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The ChatGPT prototype was launched less than half a year ago, shocking as it may seem. In the short time since, the platform has transformed the way marketers, developers, and inventive students View content creation. Depending on who you ask and how they’re received, generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and Google’s newly released Bard will either improve the way we do business or advance us out of of business.
A year ago, our LinkedIn feeds were littered with AI generative art that approximated the facial features of colleagues. Now we’re discussing the future of work as we know it… and it’s likely to be driven by the same algorithms behind the scenes.
I encourage you to think not about what generative AI can entail, but about what it can offer. While it’s only natural that a technology that solves the unsolvable should evoke some level of concern, that’s no reason to try to ignore or suppress its capabilities. In fact, think for a moment about the major technological advances of past centuries and the significant impact they have had on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) over the years.
For example, the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries led to massive increases in productivity and output in manufacturing, which contributed to GDP growth. Likewise, the advent of the internet and digital technologies in the late 20th century revolutionized communication and information sharing, leading to the growth of many new industries and businesses and contributing to an increase in GDP. As we face yet another disruptive technology, I believe we should spend less time on what it entails and more time on how to use it to create and achieve more.
Related Topics: Why are so many companies afraid of Generative AI?
AI has already enabled remarkable innovations
Companies process huge amounts of data. From CRMs to APIs to consumer-facing technologies and beyond, everything in the enterprise tech stack generates a tremendous amount of insightful data. The World Economic Forum forecasts us worldwide will generate approximately 463 exabytes of data per day as early as 2025. For context, that’s 1,000 bytes multiplied by a factor of six. In other words, it’s more data than we humans know what to do with or how to maximize its value.
While our species is incapable of fully understanding, let alone deriving value from, data at this scale, non-generative AI applications are being heavily leveraged to categorize, analyze, and correlate such data at phenomenal speed and draw conclusions from it. In general, this level of efficiency-enhancing data science and machine learning was quickly embraced and adopted across numerous industries from business to healthcare. Since such non-generative AI was not seen as a threat to human competencies, but rather as a tool to help us achieve more, we have made tremendous strides by using such technologies.
This is not the case with this new form of generative AI that has now emerged, whose capabilities are believed to overlap much more closely with humans. In fact, generative AI is making citizens and business leaders appear to be much more cautious about its applications and the threat it could pose to jobs, industries and our current way of life than their non-generative predecessor. While some of these concerns are certainly valid, it is important to be mindful not only of what we could lose but also what we could gain by using this new technology – and even what we could lose by not using it.
Related Topics: How ChatGPT and Generative AI can transform the way you run your business
AI has the potential to transform workplace technology
An example of how generative AI can transform our lives, or at least the course of our workday, is its ability to transform our relationship with the everyday software around us.
Nowadays, people use software to complete certain tasks or to do them more efficiently. In most cases, we have to physically interact with the software, process the information it provides, make decisions about the tasks and strategies we implement with the software, and then of course use the software itself to perform those tasks. While the software is ultimately helpful, it cannot be ignored that we need to invest time and effort into it to get the full benefit that is being drained from other core areas of our day.
But think for a moment of a world where such a relationship is antiquated and that software is no longer a tool that we have to spend time using, but rather a partner that gives us time back by doing things for us. Generative AI is one of the keys to making this new relationship with software a reality. Time-consuming decisions and tasks in all organizations and society are now automatically taken care of on our behalf, giving us free time again to do more of what we are passionate about and what we are good at. The efficiencies achieved, not to mention the optimizations utilized, will not only transform our outcomes as a society, but the resulting insights and further innovations will also transform our economies, technologies and ways of life. This is where we at SOCi see the future of software, invest our time and use new AI technologies.
Related topics: The perfect mix: How to successfully combine AI and human business approaches
How do we move into an AI-based future?
My answer to this question is simple: optimistic but cautious. While I’ve talked extensively about the positive aspects of AI maturity, I must also emphasize what AI cannot achieve.
AI, generative or not, is a powerful tool that can be harnessed, but rarely the end product. It is our responsibility to train the tool effectively, integrate it into workflows and processes we need to achieve our goals and continue to consider the needs of our customers. Even if the AI models flooding the market today are powerful, they still need direction, application and that “human touch” to be translated into specific solutions that fit our businesses.
It is also important to note that while AI can be used to provide insights and perform specific tasks, it does not (yet) “think” the way humans do. AI models are designed to process data and deliver results, but not to generate original thoughts and complex solutions. For now, people will continue to be at the forefront of developing such strategies and solutions to larger societal or organizational challenges.
In the end, it will be the innovators among us who embrace these challenges and take advantage of AI that will determine the advances we make and the changes our way of life will undergo. Our engineers at SOCi are passionate about being at the forefront of this movement and specifically shaping the transition of our customers’ relationship with marketing software – from a tool they use to do meaningful work, to a co-marketer doing it can do thousands of data-driven decisions and tasks – so they deliver real results and give them time back to do what they are passionate about.