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Generative AI: The Excitement, the Challenges, and the Rush to Experiment  

by | Nov 6, 2023 | GenAI

Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) is one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas of AI today. GenAI models can be used to generate new content, such as text, images, and music, in a variety of creative and innovative ways. According to Gartner, 55% of organisations are in piloting or production mode with GenAI solutions.

Businesses are clearly and understandably excited about the potential of GenAI to help them improve their products and services, reach new customers, and gain a competitive advantage.

However, there are also a number of challenges that businesses need to be aware of before rushing to implement GenAI solutions.

Aiden Heke

Aiden Heke

Chief Executive Officer, Decision Inc. Australia

Challenge #1: Pressure to act quickly and concerns about risk

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is the pressure to act quickly in order to stay ahead of the competition. This can be especially challenging when it comes to new and emerging technologies like GenAI that are still nascent.

On the one hand, businesses want to be early adopters of GenAI in order to reap the potential benefits. On the other hand, they are concerned about the risks involved, or making poor decisions due to a lack of understanding of GenAI technology.

The implications of accidently exposing competitive or customer data are now well documented, but some risks are much subtler as we go deeper into this technology. How do organisations manage accuracy at deployment and on an ongoing basis when we see models ‘drifting’ in terms of answer quality. Where does the inaccuracy arise from? The Foundation Model, the internal training data, the process of model development and training?

Challenge #2: Lack of skills and capacity

A recent survey by Deloitte* found that 88 per cent of executives believe that AI will be essential to their business success in the next five years. However, just 22 per cent of executives believe their organisation has the skills and resources necessary to effectively implement AI solutions.

*Deloitte survey: “AI in the Enterprise 2023: The Next Playbook” by Deloitte Insights (2023)

gen ai

GenAI is a complex and rapidly evolving field, and it can be difficult for businesses to find and retain the talent they need. Additionally, GenAI solutions often require significant cloud computing resources, which can be a burden for smaller businesses to design, procure and manage successfully.

Microsoft recently announced its third quarter earnings, driving a spectacular 10 per cent jump in asset value. But dig a little deeper on the detail and we note a 66 per cent increase in enterprise clients for Microsoft worldwide. These clients need expertise in a specialised and rapidly evolving area of technology and there simply aren’t the skills to help address this need.

Challenge #3: Overwhelmed by choice

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Finally, businesses can be overwhelmed by the number of different GenAI solutions available.

There are a variety of different platform providers, proprietary models, open source models, and marketplaces like Hugging Face. Faced with a wide variety of choices,it can be difficult for businesses to know which solution is right for them, and they may end up making poor choices due to a lack of understanding of the different options available.

A recent report by Forrester Research* found that 70 per cent of businesses are struggling to choose the right GenAI solutions. The report also found that the top three challenges facing businesses are:

    1. Lack of understanding of GenAI technology and its capabilities
    2. Difficulty in evaluating and comparing different GenAI solutions
    3. Lack of expertise in implementing and managing GenAI solutions

We are seeing early adopters reconsider their GenAI foundation model choices as they realise the potential production costs and recognise other Large Language Models may be sufficient. However, this brings added complexity for internal teams to manage. We believe the trend will continue with multiple GenAI solutions based on specific and generic use cases being implemented for clients.

* Forrester Research report: “The State of Generative AI in 2023: A Forrester Wave Report” by Stephanie Liu et al. (2023)

Conclusion

Despite the challenges, the potential benefits of GenAI are clear. Businesses that are able to successfully implement GenAI solutions are likely to gain a significant competitive advantage.

However, businesses need to be aware of the challenges involved and take steps to mitigate them. This includes developing a clear understanding of GenAI technology, partnering for the necessary skills and resources, and working together against the back drop of the organisations strategic imperatives to carefully evaluate the different GenAI solutions available.

By taking these steps, businesses can increase their chances of success with GenAI and reap the many benefits that this technology has to offer.

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