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Astrid AI: ‘We are on a mission to elevate confidence and communications skills’ 

Published 29 February 2024 in Technology • 5 min read

How an AI coach is helping human beings communicate better for greater productivity and focus in the workplace of the future.


AI has made a massive breakthrough across every sector and industry. Companies use it in their daily functions, opening the gates for businesses and individuals alike to consider a whole new landscape for the workplace of the future.

In the latest annual McKinsey Global Survey, one-third of respondents say that their organizations regularly use generative AI in at least one business function. And 40% of respondents say their organizations will increase their investment in technology overall because of the advancement in generative AI.

From completing a new Beatles song to driving improvements in medical diagnostics, the use cases around AI are exploding, including coaching and communication. This is where Astrid AI, a voice intelligence company based in Stockholm, comes in.

mental health psychological hostage

Elevating soft skills

Using an AI assistant to help coach its users towards better communication skills, Astrid AI assists companies by ‘providing personalized training’ for their teams at scale, applying advanced analytics across their phone calls and video meetings to gather data, which is then used to coach its team members automatically. In simpler terms, this means that Astrid wants to elevate humans’ speaking skills so that a machine doesn’t replace them in their job.

“We are on a mission to elevate everyone’s confidence when communicating verbally and speaking, especially if you speak in a second language,” said Astrid AI’s Chief Executive Andreas Kullberg.

“We’re trying to understand how you speak,” he added. “We do that by capturing your audio file when you talk. We then analyze what you say – and how you say it – to coach you to be more efficient and more confident when speaking.”

Green talent

Instant feedback

Astrid applies that within its business today in two ways. Firstly, it provides training for customer-facing teams, helping them to perform better and be more productive through its personalized AI coaching. Secondly, it offers an AI-powered software solution for schools and teachers used to improve learners’ spoken English.

For its sales solutions, which are used by multinational organizations from all corners of the world, the results are easy to see.

“One of the fastest-growing parts of our business right now is helping customer-facing teams,” noted Kullberg. “So, sales and customer service, but especially sales and B2B salespeople that sit on [Microsoft] Teams calls – we help them get their point across and communicate much more efficiently. They simply use the Astrid Assistant to record themselves when speaking into the computer, and then immediately after the call is done, they receive the Astrid coaching via email.”

“Within a minute, you get a summary of everything that was said in 10 bullet points,” he explained. “But we will also tell you: ‘Alexander, you did this really well. Do more of that.’ Or: ‘Here are some things you need to improve and think about next time.’ That’s how we use audio and voice intelligence to work with these types of skills in a business setting.”

When we communicate, we tend to talk about our value last of all. It is easy to assume that it’s obvious to the other person. But it rarely is

Communicating with confidence

Ultimately, Astrid AI wants to enable people to communicate in their own way, not the same way. “We want you to preserve your culture and how you communicate,” Kullberg said. “We think that is super important. The way we look at this, first of all, is that we don’t think everyone should speak English. What usually happens when you speak in a second language, or when you speak in front of the public or with journalists, is that maybe you’re nervous and your level of confidence goes down a little bit and you morph into a different person than you usually are.”

“But if we can coach you (on) the basics of how to communicate with confidence, to articulate and speak with clarity, to think about how you pause and not be afraid of pausing, not be afraid of the silence, then you can probably keep more of the authenticity in who you are and have that come across,” he added.

“Imagine if we could elevate everyone’s confidence by 20% when speaking,” Kullberg continued. “What would happen then? It’s not by trying to make people speak the same way. It’s preserving the way you are but making sure that what you say comes across confidently and clearly. That’s our goal. That’s what we coach.”

More productivity and creativity

Coaching people creates an opportunity for someone to receive attention, explains Astrid’s Chief Technology Officer Thúy Ngoc Trân. This in turn creates more productivity and creativity within teams.

“Attention is so amazing,” said Trân. When we pay attention to something, and we feel like there is someone who cares about solving it together, we start thinking about new ideas and new solutions. We become totally focused, so any other distraction will be secondary. And that is the most powerful thing when humans talk to each other. That is the most effective way I have seen to manage a team, to make a team focus and not be distracted.”

“If we cannot express ourselves as human beings talking to other human beings, so many things will be missed. Opportunities will be missed.”

Efficient Robotic Assistant in a Modern Office - Generative AI
“Artificial intelligence and generative AI may be the most important technology of any lifetime”
- Marc Benioff

Future of AI

At a time when interest in AI is at an all-time high, concerns are also rapidly mounting over how fast the technology has evolved and gained traction following the popularization of OpenAI’s ChatGPT this year, resulting in EU lawmakers agreeing on new rules to regulate AI, a move met with disappointment by many European companies like Airbus and Siemens who said the rules were too strict to nurture innovation and help local industries.

For Trân, when considering the future of AI and how humans play a role in those changes, it’s important to consider what is being changed. “The application of AI is not going to redefine the market share of different industries,” she said.

Companies first need to think about how they can use AI within their business instead of thinking about how they need to change their products. First and foremost, they also need to be conscious and have a clearly defined strategy on where they want to go with AI. “People in leadership roles are in a position to prepare their employees for the future,” said Trân. “I think a lot about how I can upskill, equip, and help support my team to be ready. I predict that in five years, AI will code instead of engineers; I want to prepare my people now so they won’t end up out of a job. People should upskill, get used to it, use it, and tame it as needed.”

Kullberg added, “I’ve made a conscious choice to be curious about this future with AI. Right now, everything is moving very, very quickly. It’s important to stay calm and not get too caught up in the frenzy. But this isn’t something that’s going to go away.”

This article was developed in collaboration with the Global Peter Drucker Forum. This year’s Forum will be held on 14-15 November in Vienna.


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Andreas Kullberg

Founder / CEO at Astrid

Andreas is an experienced CEO and entrepreneur known for his work in the tech industry. As the Founder of Astrid AI, he is reshaping human communication through AI technology. With a track record of driving growth and innovation, Andreas has successfully led multiple companies to success through strategic leadership and a commitment to excellence

Thuy Ngoc Tran

Co-Founder / CTO at Astrid

Thuy Ngoc Tran is the Co-Founder and CTO of Astrid AI. She believes that AI assistants are key to driving productivity in the future workplace. Her tech career began at the Saigon University of Science and Technology. She has been Head of Data Analytics at Zettle by PayPal, and is a memer of the byFounders Collective, an early-stage venture fund.


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