(Madhukar Govindaraju is the founder and CEO, Numly, Inc. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
As a software executive, tech entrepreneur and AI/data/analytics @scale practitioner for the past couple of decades, I always find it interesting when technology can finally start to do some ‘real good’.
Whenever there is a pivotal moment, there is obviously a lot of discussion and debate around the “good” and the “bad” aspects of incorporating new technology into our day-to-day lives.
In the past three decades, there has been a recurring theme of good technologies getting revived 20 years later in a new form, to do a lot of “good”. I was part of the distributed computing bandwagon in the early 1990s, along with Internet growth; now it is called cloud computing.
What was enterprise metadata and data integration and ETL platforms is now Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
I see AI chatbots bringing the missing glue to make a phenomenal impact to our day-to-day lives going forward. True AI in action or AI-led automation requires cloud Infrastructure and very good and clean metadata/data and analytics to be truly useful and I think we are at the right confluence of technologies to enable a new future.
With Microsoft’s recent investment in OpenAI, the world today is debating this very notion of “good” and “bad” applications of technology.
To provide some context here to readers, ChatGPT is a conversational AI model developed by OpenAI. It’s based on the transformer architecture and was fine-tuned on a large corpus of textual data to generate human-like responses to text-based inputs in a conversational manner.
The model is capable of answering questions, completing sentences, generating summaries, and more, based on the input provided. Similar to OpenAI’s GPT-3 and GPT-4 models, Google is building its own LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) based conversational AI platform to generate text that is more natural and engaging. This is both encouraging and exciting.
I strongly believe that ChatGPT and similar technologies will not necessarily lead to job loss, but rather can assist and augment the work of human professionals in various industries.
The technology behind ChatGPT can be used as a component in various applications and systems, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, which can automate certain tasks that involve natural language processing, such as answering customer inquiries, generating reports, and more.
In addition to leveraging ChatGPT for managerial coaching and development, continuous skilling and learning, here are other areas where we envision changes coming very soon for “good”.
1. Accelerating software development cycles
Tech jobs such as software developers, web developers, computer programmers, coders, and data scientists will likely see a huge positive impact. Advanced LaMDA technologies like ChatGPT could produce code faster than humans, which means that work can be completed with fewer employees and higher degree of quality and performance.
I see a future where all of the test cases are generated automatically and software testing is completely automated. This may require product managers to be specifying requirements and generating testing specific use cases, all in one step with ChatGPT.
Agile Alliance Certification will soon become a thing of the past or evolve to something new and exciting. This technology will accelerate software development significantly. Companies will not require to depend on their developers to learn the art of secure programming and keep training and policing the teams.
ChatGPT can help every company develop secure software that makes the lives of hackers very difficult.
Of course, human judgment still needs to be applied to these technologies to avoid error and bias at all times. However, the technology improves productivity phenomenally as opposed to replacing existing jobs or tools.
2. Making legal and media jobs easier
Many jobs in the information and media business, and jobs in the legal industry such as paralegals and legal assistants are responsible for consuming large amounts of information, synthesizing what they learned, then making it digestible through an analysis report, legal brief or opinion.
Language-oriented roles like these will be significantly boosted with ChatGPT and similar technologies.
3. ChatGPT will create the biggest reset for Search-based AdTech and re-energize Marketing Spend Optimization and Management for Ad Buyers / Marketers and bypass Google’s Monopoly.
AI is very good at analyzing large amounts of data and predicting outcomes. Market research analysts are responsible for collecting data, identifying trends within that data, and then using what they found to design an effective marketing campaign or decide where to place advertising.
These tasks are better handled by AI.
AI chatbots can provide real-time predictive insights around market trends and thus de-monopolize Google’s adtech business and provide marketers with new insights to better optimize their advertising spend.
4. AI Powers the new management science
Connected leadership is the new management science for all organizations. Connected leaders use empathy, compassion, and trust to influence networked teams and people, in their flow of work.
Psychological safety and organizational resilience are strengthened when connected leaders pivot to continuous coaching and learning. Structured learning and coaching help companies scale teams to deliver phenomenally higher levels of performance.
Today’s reality is that managers are busy and have very little time for coaching and development. In this scenario, AI chatbots can play a significant role in personalized coaching and development.
This is a great application of ChatGPT or other AI chatbot technologies. At Numly, our innovative patents around enabling AI chatbots to automate managerial tasks of coaching and development of their teams, are changing how technology can help managers in their busy workplace and help companies retain their best talent.
5. Innovative healthcare and patient engagement
This is an area that is just ripe for innovation with AI chatbots. From simple tasks such as patient scheduling or drug information delivery to more complex tasks such as pairing patients to clinical trials, AI chatbots can become very empathetic assistants for patient counselling, guidance and follow-up during treatment.
Most hospitals hide behind very deep IVR prompts and long delays to answer phone calls and provide patient support. AI chatbots can completely eliminate the need to wait in most of the common scenarios and provide superior customer services to patients and their families, all very securely and HIPAA compliant.
6. Accelerating learning and reinventing K-12/university education
Teachers across the country are worried about students using ChatGPT to cheat on their homework and this has become a key point of debate around the balance of using technology in education.
While schools and universities excel in in-person learning, leveraging AI chatbots to provide additional learning opportunities via research projects could be a huge accelerator to Learning. Gone are the days when you spent late nights in the library researching information. Y
You can sit on the couch and leverage AI chatbots to not just complete your research faster, but also be more detailed and thorough in your learning. I see a huge opportunity brewing to innovate in Education world-wide.
7. Better personal finance management with AI-enabled asset portfolios
Market research analysts, financial analysts, personal financial advisors, and other jobs in personal finance that require analyzing significant amounts of numerical data can be hugely benefited by AI chatbots.
AI can very easily identify trends in the market, highlight what investments in a portfolio are doing better and worse, communicate all that, and then use various other forms of data to help design a better investment mix.
Big Wall Street firms will offer self-serve portfolio management with AI chatbot technology and this may outperform many actively managed funds.
8. Disrupt graphics design and marketing
AI tools such as DALL-E, can generate images in seconds, and this is a significant disruptor of the graphic design industry. Generative AI technology can assist millions of people in their ability to create and manipulate images and this will have a profound impact on the world by significantly accelerating creative generation at very low costs.
9. Automate bookkeeping and accounting, expense reporting
Accounting is generally viewed as a very stable white collar profession. However, AI chatbots can help finance organizations with assisted analysis and truly help in better management accounting controls and practices.
Simple tasks for analyzing expense report or sales commission reporting are very well handled with AI technology. Financial controllers can leverage AI chatbots to implement financial controls across large global organizations and minimize error rates and do a better job of variance reporting.
10. Improved customer service and information delivery
We have all experienced calling or chatting with a company’s customer service, and having a robot answer. A 2022 study from the tech research company, Gartner, predicted that chatbots will be the main customer service channel for roughly 25% of companies by 2027.
AI chatbots can offer concierge style services that can help customers in a variety of scenarios across different products and services. An AI concierge for information, booking services, etc, could revolutionize the travel and hospitality industry in a big way.
To conclude, I see a world where technology will always remain a means to our goals and aspirations, but NOT the other way round. As we look around the post-pandemic world, there is tremendous opportunity everywhere to impact people and their lives and technology can play a very key role in helping people succeed in their lives. Here is one such moment and it is staring right in front of all of us. Yes, finally!