Generative AI Applications

Even if you’re not intensely interested in modern technology, chances are you have heard all kinds of things about artificial intelligence, or AI. What, exactly, you’ve heard depends on who you ask, however. In some circles, AI is like a bogeyman, coming to take over our society by uprooting our ways of doing business and living our lives. At the other end of the spectrum are the optimists—who can see that the right AI, used in the right ways, can be like having a team of incredibly reliable and detail-oriented assistants—eager to learn and excited about the possibilities.

If you’re like the majority of people, you’re likely somewhere in the middle of those two groups. You understand the potential of AI, but you’re hesitant about the potential drawbacks or pitfalls. In this article, we’re addressing the topic of generative AI—GenAI for short—including what it is, how it works, and how it can benefit your organization.

In addition to answering basic questions, we’ll also explore more nuanced questions, like:

  • What can generative AI be used for within the context of a business?
  • How can AI solve problems that may have been deemed unsolvable
  • What is the best way to get started with generative AI?

What Is Generative AI, and How Does Generative AI Work?

To put it simply, the term “generative AI” refers to a type of applications that specialize in the generation of things like text, images, audio, and even synthetic data. It’s important to note that these tools don’t just produce content out of the ether, though—they require extensive, structured training on existing data sources.

Here’s How GenAI Works:

Generative AI tools leverage deep learning models and neural networks to create brand-new content based on a variety of inputs. While it isn’t always easy for newbies to craft the perfect prompt for a GenAI application, with a little practice it’s a learnable skill.

Once a GenAI tool is provided with its training data, it gets to work. In addition to processing the content it’s given from an information or learning standpoint, it also works to identify patterns or structures within the data. This way, it learns to do more than merely parrot back the information it was given—it can think outside the proverbial box, creating new insights for its user.

What Are Generative AI Tools, and How Can Generative AI Help Businesses?

Generative AI tools are the solutions individuals and businesses can use to address a particular inquiry or challenge. Within a business, they may be used to support or complement employees’ work, and they are often useful for time-consuming, repetitive tasks (so that employees can focus on more fulfilling and important work).

One of the biggest benefits of AI for a business is the ability to save time and brainpower, which can then be applied to other tasks or objectives. In fact, recent research suggests that GenAI tools “can reduce the time spent on creative tasks by up to 50%”—and 70% of businesses “report significant improvements in customer engagement and satisfaction” as a result of their use.

Simply using GenAI tools isn’t necessarily going to move the needle for your business, however, so it’s important to start with a specific use case (or problem to solve).

What Problems Can Generative AI Solve for Businesses?

As GenAI tools continue to evolve and scale, they become increasingly powerful and versatile, making them an asset to virtually any organization. A few of the specific problems that can be addressed with GenAI solutions include:

Meeting Customers’ Evolving Expectations for Customer Service

Any business that prioritizes customer service knows that customers’ preferences can be fickle and ever-changing. These companies can exhaust themselves trying to constantly analyze customer behavior and identify ways to improve their level of service—only to find that by the time they’ve adapted, their customers’ preferences have since (re-)shifted.

GenAI represents a much more efficient solution, thanks to its ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data, in virtual real-time. Ultimately, these tools enable companies to better understand—and better serve—their customers.

Bottlenecks in the Content Creation Process

Modern organizations—especially those that do business online—understand the importance of customer engagement. In many cases, this means companies need to create informative and engaging content—whether it be text, images, or videos. As content marketers know, creating content is easy—but creating truly compelling content is decidedly more difficult.

An end-to-end content creation process requires a lot of moving parts: research, planning, writing, publishing, promoting…it can be a tricky endeavor. That’s why organizations often fall behind when it comes to content creation—there are too many moving parts, too many processes (and sometimes people) involved, and time is often a factor.

GenAI helps overcome roadblocks in the process by automating certain elements like content planning, outlining, and even creating a rough draft.

The Need for Data-Driven Decision Making

Anyone who runs a business knows the vital importance of informed decision making. When business leaders make data-driven decisions, they tend to bring better results—as you might expect. It’s easy to picture decision-making processes in enterprise-level organizations, where you have plenty of personnel dedicated to research and analysis, but where does that leave small businesses?

GenAI can level the playing field. Not only can they process vast amounts of data, they can also summarize and analyze it through predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and data modeling.

What Is an Example of a Generative AI Application in Business?

Chatbots are one of the most commonly-adopted GenAI tools in the business world—and for good reason. For evidence, look no further than recent data, which actually indicates that nearly three-fourths (73%) of customers “expect websites to feature chatbots for convenient interactions.” In other words, if they don’t want to interact with a human being, they don’t feel like they should have to. It’s largely a matter of convenience.

Especially when customers have a simple question or concern, they hate having to jump through hoops. And just one inefficient or unhelpful interaction can even sour them on your brand—for good. That’s where chatbots enter the picture. Once the bots have been trained on common questions and answers, they can greatly improve a company’s efficiency in handling such requests.

Providing self-service via chatbot is a great way to provide instant answers to questions—and if the customer has a question the bot can’t answer, their inquiry can be redirected to the right person or department to provide further assistance. Comprehensive GenAI solutions like Amazon Connect can transform a contact center, by bringing together several powerful tools—chatbots and beyond.

Is ChatGPT Generative AI?

Yes, ChatGPT is one of the most well-known generative AI examples, with a total user base that’s nearing 200 million. While ChatGPT is widely accessible and used for a variety of business and non-business related purposes, one survey found that “49% of companies already use ChatGPT, and 30% plan to use the technology in the future.”

One of the most common business applications relates to customer support and service (i.e., chatbots), but it can also be useful for content creation, reporting and analytics, automated scheduling, and more.

What Are the Most Common Applications of Generative AI for Business?

