The Future of AI in Business

The Future of AI in Business: Lessons from the LIFT Labs Spring 2023 Startup Accelerator

Comcast NBCU niversal LIFT Labs connects startups with leaders across our business to develop long-term partnerships and explore emerging technologies, including AI. In 2023, we collaborated with promising startups through our accelerator program to learn more about developments in and applications for Generative AI. Here are some of the key insights we discovered:

  1. AI Brings Structure to Unstructured Data

Organizations have data in many different forms and in many different locations. Making sense of it all can be a challenge. New AI tools are helping enterprises gain valuable insights from their existing data, leading to actionable results and more informed decision-making.

Two startups in our accelerator portfolio are helping businesses bring structure to unstructured data at scale, fast-tracking the organization of complex, disparate data sets and sources. One example is Coactive, which automatically analyzes image and video data to make it searchable and easy to organize. For instance, Coactive lets companies search through pictures or videos for the perfect clip for a movie thumbnail or trailer, rather than having an editor manually scroll the footage themselves. Another example is Monterey AI, which helps organizations draw insights from large bodies of quantitative data such as user reviews, and take actions that lead to better customer experiences — without the need for coding or manual data tagging.

Coactive’s co-founder Cody Coleman said companies need resources to effectively manage their data to avoid bottlenecks.

“Some companies don’t have the infrastructure and tools in place to actually work with their data effectively,” said Coleman. “But AI can democratize that process— transforming a massive ocean of data into something companies can search, understand, and analyze.”

Takeaway: New AI tools enable teams to optimize data to provide new capabilities, enhance productivity, and deliver better customer experiences.

  1. AI Drives Enriched Customer and Employee Interactions, Products and Tools

Generative AI is starting to transform how businesses interact with both employees and customers, particularly, as more advanced models support a broader spectrum of inputs like voice and images rather than just text.

A number of startups in the LIFT Labs portfolio offer solutions that power enriched customer interactions. For example, and Inworld provide platforms for building generative, interactive, and digital entertainment experiences.

A particularly interesting collaboration came from working with NLX, which delivers conversational and personalized customer and employee experiences. During the Accelerator they demonstrated how a customer would be able to seamlessly communicate with an agent through text, web, and phone during the same service call. Seeing the power of the technology, Comcast’s HR team is now leveraging NLX’s platform to power conversational interactions with its own employees, giving them a 24/7 self-service chat option for employee inquiries, and Comcast Ventures recently invested in the company’s Series A fundraise.

“It was mind blowing to see a company the size of Comcast being able to engage at the pace of a startup,” said Andrei Papancea, CEO and Chief Product Officer at NLX. “We’ve worked with a number of large enterprises but this has been rather unique.”

Takeaway: GenAI can deliver high-value touchpoints and experiences to consumers with increased speed, efficiency, and has the potential to close technological capability gaps.

  1. AI Streamlines Workflows by Letting People Focus on High-Value Tasks

GenAI has the potential to optimize workflows and empower employees to rapidly brainstorm ideas and extract insights from extensive datasets efficiently. As GenAI tools become more accessible, their integration into daily operations is expected to enhance productivity and enable a focus on higher-value tasks.

Take sales for instance, which requires time-consuming but necessary tasks such as prospecting, searching for key decision-makers, and hunting down contact details online. That’s why Nick Smith launched Sailes, which uses AI bots to automate the entire prospecting cycle. These bots are built to reflect the unique selling style and persona of each sales representative — and allow sales reps to focus on more complex tasks like crafting sales pitches.

“Sailebots are a digital extension of the human, mirroring their personality and sales style. They do the prospecting work of humans hands-free,” said Smith. “It’s a real-life solution to the age-old problem: I wish there were two of me.”

Takeaway: Generative AI and natural language processing can enhance operational speed and efficiency, particularly in sectors with heavy content demands, thereby boosting productivity and employee engagement.


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