​​Competitive Advantage Through Generative AI​ 

How can businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to gain a competitive advantage? 

Generative AI is set to transform the business.  The technology can create original content by learning from massive amounts of data and can automate tasks that had required significant human involvement.  The result is increased efficiency, cost reduction, and new growth opportunities for companies.  Early adoption of generative AI can offer significant competitive advantages. 

The popularity of generative AI is evident as seen in ChatGPT’s one million users within its first five days. 

  • Generative AI offers many ways to gain a competitive edge
  • Accelerated innovation and product development. 
  • Improved decision making through data analysis. 
  • Enhanced employee productivity by automating repetitive tasks. 
  • Personalization of content and product recommendations. 
  • Cost savings by automating processes like content creation and customer service. 

Generative AI holds promise for the 2020s, but it also has challenges.  While it can mimic human behaviour, its true power comes from working alongside humans to enhance productivity and creativity.  However, at the moment it is susceptible to mistakes, inaccuracies, and biases.  Companies will need to training the technology to align with their culture and values. 

GENERATIVE AI: A GAME CHANGER FOR BUSINESS 

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, is set to change the way businesses operate.  This technology can create original content by learning from existing data.  It has the capacity to revolutionise industries and transform operations through the automation of tasks previously requiring high human involvement, making it a powerful tool for boosting efficiency, reducing costs, and opening up new growth opportunities.  Companies that can successfully utilise generative AI effectively stand to gain a significant competitive advantage 

The Popularity of Generative AI 

There is no doubt Generative AI is in high demand.  In its initial five days, over a million users logged into ChatGPT to try it out and experience the power of generative AI.  OpenAI are the creators of ChatGPT and DALL-E. 

The launch of ChatGPT gave over one million users the power of generative AI within its first five days.  Generative AI, powered by models from ChatGPT, Bard, Claude, and others are both board room and water cooler topics.  They allow machines (computers) to generate original content from prompts by learning from massive amounts of data and user feedback. 

Products like ChatGPT, Bard, Claude, and Copilot, powered by generative AI technology, are breaking new ground.  They enable computers to exhibit creativity by generating original content in response to user prompts or questions.  This could be anything from developing blogs and sketching package designs to writing computer code and theorizing about production errors.  Content can be text based, graphical, audio and video (see below for some examples). 

CREATING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE 

Generative AI has the potential to transform industries and the way companies work.  By automating tasks that were previously done by humans, generative AI can improve efficiency, cut costs, and create new growth prospects.  In essence, it’s a game-changer for businesses. 

Some possibilities for creating a competitive advantage with generative AI could include: 

  • Faster innovation and product development.  Generative AI can help teams rapidly prototype and iterate on new product ideas and features.  This accelerated innovation cycle can allow a business to get to market faster. 
  • Improved decision making.  Generative AI models can analyse large datasets and identify patterns that us humans too easily miss.  The insights from generative AI can enable leaders to make better-informed strategy decisions. 
  • Higher employee productivity.  Generative AI assistants can handle repetitive tasks, freeing up employees to focus on higher-value work that requires human skills and judgment. This makes teams more efficient. 
  • Enhanced personalisation.  Using generative AI, companies can create more personal and relevant content, product recommendations, and experiences for individual customers.  This personalised approach helps foster loyalty and satisfaction. 
  • Cost savings.  Automating certain processes with generative AI, such as content creation, forecasting, or customer service queries, reduces the labour costs associated with those tasks and lifts the minimum standard or quality of response to customers. The cost savings can be invested into other business areas and loyalty and satisfaction improved. 

The key is integrating generative AI thoughtfully into workflows to augment human strengths, not necessarily to replace jobs.  Businesses that can integrate generative AI as a strategic asset while still developing their staff can gain significant competitive advantages. 

The business use cases for generative AI include: 

  • Marketing – Creating personalized content like marketing copy and sales materials 
  • Operations – Generating task lists for streamlined execution  
  • IT/Engineering – Writing, documenting, and reviewing code 
  • Legal – Answering complex queries by drawing from vast legal docs 
  • R&D – Accelerating drug discovery through disease comprehension 
  • Communications – Translation and adaptation into different cultures 

GENERATIVE AI’S PROMISE AND CHALLENGES 

Generative AI promises to make the 2020s an exciting decade for AI.  However, like any new technology, it comes with both practical and ethical challenges. 

Generative AI is entering, or has entered, human-like interaction, and sometime we actual expect to “talk” to a computer before being passed to a human, chatbots for example.  While these tools can mimic human behaviour enough for us to easily interact with, they are most powerful when used in conjunction with humans. to augment human capabilities and enable faster and better work. 

Generative AI is also pushing technology into the realm of creativity.  It leverages data and user prompts to create entirely new content.  It is my belief that these tools have the potential to prompt humans with more exciting and better creative ideas as well as fill skills gaps. 

The results of generative AI can be inspiring, but caution is needed.  The technology is still in its early stages, and numerous practical and ethical issues remain.  The tools can make mistakes and sometimes generate inaccurate information without any way to let users know, filters are still not effective enough at catching inappropriate content, and systemic biases in the data need to be addressed.  To be effective in business companies should look to train the technology to its culture and values. 

Can I trust AI?

As businesses start to add generative AI to their operations and workflows, at this early stage it would be wise to have staff as safety nets to ensure that the output is correct and suitable.  It is important that businesses and staff recognise the importance of double-checking.  This can be as simple as a proof read for customer advisor comment, translation, transcribing and idea generation and updates.  With more critical uses the generative AI can be the initial guide and “cross-reference” all output, especially important for health, legal or investment.  As the technology matures and gains accuracy the need to correct or check certain content type will decrease.

EXTRA THOUGHT on AI

Back on 2005, I published an academic paper on the Strategic Use Emerging Technology.  I look back at the findings and see today that they are as relevant as then.  I concluded that a competitive advantage from emerging technology can be created when certain conditions exist. innovation, opportunity and timing.  With generative AI we have all three conditions, but for most businesses this will be a temporary advantage.  The key is to “steal n march” on your competitors and be the first to market or the disruptor. 

Jon

CDAO

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