M.R. Rangaswami Asks Amanda Reed 3 Questions

Originally published on Sandhill.com

When it comes to AI programming, CrowdSmart.ai is moving beyond eavesdropping on social media and polling customers like test subjects. Rather, Amanda Reed and her team are working on pulling information from the collective’s intelligence.

A third-generation silicon valley entrepreneur, Amanda began her career in start-up sales and marketing, followed by early-stage venture capital, and she most recently led long-horizon innovation for one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. Her new role as CrowdSmart.ai’s CEO is an exact fit for their use of collective intelligence and AI to help people make smarter decisions.

M.R. Rangaswami: The Great Resignation and customer frustration are two of the biggest consumer issues. How do you reverse these trends with AI? 

Amanda Reed: From my perspective, the essential frame of mind to retain and grow employees and customers in 2022 is how to offer them authentic engagement. It’s time we moved beyond eavesdropping on social media and polling our customers and employees like impersonal test subjects. Instead, we can use AI as a facilitator to draw these very important people and critical relationships into a virtual ‘room where it happens’ to anonymously and asynchronously work together to co-create successful strategies and products.

With AI we can do this at scale from a single cross-departmental project to hundreds of thousands of citizens.  Our concept of collective intelligence reduces human bias that affects decision accuracy while also creating an opportunity for iterative learning and recognition of the most influential ideas and participants. It is a critical idea and feedback loop that draws people in like a game and creates incredibly rich and predictive data. 

Typical top-down hierarchies have a hard time accessing and leveraging the knowledge and experience that exist at all levels in an organization. Our approach is to use AI to make it easy for anyone to harvest this insight and bring it into sharp focus for their specific purpose. CrowdSmart helps close the gap between top management, the customer front lines and the customers themselves.


M.R.: This sounds different from what people think when they think of Ai and decisions. How does it work?

Amanda: We’ve harnessed recent advancements in deep learning and NLP to create a patented AI that learns from human reasoning in real time. Our AI does not make decisions, it is designed to assist with the type of complex decisions that only humans can make and help predict their outcomes. In a CrowdSmart online conversation, the AI is working interactively with your fellow employees, customers or partners to proactively uplift diverse ideas and test for alignment at every step.

As the group anonymously learns and iterates with each other’s ideas and feedback, they are also refining the ‘signal’ and creating both qualitative and quantitative recommendations in real-time to the conversation organizer. You don’t need an analyst on your team to help you decide what to do because the results are clear and easy to understand. CrowdSmart provides the scale and speed to collect and refine the intelligence of the people around you so you can make smarter decisions.

M.R. I can think of so many places where this would be helpful, where do you start?

The pandemic has given us both the opportunity and the challenge. It is a fulcrum moment to rethink where ideas come from and dismantle the ‘inside vs. outside the company’ or the ‘exec suite vs. frontline worker’ mindset. When people realize they can easily capture the intelligence of people around them and those people will feel validated and valued, they have tons of ideas on how to use it from daily collaborations to very large projects.

We are making CrowdSmart simple to use by integrating it with Zoom to bring instant clarity to large calls. Zoom call organizers can quickly and easily ensure equitable participation and refined insights from any group by launching CrowdSmart during the call. They get real-time results on the call, and if necessary can avoid call fatigue by taking that same conversation and group of people off-camera and online for additional conversation, continued iteration, and ultimately very clear results.

CrowdSmart is a cloud service that supports companies, non-profits and government agencies with critical functions such as innovation on products and services, as well as strategic decisions such as how to grow revenue, which companies to buy and how to best optimize the integration and operations post-merger.

Our customers are often surprised by what they learn as CrowdSmart surfaces and refines new ideas that weren’t part of their original thinking. We are a purpose-driven business with a focus on helping everyday business users capture the insight of the people around them. We are also passionate about CrowdSmart’s opportunity to support major issues in society and we are proud to support leaders of social impact projects that fulfill our mission to help people understand each other and make smarter

M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of Sandhill.com

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