What Will It Take for Generative AI to Transform Business?

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The onset of generative AI has led to a wave of development and investment unlike any we’ve seen in recent years. With all the interest and excitement also comes a healthy amount of skepticism—especially among enterprise leaders who must weigh the benefits of generative AI against the risks of a still-burgeoning technology. 

Grammarly hosted a panel discussion with AI leaders to learn what’s truly possible when humans and AI collaborate in the workplace. The experts discussed how to navigate the unknowns to turn generative AI from a liability into a critical advantage—and the opportunities that abound when businesses can accelerate higher-stakes, higher-impact work.

Elizabeth Anne Watkins, PhD, research scientist in the social science of AI at Intel Labs, led the discussion with Dan Diasio, global AI consulting leader at EY; Peggy Tsai, chief data officer at BigID; Matt Rosenberg, chief revenue officer and head of Grammarly Business; and Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, CEO of Grammarly. 

Takeaway 1: Generative AI isn’t just a shiny object—it will reshape business activities

When used effectively, generative AI can change how people get work done and move businesses into a higher state of operations. “We call this reimagining the enterprise,” Diasio said. “By thinking about how we redefine the way work happens with generative AI… that’s when we will see the exponential value.” Organizations that apply generative AI for the sake of novelty, however, will fail to gain value from the technology and lose out on its promised benefits of productivity, agility, and time savings. 

Rosenberg noted that one area of significant potential for generative AI is its ability to help organizations “put information in the hands of the user at the right time.” Organizations currently face a massive swell of information and an influx of workplace applications. The collision of these two factors results in constant friction and information blockages—and the problem is only worsening. IDC projects that the amount of collective information will increase by more than 400% in the next two years. Meanwhile, Asana’s 2021 Anatomy of Work Index shows that employees are switching between over a dozen tools 30 times a day.

Effective communication is what keeps information flowing—and generative AI can enhance that flow so organizations can move faster. 

Takeaway 2: Ready or not, generative AI is here—organizations need to get proactive 

A recent survey of US workers showed that 70% of respondents are using generative AI tools at work. Whether or not organizations are ready for generative AI, it’s already here. Given how quickly the technology is taking hold and how transformative it will be, Tsai noted that businesses cannot take a “wait-and-see approach.”

If organizations don’t get a handle on the multitude of generative AI tools permeating the workplace and apply it more purposefully, they run the risk of generative AI creating only more content, noise, and interruptions that slow down the flow of information. Alternatively, if generative AI is applied purposefully and in a way that understands organizational context, it can make company information more usable. For example, it can help employees access, create, and understand information or give them the information they need at their fingertips so they’re more productive and can focus on higher-value work.

“[Tools] that are able to understand the brand, understand the tone, ingest corporate information, and generate results from that—that is where we’re going to unlock value,” Rosenberg said.

Takeaway 3: Ethical and responsible AI is paramount 

AI that is not developed responsibly has the potential to create harmful content that perpetuates biases, spreads misinformation, and eliminates creativity. Not to mention that when AI is not effectively monitored and managed, it opens up significant security and privacy risks. “There is a huge risk…when a model goes out, and then no one takes care of it, and no one is monitoring it,” Tsai said. 

Companies that naively integrate generative AI—without implementing measures to mitigate bias and harmful or inaccurate content—open themselves up to an eroded company reputation. Additionally, the potential impact on originality has serious consequences for businesses, from distributing misinformation to tarnishing customer relationships. In the long term, it could lead to intellectual stagnation that slows innovation and progress. 

Businesses should work with AI leaders who have dedicated teams focused on privacy and security and a reputation for keeping user and company data private and secure. They should also focus on providers that are taking a human-centered approach to AI development and emphasizing responsible tactics that seek to reduce harmful and biased content. “No matter how good your quality assessment system is, there are going to be unexpected things that happen in the field,” Roy-Chowdhury said. “We have a way for users to respond to unexpected outputs, give us feedback, and then we have an operational process to quickly act on that feedback.”

Imagine the possibilities with generative AI

The panelists agreed that generative AI offers significant potential for organizations. When thoughtfully deployed, it can augment individuals’ potential and drive forward high-impact cultures so organizations can get smarter work done faster. 

To learn more about Grammarly Business and our generative AI features, click here to schedule a time with a product specialist. 

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