Generative AI: adding brains to websites and apps
Generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and Midjourney are sparking a veritable digital revolution, and major brands are sprinting to catch up. The mission? Weaving AI into their offerings to keep their services fresh in this bold, AI-fueled era. Companies are harnessing AI power to jazz up their software, shaping user experiences that are not just efficient and intuitive — but personalized too.
Allow me, Namecheap’s Undercover Geek, to take you on a journey through the AI-infused landscape of software products, exploring today’s trends and peering into the promising vistas of the future.
AI isn’t exactly new
From the way the news makes it sound, AI has just launched into our lives and will change the way we do everything. But in reality, AI has been around for a while, helping us in all kinds of ways, without us thinking much about it. For example, all of these services have relied on AI for years:
- Voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant
- Content moderation on social media
- Spelling and grammar checkers
- Warning systems in cars
- Facial recognition and predictive text on smartphones
- Applicant tracking systems (ATS) that review resumes and job applications
- Chatbots on e-commerce websites
In 2023, however, these methods of employing AI just aren’t enough for tech companies wanting to stand out and look toward the future.
How major brands are incorporating generative AI
There are so many companies bringing AI into their products that it would be a mammoth task to try to include all of them. These are some of the developments we think are most intriguing,
- Adobe’s Firefly AI – Generative Fill, a feature powered by Firefly, Adobe’s generative AI technology, enables users to make significant changes to images using text commands. Users can manipulate image content, including moving items to AI-generated environments such as alleys or under the Northern Lights, with the tool ensuring matching perspective, lighting, and style. This feature, which alters images non-destructively in seconds, is part of Adobe’s broader integration of AI into its Creative Cloud applications. The beta release of Photoshop is the first application to integrate Firefly, with Generative Fill also available for web testing via the Firefly beta.
- Google – While everyone’s probably heard about Bard by now (Google’s own generative text platform), the company has a lot more up its sleeve where AI is concerned. AI will soon generate Google Ads and spice up options across Google Workspace. AI will also help you write emails in Gmail and boost your performance in Google Docs, as well as lend a hand in Slides and Sheets. And Wired reports that an experimental version of Google Search is rolling out in the US, allowing users to access AI-generated text above the normal search results.
Here’s a peek at the new Google search:
- WordPress – Although AI isn’t built directly into WordPress core (yet!), there are plenty of themes and plugins, as well as other tools, that work well with WordPress. You can use an AI-powered website builder, use plugins that utilize AI to help with SEO and content marketing, and so much more. This is such a hot area for developers, and we expect that over the next few months there will be a lot more WordPress AI tools. For now, head over to the EasyWP blog to learn more about AI for WordPress.
- Grammarly – Grammarly, a tool that corrects writing errors and suggests better wording, has introduced its own generative AI tool called Grammarly Go. The tool, in its beta version, crafts messages across various platforms like email and social media. It can write bits of text or assist with refining your own writing. As CNET reports, GrammarlyGo offers basic contextual understanding and can adjust for formality and tone.
- Microsoft – Like Google, Microsoft has a whole slate of AI-enhanced products now. The company has incorporated Open AI’s GPT-4 into its Bing search engine, available to those using the Edge browser. The Bing chatbot is also available on Skype. But that’s not all. Edge also includes the tech behind image generator DALL-E, so you can create images on the fly. Beyond browsers, Microsoft has also rolled out Copilot, which brings the chatbot into business IT environments within Microsoft Teams. Imagine ChatGPT interacting with your communication and documents, making it easier to get started on projects or summarize materials in a flash. (You might also like our recent article, Is Bing booming in the era of AI?)
- Slack – Like other products in this list, Slack brings large language models, including both Anthropic’s Claude and Open AI’s GPT to supercharge its own chatbots, allowing the bots to better perform tasks such as answering questions. Slack’s Workflow Builder brings automation to the platform, allowing users to set alerts or perform other tasks.
- Salesforce/Tableau – Salesforce has announced the launch of two new AI-enhanced data analytics tools. Tableau GPT provides streamlined access to AI-powered analytics, helping users make swift, informed decisions. Tableau Pulse offers a personalized analytics experience to business users, using insights generated by Tableau GPT. The new tools leverage generative AI to create visualizations, suggest new charts and questions, and surface new insights.
- LinkedIn – Under Microsoft’s ownership, it’s not surprising that LinkedIn is leaning into the use of AI, particularly OpenAI’s GPT-4 and GPT-3.5 models, for various aspects of its platform. It has introduced AI-powered writing suggestions to enhance LinkedIn profiles and assist recruiters in creating job descriptions. Aimed at Premium users initially, this tool is designed to turn basic information into a more engaging narrative. Moreover, the company is emphasizing AI in its LinkedIn Learning platform, curating 100 courses focused on the subject and adding 20 more dedicated solely to generative AI. The lack of transparency about the involvement of AI in generating content also poses issues, especially in recruitment scenarios. Despite these concerns, LinkedIn is committed to leveraging generative AI in ways that could benefit its members and customers.
- Atlassian – The company known for its collaboration tools has integrated AI into its Cloud products. Atlassian Intelligence uses machine learning and large language models, in collaboration with OpenAI, to personalize product experiences. This AI assistant can generate, summarize, and extract information from content, assist in defining test plans, provide instant help, and accelerate service management. The platform also features a virtual agent in Jira Service Management that can resolve help requests instantly and summarize activity on requests. It also offers an on-demand company-specific dictionary and can answer natural language questions related to institutional knowledge, policies, or other complex queries.
What these tools have in common
Most of the current implementation of AI into online platforms and software is aimed directly at workplace productivity. These tools aim to make it easier to craft documents, create illustrations, collaborate on products, and communicate with team members. A few, including Atlassian, offer tools that could also benefit human resources and customer support.
It’s also interesting — though not surprising — that most of these platforms use Open AI’s GPT models, DALL-E’s image generation (or similar models), under the hood. While the AI tools themselves are innovative, the way these companies implement them is less so. In what appears to be a new space race, all of these companies are essentially investing heavily in the same kind of technology, hoping that their implementation, user interface, and use cases are what catch on with the general public or in their niche.
The need for AI transparency
When companies employ AI tools to generate text or images, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on. But users and customers may not always recognize that an AI is behind the scenes, especially when communicating with customer support or submitting materials for review. As noted above, it’s also helpful to know if the information a platform provides, such as job applicant profiles or workplace projects, was created by an individual or if it was generated by AI.
This is why companies should be transparent about their use of AI and how they use and store any data submitted by their users, lest that information gets slurped up into the next large language model or image generation database. For more information about brand transparency and AI, check out our recent article.