Since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, interest in generative AI has soared. Businesses across industries and sectors are exploring how generative AI can transform their operations, services and products.
Generative AI presents a unique opportunity for companies to hyper-personalize their products, monetize their data and create frictionless customer experiences, among other innovative use cases. The more advanced generative AI becomes, the more it can enhance the value companies bring to their customers. This blog will highlight some examples of how generative AI can transform your business; understand how AI bias, hallucinations, data breaches and data poisoning can harm your business; and analyzing key considerations before implementation.
How Generative AI Transforms Tech
In the tech sector, industry leaders are exploring how generative AI can improve everything from streamlining code writing to the creation of marketing copy. As generative AI continues to develop, its uses will expand, offering even more ways to drive value for tech companies. Below, we expand on a few instances on how generative AI can transform business practices.
Enhancing Product Offerings
A company is offering online educational classes and is looking to increase customer retention. The company can use generative AI to create customized courses for each individual customer based on an initial intake form, with standard questions relating to their interests, job title, region, language and learning style as well as preferences. For example, generative AI could automatically translate any course into the customer’s preferred language. Generative AI could even go as far as to create custom curriculums based on the individual’s learning style and goals.
By hyper-personalizing the learning experience, the customer is receiving exactly what they want, which can improve their learning performance and overall customer satisfaction. By being open to generative AI’s presence in your business, you too could benefit from personalization such as these examples to best serve your clients.
Developing Product Functionality to Improve Customer Experience
A company’s website serves as the virtual front door to its business. It’s the first place where potential customers, clients or partners often encounter your brand, making it a critical component of shaping initial impressions. Incorporating a “Contact Us” form serves as a direct and convenient channel for interested parties to reach out. Yet how could a business enhance this function even further?
Developing a generative AI help desk or Q&A function on your website can provide substantial benefits to prospective clients seeking information about your business. The company can respond to customers in real-time and also generate responses in the customer’s native language, reducing the risk of miscommunications. If the chatbot is sufficiently advanced, customers may not even be able to distinguish it from a real person. If the chatbot can’t address a customer’s issue, it can direct the customer through the proper channels to receive human attention. Streamlining the issue-handling process will ultimately lead to better customer experiences as well as satisfaction.
Addressing Generative AI Risks
Many businesses are adopting generative AI with great enthusiasm—however, success isn’t a guarantee. Maximizing ROI from generative AI is contingent on proper planning and execution. Failing to create a solid foundation for generative AI deployment can leave businesses vulnerable to AI bias, hallucinations, data breaches and data poisoning. Fortunately, there are steps businesses can take to mitigate these risks.
1. AI Bias
AI bias occurs when the AI model is trained based on a data set or processes which reflect human or systemic prejudice. For example, generative AI platforms which generate images frequently fall victim to gender and racial biases when fulfilling user requests, which leads to distorted outputs. When searching terms like “CEO,” generative AI overwhelmingly favors images of white men, whereas terms associated with low-paying jobs like “fast food” generate images of women and people of color.
To reduce the risk of AI bias, businesses need to ensure they have the right data set for their model. The training set should be sufficiently diverse to ensure accurate representation of different demographics while avoiding overrepresentation, which is a common problem in large data sets. Businesses should also ensure they select the right model for their AI and set it up correctly. Look for models which offer algorithmic transparency.
Companies also need to consider the questions or use cases which could be a bias concern and implement strong governance to avoid these issues. For example, a company might restrict certain topics if concern related to biased results is significant.
A hallucination occurs when a generative AI program returns a response which is factually inaccurate and/or not supported by its training data. Hallucinations are particularly challenging to detect because the platform presents them as facts. Since the user does not necessarily see the sources in use to generate the answer, it can be difficult to distinguish facts from hallucinations. Even if sources are cited, the sources themselves may be fake.
In order to prevent hallucinations, businesses need to adopt the right validation procedures to check the generative AI platform’s outputs. For example, a company may ask an expert in a field related to the request to check the output. The company can also design the platform to include sources, allowing users to confirm the sources are real and support the platform’s output.
Next, businesses need to train their users/employees on how to properly use the platform. A policy on acceptable and unacceptable use is foundational to good generative AI governance. In addition, training on prompt engineering can significantly reduce the risk of hallucinations. Best practices like being as specific as possible and providing the AI with relevant details can help users create prompts that produce comprehensive and accurate results. Asking the AI to include sources—and then validating any sources cited—is another best practice.
3. Data Breaches
A data breach occurs when an unauthorized party, such as a hacker, obtains access to private or confidential data. Many generative AI platforms train themselves with data manually input by users. If the data from the application becomes exposed, all user data could be at risk. Data breaches are especially problematic for businesses that are putting proprietary information into generative AI platforms. Businesses should be aware their employees may have already put proprietary data into a generative AI platform.
It’s critical for leaders to understand the security implications of the platforms in use. If the organization opts to rely on third-party platforms instead of building its own, they need to know how the data is being used and how long it’s being kept. It’s important to note not all platforms leverage user data for training purposes. In-house GPT platforms use encrypted data as opposed to open-source data, which can mitigate the risk of a data breach.
As with any new technology, businesses also need to monitor regulatory changes to stay compliant. They should also keep an eye on the regulatory landscape to determine what compliance requirements they may need to address in the future so they can start preparing today.
4. Data Poisoning
Data poisoning occurs when a bad actor accesses a training set and “poisons” the data by injecting false data or tampering with existing data. The data poisoning can cause the model to give inaccurate results. It can also allow bad actors to build a backdoor to the model. So, they can continue to manipulate it when and how they like.
Because generative AI platforms are based on massive amounts of data, it can be extremely difficult to determine if or when data poisoning has occurred. Businesses should be extremely selective about the data they use. Open-source data, while very useful for training AI models, can be more vulnerable to data poisoning attempts. Regular data audits can also help protect against data poisoning.
Moving Forward: Other Key Considerations for Businesses
As businesses move forward with generative AI, there are a few other important considerations to keep top of mind:
Due to the strong interest in generative AI, many best practices have already been established. Look for best practices related to each relevant use case for generative AI. For example, a company planning to use generative AI to write code can explore the best ways to reduce orphan code.
Many employees might initially feel uncomfortable or wary about using generative AI. Encouraging them to use generative AI in their personal lives will make it easier for them to eventually transition into using it for professional purposes. Training employees in prompt engineering is also crucial to increasing their comfort level and success with the technology, generating the best possible results.
Consider how generative AI could be used in each department and how it would impact the department’s operations, resourcing needs, and profitability. These impacts should help determine when and how to deploy generative AI within the company. The company may want to explore its first pilot in a department. This would greatly benefit from the technology and would be exposed to the least amount of risk.
Businesses may want to explore creating one or more AI-enabled apps. These apps can be created for customer use—for example, an app that complements and enhances the company’s product—or for employee use. For example, workflow management apps. Before creating an AI-enabled app, businesses should understand what value the app will bring to its intended audience and what resources will be required to maintain it.
Generative AI isn’t a one-and-done adoption exercise. Once generative AI is adopted, it requires ongoing maintenance, support, reviews and documentation. The company should have a clear picture of the resources it will need to maintain the AI platform or tool once it’s created and how maintenance will impact regular business operations.
Proper Implementation for Your Business
If your business is looking to diversify its operations by incorporating generative AI functions, KerberRose Technology can provide assistance, support as well as recommendations for a successful and cybersecure transition. As with any new technology, there are risks. KerberRose Technology can conveniently manage your IT department remotely, empowering you to stay on top of new business trends. Contact us today!