OpenAI Executive Says AI is No Green Light For Business

Let’s pump the breaks on AI in the workforce and understand the technology first, a Silicon Valley COO advises.

Artificial intelligence seems to be a game-changer in the executive suite, with 97% of company leaders saying AI will “help their business”, according to a recent survey from Forbes Advisor.

That’s not all. The study also points out some specific ways companies believe AI is already changing their business to the upside.

• Over 50% of business leaders use artificial intelligence for cybersecurity and fraud management.
• One in three businesses plan to use ChatGPT to write website content, while 44% plan to use ChatGPT to write content in other languages.
• 46% of business owners use AI to craft internal communications.
• 64% of business owners believe AI will improve customer relationships.

“Most business owners think artificial intelligence will benefit their businesses,” the study states. “A substantial number of respondents (64%) anticipate AI will improve customer relationships and increase productivity, while 60% expect AI to drive sales growth.”

In the report, AI is perceived as an asset for improving decision-making (44%), decreasing response times (53%), and avoiding mistakes (48%). Businesses also expect AI to help them save costs (59%) and streamline job processes (42%).

“Interesting Lessons” That Need to Be Learned

Still, not everyone is on board the AI-at-work bandwagon. At least not as enthusiastically as some of the survey respondents included in the Forbes report.

In a CNBC interview this week, OpenAI chief operating officer Brad Lightcap warns enterprise decision-makers not to fall for “overhyped” takes on AI, especially elements of the technology that “in one fell swoop, can deliver substantive business change.”

Lightcap points to OpenAI’s ChatGPT advanced communications tool as a good example of not having a grasp on the technology right out of the gate.

“At the time, there was no way to know all the things that (ChatGPT) could be useful for,” he said. “I think that’s the paradox, somewhat, of this technology – it’s so broadly useful, and it kind of seeps into all the cracks of the world and all the cracks of your life as a tool in places that you didn’t know you needed a tool.”

“There were so many things that now, in retrospect, we know people use it for, but at the time, we could never conceive of – to justify why this was ever going to be such a big thing,” he added.

To Lightcap, ChatGPT proved to be an “interesting lesson” for OpenAI’s executive team.

“The business analysis doesn’t always tell the story, but being able to take a bet and clue in on where something is going to have broad-based utility, broad-based value,” he says. “That’s where it’s going to resonate with people as a new thing – sometimes that has to trump the business analysis.”

Lightcap says OpenAI execs are always talking to companies who use AI, but he’s not sure they’re on the same page yet – especially on AI expectations.

“We talk to a lot of companies that come in and they want to kind of hang on us the thing that they’ve wanted to do for a long time – “we want to get revenue growth back to 15% year over year,” or “we want to cut X million dollars of cost out of this cost line,” he noted. “And there’s rarely a silver bullet answer there – there’s never one thing you can do with AI that solves that problem in full.”

“That’s just a testament to the world being big and messy, and that these systems are still evolving, they’re still really in their infancy,” he told CNBC.

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