OpenAI’s Chairman of the Board Initiates Startup Focused on Enhancing Customer Experiences with AI Agents

Bret Taylor, previously co-CEO of Salesforce and now chairman of the board at OpenAI, has entered the rapidly expanding field of conversational AI for businesses with the debut of his new venture, Sierra, alongside Clay Bavor, Google’s ex-head of VR. Sierra’s mission is to furnish companies with proprietary AI agents, thereby revolutionizing their digital interactions. Launching with an impressive $110 million from initial investments by entities such as Benchmark and Sequoia, Sierra is set to redefine enterprise digital strategy.

Notably, Sierra has already attracted significant interest, securing early adoption by major brands like Weight Watchers, SiriusXM, Sonos, and OluKai. These businesses are leveraging Sierra’s technology to manage hundreds of thousands of customer interactions monthly, thereby enhancing their customer service efficiency.

In a statement, Taylor and Bavor expressed their enthusiasm about making Sierra’s platform broadly available, aiming to uplift customer service experiences globally with their innovative technology.

Sierra’s platform offers a solution to the limitation of human customer service teams, which cannot always provide instant support across various languages around the clock. While early conversational AI chatbots filled this gap, their capabilities were limited. Sierra aims to surpass these limitations by employing advanced language models that enable AI agents to provide empathetic, personalized responses, understand complex inquiries, and even execute tasks by integrating with a company’s internal systems.

These AI agents can perform various functions, from handling subscription changes to navigating order delivery issues, powered by the ability to reason, solve problems, and make decisions within the parameters set by the business.

Despite the competitive landscape with entities like Yellow AI, Aisera, Cognigy, and Kore AI utilizing large language models (LLMs) for enhancing enterprise interactions, Sierra has shown promising early results. For instance, during the holiday sales peak, OluKai’s AI agent successfully managed over half of all customer inquiries, and Weight Watchers’ AI agent achieved a customer satisfaction score of 4.6 out of 5 while handling 70% of customer sessions.

With the conversational AI market projected to reach nearly $30 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate of over 22%, Sierra is poised for significant expansion. The company emphasizes its commitment to privacy and quality assurance, ensuring that AI agents operate within the boundaries of a company’s policies and brand identity without using data for training purposes. This approach, coupled with real-time interaction oversight and escalation support, positions Sierra as a pioneering force in the next generation of conversational AI software for enterprises.