AI in AgeTech, Part 4: Collaborative™ Companies Personalize their Customers’ Journeys with AI

By Mark Ogilbee posted 08-17-2023 08:55 AM


 In part 4 of our ongoing series examining ways artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the AgeTech space, we take a look at how two AgeTech Collaborative™ startup participants are using AI to personalize the customer experience by providing their users with information and resources tailored to each person’s specific needs. 

Cake is the world’s largest digital platform for funeral and end-of-life planning and post-loss support. Aiming to help people make informed decisions during an emotional phase of life, Cake connects families with novel solutions and helps them navigate the complexities of death and grieving. 

According to CEO Suelin Chen, one way Cake uses AI is to improve the efficiency of their internal operations. “On the operational side of things, we’re using AI in every department, including for coding and for data analysis,” says Chen. “It also increases the output of content creation. We still use human authors and editors, but AI can be useful for boosting how much work a single writer or editor can do.” 

More fundamentally, Cake uses AI to power their recommendation algorithms, which personalize suggested goods and services for the millions of people who visit the company’s website every year. “We have different data points about visitors to our site,” says Chen. “Starting with those, we can start to learn what kinds of information each visitor will find helpful. These algorithms get smarter every day, and we can optimize and personalize users’ journeys on the site to be sure they’re being matched with the right tools, vendors and resources.” 

This kind of personalization is particularly important to Cake. “This is a very emotional topic for a lot of people,” Chen says. "We’re very sensitive that the people we serve are in a vulnerable place, so we want to get it right.” AI is proving to be an effective tool that helps Cake understand how the company can best serve its users. “People come with their whole history of how they’ve interacted with mortality — their cultural and religious traditions and their personal experiences color how they relate to it. Being able to discern those things through data, we can tailor a better experience. 

AI even helps Cake’s users themselves personalize their own experience. “We have a ChatGPT-powered obituary writer that helps users draft obituaries. There’s a lot of pen-to-paper work that often happens around a memorialization event. If we can help people do a first draft of those, that can save them time and energy.” 

InsideTracker provides a personal health analysis and data-driven wellness guide designed to help people optimize their health. By integrating personal health information with scientifically validated research, InsideTracker makes personalized lifestyle-based recommendations to help users improve their biological profiles and live healthier, longer. 

AI has been foundational to InsideTracker from the company’s founding, according to Renee Deehan, vice president of science and artificial intelligence. It uses more traditional machine learning to develop various product features, and more recently it started using a large language model to develop a chatbot feature. 

But the company leverages a different kind of AI to power its core functionality. “The particular type of AI we use is called knowledge representation and reasoning,” says Deehan. “The ‘knowledge representation’ part means that we can take thousands or even tens of thousands of scientific papers, extract the important bits of information, and put them into a machine-readable format. The ‘reasoning’ part means that we teach the computer how to interpret the information like an expert would. Basically, we’re teaching the computer to think like a subject matter expert.” 

While the gold standard for gathering information is still having a scientist review papers individually, using AI and natural language processing algorithms allows InsideTracker to scale the process. “Now we can do way more than a human ever could,” says Deehan. 

This, in turn, means InsideTracker can better serve its customers. “We’re super excited about AI,” says Deehan. “Our goal is to adopt and implement all of the latest advancements in artificial intelligence in a way that is going to benefit our customers.” 


You can find Part 1 in the series here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 5 here and Part 6 here