Twilio and the Evolving Role of AI in Communications

May 15, 2024
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Twilio and the Evolving Role of AI in Communications

In 2008, we launched the initial version of the Twilio Voice API , kickstarting the era of programmable communications (while leaving no one safe from inbound RickRolls). Businesses and creators everywhere could suddenly merge new technology with traditional communications, reaching their customers through apps and APIs in a scalable way. It was the start of a revolution in communications, one that brought with it new businesses opportunities and never-before-seen use cases.

Lately, we've had a similar feeling to those early days. AI offers an opportunity to uplevel customer communications, just as APIs revitalized communications. We predict that with AI, the future of communications will be more powerful, less complex to navigate, and more personalized, and we’re building our products accordingly. And developers will lead us to the customer engagement of the future.

In this post, we’ll explore the profound impact of AI on businesses, highlighting Twilio's generally available products, public betas, and tools on the horizon. From AI-powered customer analytics with Twilio Segment, to actionable insights from voice call data with Voice Intelligence, to our CustomerAI features and integrations, to our newest customer-aware autonomous AI Assistants, Twilio is paving the way for you to innovate with Artificial Intelligence in your communications workflows.

Bridging business and technology

Businesses are showing a growing eagerness to harness AI— 7 out of 10 companies we surveyed for our 2024 State of Customer Engagement Report say they’re already using AI to personalize content and marketing. A few years ago, we could only imagine the smooth, conversational AI we can now experience, or the personalization AI is unlocking for every customer. AI in Communications was noise – but not anymore. The technology is here. The tools are available.

7 of 10 Companies Use AI to Personalize Content (From Twilio SOCER 2024)

When it comes to customer communication and personalization, Twilio’s AI products and features will significantly impact your company’s interactions. We intend for developers to use our products to create not just improved experiences, but magical ones. It’s why Twilio introduced our Voice API back in 2008, and our continued innovation is why we were named a leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Communications Platform as a Service.

We’re excited to help you integrate AI seamlessly into your customer engagement strategies. Let me show you how.

AI in the Customer Data Platform: Twilio Segment

Twilio Segment brings together clean, consented customer data for real-time insights, adding the power of AI to anticipate customer needs and build better, more personalized experiences.

As a Customer Data Platform, or CDP, Segment simplifies data collection, governance, and activation. It presents everything in a handy, unified dashboard that makes data-driven decisions easy. It enables you to focus on building features, rather than managing data. Plus, our best practices and Segment’s sensible defaults ensure your data will be ready for whatever AI or product enhancements you need, such as:

  • Protocols ensures data integrity by enforcing a universal tracking plan and standard naming conventions, leading to cleaner data and more effective lead generation and personalization efforts.
Segment Protocols
  • Identity Resolution stitches together interactions across channels and devices into a cohesive customer profile, enabling better personalized campaigns since you’ll have the whole picture.
Segment Identity Resolution
  • Functions integrates with CustomerAI, simplifying integration by letting developers build through natural language. See Functions in action in this GIF:
Functions Writer in Segment
  • Generative Audiences uses generative AI to help marketers create audience segments using natural language.

These tools make complex data activation tasks straightforward, allowing you to create richer, more magical customer experiences. Adding Segment to your toolbox means you’ll quickly bring our AI capabilities to your teams.

Read more about Segment, or hear how we think of AI (and lots of other topics) at Segment in our Good Data, Better Marketing podcast.

Beyond Business Intelligence with AI and Twilio Segment

Business intelligence (BI) provides valuable historical insights through data analysis, helping companies understand performance and, ultimately, driving better business decisions. There's a misconception that AI is meant to replace BI, but in reality, AI extends the capabilities of BI. In the Artificial Intelligence era, our data and engineering teams will push Business Intelligence even further. Segment was founded on the idea of democratizing data-based customer insights. Through analyzing historical data about customers' decisions, Segment empowers better Business Intelligence for creators, large and small. When Segment’s AI features are integrated with your BI tools, you’ll unlock deeper dimensions of analysis and better anticipate future trends.

