Our AI Focus

In late 2022, the launch of ChatGPT took AI mainstream, with the LLM tool acquiring 1 million users in just 5 days. Instagram needed approximately 2.5 months to reach 1 million downloads, and Netflix around 3.5 years. The ChatGPT splash set off an explosion of consumer-facing AI tools within familiar software, and ushered in entirely new companies, products and applications entering the market. 

Recently, NFX called AI the next bottled water, in that it’s essential, everywhere, and basically all the same.

You are perhaps even already feeling AI fatigue, repeatedly hit over the head with not only new products, but remarks that AI is as “revolutionary as mobile phones and the Internet”, and the promise of what it can do for everything from this quarter’s returns to… mankind as a whole. 

It should come as no surprise to you that we — as is only responsible — are looking for ways to leverage AI when researching the next problem to solve with a new venture, prototyping solutions, and concepting customer experiences. However, with the proliferation of AI tools entering the market each week, we are more convinced than ever that technology itself cannot be our ventures’ differentiators. 

In years previous, technology could give ventures a head start. But because AI is progressing so quickly while also making it easier than ever before to build technology, "tech differentiation in AI is a shrinking moat" (NFX).

The true advantage of AI is in finding unique, acutely human instances for AI — instances that are identifiable either because they specifically require a human to complete a part of a process, or because they create outsized impact on the humans experiencing the outcome of the process, OR, better yet, both. 

We are experts at finding human problems worth solving, which means that we are in the perfect position to find better applications for AI. Our team is stacked with researchers and ethnographers who are trained to empathize with the humans that they are researching and turn their observations into actionable insights. Then, we have deep experience designing and building technology to bring these application to life in ways that feel human.

We’ve recently found AI applications within our deathcare startup, Prelude (more on this below), and are currently exploring AI solutions for insurance processes and diving into generative AI voice technology.