One of the more interesting things I’ve seen more recently is that the questions are not focused on a particular industry or even a particular business function. But because the technology has become so globally accessible and understandable, we’re getting asked across marketing, sales, operations, research, finance — across the entire spectrum — “How could I use this technology to do something meaningful, and what are the practical business applications?” It’s a great question, and next to understanding the user experience, one of the most fundamental questions you should be asking is, “How are we going to use this to drive meaningful business value?”
You’ll typically see four areas of opportunity for AI broadly, and generative AI is adding another layer of capability and intelligence to those four areas. Usually, we think of them as being decision-support systems: How can I help people or systems make more intelligent, more informed, more contextual responses and decisions? How can I surface the right information to the right person at the right time? There’s huge opportunity here, and this has implications all the way from a clinician — your doctor in the hospital making some decisions — to finance executives deciding where they might want to place their bets. There are huge opportunities for decision support.
A lot of people have seen customer experience that could be in things like virtual agents, chatbots, conversational support. But we’re also seeing interesting opportunities to create highly personalised, highly customised experiences: How might you recommend a product to an individual consumer, taking into account the information they’re providing you, what they’re telling you they’re looking for and knowing who they are as an individual?
The third is knowledge management: How do we make knowledge accessible and interpretable across the enterprise? This is very challenging. We’ve been trying to do this for a long time. And AI, and in particular generative AI, has a unique ability to look at huge bodies of information and create a meaningful synthesis. Rather than surface 100 search results, we can now create a meaningful synopsis on your enterprise data of the information that it’s seeing and retrieving. Being able to manage and access knowledge is a great opportunity.
The last is around process efficiency and automation. This is where you see opportunities to automate tasks that may be highly manual rote tasks, where you have an opportunity to increase efficiency and elevate the complexity and the interest of the work that people are doing today.