By Ideas Collide
ChatGPT took the world by storm this year. Not only can it write text that sounds natural, it can answer many questions with a high degree of accuracy, remember what you say, execute commands and even write code.
The chat AI, introduced by OpenAI in November 2022, garnered the attention of the world, sparking debate, excitement and trepidation around the impact of AI.
While ChatGPT was the first chat AI program that was able to understand and generate truly natural-sounding language, it will certainly not be the last.
Given massive impact that these chat AI platforms are predicted to have on the world, it is critical for businesses and marketers to take a close look at the past, present and future of these tools.
Early attempts at chat interfaces far predate the recent ventures in chat AI.
In the 1990s, chatbots were deployed in text-based massive multiplayer online games (MUDs), AOL gave birth to SmarterChild, and Alicebot won three Loebner Prizes – awards provided to computer programs that proved to be the most “human-like.”
More recent chat interfaces, such as Microsoft’s Clippy and Tay have both been underwhelming, albeit for vastly different reasons.
Clippy was a pre-AI chatbot made in the image of a paperclip, whose attempts at assistance were considered by many users to be more intrusive than helpful. Microsoft chose to drop the paperclip, yet there are rumors that Clippy is about to return (if he ever truly left).
If he does, we can only hope that he will be more intelligent than and less corrupt than Tay, Microsoft’s AI-powered Twitter bot that, within 24 hours, began spewing racist, sexist and otherwise toxic language that it had learned from other Twitter users.
During this same era, many of us have grown used to voice-activated assistants that also use AI, such as Siri, Google Now and Alexa. Despite their ability to understand and process natural language, they cannot “chat” with you because they cannot actually generate new and original content.
Yet where other AI chatbots have failed, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has succeeded – so much so that many are predicting it represents the beginning of a new era.
ChatGPT very well could represent an evolutionary step in generative AI, because it can very accurately simulate natural, “human-like” conversations with users.
Ask it a question, and it will provide a coherent answer.
Give it a command, and it will execute your order.
ChatGPT also has a memory, which means it can hold semi-coherent conversations.
These new capabilities are exciting enough, but the real reason ChatGPT is such a big deal is because it opens up entirely use cases and possibilities in business.
For instance, by itself, text-based chat AI can be used to automate:
This last point is critical, as we have discovered this year: a chat-based interface would be much more efficient and user-friendly than Google’s current search box interface. The release of ChatGPT, in fact, reportedly prompted Google to declare “code red.”
But since chat interfaces are a poor vehicle for serving digital ads, which are Google’s primary source of revenue, it stands to reason that Google would not make the upgrade on their own.
That being said, ChatGPT is based on technology developed by researchers at Google, and Google has already trained a language model that is over five times larger than GPT-3, the language model upon which ChatGPT was originally built.
The clear and present danger that ChatGPT presents to Google’s business model almost certainly explains why Google introduced Bard A.I. in February, why they announced new AI-powered products at Google I/O 2023 in May, such as “Maya” – a tool that can visualize shoes in 3D to a wallpaper creation tool for Google Pixel phones and why Microsoft confirmed its $10 billion investment into OpenAI.
Fundamentally, what do all these changes mean for consumers, marketers and businesses?
If chat-based interfaces replace traditional search engines, we can expect a paradigm shift in the way people interact with the web and with brands. Rather than relying on a search engine to deliver web results or results from a technical support knowledge base, a chat AI interface could provide answers immediately.
Conversational AI is already being deployed on websites, in order to both fuel the sales process and acquire customer data.
Botco.ai is one example of a company that is using conversational automation for healthcare, senior living and other industries. By integrating Botco.ai’s platform within enterprise systems, organizations can immediately begin simplifying customer interactions and collecting data from chats, then use that information to inform other business decisions and activities, from marketing to customer experience management.
Other marketing software companies, such as Copysmith, Jasper, and Simplified have also begun to build upon OpenAI’s models to offer services that include content generation and image generation.
As AI evolves, we can expect to see even more advances, such as chat AI which auto-generates text, speech, and video. When conversational automation converges with other upcoming technology trends, such as AR and VR, it seems safe to say that the disruption we are witnessing today is just the beginning.
Many of these changes are so abrupt, new and groundbreaking that many of us don’t know what to expect next. Will it enhance our productivity and economic output? Or will it put us all out of work?
When we look at the convergence of other impending technology trends, such as blockchain, the metaverse, and robotics, questions such as these become even harder to answer.
Perhaps the best people to answer these questions are the very experts who are building these solutions and investing in the AI-powered future.
According to these sources, the near-term roadmap seems fairly certain: the advent of AI chat interfaces will have a massive impact on the way we work, interact with brands and do business.
At Ideas Collide, we remain cautiously optimistic about these trends and, for our part, we are already investing in the AI-powered future and in chat AI with our partner, Botco.ai. Looking for more sight or to get started – we are here to connect!