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Episode 1: AI's Watershed Moment

Home Insights Episode 1: AI's Watershed Moment

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Published on: March 29, 2023


Please note, this is a script from Episode One of our video series, the digital download: Generative AI, which you can access here.

Welcome to the digital download.

In this series we're going to be talking about Generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT and DALL-E. We'll be discussing some of the opportunities for New Zealand businesses arising from these technologies, as well as some of the risks and strategies to mitigate against those risks.

In this episode, will be joined by Ming Cheuk, Chief Technology Officer at ElementX AI. He'll be sharing his insights into the technology and its benefits.

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI is a type of AI that can produce text, images, videos, software and other forms of content, on request within seconds. One tool that's caught the public's imagination is Open AI's text generating tool, ChatGPT.

Since ChatGPT was launched publicly in November last year, there's been an enormous amount of excitement about its ability to produce natural language text responses to prompts provided by a user, for example, a question. It can draft poems or essays, it can draft software code, translate between languages, and operate as a chatbot in a conversational way.

ChatGPT is seen as a watershed in the development of generative AI. Its power lies in its ability to understand the structure and context of language. This means that it can create human-like text that's highly coherent and can be used for a wide range of applications.

Why is ChatGPT so significant?

Never in history have I seen so many people from all walks of life, all industries or roles, being able to interact directly with AI the way they've done with ChatGPT. In the past, you would have needed a huge team of people, specialist skills, expertise, and a lot of money to be able to use AI in your business. Now with how accessible it is, you have people from individuals using it to write wedding vows, to cleaning businesses using it to write marketing copy.

What are the opportunities for businesses?

The next logical step is to combine the smarts of ChatGPT with the internal knowledge and data of the organisation. This will be very powerful in unlocking new applications, for instance, you might have the sales team wade through vast information contained in a knowledge base and previous sales, to be able to quickly find collateral for the next sales pitch. You might have a customer service team work alongside a virtual assistant powered by ChatGPT, where the virtual assistant can handle all of those simple inquiries from the customers using the knowledge base, and then it will free up the customer service team to handle the more complex, lengthy support cases.

Because of these benefits, experts are predicting that ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI will develop rapidly from here, in the same way that the internet shifted from being a small-scale experiment to something that we can't conceive of living without today, generative AI looks set to have a transformative effect on society.

I think that there will be an evolution in the way we work over the next few years. If used correctly, if implemented well, it will be a huge productivity booster for an individual and for an organisation.

What skills will organisations need to optimise outcomes?

As people have interacted with ChatGPT more, they've realised that the quality of its outputs depend a lot on the quality of the instructions that you're able to give it, which has created a whole new field called prompt engineering, which deals exactly with the techniques for writing the best quality set of instructions. This is just an example of one of the skills that's going to be increasingly important in the workplace over the next few years, directly as a result of AI.

Generative AI tools look set to transform the way we live and work. Next week, we're lucky to have Megan Tapsell joining us, Chair of New Zealand's AI Forum. Megan will be sharing her insights into the opportunities arising from these technologies, as well as some limitations that New Zealand businesses need to be aware of. 

This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any advice or further information on the subject matter of this newsletter, please contact the partner/solicitor in the firm who normally advises you, or alternatively contact one of the partners listed below.

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