In my last article “In Today’s Hi-Tech World, What Does the Future of Research Look Like?” [Aug’22]; I started with my dream of having my very own JARVIS (from Iron Man), an AI assist, who would instantly answer all my research questions and help me make informed and strategic decisions. Can’t believe its already a reality today!!!
Anyone and everyone I know is talking about Gen AI and how it will change every aspect of our life. Be it the simplest thing like choosing a restaurant or bit more vague like suggesting travel itineraries or super advanced one like robots as doctors. Whether we like it, understand it or hate it; Gen AI is here and is the future of humanity!
So, when I started thinking about this article, like any seasoned researcher; I started by upskilling myself with some online courses and reading through all the articles I could find on Gen AI and its implications on Market and consumer research. About 8-9 hours in and it suddenly struck me ‘What the hell am I doing ???”; I am prepping to write about this incredible miracle of a technology, and I am not even using it. So, I open ChatGPT, write a probe to scan the web for all available information on Gen AI linked to market / consumer / product research and synthesize it 4 ways – 3 commonalities, 1 unique insight, 3 future scope and 3 limitations.
And VIOLA!!! 10 mins later, I am a pro in Gen AI!
I was hoping for ChatGPT to tell me something I didn’t know, but I guess my old school researcher skills did a thorough job of scanning all info and ChatGPT simply validated everything I knew already.
Here is what I gathered about Gen AI:
1.Generative AI is rapidly growing and is capable of producing new and original content. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct product research, by providing us with new ways to generate ideas, test concepts, and gather feedback.
2. Some exciting applications of Gen AI in research:
- Gather insights, detect patterns & predictive analysis: This is the most common and well-known application of Gen AI. It can scan millions and billions of data sets in a matter of a seconds and consolidate insights. It can identify anomaly or commonality in these data sets and looking at trends even predict the future aka predictive modeling.
- Generate new product ideas & concepts: AI uses provided set of parameters, such as target market, desired features, and budget to generate variety of potential product or concept ideas, which can be further refined and developed by the product team. It can also generate images or videos of the product or create prototypes that can be tested with users.
- Risk Assessment: By testing concepts with users early on, it can identify potential problems and make necessary changes before the product is launched.
- Gather Feedback: AI can generate surveys or questionnaires that can be used to gather feedback from users. It could also be used to create virtual worlds where users can interact with products and provide feedback. Chatbots that use NLP and conversational AI are in fact used very commonly across all industries.
- Claims & Communication: Generate product names, taglines, or even marketing campaigns.
- Personalized Products & Services: By understanding our customers’ individual needs, AI can create products or services that are specifically tailored to them. For example, by providing customer’s purchase history, style preferences, and body measurements, it would generate a list of products that the customer is likely to be interested in.
3. Most popular platforms that help simplify daily tasks:
- ChatGPT, BARD or Claude for basic AI content development like summarization, search, collaborative writing, Q&A, and more
- DALL-E, Adobe Firefly, Midjourney, CANVA for art / image generation
- Rows.ai for data analysis, helps to analyze, summarize and transform data.
- Remini for enhancing photos AND Pictory for videos
- AlphaCode, Replit, Copilot for code generation
- Synthesia, HeyGen, Rephrase for video content generation
- Bardeen or Zapier for automate repetitive tasks / work flow automation
- SlidesAI, Prezi or Kroma.ai for generating ppts
- Writesonic or Copy.ai for writing anything, copywriting or Paraphrasing
- Murf.ai for high quality voice over
- Descript for all-in-one video & podcast editing
- Designs.ai, Adobe Sensei, Uizard for graphics design generation
- Sounddraw for music creation
- And the list is endless……
4. Future of Gen AI: Its still just the beginning, while it seems very advanced, it’s still at a very nascent stage. In the very near future we can start to expect:
- Insights democratization for better self service
- Advanced Healthcare using Robotics + Gen AI
- Personalization across industries / content / communication channels
- Data analytics and insights
- Process / workflow automation
- Virtual product testing environments
5. Limitations of Gen AI: Most of us are starting to see its power and opting for it mainly due to its cost effectiveness, real time insights, rapid results and no downtime which leads to faster decision making. While it’s a true genius, it can be very damaging and dangerous if not used correctly:
- Ethics: #1 and the most important threat. The best example is the viral image of Pope Francis rocking a white puffer coat which challenges the basic authenticity and reliability of the content created by Gen AI. It keeps getting more and more different to differentiate what’s reals and what’s fake.
- Interpretability: AI models can be complex and completely depend on the probe question. It has its own literal way to interpret the probe and throw confusing or difficult to interpret output.
- Bias: Gen AI models are trained on data created by humans and hence can be biased. This can lead to outputs that are discriminatory or inaccurate.
- Security: It can be used to create fake content or for malicious purposes, such as spreading misinformation or hacking into systems.
Overall, Gen AI is a powerful tool that continues to evolve and to be used with caution !
Everything said and done, I still feel something is missing. Why am I not excited or jumping on every tool available to simplify my and my team’s life, especially for complex product research projects?
It’s been just a month that I have been exploring ChatGPT and Bard; and just a week with Adobe Firefly. And I realized that like any other classical AI, all these platforms are solely dependent on the probe or question we phrase. And in fact, it’s not the tool, but for us researchers the first step is upskilling ourselves in drafting the right probe to get the answers to what we are looking for. This brings me to ‘Prompt Engineering’! Its basically mastering the art of crafting, optimizing, and customizing prompts for various AI models so that we get exactly what we are looking for. Especially for people like me who have numerous ideas but not always very good at precising the question to make them reality! For example, look at the images I picked from Firefly, they are not super creative and quite banal.
So to conclude, bit unrelated, but these Gen Z’s are already giving me complex with their Tiktoks and tech savviness; and I REFUSE to be a TECHNOLOGICAL EXTINCT! Well not just yet…
So I am headed to further upskill myself starting with prompt engineering – How about you ???