Diving into Gen AI
You should be using AI.
I’ve engaged in countless conversations with individuals eager to understand what Generative AI is and how they can be using it, yet before our conversation, they hadn’t found the right point to dive in. I wanted to write an article unraveling the concept of Generative AI and illustrating how to utilize it in your lives and careers.
Most people have been told “AI is extremely powerful”, yet still don’t know how to use it in their daily lives. By explaining what Generative AI is and how you can harness it, I believe that anyone reading this article can be made better off by taking the leap and beginning to use Generative AI.
What is AI and what is Prompting?
AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is the creation of systems that can perform tasks requiring human intelligence such as learning, understanding language, recognizing patterns, problem-solving, and decision making. Generative AI is a subset of AI that has become prevalent in the past 12 months. Popularized by systems such as Chat GPT, Generative AI is AI that can generate new pieces of content. That’s it – GenAI is simply a way for computers to generate sentences and ideas that may not have existed beforehand.
How does it work? Generative AI utilizes Large Language Models (LLMs) as the basis for its information. The developers of these LLMs have assembled an extensive amount of text through September 2021. Then, it has created formulas for analyzing and parsing this text such that it can create unique outputs based on human language and understanding. Here’s an analogy to better understand LLMs: think of LLMs as a river of information, a mile wide and flowing 100 miles per hour. You can look at this water and know intuitively that it is powerful, but it is unclear how to harness this power. So how do we harness it?
Here’s where “prompting” comes into effect. Prompting is essentially instructing the AI towards your desired output. For anyone who has used Generative AI so far, prompting is the act of putting the correct instructions in the chat box to receive the output you want from the LLM. To the river analogy, think of prompting as building pipes and funnels to direct the water flowing in the direction you want it, enabling you to take advantage of this force.
Where can AI fit into my daily life?
At its core, AI is a tool designed to make people more efficient in their daily tasks. We have all spent time behind a computer doing tasks we found trivial, yet still consumed a massive amount of time. This could be data entry, research, brainstorming new ideas, or a variety of other use cases.
Business leaders know that AI can make their organizations more efficient, yet individuals are still slow to adopt this new technology. In a recent McKinsey survey, 90% of commercial leaders said their employees should be utilizing Generative AI “often” or “almost always”, yet 60% of commercial leaders said their employees are using Generative AI “rarely” or “almost never”.
Here are places where you should be using AI today:
- Industry research
- Company research
- Data analysis
- Sales and Marketing
- Software engineering
Examples of Utilizing Generative AI
In my former role in Private Equity, I would often get staffed on a project in an industry I had never seen before. I would then spend hours going through industry research reports and primers looking for specific pieces of information: how big is the market, who are the key players, how do they make money, what are the relevant costs, etc. I didn’t want to read through the entire ~50 page report, but I had to in order to find the pieces of information I needed. With Generative AI, I can simply put in the right prompt to get all this information immediately. This boils an exercise that used to take hours into minutes of time, which enables me to spend more time moving forward and critically thinking instead of searching through a report for information that already exists.
Here's another example – through my time working at a community bank in Alabama, we knew there were customers we could help yet didn’t know how to find the right list of companies. We spent time with the chamber of commerce and driving around town to find local businesses that we could talk to. With Generative AI, you can simply input a prompt specifying the kinds of businesses you’re looking for, and it will give you an exact list of businesses fitting that description.
A final example. While working for LowTech.AI, I worked with a recruiter who wanted to compare resumes more easily. They knew what the job they were looking for was, yet still didn’t always know what prior roles meant or what skills the individual may have. We built a tool for her to input the text of resumes and the description of the job she was evaluating them for. The AI then outputs a quick summary of what their experience has been and how this may or may not align with the job description.
Taking the Dive: Next Steps
I hope this has dismantled some concepts around Generative AI and shown ways you can be using it. I know a lot of people still don’t know where to jump in, and that’s okay. On LowTech.AI, we provide White Glove service to anyone who signs up for pro. This means you can simply email us anything you want to use AI for, and we’ll build the tool to help you use it.
I know Generative AI has the power to make people happier and more efficient at their jobs. Let’s all look forward to a world of less mundane tasks and more meaningful work.