Hiya: Using AI to detect unwanted calls and spam

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the voice call has become an even more essential connection point, and Hiya is trying to protect people from fraudsters

On a mission to modernise voice with trust, identity and intelligence, Hiya is protecting people from spam and fraud calls, connecting businesses with their customers, and helping carriers secure their networks for all.

In 2015, Hiya founder Alex Algard saw the increasing need for innovation in the voice channel and began building the first caller ID and spam blocking apps for mobile while at Whitepages. The following year, Hiya spun out of Whitepages and brought its technology to market through Samsung Smart Call, the first-ever network-based spam solution with AT&T, and the Hiya consumer app. 

With roughly 200 million users, Hiya analyses more than 13 billion calls per month. According to the company, more than 50 billion spam calls are made to Americans each year (16 per month per user) and about one-third of Americans lose money to phone scams each year. On average, each victim lost $182 to phone scams last year. This means Americans collectively lost about $14 billion to scam calls in 2020.


Using AI to recognise patterns of spam calls

The company has recently introduced ‘Adaptive AI’, an addition to its Hiya Protect product, which is used by wireless carriers, smartphone makers, and app developers as part of its service packages. It’s available in services such as AT&T Call Protect, Samsung Smart Call, and the Hiya app.

Adaptive AI observes the patterns left by spammers in the network traffic and adapts in real-time to block them without the need for human retraining or historical data. This new capability is informed by live data streams from wireless carriers, smartphone devices, and apps, and enables Hiya Protect to detect 20% more spam calls than reactive number-based technologies currently on the market, even if spammers change their phone numbers, carriers, call paths, and more. 

“Adaptive AI is a massive step forward in protecting the public from spam calls. By deploying a self-learning system that recognises the underlying patterns of spam calls, we’re able to proactively find and stop spammers even if they change their tactics,” said Alex Algard, CEO at Hiya. “We know that spammers move fast. This new capability ensures we move even faster.” 

Posting five consecutive years of triple-digit revenue growth, Hiya has also been named a fastest-growing company in North America on Deloitte’s 2021 Technology Fast 500, for the second year in a row. 



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