Despite its recent popularity, generative AI is not an entirely new concept, but rather an evolution of the first chatbot based on natural language processing, created in 1966 by MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum. While AI technology has advanced inch by inch over the past few decades, popularized by household digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, we are in a period of exponential growth that will inevitably transform the way we do business.
Many compare the rapid popularization of generative AI to the advent of the laptop, as it will transform workflows, collaboration, and creativity within the organization. Over the next ten years, Sequoia Capital expects GAI to be able to produce content that matches the quality and complexity of human-generated code, art, and writing. Some businesses are doubling down on their trust in the emerging technology, such as Salesforce, whose global investment arm recently launched a new $250 million artificial intelligence seed fund to support the development of responsible AI over the next 18 months.
Alongside the hype, we’re also in a unique phase of uncertainty where companies are more cautious about the security or legal implications of widespread use of generative AI. Which companies are quick to adopt generative AI, and which are hesitant?
As CEO of a global digital analytics company, I am cautiously optimistic about the future of GAI and its impact on our business. Here are four ways leaders can confidently embrace generative AI:
1. Consider your goals. CX should be a priority
Any business today needs to be customer obsessed. With more and more opportunities to experiment with how AI can be incorporated into everyday workflows, we need to figure out how it can help us better serve our customers.
Ideally, we want the technology to produce baseline work faster with fewer errors. Whether it’s dashboard design, model building, or data engineering, how can we use generative AI to benefit customers? This approach will help eliminate wasted time and resources so teams can focus on their priorities.
Generative AI should be used to generate faster insights from data sets. At LatentView, we explore how we can use technology like GPT4 to create insights that are most relevant to a particular person or scenario. Given all the relationships that have been discovered within the data we already have, we can use generative AI to quickly extract key insights that might otherwise be missed or take hours to work through manually.
2. Set parameters for workers
Embracing generative AI can be intimidating. As with any early-stage technology, leaders guide their employees through uncharted waters. At LatentView, we approach new AI capabilities with few limitations. CEOs who want to do the same need to provide their teams with the resources and training they need to learn about and experiment with Generative AI. Encourage them to collaborate and ask questions, explore new opportunities and use cases of technology with productivity in mind.
For example, imagine you lead a fast-growing marketing team with multiple initiatives across digital and social channels. Your team is lean and needs to operate as efficiently as possible with a focus on execution. How can you, as a leader, use GAI to automatically push out what matters most to each team member each day? When each team member comes to work, they open a custom dashboard and see the three things that are their top priorities that day, cutting your manual management time in half. These insights are based on the marketing team’s goals, the day’s deliverables, and what the employee has done to date, unique to each employee.
However, open exploration also requires guidance. Reinforce that everything created with GAI at this stage must be thoroughly tested. Any output, like code, must undergo rigorous testing and validation to ensure that solutions powered by GAI are accurate, reliable, and ethical. Leaders must develop strict quality control processes to review all GAI-generated content before it is shared with clients or other external stakeholders.
It’s also important to maintain security as AI evolves by educating teams about the potential for cybersecurity vulnerabilities and plans to mitigate those threats. In particular, highlight potential security risks associated with using GAI tools.
3. Look for ways GAI can reinvent workflows
Beyond writing code, GAI will soon automate and modernize almost every vertical and horizontal aspect of an organization. Here’s what I expect in the near future. Generative AI will continue to bring organizations closer to their customers and clients. At scale, it can analyze customer data and create a unique portfolio of customer preferences, behaviors and needs to improve CX and drive engagement.
GAI can also increase throughput for mid-market companies that may not have as powerful IT resources as their enterprise-sized competitors. In particular, GAI simplifies communication between business professionals and computers that are currently interconnected by IT experts. This eliminates IT as an intermediary for small projects and processes, increasing efficiency.
Business users can also use GAI to analyze large data sets and uncover insights that may be missed by human analysts with limited time and resources, or to automate manual processes and reduce the burden on workers working in remote or hybrid work environments. For e-commerce and other digital native platforms, GAI can be used to develop more accurate and relevant recommendation engines that can personalize content and marketing messages to individual users, resulting in more marketing conversions, customer retention and increased revenue.
Ultimately, AI can help create a better history of workflows over time, allowing employees to more easily access institutional knowledge. The GAI will likely be used to capture and document institutional knowledge and best practices, creating a valuable resource for future team members, ensuring that critical knowledge and experience are not lost when employees leave or retire.
4. Be enthusiastic about the future
As leaders learn more about Generative AI and how it will apply to their specific businesses, it is important that they acknowledge the potential risks and opportunities. My advice is to be willing to experiment with GAI, but also to continue to understand its potential implications. GAI is not a passing trend, but rather a transformative technology that is reshaping the way we work and do business.
Stay up-to-date with the latest GAI developments to ensure the business is well prepared for the future. Creating a culture that encourages innovation and experimentation is important because it empowers employees to discover new opportunities and use cases for GAI. Through open communication and collaboration, team members can be fully informed and involved in the process of exploring and implementing GAI-based solutions.