01
February
2024
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11:52 AM
America/New_York

Three Tips to Help Your Business Start Winning With Generative AI

By JJ Perez, President, Nationwide Financial Corporate Solutions

There’s no denying that generative artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the world as we know it. It can create content in seconds, as well as generate innovative ideas, helping us quickly and efficiently meet customer needs while potentially providing a better experience. It’s also dominated the news cycle since widespread consumer adoption began to accelerate about a year ago. Most recently, I was fascinated by news of the recent shakeup at OpenAI involving their CEO. 

As the generative AI revolution continues to seep into more facets of our everyday lives, it’s natural for business leaders to view it with curiosity and maybe even a little trepidation. Many are beginning to consider how they can best utilize it while maximizing the advantages it offers and minimizing the risks. In fact, according to a survey from my company, Nationwide, more than 7 in 10 mid-market business owners and 30% of small business owners are considering using AI technology to help make strategic business decisions. 

However, there remains a gap between the potential and the reality of generative AI adoption for many business leaders. Reasons for this may include lack of resources, resistance to change, mistrust of this new technology or even concerns about sharing proprietary information with the world (for those with this last fear, there are platforms that offer enterprise security). 

While the benefits of generative AI do not come without risks, as business leaders, we need to begin experimenting with it to remain competitive. My own company shares that viewpoint. We have been investing in technology and data analytics infrastructure for well over a decade and we’re now developing ways to securely leverage generative AI to augment the work of our team. 

Whether you’re leading a Fortune 100 company or a sole proprietor, there are so many ways you can make generative AI work for you. Here are a few tips to help business leaders think about and test generative AI in smart, safe ways, based on my experience. 

1. It starts at the top. 

Generative AI can help businesses unlock new possibilities, enhance creativity and differentiate themselves from competitors—but it has to start with the C-suite. Business leaders need to be advocates, setting up governance and structure for these powerful new tools to be used effectively and ethically. 

For example, we established a committee of leaders from various areas of the company to lead our AI engagement and balance innovation with responsible development. Investing in the right tools and the right training for employees will also be critical for long-term success. 

2. Keep humans in the loop. 

Generative AI can help businesses achieve a “bionic business model” by leveraging the best of both worlds: the speed, scale and efficiency of machines, with the empathy, judgment and intuition of humans. In fact, according to recent data from Insight, nearly three-quarters of business leaders believe AI implementation will improve their employees’ productivity. 

However, generative AI will not replace human intelligence; it will complement it. To work effectively, it requires a human-in-the-loop approach, where people and machines collaborate to ensure quality, accuracy and ethics. 

For example, one way we’re implementing the bionic model is by enabling our call center employees to automatically pull up specific product information needed to answer client questions quickly and efficiently. Some AI applications can synthesize meeting discussions for you in real time, recognizing participant voices to quickly identify action items and assign them to the correct person after the meeting. That makes it much easier for a team to track follow up actions and share relevant information with others. 

By allowing your employees to harness the power of generative AI, you’re giving them a virtual assistant to automate tedious or time-consuming tasks—helping your people focus on delivering a better customer experience or developing innovative new ideas to grow your business. 

3. Iteration is key. 

Generative AI is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but a customizable and adaptable one. It is an evolving technology that requires constant learning and improvement. Businesses should experiment with different models, data sources, parameters and outputs to find the best fit for their specific uses and goals, monitoring and measuring the performance and impact on their business outcomes. 

Business owners should also stay updated on the latest developments and trends in generative AI. According to my company’s survey, 53% of mid-market business owners are already familiar with ChatGPT, and 67% trust it to provide advice related to their business operations. And a McKinsey survey found that 22% of respondents are already using generative AI regularly in their work. 

As more generative AI advancements are rolled out, business leaders should continue seeking feedback from customers, employees and partners on how to improve its applications. They should also be open to collaborating with other businesses and experts in the field to share best practices and learn from others. 

Generative AI is poised to help businesses of all sizes address some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities they face in today’s competitive landscape. If used appropriately, it can help businesses provide more value and better service to their customers. The time is now to empower your team to begin thoughtfully testing AI and learning how it can make your business more efficient and effective. One thing is for sure: It’s likely your competitors are doing the same. 

 Originally published on Forbes Advisor. 

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