What an AI Engineer Does at SiteGround

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming our world, and here at SiteGround we are at the forefront of this exciting field! For nearly a decade, we’ve been integrating and playing with AI into both our internal and client-facing systems and services. We developed our own internal AI team and a platform to tackle industry challenges and integrate AI features into our products. Earlier this year our Director of Product and Technology at SiteGround, Daniel Kanchev, delivered a keynote at the Digitalk event to share our long-term journey with AI – how our attitude, treatment and adoption of AI tech developed and evolved through the years. 

He opened his talk with some interesting data showing that only 10% (in rare cases 20%) of companies embrace the usage of AI internally, organize regular internal AI training and have a vision on how to use AI in the years to come. 

For us, AI is a tool, not a replacement. That’s why we believe that our example at SiteGround can be a valuable roadmap on how to view and approach AI tech in any field, team, or company – big or small, and even on an individual level. Our AI Team Lead Yasen Kiprov shares more about our AI team’s work and the impact it has on our company and our customers.

Why did SiteGround decide to form an AI team?

In 2016 the initial goal was to leverage AI-powered chatbots to optimize our customer support. As attracting new clients meant expanding the support team, creating an AI assistant to handle basic queries became a strategic decision.

“Developing an effective dialogue system was challenging,” says Yasen. “There were no working solutions at the time, so we had to experiment based mainly on existing research.” This pioneering spirit is evident in how the team collaborated with leading scientists and even published their findings in scientific journals. As another example: “It was also fun to see a description of a “question-answering” system that has worked for us for years, published in a top scientific journal by a group of scientists who came to our conclusions as well.”

From Chatbots to Enterprise-Level AI Solutions

The SiteGround AI team’s work has grown significantly since its inception. One crucial project involved creating a machine translation system that allows our  support team to communicate with clients in their native languages. This project required adapting the system to handle our specific technical jargon while using data in English only – a challenge the AI team successfully overcame in 2019 with cutting edge alignment techniques.

Yasen highlights how this project has benefited SiteGround: “Our support teams could now seamlessly interact with customers in various regions (we seamlessly expanded to German and French markets as a result), fostering a more positive customer experience.”

Look at SiteGround’s Cutting-Edge AI Project

Currently, Yasen and our AI team are focused on developing entirely AI-powered products. This includes creating proof-of-concepts and integrating AI functionalities into existing SiteGround products. Еxploring how generative AI can be used to generate personalized texts, images, and galleries for our customers in order to improve email marketing campaigns as well as create more engaging and attractive online stores.

One exciting project to underline here is an anti-spam system that combines traditional email filtering techniques with content analysis and personalization. This allows users to mark emails as spam, helping the system learn and adapt to individual needs.

“Here, the main challenges for us were related to the scale and the required resources, since the system has to support on the one hand personalization for millions of customers, and on the other hand, it has to process millions of letters daily”,  Yasen explained. 

As a result, since the implementation of our AI-powered Spam filtering system in 2023, SiteGround clients have received much less spam. On a daily basis, it efficiently stops over 11.6 Million unsolicited messages from even reaching our clients’ mailboxes, and more than 600,000 are marked as Spam, keeping our clients’ inboxes safer and tidier.

Our Email Marketing AI Writer Assistant is another project we could spotlight here. Forget struggling to write email campaigns! Our Email Marketing with AI Writer lets customers create effective messages in no time. This powerful tool helps develop winning email marketing strategies to skyrocket conversions and keep subscribers hooked. 

Building an AI Community

At SiteGround the passion about AI extends beyond our daily job. 

We prioritize fostering a culture of continuous learning and development.One way we achieve this on a company level is through our regular internal AI meetups.These sessions cater to all departments, not just programmers. They combine informative lectures with interactive discussions, aiming to equip everyone with a solid understanding of AI’s potential. It’s been fascinating to see how different teams leverage AI tools; for example, even our legal department utilizes ChatGPT for specific tasks. 

These regular training sessions not only elevate employee knowledge but also encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration. Our “bottom-up” culture empowers everyone to contribute ideas and suggestions, further fueling innovation. Ultimately, these initiatives ensure our employees feel motivated and equipped to harness the power of AI in their daily work.

But to extend this beyond our team, together with our “Lead by Example” Foundation we are also collaborating to introduce AI to teachers through a series of practical workshops for teachers. The #AI in the Classroom workshops have already reached nearly 100 teachers in Sofia, Plovdiv, and Stara Zagora equipping them with the knowledge and skills to integrate AI into their teaching practices. 

Recognizing the transformative potential of AI in education, we are also making a substantial investment in the first Bulgarian Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Technologies (INSAIT). Donating up to 6 Мillion EUR over five years to cover the salaries of world-class scientists recruited by the institute to teach and develop the tech ecosystem in our home country. This investment aims to foster a new generation of Bulgarian AI experts and equip students with the skills they need to thrive in the digital age.

“The key is for education to adapt,” says Yasen. “Instead of focusing on specific skills, education should equip individuals with the ability to learn and adapt throughout their careers.”

Start Discussion