New Tech Innovation: ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by OpenAI and is a mainstream example of the next gen in AI. It is built on top of OpenAIs large language models.

Users can interact with ChatGPT in a conversational way as its dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer questions and engage with users by challenging incorrect premises and admitting its own mistakes.

Given how impactful this technology is and the potential dislocation to normal businesses, it’s time for the board to think about this.

Rather than have work done in an innovation lab that never makes it to a real business use case, perhaps it’s interesting to consider having an external tutorial for your CEO and exec leadership team. As a tech-centric director, I see many parallels to digital transformation. This was a new concept 15+ years ago when companies realized they have to tech enable all parts of their business. Most especially in the front office where there is direct contact with the customer/consumer.

As we look back now, it’s clear the companies that were earlier adopters of enhancing the customer experience (UX/UI) and taking friction out of the customer journey were the winners. Customers expect all interactions to be as simple and intuitive as ordering something on Amazon, playing a video game, or calling an Uber. The consumer facing businesses that made their interaction mobile first and friction free have thrived.

One of the key things that keep companies’ vital, vibrant, competitive, growing, and being a top decile performer has been being an early adopter of technology out performers peers.

I suggest directors think about asking management at an upcoming board meeting how they are coming up the learning curve in ChatGPT?

It is important to keep in mind that ChatGPT is still a new technology and is still in a development trial phase. Here are some limitations to keep in mind:

  • ChatGPT sometimes writes responses that sound credible/plausible but are actually nonsensical. Keep in mind that there is currently no “source of truth” for the model to learn from.
  • The model can be overly wordy and repetitive.
  • Sometimes the model exhibits biased behavior and in this development phase user feedback is very important to aid the ongoing effort to improve the model.

Just about every venture firm and private equity firm that I know and work with are doing internal tutorials for their investing leadership team and portfolio companies. If professional investors realize there’s an opportunity perhaps it merits serious consideration and encouragement of your leadership team to try a small use case in a high cost high friction area.

Some examples of potential areas where ChatGPT could be used include:

  • Customer service
  • Marketing content generation
  • Lead Generation
  • Collect data on customer interactions
  • Provide insights into customer behavior and preferences
  • Reduce costs associated with hiring

So how can your company start working with ChatGPT?

Currently there is a free version of ChatGPT which is often difficult to access as there are long wait times. A paid for premium version called ChatGPT Plus has launched and there is a waitlist to be able to subscribe to the service. This is something that management may want to have on their radar and consider researching / implementing.

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