benshi

benshi.ai's name is inspired by a traditional Japanese art form

Our story

A name with a modern twist

Around 1900, Japan started showing motion pictures that produced no sounds. Benshis, or 弁士 in Japanese, are professional narrators who -- using their animated voices -- guided the audience in understanding the silent movies, thereby enriching their experience.

In a similar way, benshi.ai aims to enrich the lives of people. In our case, we guide people in understanding how to make better health decisions. Like the benshis that used their big voices, we use big data instead as the modern tools of our trade.

Our name, too, has a modern twist. benshi.ai is spelt entirely in lowercase. Because this reflects our vision in building a world where, in terms of health, everyone is equal -- and nobody gets to be in front simply because they are Big or Upper.

benshis
Japan

Tracing Our Roots To Japan

How did we get inspired by a Japanese tradition? Our founder and CEO lived in Japan, where her interest and insights about the country grew.

Her time there also laid the foundations for the blooming of benshi.ai today. benshi.ai’s seeds were first planted in 2016, when she founded another AI company in Japan, of which she was CEO till 2019.

A year later, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she founded benshi.ai. A few who had been working with her since 2016 joined her in the new benshi.ai journey. In addition, her time in Japan had expanded her various networks there. A number of people from those networks also later joined benshi.ai.

As such, our roots can be traced back to Japan. It is therefore fitting that benshi.ai too is a name that reflects our origins.

Our global outreach

The team, of course, does not comprise only members who met in Japan. We come from different countries and cultures.

We also have different backgrounds and a good gender balance. Such diversity is unique in the technology sector. We believe this helps us to meet the diverse needs of our partners and stakeholders, and ultimately reduce health inequalities globally.

The era of silent movies has long passed. Benshis are now a unique profession, though their goal has withstood the challenges of time. Similarly, benshi.ai, a unique start-up in many ways, aims to overcome various challenges in our goal to enrich people’s health. In achieving this, we will hopefully live up to our boldly-chosen name.

Our global outreach
benshi.ai is a USA Public Charity equivalent pursuant to U.S. IRC § 509(a)(1) o 509(a)(2) certified by NGOsource