ChatGPT is much more than just a talking point for business

A new breed of chatbot is ready to take its place in business, according to new research, but companies will need more than words if it is to be successful

OpenAI’s headline-grabbing generative AI platform ChatGPT is not just hype and could be used by businesses to help with crucial tasks, including enterprise support, customer interaction and even product development, a new report claims.

Global IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group’s latest advisory, ChatGPT: The Present and Future of Generative AI for Enterprises, is designed to help technology leaders understand the new technology and its potential use cases.

"OpenAI trained its ChatGPT language model using supervised learning and reinforcement learning," says Jeremy Roberts, Research Director at Info-Tech Research Group. "This means that the language model was repeatedly trained by a human that demonstrates the desired behaviour and then supervises the output produced by the model, reinforcing the learning by ranking outputs based on their quality."

Unlike previous iterations of the GPT model, ChatGPT is specifically designed to serve a chatbot function. However, unlike other chatbots or intelligent software assistants, ChatGPT is much more adept at engaging in dialogue with its users and can even respond to feedback, request clarification, and iterate on its answers based on a user's response.

"Whether ChatGPT thinks it's a gimmick or not is irrelevant if there are no concrete use cases for the tool," says Roberts. "Fortunately for OpenAI and others operating in this space, many generative AI use cases exist, including enterprise support, customer interactions, and even new product development."

According to the company’s research, some of the areas in which generative AI can help include:

Enterprise support

Despite the growth of the information economy, effective organisation of information remains elusive. ChatGPT or another conversational AI tool could serve as the backend of an information concierge that automates enterprise support. Chatbots already exist, but ChatGPT could be a game-changer.

Customer interaction

The automated workflow of current chatbots or website search functions can frustrate users when they return a list of semi-related results. Generative AI can answer queries more cost-effectively, intelligently direct users to appropriate products and services, and improve the customer journey.

Product development

Generating marketing copy, summarising long documents, and even authoring communications represent great business applications for generative AI. Anyone who creates content can see their workflow supplemented with an intelligent solution like ChatGPT.

"There are a few steps that IT departments should take to refine their use case for generative AI," says Roberts. "First, IT teams should review their capability map for high-value processes, then conduct a basic cost-benefit analysis for the technology, and finally explore the vendor landscape to find the solution that meets their requirements."

ChatGPT and other generative AI solutions are tools, says Roberts, and like any piece of software or computer hardware, there are things that this technology is especially good at and others that it is not. It's important for technology leaders to understand the business processes and what ChatGPT is best for supporting so that they can highlight opportunities to reduce friction, increase the quality of the service experience, and drive efficiency.

Though it may be appealing to dive right into the AI end game, IT teams should start with augmentation, Info-Tech suggests. Generative AI still needs guidance and feedback from human curators, and as more processes are augmented, IT should expect to incur the cost of augmenting supervisory capabilities.

With new frontiers come new potential problems, say researchers. Chatbots interacting with users and producing content could expose the organisation to legal risk, perhaps by copying content from other sources or creating obscene or offensive images. Organisations should consider legal advice before implementing such technologies.

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