Companies like Avaama are a bit hard to understand. with 28 million in funding from Series A from the likes of Intel Capital and Wipro, really all they are doing is putting a speech query system in front of standard applications. Is this AI? Not really.
There is a lot of talk about making speech better and many systems have advanced features. MaryTTS is one good example where you can even specify moods like Happy in the response. Is this AI? Nothing is being inferenced.
Noonean's first product - NeuralBase - thinks about what data you are asking for and uses several deep analytics which are AI based including neural network language systems to provide more sophistication rather than simply speech to text.
Noonean's second product - OnticBase - extends that with knowledge management capture into a neural structure. This provides even more information.
But we still have a lot of work to do. It used to be that seed round was initiated with a clear product concept and business plan. Now many people want to see beta level products. This was OK with simple websites, it's not so OK when complex AI products are part of it.
Lumiata is another "AI" company getting a lot of investment. They take big data from healthcare and then use "AI" to analyze it. This special sauce is never specified there is never anything described as to their technique and what makes it "AI"
Sadly investors are not savvy and many are going to be fooled with systems which barely could be said to be doing AI but then again, definitionally, what qualified for AI or machine learning. Some people seem to have a very shallow concept of this. They are willing to throw buckets of money on anything remotely having anything to do with AI, well hopefully they will be interested in a real machine learning company with real products not just a big data cruncher or a speech to app player.
This is going to be a big problem going forward as more companies jump in with somewhat "MEH" offerings.