Powering personalization with customer-aware generative AI

Discover how Twilio’s integration with OpenAI’s GPT-4 can power new generative capabilities that deliver personalized, customer-aware experiences at scale.

By Katrina Wong

OpenAI’s ChatGTP burst onto the scene in November 2022, ushering in an explosion of generative AI that has broken into the mainstream with its vast potential to transform the way we work, create, and tackle everyday tasks. 

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, can be used to create new content — digital art, email copy, “How to” videos, or new music — in a matter of seconds with just a simple human prompt. With its easy-to-use interface and impressive outputs, ChatGPT became the fastest-growing consumer application in history (according to a UBS), reaching an estimated 100 million monthly active users within its first two months. 

While there’s a wide variety of ways generative AI can assist in speeding and simplifying tasks in our everyday lives — who doesn’t want help planning their social calendar or creating a tasty new recipe? — it can also serve as an accelerant to businesses across industries. In fact, Segment’s latest State of Personalization Report found that 92% of companies are already using AI-powered personalization to drive business growth. 

Combining generative AI with AI-ready customer data to deliver unparalleled customer experiences 

Today, Twilio announced an integration with OpenAI to enable companies to create personalized, customer-aware experiences at scale. Through this integration, Twilio customers can use OpenAI’s GPT-4 to power new generative capabilities in Twilio Engage, our multichannel marketing solution built atop the Segment customer data platform (CDP). The combination of Twilio Segment, ranked the #1 Customer Data Platform for market share by IDC* for four consecutive years, and OpenAI’s powerful Large Language Models (LLMs), will create new opportunities for businesses to activate a unique understanding of their customers across every interaction.

LLMs have an incredible ability to process and understand language, but in order to be applied in customer-facing use cases — like marketing emails customized for each individual customer or more personalized support interactions — LLMs need an understanding of the customer they are generating content for. To gain a complete understanding of your customers, you need to make use of your data. Unfortunately, this is something most companies struggle to do, since data pipelines break, data formats rapidly evolve, and data teams often don’t have the bandwidth to fully leverage the potential of the customer data they have. Now, with AI rapidly unlocking new opportunities, the value of having organized, clean, and actionable data that is AI-ready has never been more important.

Twilio CustomerAI, a technology layer that couples the power of LLMs with the rich customer data that flows through Twilio’s customer engagement platform (CEP), enables companies to unlock their data, building an understanding of their customers with Twilio Segment, and then activate that understanding across their marketing with Twilio Engage, the contact center with Twilio Flex, and their products with Twilio Verify. Twilio CustomerAI infuses greater customer understanding and personalization across every one of those customer touchpoints.

By formalizing its collaboration, Twilio and OpenAI will empower companies to create personalized, customer-aware experiences with generative AI.

“It's clear that Large Language Models are the next wave of innovation in customer engagement. Experiences like ChatGPT are coming to the enterprise to power groundbreaking experiences in sales, service, content, marketing and more. Twilio CustomerAI enables companies to build customer-aware interactions — giving the language models context about the customer they're helping. Without customer-awareness, any ChatGPT-like experiences would be generic and unhelpful. But with CustomerAI, companies can transform LLMs into the most helpful, knowledgeable agent imaginable at scale.”

-  Jeff Lawson, CEO and Co-Founder of Twilio

Unlocking generative AI use cases 

This integration with OpenAI will formalize the exciting opportunities that many in Twilio’s community of more than 10 million developers have already been experimenting with. For example, it’s possible to build a ChatGPT plugin for Twilio Flex, which gives users the ability to access Flex directly from ChatGPT's interface, creating a new channel for brands to serve their customers better. 

Meanwhile, developers can create voice-activated chatbots, using Twilio's native speech recognition and Amazon Polly Neural text-to-speech capabilities with ChatGPT. Another example is the potential of ChatGPT when paired with Twilio Programmable Messaging, used here to build a serverless SMS chatbot. These builds validate the enormous potential of OpenAI and Twilio’s ongoing and aligned efforts, and the value it can bring to customers looking to uplevel their customer engagement strategies.

“As AI drives down the cost of intelligence, it is increasingly possible for companies to deliver a deeply personalized experience for every customer. We know how much people want this, and we’re happy to be working with Twilio to bring it to the world. Twilio Segment’s Customer Data Platform will enable today and tomorrow’s large language models to unlock deep personalization at scale for every business.”

- Brad Lightcap, COO of OpenAI

Importantly, no matter what industry your business is in or which team is leveraging LLMs within Twilio’s platform, you will have full ownership, transparency, and control of your data, since  Segment’s customer data platform (CDP) relies on first-party data which is never purchased or shared. Twilio builds privacy and security into its product development lifecycle and will ensure companies have full transparency and control of the data that informs AI-powered interactions with their customers.

Twilio and Segment will be sharing more about CustomerAI at the SIGNAL conference on August 23, but you can start ensuring your data is AI-ready today. Segment’s trusted data infrastructure, unified profiles, and open platform provides the mission-critical foundation needed to confidently and successfully transform your business with AI.

Learn how you can get more precise, intelligent, and impactful AI with trusted customer data.

*IDC Worldwide Customer Data Platform Applications Software Market Shares, 2022: Continued CDP Growth to $2.7 Billion Proves Value of Unified Data for CX and Digital Business, June 2023, IDC #US50861023.

The state of personalization 2023

The State of Personalization 2023

Our annual look at how attitudes, preferences, and experiences with personalization have evolved over the past year.

Recommended articles


Want to keep updated on Segment launches, events, and updates?