How Will ChatGPT and Generative AI Change Your Company?

June 12, 2023  |  Mark Hillary

The artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT was released on November 30th, 2022. That is only a few months ago, but it took just two months to gain 100 million active users. Financial analysts at UBS noted that this was probably the fastest ever ramp up of a consumer technology tool – TikTok took 9 months to achieve the same level of growth and Instagram took two and a half years.

What is even more surprising is that this is an AI chatbot. It’s up to the user to make it do anything interesting. It’s not like TikTok, where the user simply enjoys swiping and clicking like on videos. These other services are essentially entertainment, but ChatGPT is a serious example of AI technology.

Google responded quickly with their Bard tool and Microsoft integrated ChatGPT into the Bing search engine in an effort to move people away from search on Google. In just a few short months at the start of 2023 we have seen AI become a ubiquitous tool that is easily available to consumers and is being covered in the mainstream media.

I talk to many different corporate leaders and I noticed that most senior people I knew were not very focused on ChatGPT. Or they were aware of it, but had not been thinking about the implications for their business.

This isn’t because they are not smart people. I put it down to just how busy everyone is today. Days are crammed with calls and meetings and travel and executives rarely just sit with a book or some research and think how it might affect their business in a couple of years. Executives need this kind of vision, but they don’t always have a specific research team feeding them useful ideas.

I thought I should do something simple and fun to help demonstrate what tools like ChatGPT can do. When I first started exploring it, one of the tasks I tried was to ask it to write a poem about my daughter Olivia in the style of the famous American poet ee cummings – famous for his idiosyncratic poetry that was often visual and played with the position of words on the page.

The AI managed it in seconds. So I tried again with a different poet, but setting it the same task to write about Olivia. I ended up with over 60 examples of how the same task could be represented in different ways. I put them all together in a book, just to act as a demonstration of what this technology can do.

The power of generative AI systems, such as ChatGPT, is this ability to explore a large volume of data, pull out what is needed to answer a question and then to create the answer all in real-time. Think what this means for search or the retrieval of any information. If you ask Google to explain the history of the Great Fire of London in 1666 then it returns several pages as search results – Wikipedia, the London Fire Brigade, the Museum of London and so on. You can then click through to read one of these suggested answers, but the ChatGPT difference is that it will explore all these documents first and will then create a new bespoke answer from this information.

I asked ChatGPT 4 about the great fire just now and it started with this response: “The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that took place between September 2nd and September 6th, 1666. The fire began in a bakery on Pudding Lane in the early hours of September 2nd and rapidly spread through the largely wooden and densely packed buildings of the city.” It went on to explain why the fire was so severe, the damage caused, the death toll, and the aftermath. All in one single response.

So how can companies immediately start using tools like ChatGPT?

There are many different ar-eas where AI can be a useful tool, but for generative AI like this I would suggest a few specific areas where it can quickly be implemented, such as:

  • Customer Service: customer chatbots are notoriously useless so these tools now offer the chance to create genuinely useful automation for customers.
  • Content creation: companies that want to create content to help improve their SEO scores can quickly generate ideas and opinion on a wide range of subjects.
  • Training and onboarding: many common internal questions for teams such as HR can be automatically answered by bots.
  • Sentiment analysis: taking large amounts of customer feedback or social media posts and exploring what the customers are thinking and feeling.
  • Data analysis: exploring past data on sales and revenue and projecting into the future, especially looking for triggers that change performance.

These are just a few ideas, but please contribute your own comments. We have seen the development of AI taking place over several years now, but do you think that the launch of tools such as ChatGPT means that we have reached a tipping point where more companies will now be exploring AI?

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