Marissa Mayer, former Yahoo CEO and Google's first female engineer working on search, has her own startup, Sunshine, that focuses on contact lists. It prioritizes humans, but says the company has recently adopted OpenAI’s GPT-4 for internal model development and correcting names in contact cards.
When the computer doesn’t meet expectations, a human presence is still required, she told The Information. Artificial intelligence (AI) was caught incorrectly adjusting names, such as converting “Fransisco” to “Fernando.” A flaw like that is a serious problem for the app Sunshine Smart Contacts, which is built on the premise of organizing networks’ phone numbers and email addresses.
The app aims to unify contacts across Apple’s Contacts app and Google’s Gmail, pulling data to combine it with publicly available information. It also promises to help organize and clean up contacts by filling in missing information. It then syncs information back to the contact app.
Sunshine Smart Contacts is Mayer’s first product from the start-up. In an interview with Wired in 2020, Mayer said the contact app is the first in a larger suite. Now Sunshine developers are working on an app called Sunshine Circles meant to tackle social groups and event scheduling with other products, including an upcoming app called Sunshine Circles, she told Marketing Brew.
The app, for example, will help people gather data from groups such as if friends need to collectively make a purchase from Venmo or PayPal.
“This is really where a lot of our early passion for starting the company started,” she said, adding that the app is more about connecting people at events rather than “event organizing and the classic event space like Eventbrite or Paperless Post.”
Mayer also touched on some career regrets, such as passing on acquiring Netflix during her time as Yahoo CEO. Her team acquired Tumblr instead, which ended up being the wrong move, a fact she acknowledged.