artificial life

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artificial life

Artificial life mit neuen Internetdienstleistungen
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Artificial Life Announces Business Strategy 2000 Strong expansion planned with emphasis on new Web services, investments and mobile computing
BOSTON, Feb 18, 2000 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --  Artificial Life, Inc. (Nasdaq:
ALIF) today announced its expanded business strategy for the year 2000. The new
strategy builds on the products developed in 1999 and uses them to explore new
business ventures. Artificial Life will offer several new and innovative Web
services based on its products, and launch a mobile computing initiative based
on its core SmartBot (TM) technology. The initiative will use Artificial Life
bots to penetrate the strongly expanding market of Web phones and wearable
computers and intelligent devices.

"We have done our homework. Unlike so many other Internet companies, we have not
invested much in public relations and marketing during our first year. Instead,
we have built our technical infrastructure, hired a lot of very smart and
skilled people, started offices in Russia, Switzerland and Germany in addition
to our Boston headquarters, and developed the core technology and a series of
powerful products and solution suites. The number of employees worldwide has
grown from less then two dozen to more than 250 people last year. Even though
revenues in 1999 were still modest, we have grown our business by several
hundred percent compared to 1998 and still have controlled our costs. We are
starting to see the fruits of our hard work by realising the first successful
installations of our products and having references in all countries in which we

are doing business. This is a very exciting time for us", said Eberhard
Schoneburg, Chairman and CEO of Artificial Life, Inc.

In 1999, the company developed several products and solution suites based on its
proprietary SmartEngine (TM) technology such as:

   ALife-WebGuide (TM) (natural language interface for Web sites and
   interactive Web guide)
   ALife-Messenger (TM) (natural language based e-mail automation system)
   ALife-STAn (TM) (smart text analyser for bot conversations and direct
   ALife-PortfolioManager (TM) (financial bot optimising and automating
   handling of portfolios)
   ALife e-CRM suite (TM) (customer relationship management suite) BotMe(TM)
   SmartBot Web interface (browser-independent animated interface for bots)
   ALife-Roboshop (TM) (the underlying technology of the e-commerce platform
   for the joint venture with the Swiss Bon Appetit group:
Over the next months, Artificial Life is scheduled to release the following products: a full client server version of the ALife- PortfolioManager, allowing online users to manage and optimise their stock and fund portfolios online; the ALife-SalesRep, an interactive natural language sales bot able to do customer profiling; an interactive bot-based German and English version of the award winning Albert Einstein tutorial; and the ALife- Spider, a new text understanding bot for automating knowledge acquisition and content indexing. As Schoneburg explained, ALife-Knowledge-Manager and ALife-Tutor, originally scheduled for release in Q1 2000, will now be used extensively as the basis of several new and innovative Web services to be launched during the next months, rather than be sold as stand alone products. "We have realised that the return on investment is faster and higher for us if we keep some of the valuable technology we have produced in-house, instead of selling it as products to the public. This applies especially to the ALife-KnowledgeManager and the ALife-Tutor. We are currently planning to launch at least six new Web services this year. Most of them will target end-users. However, we have noticed a strong shift of interest towards B2B Web services, which is our area of expertise anyway. Therefore, we will also launch services that specifically target the B2B market", Schoneburg stated. The new business strategy is supported by a new corporate structure that will be implemented in Q1 2000. A new company called Artificial Life USA, Inc. will be formed to concentrate on U.S. operations, leaving Boston headquarters of Artificial Life, Inc. to concentrate on headquarters functions and responsibilities. In addition, two new legal entities are planned: one for Web services to be introduced in 2000, and one concentrating on the new mobile computing initiative. "The new mobile computing initiative we just launched will target the growing and very promising area of intelligent and wearable devices such as Web phones, palm top devices and smart toys. We believe that this market bears tremendous business opportunities for our technology, since our bots can easily be used in all of these devices. We are working on autonomous bots with natural language capabilities and a basic intelligence. So any device that has a use for these features is a potential application for our SmartBot(TM) technology. This huge potential justifies the spin-off of a new ALife company concentrating on this market", said Schoneburg. "We are also planning to ramp up our venture activities with Artificial Life Ventures. In 1999 we increased our ownership in Artificial Life Ventures, Inc. to 100%. We will continue to invest in promising joint ventures in Europe and the U.S. We plan to start joint ventures (in the financial services, banking, market research and other areas), as well as invest in several small companies with complementary technologies to strengthen our market position and the technical leadership in the bot arena. To finance future growth through FY2000 and beyond, Artificial Life, Inc. is currently evaluating a variety of strategies. We are thinking about changing stock market listings in the US and Germany. In Germany we are trading on the OTC market which doesn't give us the visibility we should have for institutional investors. In the US we are trading on the NASDAQ Small Cap market. Here too, we are evaluating a shift to the national market segment. In addition, we are evaluating a secondary offering to finance our growth. These decisions will be made in the not so distant future", Schoneburg explained. In 2000, Artificial Life will focus on marketing and selling their current products as well as the new Web services. The major business goal is to increase sales dramatically this year, and to achieve at least the same percentage of revenue growth we experienced in 1999. In addition, they will explore new ventures, invest in complementary technology and expand in several directions. Artificial Life is well prepared. New revenue will be generated from four different sources: product and license sales; Web services; joint ventures with international players; and the licensing technology to co- operative partners. Schoneburg commented, "We want to introduce major innovations every year to stay ahead of the competition as much as we have done in the last year." Artificial Life's goal is to become a true Internet powerhouse, and the technology and market leader for Web bots and bots for mobile devices worldwide. "We will try to achieve these goals by expanding our workforce substantially, possibly to as many as 1000 employees worldwide at the end of this year; selectively investing in complementary technology; by partnering with major international players; and by creating innovative Web services and new technology solutions in mobile computing", summarized Eberhard Schoneburg. About Artificial Life Founded in 1994, Artificial Life, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALIF) develops, markets, and supports intelligent software robots for the Internet. The company focuses on business-to-business applications for customer relationship management (eCRM), knowledge management, e-commerce, and Internet based financial services applications. Artificial Life is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A, and maintains subsidiaries in Switzerland, Germany, and Russia. Detailed information about Artificial Life, Inc. and its products is available at "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Artificial Life, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year. SOURCE Artificial Life, Inc.
(C) 2000 PR Newswire.  All rights reserved.

CONTACT:          Rhonda Cook, Public Relations Manager of Artificial Life, Inc.,

KEYWORD:          Massachusetts


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