The most innovative and forward-thinking companies have found no shortage of compelling use cases for GenAI. Some of the most common applications relate to things like:

  • Generating code more efficiently. Coding can be a time-consuming endeavor—and while expert coders are masters of efficiency and accuracy, GenAI can be trained to complete coding tasks virtually on-demand. Once code is deployed, GenAI can also be used for maintenance purposes or to update or scale the project. GenAI can even be used for technical documentation and other related outputs.
  • Processing—and acting on—customer feedback. By training GenAI tools with customer service feedback (whether it comes from chatbot interactions, surveys, or direct feedback), companies can gain valuable insights into their customers. They can then apply those insights to improving their customer experience, evolving their product or service offerings, and other uses.
  • Creating personalized sales and marketing campaigns. Regardless of the industry, customers expect the companies they do business with to listen to, understand, and serve them. GenAI can provide sales and marketing teams with the insights and data they need to personalize—or even hyper-personalize—the entire customer experience, from initial awareness through becoming a (hopefully) long-term customer.
  • Rethinking what project management looks like. With the right GenAI tools, project managers can identify opportunities for automation. From generating and assigning tasks and sub-tasks to timeline forecasting and bandwidth allocation, GenAI can really supercharge an organization’s overall ability to manage projects and deliver timely results.
  • Creating compelling and diverse types of content. Most businesses think of content in terms of content marketing, where it’s meant to attract and engage potential customers, nudging them toward the solution(s) being offered. As discussed earlier, GenAI has plenty of uses related to content creation, making these processes more efficient and effective. With the latest AI advancements enabling the creation of design, audio, and video elements as well, GenAI has plenty of potential for content creation.
  • Providing efficient and personalized customer service and support. No customer wants to feel like a number—making it slightly ironic that GenAI (itself being largely algorithm-driven) can be counted on for personalized interactions. Not only are self-service chatbots highly effective and wanted by customers, they are also relatively inexpensive and simple to set up. In no time, you can get a basic chatbot up and running, and as it logs interactions its abilities can evolve as needed.
  • Enabling measures for fraud detection and risk management. Because GenAI tools are so efficient in processing and summarizing gigantic sets of data, they are well-suited for detecting anomalies (against established patterns). This can be hugely beneficial for any organization, since it doesn’t take much (in terms of fraud or risk) to bring potentially devastating consequences. While human judgment still must factor into the equation, GenAI can provide summaries of “what to expect,” making it easier for human personnel to quickly address unusual behaviors or data entering the organizational ecosystem.

What Industries Benefit Most from GenAI, and What Tools Do They Use?

As McKinsey & Company notes, “generative AI will have a significant impact across all industry sectors,” identifying “banking, high tech, and life sciences” as the industries that could see the most significant ROI from using GenAI.

The real key to how much GenAI could impact your business depends on the use case, however. In other words, simply implementing these tools won’t move the needle. For successful implementation, a company must first think about what they want to accomplish—and then to find the best generative AI tools for the job.

For example, one of the most common uses of GenAI in business is automation. More specifically, automating the types of activities that don’t require a human being’s critical thinking skills or judgment. Even with GenAI tools still in their relative infancy, experts estimate that current applications are being used to automate tasks that would otherwise “absorb 60 to 70 percent of employees’ time.” That recovered time, then, can be used for other objectives, like handling difficult customer requests, developing strategies, interacting with stakeholders, and so on.

Taking things a step further, Amazon Connect is a more versatile and comprehensive widely-used solution for businesses—especially their contact centers. This application empowers organizations with a powerful set of tools they can use to…

  • Increase agent productivity with GenAI.
  • Measure, track, and improve performance with reporting and analytics.
  • Deliver productive, personalized interactions with an omnichannel experience.

What Are Examples of Businesses Using Generative AI in 2023?

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled a number of companies that found especially novel and impactful applications of GenAI over the course of 2023. They included, among others:

  • Wayfair: This furniture seller launched an AI tool their customers can use to experiment with different ideas for redesigning the rooms of their house (as well as other applications centered around employee productivity). This tool is intuitive and highly-interactive, which makes it quite popular among their customers who can experiment with different components, styles, layouts, and more.
  • Mass General Brigham: This healthcare system is using GenAI to improve patient care. In this instance, GenAI analyzes patient data to create patient profiles—the idea being that understanding that treatments that worked for one patient is the best starting point when working with similar patients.
  • Expedia: This travel firm has been selective in its usage of AI tools, understanding that their customers aren’t necessarily on board with replacing the travel agent or concierge with a mere chatbot. That being said, they do use AI in some familiar ways, such as chatbots that can provide suggested activities or other recommendations based on their travel history, other customers’ preferences, and more.

Explore the Possibilities for Your Business

Throughout this article, we’ve highlighted a number of applications for GenAI in business. It’s important to emphasize, however, that none of the solutions described is going to be a “magic bullet” for your business. Effective utilization of GenAI isn’t about speed or scale, really—it’s about ingenuity. It’s about identifying meaningful opportunities and then leveraging the right tools for the job.

Consider this statistic: Nearly nine-in-ten (87%) of business leaders understand that AI isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s “necessary for business continuity.” After all, customers increasingly expect efficiency and personalization—and if they aren’t getting it from you, they aren’t afraid to switch to a competitor.

How Can InterVision Help You Harness the Power of GenAI?

At InterVision Systems, we offer a wide range of managed IT services for business—including the strategizing and implementation of AI. Whether you’re still wrapping your head around the basics of artificial intelligence, in the initial stages of simply exploring GenAI as a possibility, or you’re trying to find the best generative AI applications for your business, we can help.. Like you, we’re excited (but also a little cautious) about GenAI’s potential. Visit our AI page to learn more, sign up for one of our AI strategy workshops, or schedule a demo.