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AI or bust. Right now, AI is what everyone is talking about, and for good reason. After years of seeing AI doled out to help automate the processes that make businesses run smarter, we’re finally seeing AI that can help the average business employee working in the real world. Generative AI, or the process of using algorithms to produce data often in the form of images or text, has exploded in the last few months. What started with OpenAI’s ChatGPT has bloomed into a rapidly evolving subcategory of technology. And companies from Microsoft to Google to Salesforce and Adobe are hopping on board.
The Overview: As Microsoft, Salesforce, Google and More Announce Generative AI Capabilities
Microsoft has been investing in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, for a few years now so it’s no surprise that the tech giant has tapped into the power of generative AI to transform consumer products like Bing, but also employee products like Dynamics 365. I was able to test out the Bing functionalities firsthand at an event last month. With the power of ChatGPT, Bing can more accurately respond to search queries, both long and short. It also can write emails and plan trip itineraries. I covered the release in detail in this column, if you’re interested in learning more.
This announcement had enough power to shake up the search industry, which has been dominated by Google for the last two decades. Within a matter of days, Google announced its own generative AI tool, Bard. Both tools are still in beta, but have the power to revolutionize how we find information.
Outside of the consumer space, Microsoft just released Dynamics 365 Copilot, a generative AI tool that can be used across the enterprise to improve everything from CRMs to supply chain management. Copilot in Viva Sales can automatically generate emails to customers and create summaries of team meetings in Outlook. And, the software can even import product and pricing information automatically using information from the company’s CRM. That means notes aren’t just automatic, they’re more detailed. This also eliminates the need for salespeople to work on tedious, manual tasks. In marketing, Copilot can also be used to mine data for insights about audiences, refine customer segments, and create suggested messaging for each target. Based on the trendline, Microsoft will continue to leverage its investment in OpenAI to incorporate generative capabilities across its portfolio.
Microsoft isn’t the only company looking to harness the power of generative AI. Last week Salesforce rolled out Einstein GPT for CRM. With generative AI technology, also from OpenAI, Salesforce is looking to transform every customer interaction. By unifying real time data in the Salesforce Data Cloud and the Salesforce universe of applications, marketers, salespeople, and customer service representatives can better meet the needs of customers and faster. It was a certainty that Salesforce would have a play in this space as it seeks to compete with Microsoft and compel its userbase that its technology will remain cutting edge.
Grammarly also announced the release of GrammarlyGo which will help people draft emails, write responses, write proposals, ideate content, and a host of other business use cases. GrammarlyGo is built to understand a person’s writing style, voice, and intent so it won’t sound like it’s coming from a bot. My colleague Shelly Kramer did a demo of it last week and from her take, I’m excited to try it out.
And just today, Google announced its next wave of AI for developers and workspace. This includes the new PaLM API & MakerSuite, which helps developers build, test, and prototype on top of large language models. And perhaps more interesting is its launch of new features and capabilities in Google Workspace enabling instant generation of documents, for instance writing a job description in seconds. These features are in private preview and Google announced today it would be unlocking this to a broader audience in the coming weeks.
What ChatGPT Has to Say About This
I’ve been playing around with ChatGPT for a while now to see how it can change even the smallest of tasks that I do day to day. So of course, I had to ask it to write about the power of generative AI. Here’s what it had to say:
Generative AI has the power to revolutionize numerous industries by providing unprecedented capabilities in creating new content. By using algorithms and machine learning techniques, generative AI can generate content that closely resembles human-made content such as images, music, text, and even videos. This technology is already being used in various fields such as creative arts, gaming, and e-commerce to generate new content automatically. For example, companies such as Adobe are using generative AI to create custom designs, logos, and graphics for their clients. This technology can help companies to save time and resources while improving their productivity and efficiency.
Moreover, generative AI has the potential to create completely new forms of content that were previously impossible to generate using traditional methods. For instance, generative AI can create entirely new music genres, paintings, or even languages by analyzing existing data and patterns. This technology can provide new opportunities for artists, writers, and musicians to create unique and innovative content that was not possible before. As generative AI continues to evolve, we can expect to see more applications in various fields, including healthcare, finance, and education, which can provide significant benefits to society. Overall, the power of generative AI lies in its ability to automate and accelerate the creative process, leading to new forms of content and greater innovation.
Furthermore, generative AI has the potential to solve complex problems and make accurate predictions by analyzing large amounts of data. For example, in the field of medicine, generative AI can be used to develop new drugs, predict the onset of diseases, and design personalized treatment plans for patients. In finance, generative AI can help in predicting market trends, identifying risks, and developing investment strategies. This technology can help businesses and organizations to make better decisions and improve their bottom line. As more data becomes available and machine learning algorithms continue to improve, generative AI is expected to become an essential tool for many industries, providing new insights and solutions to complex problems.
Generative AI is Powerful and Will Change the Market, but Questions Remain
I’m sure that over the next few months we will see more companies announce similar generative AI products and we will also see companies like Microsoft, Google, AWS, Meta, and Salesforce announce what is next for their generative AI offerings. And just like the snapshot from ChatGPT, I’m sure that we will see many more advanced developments that can change how we live, work, communicate, and educate for years to come. This will drive advances in software, semiconductors, infrastructure, and that will create a wave of enterprise and consumer spending that we will likely reference as the next wave of digital transformation. With the notable increase in compute requirements, the onset of generative AI has also brought attention to efficient compute, sustainability, and cost, as these models are expensive to run and draw significant power. I expect this will bring attention to new and innovative chip designs and capabilities to run these large language models on more efficient and/or less expensive chips. Last week Groq demonstrated the capability to run Meta’s LLaMa model on its chip rather than NVIDIA, which currently has about 90% of the AI chips market. I expect AMD and Intel to also step in and play a role in this space.
With all of this in mind, the technology isn’t foolproof. Several reporters have tested various applications of generative AI and have seen some questionable results, which led to even more sensational “rise of the machine” hot takes across the internet. I tend to believe these snags will improve with continued reinforcement learning and that there will be inaccuracies with this type of technology for some time. Having said that, I tend to not think that we will have anything to fear with generative AI, but I do believe that we could see greater regulation come quickly and even some sort of governing body and/or governing principles put in place to make sure that AI tools remain constructive and helpful.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
The original version of this article was first published on Forbes.
Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio