Twilio unveils AI tools to broaden customer data


Twilio Inc is launching new AI-powered features in its suite of data management services, responding to customer demand on how best to use the emerging technology to expand their businesses.
With the new tools, clients will be able to generate suggestions about marketing strategy and use internal data to build automated contact support services, the company announced ahead of its annual user conference.
These new features will be integrated into Twilio’s customer data platform, which organises consumer information for uses like marketing. A recent report from industry analyst IDC showed San Francisco-based Twilio with the highest market share for customer data platforms over runners-up Adobe Inc. and Publicis Groupe SA’s Epsilon. But the market is still unsettled — Twilio’s leading position amounted to only 10% of the market.
Twilio’s platform also will add new tools to help clients organise their data for a variety of AI uses, the company said. “Most companies actually don’t have their data ready in a format where it’s usable” with large language models, said Chief Executive Officer Jeff Lawson in an interview. Large language models are the technology powering AI tools that can generate text and images from a user’s prompts.
Twilio’s growth plan hinges on the success of its CDP business. The service the company is best known for — facilitating business-to-consumer messaging — faces increased competition. Like many software peers, Twilio has focused on boosting profits as revenue growth has slowed and the company has cut headcount more than 28% since September over two rounds of layoffs.
Twilio said it’s using large language models from companies including OpenAI and Google for the new features. Pricing hasn’t been determined, Lawson said, adding that the company’s main CDP platform, called Segment, currently charges based on how many individuals each customer is tracking.
Almost every major software company has unveiled new AI features, seeking to capitalise on demand spurred by interest in OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT. Twilio’s bet is that companies will need help preparing and accessing data to take advantage of the emerging technology.
“AI is only as good as the data that you have,” Lawson said.

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