mistakes that you can learn from.

What's the most interesting thing you've learned lately?

This iPhone photo hack I saw on TikTok. And that it's actually ok to not have an opinion on something.

What's the best career advice you've received?

Be open to new ideas and stay genuinely curious. Your career can take many different directions. Evangelism - the way we understand it today - didn't exist 10 or 20 years ago. The creator economy didn't exist a few years ago - be open to new challenges and find something that allows you to have fun.

Thanks Mady! You can find Mady on Twitter.

Want to team up with Mady? She's hiring! Find open positions for Product Evangelism and Product Marketing on our Jobs Board.