The Impact of Generative AI on Startups - Sam Zheng of Curious Thing

By Dexter Cousins on 13/07/2023

About Sam Zheng

Sam Zheng is the CEO and co-founder of Curious Thing, an AI startup that specializes in automating phone calls for businesses. With a background in statistics and actuarial work, Sam has extensive experience in the AI field and has previously co-founded another AI company called Hyper Anna.

"Start with your most painful problem, analyze that, and identify whether AI is your solution."

- Sam Zheng

About Curious Thing

Curious Thing started in July 2018 after the three founders asked each other, “What if we can make an AI curious?”

Seeing the limitations of today's intent-matching AI framework, they sought to build an AI that is designed to ask open-content questions and derive insights from people.

Today, the platform allows businesses to redefine how they communicate with their customers through proactive engagement. Curious Thing has processed over 3 million minutes of AI-human conversations and the team has grown to over 30 members.

Episode Summary

In this episode, Sam discusses the current craze around AI and the impact it is having on various industries. He also shares his journey as a founder, from his previous AI company to his current venture. Sam talks of the importance of solving real problems with AI and the need for a pragmatic approach. He also discusses the evolution of AI technology, particularly in the field of natural language processing.

The conversation touches on the potential impact of generative AI on jobs and the workforce, as well as the role of creativity in the age of AI.

Dexter and Sam also explore the challenges of transitioning from a CTO to a CEO and the importance of continuous learning and development.

Key Takeaways:

  • The current AI landscape is more focused on solving real problems and delivering quantifiable value, compared to the earlier hype cycles.
  • The maturity of AI technology has enabled more complex transactions and interactions, but there are still limitations in terms of empathy and handling complex conversations.
  • The impact of generative AI on jobs and the workforce is uncertain, but it has the potential to redefine creativity.
  • The journey of a founder involves continuous learning and development, and there is no clear path or readiness for the role.
  • The decision to have a CTO co-founder depends on the nature of the business and the specific skills and expertise required.
  • Businesses should focus on identifying their most painful problems and then explore how AI can help solve those problems, rather than starting with AI as the solution.
Article written by Dexter Cousins
Founder of Tier One People and host of the Fintech Chatter Podcast.

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