AITech Interview with Thomas Johann Lorenz
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got interested in the industry?
I founded my first event company at the age of 18 and since then has been on a Journey of identifying and leveraging innovation potential. In addition to positions including the development of a lifestyle interior brand and as a partner in a model and promotion agency, I was deeply involved in the development of Berlin Fashion Week and led the business development and digitalization of Premium Group in the establishment of an international trade fair conglomerate.
I also co-initiated the #Fashiontech conference, which under my management developed into the world’s largest conference at the interface between the lifestyle industry and technology.
Together with Jeanny Wang, I founded veee.com in 2017 – a global digital B2B platform that scaled to the world largest B2B platform for the fashion industry with 2,500 brands being presented. Veee was acquired by NYC-based market leader JOOR in 2019, as one of the very few that have exited a company founded in Germany to a global player in the USA..
Together with my friend and partner Christian Mio Loclair, I managed then Waltz Binaire, an internationally renowned creative hub for artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technologies and developed this into Journee in 2020, which is a world-leading technology to make Web3 and metaverse experience accessible to all across multiple verticals..
As a thought leader, what do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing the industry, and how do you think they can be addressed?
We see that the term “metaverse” definitely has negative connotations to it, some of our clients don’t even want us to mention the word “metaverse”, mostly driven through the performance of Mark Zuckerberg’s meta initiative that is lagging behind expectations but has steered the perception of the metaverse being just one place, instead of photorealistic 3D worlds that can be used to build for example a “Digital Twin Factory” connected with the organizations SAP.
If you look at the rapid digitalization nowadays, it puts enormous pressure on modern IT systems to streamline huge amounts of data. This is where metaverse technology and digital twins come to play. A digital twin helps organizations make sense of vast amounts of data and provide valuable, real-time business insights. A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical object or process. It creates highly detailed reproductions of real-world assets in software, which behave identically to their original counterpart.
Digital twins have many applications and use cases, with enormous potential to ease complexities for international organizations in a fast-moving world with many changing factors. Digital twins can provide decision makers with a good basis to take better measurements – whether designing, manufacturing, or operating. If you look at the retail side of things, on the other hand, it can elevate shopping experiences in e-commerce, with an incredible average dwell time of 13 minutes. The Web3 development will continue to grow and develop, and the opportunities are endless.
All in all the continuous challenge is to educate about the vast potential.
Your company, Journee, offers a unique platform for virtual events, branding and networking. Can you tell us more about the technology behind it and how it stands out in the market?
It’s a patent-pending Internet infrastructure designed to make smartphones and computers three times more powerful to render 60 frames per second. Today everything is still pixelated and bumpy. At Journee, we offer live and individually different experiences for everyone. Brands don’t have to do anything; Journee takes care of the technology and integrates their technology into the existing ecosystem
Can you share any success stories or case studies of companies that have used Journee?
We can gladly state that our NPS Promoter Score with our H&M + BGYO experience was an incredible 95% — just to give one example. Also, the average time spent on the experience is 13 minutes much higher than any Web2 environment.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to break into this space?
My advice is to truly immerse yourself in the technology and constantly stay up to date with the latest developments. Find a scene of creatives, have discussions with them and exchange daily…contribute and learn. This also means attending conferences and workshops, reading industry publications, and networking with other professionals in the field. It’s also important in my opinion to find a balance between deep dives into this bubble and orchestrated moments where we step out and investigate human needs and behaviours from a non-technical perspective. This allows us to design intelligent bridges between emerging technologies and meaningful ideas that contribute to human culture.
Journee has recently been named one of the top AI companies to watch in 2021. What do you attribute this success to, and what are your plans for the future of the company?
Journee offers unique experiences in online retail, and we believe this is what commerce looks like on the Internet. People stay longer and click more. We are offering a holistic experience, with sound, interaction, gamification and in the highest quality. It’s a completely new online retail experience. Online shopping should be fun. We don’t want people to spend more time on the Internet, we want the time people spend on the Internet that is more valuable and more human.
As the AI tech industry continues to evolve and grow, what innovations or developments are you most excited about?
One of the most exciting developments in the AI tech industry is the growing use of natural language processing (NLP) and especially LLM. The ability for machines to better understand and interpret human language reveals how fundamental language is to all sorts of understanding and thought processes. This has huge implications for all industries on any meta level, from chatbots and email programs to strategies and consultancy. I would like to be quite literate here and I have been saying this for years. We will be facing an industrial and cultural shift like never-ever seen before and it starts right now. Brace yourself.
How do you see AI technology impacting industries beyond just the tech industry, such as healthcare or finance?
Healthcare and finance are very interesting examples. AI-powered predictive analytics can help healthcare professionals make more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans, while in finance, AI-powered algorithms can be used to detect fraudulent transactions and reduce risk. However, if you look at both sectors, finance and health, then both have in common that they are highly dependent on the access to expertise and consultancy. And AI is here to disrupt this access forever.
Lastly, what are your thoughts on the ethical considerations surrounding AI technology, and how do you ensure Journee is using AI in an ethical and responsible way?
We believe that ethical considerations surrounding AI technology are incredibly important. However, as AI is trained on human behavior – we expect future AI developments to reflect and even scale all aspects of human behaviour. At Journee, we focus on healthy online communication and utilize cutting edge prediction methods to increase the quality of design and experience in more productive processes.
Furthermore, we prioritize ethical and responsible AI usage by being transparent about our data collection and usage practices. It’s important for us to be proactive in addressing these issues and prioritize the ethical implications of our work.
Thomas Johann Lorenz,
Co-founder & CEO at Journee
Thomas founded his first event company at the age of 18 and since then has been on a Journey of identifying and leveraging innovation potential.
In addition to positions including the development of a lifestyle interior brand and as a partner in a model and promotion agency, he was deeply involved in the development of Berlin Fashion Week and led the business development and digitalization of Premium Group in the establishment of an international trade fair conglomerate. His focus with JOURNEE is to leverage technology that will create sustainable shifts for organizations and society.