Ever dreamed of having an intern who never sleeps, never complains, and is available 24/7? Welcome to the world of AI. More specifically, welcome to the world of large language models (LLM) and generative AI. Now, these tools aren’t your typical intern. They don’t bring you coffee, but they can process data at breakneck speed. Just like an intern, they learn your processes, adapt, and assist. However, unlike an intern, their capacity for tasks is limitless and they can work without any human-like constraints such as break time or even bedtime. AI tools can handle repetitive tasks, pore over huge amounts of data, and give insights that you might miss.
Here at BIPi, we’ve been using LLM tools for 8+ months now. This in no way makes us experts, but our experience thus far has led us to believe that AI tools are crucial for small teams that need to make big impacts without overworking or undervaluing themselves! You – the human – have a bedtime that matters! It’s time to take the leap and start learning how to use this new tech that’s definitely not going away any time soon.
A quick vocabulary lesson
Before we dive into the deep end of using AI tools in your business processes, you’ll want to be aware of some contextual vocabulary (in fact, we already used two of them in our intro!). Learning these 5 terms will make you sound like an AI expert at your next networking event, and we’re willing to bet that very soon, they’ll be key words in any business discussion.
1. Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that generates content, such as text, images, or videos, without being explicitly programmed for each output. Generative AI models, like ChatGPT, use complex algorithms and training data to produce creative and coherent responses.
2. Large Language Model (LLM): A specific type of generative AI model designed to process and generate human-like language. LLMs, such as ChatGPT, are trained on vast datasets and can understand context, grammar, and even nuances in language.
3. Prompt: In the context of working with Large Language Models, a prompt is a specific input or instruction given to the model to generate a desired output. A well-crafted prompt can significantly influence the quality and relevance of the AI-generated response.
4. Session: In the context of LLMs, a session refers to a single instance of interaction or conversation with the AI. When you start a new session, the information and context from previous sessions do not persist between them. Each session is independent and begins with a clean slate, allowing users to have unique interactions with the AI model for specific tasks or conversations. Sessions provide a fresh start, ensuring that the AI’s responses are based solely on the current input and prompt.
5. Adaptability: This term reflects the ability of AI models, like ChatGPT, to adapt and learn from new data and prompts. The adaptability of AI is crucial for continuously improving its performance and tailoring responses to specific needs. When you’re using ChatGPT, the overall system doesn’t adapt to you (and it’ll be quick to tell you so!), but you can manipulate it, session by session, to do so.
So, Why Use AI Tools in Your Business?
Just as modern gardeners use all kinds of handy gadgets to plant seeds, prune plants, and ensure optimal growth, businesses can harness AI tools to improve their business processes and outcomes. These digital sidekicks empower businesses to automate mundane tasks, increase productivity, and even make informed decisions, giving you more time to focus on what matters. As with most business decisions, the first place we started when considering using AI tools was with the numbers, and what we found – both anecdotally and in available research – was astounding.
The AI Numbers Don’t Lie
The BIPi team has seen reductions in composing marketing content (like this blog, which we composed with the help of both jasper.ai and ChatGPT!) of over 50%… and we’re not even that good at using those tools at this point! But our anecdotal experience is backed up by research.
Recently, the Nielsen Norman group reviewed three recent case studies that explore the impact of generative AI, like ChatGPT, on business users’ productivity. The studies measured the performance of users completing various tasks with and without AI assistance. The results showed that generative AI significantly improved productivity, with more complex tasks experiencing greater gains. The studies indicated that AI’s assistance allowed users to be much more efficient, completing more tasks in the same amount of time.
Moreover, the research shows that generative AI has a positive impact on work quality. In customer support and business document writing, the quality of work produced with AI assistance was either slightly better or significantly improved compared to work without AI. Not only that, it helps narrow the gap between the least and most skilled employees, benefitting less-skilled workers the most. The AI assistance reduced the working-memory load for users, allowing them to focus more on creativity and editing tasks.
Still, you might be skeptical of adopting technology that’s this new (confession: we are, too!), but skepticism doesn’t make the tech go away… it’s here to stay. Given that, getting familiar with and learning how to interact with AI tools is a solid step to better understanding them, and therefore to making more informed decisions about how your business can best leverage them.