For a real-world case study of how Segment can unlock better performance with Business Intelligence enhanced by the AI, read about how Trade Me, the largest online auction website in New Zealand, used predictive AI from Twilio to improve its campaigns with targeted personalization with Segment’s Predictions. What will you unlock at your business?Learn more about AI and Segment.

Innovating in the AI Space for Customer Engagement

We are thrilled about what we bring to businesses with Twilio Segment, but that's only part of Twilio's AI efforts. Across our product suite, in our Marketplace, and through our extensible platform and APIs, we are using and enabling AI to protect against fraud, create conversational IVRs, build dynamic AI Assistants, and more. Here are just a few AI-related products and integrations we’re excited about.

Verify Fraud Guard

Verify Fraud Guard uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to protect against SMS fraud. By analyzing customer traffic patterns, it blocks SMS one-time passcodes (OTPs) from being sent to users that would be unlikely to convert (or are expected to be fraudulent). In addition to cutting down on fraud, this intervention saves costs associated with unconverted OTPs and can block fraudulent attempts to drive up your communications costs.

Read more about Fraud Guard.

Agent Copilot and Unified Profiles

Twilio's Unified Profiles and Agent Copilot (currently in Public Beta) reshape your contact center by integrating generative AI to help your agents during and after their customer conversations.

  • Unified Profiles centralize customer data across platforms and provide real-time customer insights and contextual data to your agents before they accept a task and while helping a customer.
  • Agent Copilot employs advanced third-party AI models to equip agents with actionable insights and customer highlights, focusing their attention on meaningful customer interactions rather than data handling. It also creates wrap-up summaries, generates disposition codes, and analyzes conversation sentiment.

Learn more about how Unified Profiles and Agent Copilot can transform your contact center.

Twilio Voice Integration with Dialogflow CX

The Twilio Voice integration with Google Dialogflow CX through Twilio Virtual Agent unlocks voice-based chatbots for your business.

Now, your business can create natural, conversational IVR systems that can scale and adapt as your needs evolve. Your customers will enjoy more human-like interactions and smoother experiences. All it takes is a little code or a button-press (a one-click integration is in public beta). And it’s all powered by Twilio’s integration with advanced AI from Google.

Learn more about Dialogflow CX and Twilio in our docs, or see a tutorial on the integration .

Voice Intelligence

With Voice Intelligence (public beta) , you can extract data, insights, and signals from the contents of your voice calls. You can transcribe inbound calls, evaluate agent performance, augment your lead scoring and prioritization, or validate compliance with laws and regulations. You'll also be able to build customer profiles from past interactions and integrate with your Flex contact center with a single plug-in.

See our documentation on Voice Intelligence , or see one powerful use case with this tutorial on uploading recorded conversations to extract transcripts and more .

Twilio AI Assistants

Our recently released Twilio AI Assistants (now in Developer Preview) allow you to build and host agents for customer-facing communications.

AI Assistants is a product of Twilio Alpha, our program focusing on research and developer outreach from our Emerging Technology and Innovation team (ETI). Follow along with Twilio Alpha at this site.

AI Assistants will attempt to learn more about your customers as they converse. Assistants can also leverage tools you define to access external and internal APIs, and they can integrate with Segment to reference data in a Segment Profile.

Twilio AI Assistants overview

Your new AI Assistant can enhance your customer’s journey through support, sales, marketing, documentation, and more. We always expect our developer community to find a use case we haven't yet considered, and so we’ve made it easy to build on top of Twilio's array of supported communications channels.

Learn more about Twilio Al Assistants.

What’s next for Twilio, AI, and your business

As your business looks to leverage AI, we at Twilio are ready to help. Stay tuned to our blog for more insights into how AI can revolutionize communications and customer interactions, including:

Are you ready to learn more about Twilio’s leadership in AI-driven communication solutions, built on transparency, responsibility, and accountability? Explore Twilio’s CustomerAI and learn more about Twilio Segment.

Chiara Massironi leads Twilio's Developer Network.