Generative AI, once a mere concept, has now firmly established itself in the tech landscape. To navigate this evolving realm, a proactive approach is essential. Generative AI for business has taken the tech world by storm, particularly since the debut of ChatGPT nearly a year ago. The allure of Generative AI lies in its potential to automate routine tasks, boosting productivity and efficiency. Yet, it also raises concerns about the possibility of replacing human workers entirely.
As we delve into the myriad opportunities and challenges that Generative AI presents, communication and collaboration providers have hurried to incorporate Generative AI features into their platforms. Some have even announced previews of these capabilities before they were fully ready. In recent months, the Generative AI field has experienced rapid growth, with notable product launches and announcements:
- Google introduced Duet AI in late August.
- Zoom unveiled Zoom AI Companion, offered for free to all paying Zoom customers.
- Slack disclosed its Slack AI, making it easier for developers to integrate Generative AI into workflows.
- Microsoft announced the general availability of its Copilot GenAI assistant, scheduled for release in November.
These developments follow a flurry of releases, previews, and roadmaps from various collaboration providers, including Cisco, Dialpad, Notion, RingCentral, and others. Generative AI now spans a wide spectrum of capabilities, from content creation assistance to automatic transcription, meeting summarization, action item identification, real-time coaching, and post-call feedback. The potential for innovation and growth in the field of artificial intelligence is limitless.
As Generative AI adoption transitions from preview to reality, IT leaders face the challenge of gauging its value, assessing potential risks, and deciding when and how to introduce Generative AI capabilities to their workforce.
Key Considerations for Business Leaders for Generative AI Adoption
- Cost: Zoom’s decision to offer AI Companion for free to paying customers sent shockwaves through the market, especially as competitors like Microsoft and Google required additional fees for their GenAI add-ons ($30 per user per month in both cases). Even with free services, implementing Generative AI is likely to necessitate end-user training and ongoing support as individuals familiarize themselves with the tools. Companies evaluating paid add-ons must weigh the potential productivity gains against the additional costs, pinpointing specific use cases where GenAI features provide the most value. Examples include sales and marketing campaign creation, manual transcription elimination in healthcare settings, automated identification of next steps in customer service and sales calls, and more. Both vendors and customers must collaborate to identify these use cases to justify licensing and operational expenses.
- Security: Generative AI models are trained on large language models using publicly available web data. However, this approach hinders the use of GenAI for specific business cases that require analysis of proprietary data. To address this, most vendors are introducing customer-isolated Large Language Models (LLMs) to ensure that customer data remains secure and is not shared publicly or with other customers. Companies seeking to leverage generative AI for business must verify that their security, compliance, and governance measures are adequate to analyze risk, ensure data retention, and conduct thorough audits.
- Compliance: GenAI add-ons generate their content, necessitating classification, archiving, and eDiscovery support for regulated organizations. Compliance managers must proactively identify how their organizations are adopting Generative AI to mitigate the risk of non-compliance.
- User Perception and Awareness: A recent study by Metrigy revealed insights into end-users perceptions of Generative AI adoption in the workplace. While a majority (85.1%) were familiar with GenAI, only around 15% were regular users. Trust in GenAI varied, with just 12.9% of respondents expressing full trust and nearly 31% expressing no trust at all. Factors influencing trust included concerns about inaccurate results and the potential misuse of LLMs. Trust levels also differed by age, with 43% of those aged 45 or older lacking trust compared to 18% among those under 45. When asked about factors that could increase trust, “human oversight” ranked highest, although nearly 32% indicated they would never trust it, with only 21.9% citing “Government regulation” as a trust booster.
- Embracing Change: Banning Generative AI is not a practical solution, as it offers substantial workplace benefits. Attempts to ban it may lead employees to bypass IT restrictions by using it through personal devices, posing additional risks to organizations. Proactive implementation aligned with security and compliance needs is the way forward, akin to the need for approved messaging apps to prevent the use of public consumer apps.
- Islands of GenAI: With nearly every vendor incorporating artificial intelligence capabilities, companies may end up deploying multiple GenAI engines, potentially limiting the overall productivity gains. For instance, a company using Microsoft 365 for content management and Webex for calls and meetings may find themselves utilizing two separate GenAI tools, each trained on distinct data. Collaboration vendors should consider establishing APIs that facilitate data sharing between GenAI tools, enhancing their interoperability.
Generative AI for business is swiftly progressing from concept to reality, offering substantial potential for productivity enhancement. However, it also introduces security, governance, compliance, and ROI considerations. Continuous user education is essential to ensure employees are comfortable with the technology and can derive its benefits. Before Generative AI adoption into existing tech environments, IT professionals must thoroughly assess its impact on various facets of their organization.
Algoscale empowers businesses of all sizes, from dynamic startups to industry-leading enterprises, with a full spectrum of cutting-edge artificial intelligence services. Whether you’re seeking guidance on the evaluation or seamless integration of GenAI within your organization, our team of seasoned experts is here to drive your success. Connect with us today for transformative AI insights.