Embedded AI: The Questions Every CEO is Asking | Summary and Q&A

June 2, 2023
The a16z Podcast
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Embedded AI: The Questions Every CEO is Asking


AI is revolutionizing contact centers by automating repetitive tasks, enabling personalized customer interactions, and providing valuable insights for business strategies.

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Key Insights

  • ☠️ AI has the potential to revolutionize contact centers by automating tasks, improving customer experience, and reducing attrition rates.
  • 🪛 AI can help companies gather valuable insights by analyzing customer conversations and feedback, enabling data-driven decision-making.
  • 👨‍🔬 AI technology, such as Hex and Source graph, empowers developers with enhanced code search, analysis, and navigation capabilities, boosting productivity and efficiency.


2022 was a breakout year for AI in fact many have even claimed that Chachi BT is the fastest growing app of all time so with so much opportunity on the table AI is the topic of conversation in every boardroom as CEOs figure out how to best integrate this new superpower but they're also asking really important questions around data privacy competiti... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is attrition high in contact centers, and how can AI help mitigate the issue?

Contact centers often have high attrition rates due to factors such as seasonal demand, low wages, and high-stress job environments. AI can help by automating repetitive tasks, reducing employee workload, and improving overall job satisfaction.

Q: How can AI enhance customer service in contact centers while maintaining a human touch?

AI can support customer service agents by providing real-time intelligence, automating data entry and form filling, and offering personalized recommendations. This allows agents to focus on building relationships and providing excellent customer experiences.

Q: How can AI technology generate valuable insights for businesses?

AI can analyze customer conversations and extract valuable information about product feedback, market trends, and competitor strategies. These insights help businesses make data-driven decisions, accelerate product development, and improve overall performance.

Q: What is the role of AI in data analysis and code search for developers?

AI technology, such as Hex and Source graph, can assist developers in generating and editing code, refining data into valuable insights, and providing relevant context for code-related queries. This improves developer productivity, enables faster code navigation, and enhances code search capabilities.


In this video, industry experts discuss the integration of AI in various industries and how companies are differentiating themselves in this space. They touch on topics such as data privacy, competition, cost, and accuracy. The conversation begins with Zed Inam, CEO of Cresta, discussing the challenges faced by contact centers and how AI can transform these interactions. Barry McCardle, CEO of Hex, then discusses the AI tools they have integrated into their data analytics platform. Finally, Beyond Liu, CTO of Sourcegraph, talks about how their code search and navigation tool incorporates AI to provide developers with relevant context and improve their coding experience.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is attrition so high in contact centers?

Attrition in contact centers is high for several reasons. There is often seasonal demand for increased contact center volume, low wages, a high-stress job that involves dealing with frustrated customers, and a high turnover rate due to a combination of these factors.

Q: How does Cresta aim to transform contact center jobs?

Cresta aims to transform contact center jobs by using AI to turn a historically low Net Promoter Score (NPS) role into one of mastery and creativity. Instead of replacing contact center agents with AI, Cresta focuses on using AI as a building block to enhance the customer experience and gather valuable insights from conversations with customers.

Q: Can you provide examples of what can be done with AI in analyzing customer conversations?

AI can analyze customer conversations to gather information about product feedback, market perception, customer preferences, and competitive intelligence. For example, AI can help telecommunications companies evaluate pricing and packaging strategies, understand how customers perceive their offers, and inform their go-to-market strategies. AI can also summarize and synthesize large amounts of unstructured data to provide quick insights and understand customer sentiment.

Q: How does Cresta ensure transparency and customer trust in AI-powered interactions?

Cresta believes in leaning towards transparency when it comes to AI interactions. Building trust with customers is crucial for a brand, and being upfront about using AI in customer interactions can help establish transparency and maintain a strong brand reputation. Additionally, being transparent about using AI technologies like accent masking can help avoid potential risks to the brand's reputation.

Q: How does Hex utilize AI in their data analytics platform?

Hex has integrated AI tools into their data analytics platform, which allows users to generate and edit code, refactor code, and document code using AI. These AI tools leverage the platform's existing data and user behavior to personalize and improve the code suggestions and visualizations provided to users.

Q: How does Hex ensure user adoption and engagement with their AI features?

Hex focuses on designing a user interface that guides users and provides feedback on what the AI is doing. They have implemented features such as code completion and a pop-out drawer for code editing to enhance the user experience. They also pay close attention to user feedback and iterate on the prompts and context provided to the AI models to improve completion rates and usability.

Q: Where does Hex see its competitive advantage in the AI space?

Hex believes its competitive advantage lies in multiple layers of their offering. They have a significant data advantage due to their existing user base and access to past queries and code written by users. This data allows them to personalize the AI models for each user. Hex also emphasizes the importance of their user interface and overall product experience, which they have been refining for several years. Their focus on thoughtful user experiences sets them apart in the AI space.

Q: How does Sourcegraph leverage AI in their code search and navigation tool?

Sourcegraph uses AI to provide relevant context to developers in their code search and navigation tool. This context is crucial for improving the quality of responses from large language models, especially when dealing with code that is outside their training corpus. Sourcegraph combines their code graph with AI models to deliver more precise answers and insightful suggestions to developers.

Q: How does Sourcegraph differentiate itself from other code search tools in the market?

Sourcegraph differentiates itself by having a comprehensive understanding of source code and providing relevant context to AI models. Their focus on incorporating a wide range of context, such as issue trackers, chat messages, and external documents, allows developers to access a more complete set of information. Additionally, Sourcegraph's commitment to being an open-source platform enables integrations with other developer tools and fosters a more pluggable ecosystem.

Q: Is there a competitive advantage in using customized AI models?

Customized AI models can provide a competitive advantage, especially if companies can collect proprietary datasets unique to their industry or use case. Having access to data that others do not have and training models on this data can enable companies to achieve even more advanced capabilities. Customization allows companies to tailor AI models to their specific needs, which may be difficult for competitors to replicate.

Q: How does privacy and security play a role in utilizing AI models shared by multiple companies?

Privacy and security are critical considerations when using AI models shared by multiple companies. Companies must ensure the protection of their proprietary code and data, especially in industries with high-security requirements. Some companies may negotiate separate agreements with model providers or develop in-house models to address these concerns. It is also important to stay informed about the latest developments in AI and choose the most secure and privacy-focused options available.


The integration of AI in various industries presents opportunities and challenges. Companies differentiate themselves in this space through various strategies, such as leveraging proprietary datasets, personalizing models, designing intuitive user interfaces, and ensuring transparency and trust with customers. The ability to fetch the right context and provide relevant information to AI models is essential for achieving better outcomes. Privacy and security considerations are also critical in using shared AI models, especially when dealing with proprietary code and sensitive data. As the AI field evolves, there will be room for companies to establish competitive advantages by being early adopters, customizing models, and building data moats.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • AI has the potential to transform contact centers by reducing attrition rates, automating processes, and improving overall customer experience.

  • Companies like Cresta are leveraging AI to turn contact center roles into opportunities for mastery and creativity, rather than just relying on automation.

  • AI technology can provide valuable insights by analyzing customer conversations, improving product feedback, and informing market strategies.

  • Hex and Source graph are using AI to enhance data analysis, code search, and navigation, allowing developers to work faster and more efficiently.

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