30th August 2023

Twilio SIGNAL 2023 highlights


An introduction to Twilio SIGNAL

SIGNAL is Twilio’s annual customer and developer conference. It’s where Twilio lays out its vision for the future and announces product enhancements and launches. The largest SIGNAL takes place in San Francisco and is broadcast around the world. Over 20,000 people joined the event virtually this year.

Special, standalone SIGNAL events will take place later this year in London and Singapore with unique speakers and content. Registration is now open for SIGNAL London, which will feature our work with Age UK.

Twilio's vision

SIGNAL 2023 focused heavily on AI (Artificial Intelligence). Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson laid out a vision whereby organisations will one day give AI a business goal such as to, “Get rid of last season’s inventory by the end of the month, making the most profit possible,” and then sit back as AI makes it a reality.

Business goal

“This is the world that’s coming.”

Jeff Lawson
Twilio CEO

Although some way off, this year’s product announcements represent the “beginning of the roadmap,” towards such a world.

Twilio’s commitment to AI was cemented with the announcement of a partnership with OpenAI (best-known for launching ChatGPT), and the keynote featured a discussion between Lawson and Open AI co-founder Sam Altman on the partnership potential.

Key SIGNAL announcements



SIGNAL showcased CustomerAI, a set of capabilities woven throughout all of Twilio products that couples the power of large language models (LLMs) with real-time customer data. The result helps organisations listen to their customers, interpret the signals they’re sending across channels, and activate personalised experiences for every individual.

Under the CustomerAI umbrella, key announcements included:

Twilio Voice Intelligence

Now available in public beta, Twilio Voice Intelligence takes previously inaccessible voice call data and turns it into useful content that unlocks consistent, scalable, and personalised experiences.

An important detail is the ability for Twilio Flex and Voice customers to manage regulatory requirements with automated personal information (PII) redaction.

It’s an exciting development that should evolve how we interact with organisations when we decide to give them a call.

CustomerAI Predictions

Now generally available in Segment, CustomerAI Predictions gives marketeers the ability to use predictive AI to create targeted audiences, triggering customer journeys and personalising multichannel experiences based on any event tracked in Segment.

The predictive capability is powered by unified, real-time data in Segment, which helps train high-quality AI models.

This is a clear step towards the business-goal-achieving AI vision spoken about in the keynote.

Flex Unify and AI: Providing agents with recommended responses

SIGNAL 2023 gave a first look at Flex Unify, which will provide contact centres with what Twilio is calling a ‘golden customer profile’ that uses real-time data to enable hyper-personalisation.

Going beyond fields like phone number and email addresses, Flex Unify will deliver relevant real-time data such as recent website click streams, ad impressions, plus recent purchases and returns. This data will be used to automatically generate inferred traits such as churn risk and lifetime value.

CustomerAI will integrate with Flex Unify and the golden customer profile will provide the inferred traits and predictive traits that the AI needs to manage a personalised conversation, route to the appropriate agent, and provide recommended responses tailored to this specific customer.

Imagine an AI assistant that knows everything about the customer advising a contact centre agent on the best course of action at every step.

Twilio Virtual Agent with Google Dialogflow CX

Now generally available, organisations can guild AI-powered conversational IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems at scale.

Twilio Virtual Agent allows customers to offer AI-based conversational experiences (aka chatbots) through Twilio Programmable Voice. Google Dialogflow CX is an AI-based virtual agent, or “bot,” platform that runs on Google’s Cloud computing Platform (GCP), part of Google Contact Center AI (CCAI) solution.

Twilio has tightly integrated the two, allowing customers to easily setup and manage the integration while providing the sophistication necessary to build contact centre grade chatbots for corporations of all sizes.

The result is more natural and fluid IVR experiences.

Other Twilio Flex announcements

Along with Flex Unity, there were a number of other important Flex announcements made at this year’s SIGNAL.

Flex Mobile

‘Flex Mobile’ is launching in beta later this year. Organisations will be able to connect field sales, branch employees, and contact centre agents via an intuitive app experience.

Twilio highlighted a number of use cases, including:

  • Financial services. Helping branch and remote client-facing teammates to build stronger relationships with customers
  • Retail. Providing customers with personalised experiences using their preferences and previous purchases. Connecting in-store and online shopping experiences for every shopper.
  • Logistics. Connecting field sales and service teams with relevant customer information and preferences that can be used to personalise in-person interactions.

Two new native channels in Flex

Flex has two new native channels: Google Business Messages and Email powered by Twilio SendGrid.

Google Business Messages provides consumers with an easy way to engage from Google search results. Email is great for sharing out longer form content, instructions, and providing necessary next steps to a customer.

We get asked about this functionality a lot, so we’re super excited about the additions.

SIGNAL ‘easter eggs’

SIGNAL is a lot of fun. Along with the big announcements there are lots of ‘easter eggs’ throughout the conference that make it quirky and engaging.

Here we highlight a few of our favourite fun things from this year’s event.

Hot Crocs

Hot crocs

We loved Benjamin asking AI to help keep his crocs warm, demonstrating the power of generative AI, taking a complex problem with multiple sub problems and coming up with solutions to each of those all integrated with each other. Using AI to design a fur insert for crocs, so what's not to like?

Head over to the Developer Keynote to watch.

Hero Wall

Hero wall

A staple of SIGNAL, virtual attendees create an avatar to represent themselves across the event. It’s great to see the creativity of what people create within the narrow field of a little pixelated character. Being a Twilio build partner, we obviously had to build our own custom Zing shirts.

Check out the unique creations on the Hero Wall.



We enjoyed ‘Aileen’, the Friendly, dad-joke-telling Robot that kept butting in on conversations. The looks on Kelley Robinson and Jeff Lawson’s faces when Aileen first interrupted was priceless.

Twilions used generative AI to programme Aileen’s voice from text and it infers emotions. The cute little robot lined up games for people to play, and it is well worth a watch (also in the Developer Keynote).

Immediate opportunity

SIGNAL 2023 achieved a lot.

Along with a compelling vision, Twilio laid out an impressive array of product enhancements and updates that will benefit Twilio users immediately. These latest advancements across predictive and generative AI provide new ways for customers to deliver hyper-personalised touchpoints at scale

We’re excited for the future of the customer engagement and are already helping organisations implement the new functionality introduced by Twilio, especially in Flex deployments.

Whether you're new to Twilio or a long time user, we're here to help should you want to take advantage of these new capabilities. Find out more about how Zing can help to grow your business.

Further reading

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