Generative AI, one year after ChatGPT: first reflection, then activation

Nov 21, 2023

When OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022, virtually the entire planet started realizing – almost overnight – the power of generative AI (GenAI): content creation based on large language models. Ever since, organizations have been exploring its potential for their own operations – and how to handle it responsibly. To help them maximize that opportunity, delaware has stepped up its GenAI investments and offering.

“When ChatGPT entered the scene, we humans met a machine that could write exactly like us,” says Sven Arnauts, Senior Manager & Board Member at delaware. “Now, we know that ChatGPT is an exceptional prediction algorithm. But back then, it seemed like OpenAI had created a robot that could actually think and understand us – like a human. For many, that was quite unsettling at first.”

In the grip of AI fever

It didn’t take long before organizations around the world started exploring generative AI’s application areas for content creation in the broadest sense of the word – text, audio, video, code, and more. “Few people enjoy drawing up documentation for their business activities, such as proposals or RFPs,” adds Sven. “Generative AI considerably speeds up that process, leaving more time for core consulting activities.”

The buzz around generative AI grew to such an overwhelming extent that research and consulting firm Gartner incorporated the trend in its 2023 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. It marked generative AI in light blue, indicating that its plateau will likely be reached in 2 to 5 years. That is remarkably fast, especially considering that generative AI was not even featured in the Hype Cycle of 2022.

This is your Copilot speaking

Naturally, tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google were quick to put their own spin on the generative AI movement, and to add extra dimensions to further increase its practical scope. Microsoft already injected $13 billion in OpenAI and has been introducing generative AI in several applications during the past couple of months.

For example, Microsoft 365 Copilot was embedded in Windows 11 and has been available in Microsoft 365 applications (Outlook, Office…) since November 1st. Branded as “your everyday AI companion”, Copilot is meant to be the ultimate AI-powered assistant. It’ll help you write documents and analyze spreadsheets in a heartbeat, turn hasty notes into a full-fledged slide deck, come up with business strategies on the spot, and much (much!) more.

Activation mode activated

One year after the dawn of ChatGPT, the stardust of the hype has settled, and reflection makes way for activation. “Lots of companies are trying to answer just one question: ‘how can my organization benefit from generative AI?’,” says Sven. “It’s so much more than a trend; everyone wants to discover which aspect of its added value they can activate.”

Additionally, organizations will have to figure out how to make generative AI valuable while protecting sensitive corporate information. After all, every question to OpenAI’s ChatGPT passes by an OpenAI server. While that’s primarily intended to make the underlying algorithm smarter, it also poses a security risk.

“Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that ChatGPT is not a search engine,” clarifies Sven. “We all need to learn how to use it responsibly, without accidentally publishing company secrets. Here at delaware, we help organizations map out all the ways in which generative AI can support their operations, R&D activities, production sites, etc. It’s all moving so extremely fast, that we’re positioning generative AI and governance prominently on the agenda for the next couple of years – and probably beyond."

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