Transforming Industries and Empowering the Workforce: Generative AI

Sam Naji, Joseph Tekriti
July 6, 2023
5 minute read
Table of Contents

Generative AI encompasses many applications built using foundation models and relies on artificial neural networks modelled by the complex connections of neurons in the human brain. These foundation models represent a sizeable evolutionary step within deep learning, a branch of AI with multilayers in neural networks. Unlike previous learning models, the foundational models can process unstructured data and perform multiple tasks simultaneously. One notable aspect of generative AI lies in its ability to perform various functions. Specifically, it excels in recognizing data and classifying it. Generative AI also can generate text, compose music and create digital art. These capabilities have attracted attention from users worldwide, leading to the widespread adoption of generative AI models (like ChatGPT 3).  


The Generative AI market

Investments in recent years have fueled the development of generative AI. AI has gradually filled many aspects of our lives. However, with the emergence of applications such as AlphaGO, which defeated a world champion player in 2016, and recently, ChatGPT and its competitors, generative AI has captured public attention from its utility and conversational abilities.  


Despite its significant potential, generative AI also presents challenges and considerations that must be addressed. The computational power and network required to train models with hundreds of billions of parameters is a potential challenge that developers need to address. There is also a growing focus on making AI more ethical, initiated by the open-source community and industry leaders. Such emphasis on ethical AI practices can lead to further increased costs. 


Investment in generative AI has proliferated, reaching $12 billion in the first five months of 2023. It constitutes a fraction of total investments in AI. However, it indicates a significant interest, confidence and outlook in the AI sector. Venture capital and private investments in generative AI have experienced an average compounded growth of approximately 74% between 2017 to 2022. This growth has outpaced the annual growth rate of investments in AI overall during this period by 45%. 


On a geographical basis, most external private investments in generative AI are concentrated in North America, specifically from venture capital and tech giants. Firms based in the U.S. raised approximately $8 billion between 2020 to 2022, accounting for 75% of the total investments in generated AI-related firms. 


Ai's Potential Impact on the Global Economy


Empowerment across the Workforce

Generative AI will revolutionize knowledge across industries and business functions, including marketing, sales, customer service, coding and software development. Through transforming roles and enhancing performance, generative AI has the potential to unlock billions and even trillions of dollars of value across most sectors.  


 The potential of generative AI is mainly examined through two overlapping viewpoints. It's the ability to create value for firms and its impact on the workforce. The following sections present initial findings through such perspectives, highlighting the transformative power of generative AI and its implications for various sectors and the macroeconomy.  


By implementing generative AI across industries, firms could unlock economic benefits estimated at a range between $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually. It would represent a significant addition to the value generated by non-generative AI and its analytics. There is also the impact of generative I on the global workforce which must be highlighted. By modelling scenarios, McKinsey estimates the potential for generative AI to perform more than 2,100 detailed work activities. This spans 850 different jobs. Considering both the use cases and the workforce impact, generative AI's total annual economic impact is estimated to be between $6.1 trillion and $7.9 trillion.   


In this respect, generative AI is a fascinating technological advancement. Traditional advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms still dominate the overall value of AI. However, generative AI's unique ability to innovate creativity will expand the boundaries of what AI can achieve in the following years. Within the boundaries of generative AI, certain business functions stand out for their specific potential benefit. Customer operations, marketing and sales, software engineering, research and development and hospital services are the key sectors that could account for approximately ¾% of the total value generated by generative AI implementation.

Furthermore, the article highlights the potential of generative AI to act as a virtual knowledge base, which will transform internal knowledge management systems in organizations. By integrating natural language processing capabilities, generative AI can enable employees to access and retrieve important information more efficiently, leading to better decision-making and effective strategy development.  


Generative AI across industries 

For specific use cases, such as customer operations, generative AI can change its entire function by enhancing customer experience and implementing agent skills. Specifically, through automating interactions and providing personalized responses, generative AI can improve issue resolution, reduce response times, and increase sales and profitability. In marketing, generative AI can streamline content creation, improve data analytics and utilization, SEO, and personalized products, enhancing customer value friendliness.  


Here are five ways generative AI can empower workforces. First is upskilling and automation. Generative AI can assist in upskilling the workforce by improving training experiences. It can simulate virtual environments that allow workers to practice and improve their skills in a controlled environment. Such technology can also supplement human capabilities by offering live feedback. The second is automation and efficiency. Generative AI can automate repetitive tasks, giving more time for employees to focus on strategic projects. Such automation can enhance productivity and reduce human errors. For example, generative AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries in customer service, allowing workers to decorate their time to more complex interactions. The third is regarding content generation and personalization. Generative AI models excel in writing articles, product descriptions, and marketing materials. Such models can generate personalized content specific to customer preferences. Such capability allows firms to engage with their audience and establish an improved customer-firm relationship. Fourth is through means of creative collaborations. Generative AI can also be a creative collaborator, helping employees generate new ideas, designs, and solutions. Through integrating large datasets and pattern recognition models, generative AI can provide new outlooks and alternative perspectives, promoting innovations across multiple industries. Lastly, AI models can survey large amounts of data and extract valuable insights rapidly. This results in enhanced decision-making processes by employees. Through Integrating its natural language capabilities, generative AI can also fetch vast amounts of information, allowing employees to make better-informed decisions and develop effective strategies.  


Generative AI also shares the growing importance of multimodal capabilities beyond text-based applications. Recent advances in image, audio, and video generation have increased the possibilities in media and research and development. Today generative AI can create advertising materials, design drafts and tailor specific recommendations based on individual preferences, competing with traditional business models. Regarding applications, the following is a list of examples.  


  1. Visual Applications: Generative AI can create images from text, perform image-to-photo translation, convert images, increase image resolution, create and analyze video sequences, and generate 3D shapes. 
  2.  Audio Applications: Generative AI can transform text into speech, create similar music based on existing compositions, convert speech into text, enhance speeches, and replicate voices based on speech samples. 
  3. Text-based Applications: AI models can produce human-like text, summarize long documents, synthesize texts in different tones, and generate human-similar responses in virtual assistants.  
  4. Code-based Applications: Generative AI can also automate code writing through code snippets, complete code statements, suggest code improvements, detect bugs, and generate software and testing cases.   


Overall, generative AI holds massive potential across industries and functions. Its expanding use cases and workforce impact highlight the transformative potential it offers. The expansion into multimodal capabilities further broadens generative AI's applications and impact, representing new technological and economic advancements.  

Acknowledgment: This article was skillfully crafted with the help of Ansai R.

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