How ChatGPT And Other AI-Powered “Chatbots” Can Assist Your SMB Right Now
Like most everyone, you surely read headlines earlier this year celebrating ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI. An example of the so-called “generative pre-trained transformer (GPT)” language model—a technology that works by incorporating machine learning (ML) and extensive training and programming to enable software to generate relevant information and answers to conversational questions using natural, human-like language and text—ChatGPT is funded in part by Microsoft.
ChatGPT isn’t the only virtual chatbot—which Wikipedia defines as “a software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent”—available now to assist small and midsize businesses (SMB) in administering common everyday tasks. Competitors include Google’s Bard, introduced in February 2023, for example. Bard, unlike ChatGPT, uses the Language Model for Dialog Applications (LaMDA) approach to its training. Though GPT and LaMDA are similar frameworks, in that learning for both relies heavily on pre-training using large collections of dialog information and Internet-based content, LaMDA reportedly incorporates a supervised-learning component that some claim enables LaMDA technology to produce more natural-sounding and potentially more intelligent responses.
Regardless of the underlying framework and ethical debates, just how to effectively incorporate new AI technologies and employ them productively may be the biggest question SMBs have regarding these attention-arresting innovations. Here are just a few ways your SMB can wield the new AI technologies, which include ChatSonic, Jasper and YouChat, among others.
While IBM’s AI-powered question-answering system named Watson, which the company touts as assisting larger organizations (such as GM Financial, GSK and Lufthansa) “predict future outcomes, automate complex processes and optimize employees’ time,” the AI technology is also being incorporated within solutions SMBs can leverage. For example, Watson-powered technology is available to help resolve customer service cases using the Salesforce Service Cloud or automate workflows using Slack.
In 2023, Salesforce doubled-down on AI technology by adopting the ChatGPT engine—in the form of its own Einstein GPT solution—to power a variety of features frequently employed by SMBs. Among the tasks Einstein can help fulfill are assisting sales personnel in guiding prospects through the sales process, personalizing customer service interactions and growing marketing relationships with individual prospects.
One way Microsoft is leveraging its ChatGPT investment is by incorporating the technology within its Bing and Edge products. Specifically, the company is using the AI-powered innovation to improve search results, return more complete responses and enhance chat experiences.
Microsoft is also testing the ChatGPT engine with its Azure OpenAI Service. Businesses using Azure OpenAI can subsequently, within their own apps operating on the platform, improve existing bots’ operation, better manage unexpected requests, automate processes and personalize offers, among other advantages, according to Microsoft.
There are still other AI-powered Microsoft initiatives in play, too. For example, Microsoft Viva Sales can tap AI-driven data mining to assist strategic sales efforts and the company is encouraging partner organizations to leverage ChatGPT technology within their own solutions.
Google, not to be overlooked, is applying AI technologies within its Google Workspace offerings, beginning with Gmail and Docs. The company lists numerous new resulting advantages, including the ability to brainstorm, proofread and even draft documents. Other benefits include summarizing, prioritizing and replying to Gmail messages, creating new Chat workflows, readily surfacing insights using raw Sheets spreadsheet data and adjusting tone and generating instant drafts when composing letters and different types of documents.
LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned platform many SMBs use for professional marketing, networking and recruiting, is yet another resource available to small organizations that’s also adopting AI technologies to enhance effectiveness. In March 2023, the social media platform began incorporating what it describes as “AI-powered conversation starters” within members’ news feeds. The purpose is to unlock members’ collective knowledge and expertise by developing collaborative articles that tap members’ experience. Members’ contributions to these AI-instigated articles help surface lessons learned first hand. Further, members’ sharing anecdotes can help other colleagues and professionals hopefully avoid others’ previous missteps and mistakes.
GrammarlyGo, introduced in March 2023, is yet another AI-powered solution small organizations can employ now to enhance and improve daily communications. The on-demand generative AI engine is a contextually aware platform users can operate to eliminate grammatical errors whether writing documents or emails, improve writing by helping make text passages shorter and more succinct and writing confident statements that avoid wishy-washy or indecisive language to better empower professionals.
Jasper is another AI-powered chatbot SMBs can use to assist copyediting, creating Web content, drafting sales messages and performing similar advertising and marketing functions. The platform can also identify plagiarized passages and offers dozens of ready-made templates to assist marketing workflows. Jasper is also capable of drafting compelling social media profiles and ads, writing more intriguing company histories and polishing real estate listings and product descriptions.
Another AI-powered chatbot, YouChat uses OpenAI’s GPT-3 engine. The platform adds value with its ability to cite sources, while also servicing math, coding, translation and writing inputs. As a, at least for now, less popular platform, YouChat is also often available, whereas other solutions (such as ChatGPT) may display messages saying the site is currently operating at its limit and you’ll need to try your query again later.
Supported by Google, ChatSonic includes awareness of more current events than does ChatGPT. The conversational platform offers AI-powered content and image generation and email composing features. Other capabilities include dictation support and other chatbot-related services.
Expect Updates And Improvements
One element SMBs should monitor is the rate at which new AI innovations are introduced. New versions are sure to be released regularly, as proved true with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which received an upgrade to the GPT-4 language level in March 2023. Among the included enhancements come more advanced reasoning, the ability to develop more complex content and recognize and understand images, not just text. The new version also includes support for more languages, an important improvement for smaller organizations needing assistance accommodating those speaking or reading different languages when fulfilling customer service and product and service marketing tasks and responsibilities.
Still Have Questions?
If you’re still confused as to how new AI-powered chatbots can assist your business, or ways AI- and ML-equipped technologies can help your organization’s employees and systems run better, drop us a line.
You can reach Louisville Geek by calling 502-897-7577. Alternatively, you can send an email message to [email protected]. We’re happy to help.