In November 2022, the metaverse conversations fell silent as ChatGPT stepped on stage and exposed the world to the power and potential of AI, which for most people was far greater than they had believed AI to be.
Something that felt like it was decades away was suddenly open and available to all.
This was both exciting and scary.
I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that
As a sci-fi fan, AI has been a consistent villain in the genre like 2001: A Space Odyssey (HAL 9000), the Terminator franchise (Skynet, later Genisys) and so much more. The standard story being, humans create machines to make their lives easier, the machines become self aware and decide the best way to help humans is to eradicate them.
Embrace the opportunities in change
Let’s take a look at this through a different lens though. A colleague (and CFO - Chief Figma Officer) recently compared the rise of AI to the transition in the special effects industry from physical manipulation and models to digital which is highlighted in the Disney+ docuseries Light & Magic, which tells the story of the evolution of Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects business created by George Lucas.
The series covers the transition from what are now more traditional special effects into computer generated effects and the impact on jobs and people involved in the industry at the time.
While the need for traditional SFX hasn’t entirely gone, those who embraced the then new technology clearly propelled their careers forward carving out new opportunities and niches that never existed before. Opening up the realms of possibility for sfx in the process.
This example pales in comparison to the potential of AI across multiple sectors, industries and peoples roles within them. But, it is evidence that where change is embraced it often creates new opportunities.
So let’s take a look at where you might start to think about embracing AI within your products and services.
How to identify areas for AI within your products and services
AI offers businesses an opportunity to deliver value through efficiencies, revenue and customer satisfaction. Using AI businesses can enhance their delivery, products and services. But thinking about digital products and services, where might AI add value? Where should you start?
1. Review business processes
AI can be used to streamline processes, reducing associated costs and delivering more efficiency. Take a look at your business processes, looking at how you interact with customers, how you manage data and decision making.
What to look out for within your business processes
- High cost
- High effort
- Low speed/efficiency
2. Identify Customer needs
There’s two ways you may look at customer needs in relation to where AI may be able to help. One is to think about how you might provide better customer experience, this might be about responding faster and supporting users with using your products/services.
Another angle would be to look at how your customers use your product/service, where are the areas within usage that AI could assist the user to speed up a process, reduce friction or provide a more personalised experience?
What questions to answer to identify customer need
- What’s most important to your most important customers
- What are your customers trying to achieve
- What are your customers least happy with
How might you integrate AI into your products and services?
When it comes to implementing AI into your products and services, there are many different ways to go about it. A few examples to consider:
- Personalisation: One of the most powerful ways to use AI is to provide personalised experiences for your customers. This could involve using machine learning algorithms to recommend products or services based on a customer's browsing or purchase history, or using natural language processing to create personalised content.
- Conversational interaction: As ChatGPT demonstrated, conversational AI can be incredibly powerful. By integrating AI-powered chatbots or voice assistants into your products or services, you can provide 24/7 support and engagement for your customers.
- Predictive analytics: Another way to use AI is to analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends. This could help you predict future customer behaviour, identify areas where you can improve your products or services, and even automate decision-making processes.
- Process automation: AI can also be used to automate repetitive or manual processes, freeing up your team to focus on more strategic initiatives. For example, you could use AI to automatically categorise and respond to customer inquiries, or to streamline your supply chain management.
- Generative AI: AI can create new content such as text, images, video, and audio. With the help of generative AI, businesses can create content more efficiently and at a larger scale, allowing them to reach a wider audience. For example, generative AI can be used to create personalised product descriptions, social media posts, and even entire articles or reports. Additionally, generative AI can also be used to create visual content such as images and videos, which can be a great asset for businesses that rely heavily on visual marketing. With generative AI, businesses can create custom images and videos that align with their brand, without the need for expensive equipment or professional expertise. Overall, embracing generative AI can help businesses to create more engaging and personalised content, while also saving time and resources. As AI technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more applications of generative AI in the future.
Of course, these are just a few examples of the many ways that AI can be used to enhance your products and services. The key is to identify areas where AI can provide the most value for your business and your customers, and implement these solutions effectively.
The rise of AI may seem daunting, but it's important to embrace change and explore new opportunities for growth and innovation. By identifying areas where AI can enhance your products and services, you can deliver greater value for your customers and position your business for long-term success. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you to embrace AI within your business, get in touch. Drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Ritchie Brett, Strategy Director, Freestyle