Generative AI—artificial intelligence capable of creating new content—fell squarely into the realm of science fiction just a few short years ago. As AI developers tinkered with exciting possibilities, the rest of us took the idea that only people could create original texts, art and music. But as with all technological revolutions, this one took on a life of its own once it picked up momentum.
Today, generative AI is no longer the elusive domain of tech giants. Even small businesses can afford to use its superpowers. Indeed, some would argue that they can’t afford not to.
What Is Generative AI?
Generative AI stands in stark contrast to the earliest forms of AI, which took an algorithmic approach to number-crunching and text generation and had limited applications. Generative AI doesn’t just generate output but takes a creative approach. Eloquent texts, fascinating paintings, interesting music and creative 3-D models are just the beginning.
These diverse applications share a common thread: the remarkable ability to create novel content. While generative AI applications require a human prompter, much like a potter shaping clay to realize a client’s vision, they create, innovate and improvise with every action.
How Does Generative AI Work?
Each AI system is unique, but neural networks lie at their core. As the digital versions of human brains, they’re intricate algorithms purpose-built for pattern recognition and generation. So-called deep learning—an advanced form of machine learning—combines human training with vast databases.
As each generative AI “grows up,” it learns to breathe creative life into its human coworkers’ ideas while continually evolving to improve its skill set. Like students in a classroom, the quality of the education a generative AI receives directly impacts its output and capabilities. In other words, the richer the data, the smarter the AI becomes.
How Generative AI’s Superpowers Can Transform Businesses
If the AI world still strikes you as sci-fi, you’re not alone—but the future is now. From automating tedious manual tasks to streamlining creative processes, get ready for a revolution.
Let’s look at how generative AI is already fueling profits and productivity and how businesses can benefit.
Increasing Operational Efficiency
Businesses that can successfully predict inventory needs and optimize supply chains have an edge that few competitors can match. Generative AI can automate and improve these processes, freeing human workers to engage in other tasks. AI tools that perform these tasks are increasingly available, not just to industry giants but also to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Tailoring Marketing And Customer Experiences
There’s no better way to build brand loyalty than anticipating customers’ needs and wants—sometimes before they can. Generative AI can help businesses offer a genuinely unique and personalized customer experience by analyzing individual customer data and crafting personalized recommendations, email sequences or even advertisements. With an AI-based “personal shopper,” your marketing efforts can resonate deeply every time.
Innovating Products And Services
Forget about creative blocks—thanks to AI, teams no longer have to wait for key players’ mental light bulbs to shine. Generative AI can help brainstorm product ideas, design prototypes and invent innovative solutions to age-old problems. It never gets tired, and while generative AI won’t always hit a bullseye, it could spark brilliant ideas that lead businesses to greater profits and customer satisfaction.
Transforming Text-Based Content Creation
Most people enter the world of generative AI through conversations with famous models like ChatGPT. And by now, most will already have experimented with its ability to generate unique and engaging blog posts, articles and social media posts.
However, businesses can also use generative AI to brainstorm topic ideas and titles, to mimic a specific writer’s voice or to improve human-written texts. This editor and mentor never run out of ideas.
Creating Art And Music
Imagine never having to resort to tired stock photos thousands have already used again. Revel in the ability to create jingles, musical introductions or soundtracks inexpensively. Modern businesses don’t have to dream about that because generative AI models that do both already exist.
Harnessing The Power Of Predictive Analysis
Businesses that know "being forewarned is being forearmed" can harness the power of generative AI to analyze past and present data to forecast future trends and possibilities. Generative AI can predict market trends and customer behavior with uncanny accuracy, empowering companies to skip the guesswork and make informed decisions.
Generative AI makes product design and prototype development easier than ever, including the ability to design unique products to specifications. This, in turn, allows companies to pick the best product or use the AI model as inspiration to combine and add features.
Navigating The Challenges Of Generative AI
The digital genie is already out of the bottle, and generative AI isn’t going back inside. However, brand-new ethical concerns join the vast spectrum of exciting new possibilities. Could AI replace human jobs, generate misleading information, inadvertently cause companies to violate copyright, or introduce new privacy concerns among customers?
All these concerns are valid. Each business using generative AI has a responsibility to ensure that the models they use receive continued training and updates, but also to carefully review any text, product, service, artwork or other output created with the help of AI.
Yet, these concerns can’t overshadow generative AI’s vast potential. As businesses harness its superpower, they can unlock brand-new possibilities. Who knows? A generative AI model may be at the core of the next big breakthrough in your industry!
Originally published in Forbes