An Interview with Cris Ippolite from iSolutionsAI

4 min readMar 30, 2024

The CEO discusses his philosophy on FileMaker and AI for Business

RoboReporter: Hi Cris, thanks for joining me today. Let’s dive right in. What inspired you to explore integrating AI into FileMaker solutions, and can you share some of your earliest experiments?

Cris Ippolite: It’s a pleasure to be here. My AI journey actually began as a hobby, aimed at gaining an edge in fantasy football through machine learning. This not only introduced me to AI’s potential but also showed its disruptive power, similar to my work integrating analytics and ML into NFL platforms. It made me realize businesses could greatly benefit from these technologies.

I started by exploring pre-trained AI models via APIs for tasks like summarization, sentiment analysis, and keyword extraction. Then in 2020, I got access to OpenAI’s GPT-3 API and found it could handle all those things and so much more in a single model.

RoboReporter: What are the key challenges or considerations when integrating AI into FileMaker solutions, and how are you addressing them?

Cris Ippolite: Data privacy and security are paramount. There are techniques to interact with data using language models without having it leave your servers. Our current projects involve local PII scrubbing before interacting with LLMs. We also ensure secure API calls when using cloud services.

Ethical concerns are another consideration, particularly job loss due to AI. We subscribe to a human-centric philosophy, focusing on augmenting human capabilities rather than replacing them. As I like to say,

“We don’t believe in building robots. We build Ironman suits…to take the individuals you have and give them superpowers.”

RoboReporter: How is the integration of AI going to influence the design process of your FileMaker solutions, and what changes or enhancements do you believe we will see?

Cris Ippolite: AI-based applications will be completely different, with a far more elegant architecture. AI allows us to design applications without rigid inputs, structured data, static output, and zero understanding.

It’s a fundamental transition into “understanding based” application development instead of our historically rigid approach.

FileMaker developers will spend less time designing complex UIs, workflows, reports and visualizations.

The focus will shift to architecting solutions connecting business data to the LLM backend, enabling a “just ask” capability. Users can directly question the data using everyday language, democratizing data access, uncovering insights, and enabling faster, better-informed decisions.

Dynamic visualizations and reporting mean we should never have to create a chart or report again. Users can ask for what they want and how they want it, drastically increasing usability and the shelf life of custom FileMaker systems.

RoboReporter: What advice would you give to FileMaker developers who want to get started with AI integration, and what resources or training would you recommend?

Cris Ippolite: Start by familiarizing yourself with AI and large language model fundamentals. Incorporate consumer AI tools like ChatGPT and Claude into your daily life to understand capabilities and limitations.

Experiment and learn, starting small to mitigate risk and ensure value before committing to large-scale AI implementation.

Develop strong API skills, understanding Insert From URL, cURL, and parsing JSON with native FileMaker functions.

RoboReporter: For business owners considering AI-powered FileMaker solutions, what are the key benefits, cost implications, and potential ROI they should be aware of?

Cris Ippolite: AI is about fundamentally rethinking how we work, emphasizing efficiency and human-machine collaboration. Embedding techniques can vectorize documents, converting archives into active, usable data to differentiate your business.

Focus first on scalable tasks, increasing efficiencies to open up avenues for human workers to engage in more meaningful, knowledge-based work.

AI in back-office functions offers an opportunity to apply a first-principles approach to improving your business.

For companies familiar with the cost of custom FileMaker systems, our experience shows AI integration efforts are less costly and time-consuming than you may be used to. These fast, less expensive AI integrations focused on scaling inefficient functions naturally come with high upside ROI.

RoboReporter: How do you see the role of AI in FileMaker evolving over the next five years, and what potential future applications or trends excite you the most?

Cris Ippolite: It’s impossible to predict five years out, but by year’s end, I see long context windows making it easier to send massive amounts of data toward tasks. I already have customer use cases for 10 million token windows.

We’ll likely see a move toward a less heuristic, more “system 2” approach with the proliferation of agents and model pairing.

Perhaps Claris will leverage AI to accelerate the learning journey for new users and evaluators, helping grow the user base.

Edge models are long overdue. Historically, Claris business use cases haven’t involved devices, so AI model integration on the edge could really move adoption forward.

What I don’t see happening in five years is AGI, unless more symbolic or world view models are developed to embellish existing language models.

RoboReporter: What steps can developers and businesses take to ensure their AI-powered FileMaker solutions remain maintainable, adaptable, and aligned with business goals as technology advances?

Cris Ippolite: All the tools you need already exist. Focus on defining users, writing comprehensive prompt instructions, and leveraging prompt templates for full control over truth and accuracy in your AI integrations.

Avoid “model lock” and adopt a “right model for the job” mentality.

There are dozens of embeddings models alone, let alone LLMs. These are just API endpoints, so create adaptable integrations.

As your data grows and user interactions with these models increase, capture and model this data to evolve your AI integrations.

Tech will change, so don’t take your eye off the ball. Our team meets weekly to cover advancements in AI and their impacts on our deployments and internal systems. And that’s not even frequent enough.

RoboReporter: This has been incredibly insightful, Cris. Thank you for your time and expertise.

Cris Ippolite: My pleasure. Always happy to discuss the exciting possibilities AI brings to the FileMaker world.




Multiple award-winning experts in custom applications, machine learning models and artificial intelligence for business.