Founders in Focus: Karine Mellata of Intrinsic

Each month, we’ll highlight one of the founders of Okta Ventures’ portfolio companies. You’ll get to know more about them and learn how they work with Okta. This month we’re speaking with Karine Mellata of Intrinsic.

What is Intrinsic, and what is your mission?

Intrinsic is an enterprise AI content moderation platform. Our mission is to create a safer internet by democratizing safety tooling.

What were you doing prior to Intrinsic that led you to this moment?

Before starting Intrinsic, my co-founder and I worked on Apple's trust and safety engineering team. We supported various business lines, including the App Store, iMessage, iCloud, and FindMy. Our focus was on developing and maintaining the engineering infrastructure dedicated to ensuring the safety of Apple's large user base. During this time, we realized the need for a system that could adapt quickly to evolving abuse patterns. We also quickly realized that despite the diversity of abuse and content types, certain core elements of a trust and safety infrastructure needed to be repeatedly rebuilt by many teams because of the lack of a scalable enterprise solution like Intrinsic.

What is the Intrinsic solution? What challenge does it solve?

Intrinsic offers a fully customizable AI content moderation platform. Unlike other solutions, we don't provide pre-built models and fixed detection categories. Instead, we provide companies with a flexible infrastructure that mimics human moderators. Our platform understands context, adheres to a platform's policies, and continuously learns just like a real human content moderator. This enables us to address nuanced categories that off-the-shelf classifiers cannot address. Additionally, Intrinsic is optimized for real-time detection and enforcement, allowing us to combine flexible detection to moderate at scale with speed. By using Intrinsic, companies can avoid the need to scale a human moderation team to keep up with ever-evolving abuse and compliance risks. 

Who have you created Intrinsic for?

Intrinsic was created for trust and safety teams that want to modernize their safety tech stack and reduce manual moderation processes.

What innovations are you bringing to the market?

Through advancements in AI, we have developed systems that reason beyond what was previously possible. Intrinsic can explain its decision-making process, providing human-readable guidance and explanations. This feedback loop allows for a better understanding of its reasoning and enables adjustments to policies in the future. Additionally, we provide companies with manual review and labeling tools, bridging the gap between automated detection and enforcement. All models are trained on the company's data and moderation decisions, and we offer an on-premises solution that ensures data privacy.

Why did Intrinsic want to work with Okta?

We chose to work with Okta because we share the vision of enabling online platforms and services to securely connect their people and technologies. Okta has a proven track record in workplace and Customer Identity authentication, making it an ideal partner for us.

How is Intrinsic working with Okta? What support do you look for in a corporate partner?

Intrinsic was founded because organizations are increasingly building products in directions where it’s important to understand not just who your users are but how they are using your platform and if they are harming other users or your business. By combining Okta’s expertise and position as a leader in enterprise and Customer Identity with Intrinsic’s detection capabilities for content and user behavior understanding, we can offer the best end-to-end solution for consumer trust and safety. 

Additionally, Okta's extensive user base, with hundreds of millions of users, already trusts Okta as a leader in digital Identity. By offering Intrinsic's services to corporate customers transitioning their Customer Identity to the Okta platform, Okta customers can effectively strengthen their trust and safety measures, ensuring a safer digital ecosystem for their users.

What trends do you expect to see in the trust and safety industry?

Although trust and safety previously mainly focused on dealing with managing risks related to human content and interactions on online platforms, we see an increased interest in trust and safety for the earliest adopters of AI systems. All enterprise companies need a strategy for AI safety and how these systems can pose substantial risks to their organizations. This means an emerging ecosystem of tools and technologies is needed to ensure these AI systems operate securely and generate outputs in a way that doesn’t pose a risk to their organization, whether from a brand or compliance perspective.

At Intrinsic, we are already partnering with some of the earliest adopters of generative AI to build safeguards to ensure content is generated in safe and compliant ways, and we believe that this will be the foremost concern of enterprise customers looking to be at the forefront of generative AI adoption.

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