August 30, 2023
Stemming the Tide or Riding the Wave of GPT?
GenAI and tools such as ChatGPT are among the most rapidly embraced technologies in history, with their expansion showing no sign of slowing. Alongside this technological explosion are concerns about risks and the pace of change.
In our conversations with customers, we’re finding the typical spectrum of tech adoption, from early adopters through to sceptics. Some organisations – especially smaller ones – are all in, while larger companies tend to be dabbling but remaining cautious.
There are three broad areas in which people have activity or plans. They are technology, governance and risk, and organisational impact.
In technology, we see customers doing three main things:
- Using ChatGPT (or similar) directly via the web.
- Using the tech via APIs and doing their own Proof of Concepts projects.
- Waiting for the GPT tech to come into the products they use – like Microsoft or Google are doing.
GenAI is trending so intensely that no one wants to risk being left behind. This isn't a bad thing. The big players like Google and Microsoft have sufficient funding to test and execute their own versions of GenAI technology whilst analysing risks and improvements along the way. Not to mention, they have a global brand to protect, so we can expect to see a lot of competitive innovations from most providers during this time, each with their own spin and capabilities impacting search experience and products for us as the end users. So, it’s no wonder people are waiting for those providers to lift the tide rather than build their own tools.
Governance & Risk
Companies are grappling with privacy concerns, reputation and cyber risks.
Privacy risks - like sharing company and customer data - are top of the list. These risks are managed by blocking access to the tech or relying on updated acceptable use policies.
Reputation risk – from acting on or using insights from hallucinated content – is not well understood but is of concern.
Some companies are also worried that they may inadvertently use private IP that models have included, and that this may leave them open to litigation. These pretty complex issues are still being worked through by many.
Cyber risk is more about how others can use the tech for evil, i.e. hackers and scammers are now much better enabled to deliver more convincing attacks. How organisations protect themselves better hasn’t really been addressed yet.
Related to the above is impact planning and investment. Companies are figuring out what steps to take to prepare for and take advantage of GenAI. It starts with understanding the impact on people’s roles and skillsets. Changes are afoot for roles from marketers to developers. Training needs to be assessed in many roles, and new roles may also be required. Alongside that are the more technical investment questions to be considered, such as:
- Is my data in the right shape to use GPT?
- Is my software or SaaS platform going to get GPT, or will I need to upgrade?
- What licence cost impacts will I face, and will we get the ROI?
The realm of GenAI is vast and offers numerous paths for exploration. For Execs and Senior Leaders, it’s a bit of a minefield. If you’re in those roles and interested in the GenAI conversation, join our upcoming free event. I’ll be presenting alongside Nick Westbrook (Microsoft), exploring current discussion points amongst NZ Execs and giving an update on Microsoft Copilot.