Where to Start Learning to Use AI Tools
The best place to start learning how to use AI tools is by dipping your toes in the water with user-friendly programs. A prime example would be ChatGPT, an AI tool designed for natural language processing. ChatGPT offers a friendly interface and a wealth of tutorials and resources to get you started. It’s a forgiving learning environment – the program is designed to learn from and adapt to your style and needs.
Another great resource is online courses and webinars, which can provide step-by-step walkthroughs of how to implement and use AI tools. After months of experimenting with ChatGPT, our fearless leader D’nelle dove into a Coursera course taught by a professor from her alma mater. It’s helping her to write better prompts and to understand the technology behind the tool.
Remember, just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you won’t become an AI whiz overnight. It will take time and practice, so be patient with yourself and the process… and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Useful AI Tools That We Currently Use
We currently use a number of AI tools in our workflow, each to varying degrees of success:
- ChatGPT for small, mundane tasks like reformatting or parsing text, brainstorming new content ideas, or writing auxiliary text for things like social media posts;
- Jasper.ai for content creation that is true to our brand voice;
- DALL-E for generating unique images;
- Alttext.ai for improving website accessibility; and
- AI headshot generators for creating professional-looking team photos when a photoshoot just isn’t in the cards.
Each of these tools has a specific purpose, but combined, they create an efficient, automated, and productive work environment.
ChatGPT IRL – an example
How to Determine Where to Start Incorporating AI Tools Into Your Processes
The most time-consuming, mundane, or disliked tasks in your regular workday are perfect candidates for AI intervention. AI is all about optimizing and automating, so letting it deal with the grunt work while you concentrate on the big picture is the ultimate goal.
1. Identify Pain Points: Start by pinpointing the tasks that are consuming too much time or the ones you find most tedious. This could be anything from scheduling meetings to filtering emails or even managing customer queries.
2. Analyze Your Workflow: Take a critical look at your current processes and identify areas that could benefit from automation. For example, if you are spending too much time on data entry or analysis, AI tools can take on these tasks more efficiently, freeing up your time for more strategic work.
3. Research AI Solutions: Once you’ve identified potential areas for AI integration, research the different types of AI tools available. This can be an overwhelming step given the myriad of options, but remember to focus on tools that address your specific pain points.
4. Test and Implement: After choosing a tool, test it out. Most AI tools offer trial periods, so use this time to see if the tool fits into your workflow and truly addresses your needs. Gradually incorporate the AI into your processes, keeping an eye on its impact on productivity and efficiency.
5. Review and Adjust: Lastly, be ready to monitor and adjust your new processes. AI tools often learn and adapt over time, so what works initially might need tweaking as the system becomes more sophisticated.
By following these steps, you can strategically integrate AI tools into your processes and maximize their impact on your productivity. Remember, the goal is not to replace human employees but to augment their capabilities with AI.
Where will AI tools take us next?
Aside from the fact that no one really knows, we at BIPi do have some ideas as to how we plan to use these tools in the future. We’ve already started using it to draft more ad and sales-centric copy (for emails, for LinkedIn messaging, and even for networking pitches). Recently, we successfully used it to generate a 6-month set of blog prompts for a client who is a writer (but not someone who’s as instantly creative from a blank page as a robot can be). Letting ChatGPT be her content idea generator allows her to focus on content creation instead of spending a ton of time on brainstorming from scratch.
Looking ahead, we’re hoping to use LLM tools for things like:
- code snippet creation & optimization to expedite some website support tasks
- assistance with site mapping and site content organization during our next site build.
- video scripting for social media content
- keyword or hashtag strategies
- generating unique graphics (instead of relying on stock photography)
Ultimately, our approach is to get as familiar as possible with this technology due to the fact that it’s already saving us so much time. It genuinely doesn’t feel like cheating… it feels like using our brains at maximum capacity for less time (which is a total bonus for our office-chair-weary butts!)
…and, yep, this post was created with the help of ChatGPT, jasper.ai, and DALL-E-2. We’re confident you’ll find it useful.