The title of this blog tells it all, but for sake of the argument, why do we all need an AI manifesto?
Let’s wind back the clock one year before this blog was written, to November 2022. For most of us, artificial intelligence (AI) was a thing of Hollywood movies, sci-fi novels, or perhaps a topic for an ethics panelist with dark-rimmed glasses at a futurology conference. Yes, as consumers we were using AI tens of times per day, but mostly without noticing, as it was neatly hidden behind services such as search engines, ad platforms, music playlists, or in our cruise control.
Likewise, in enterprises, AI played a similar behind-the-scenes role, controlled by some elite teams of AI illuminati driving omni-channel customer engagement, or dynamically optimizing business processes through automated decisioning.
Then, on November 30, 2022, ChatGPT got released. The AI in-crowd perhaps thought, “What’s the big deal, didn’t we already have an OpenAI playground”? But by making the service free and putting an intuitive chat interface on top of pre-existing models, there was an entirely new audience who finally got some level of under-the-hood experience of making, or at least steering the AI, by creating clever prompts. OpenAI signed up one million users in the first five days of its release and had 100 million active users in two months. And in its most recent DevDay event on November 6, OpenAI announced they are slightly opening GPT’s cage by letting developers create their own “GPTs,” granting these GPTs access to specific knowledge, capabilities, and actions.
As C-level execs see their kids doing their homework with ChatGPT, or even their parents generating cooking recipes, they are asking their reports a logical question: Why aren’t we using AI in our business to create better customer experiences, drive improved business outcomes, or simply become more efficient?
Then AI utopians, doomers, and prompt whisperers arrived at the scene, calls for a pause on AI innovation were published, ironically followed by Cambrian explosions of AI foundation models. Meanwhile, consultants jumped in to tell us AI will lead to massive benefits and disruption; industry analysts predicted many AI projects will fail; and AI teams reminded us not to forget about all these other forms of non-generative AI that also exist. It was an AI pontificators dream and a bit of a nightmare for the rest of us to try to keep up.
How do you cut through all this AI hype and doomerism, deliver on the expectations of executives, but more importantly, on the expectations of customers? That's why we have written the AI manifesto to help you navigate the AI landscape and lead you on the path toward responsible impact.
The manifesto contains nine principles that have guided us on our AI journey the past 40 years, and we recommend that you follow these as well. It starts off with refocusing on the why: what should be the role and purpose of using AI in the first place. We then propose the what and how: what AI strategy and focus will get you the best results, with minimal risk and time to value, and how to scale AI across the whole organization. And last but not least, it makes a case to make an ethical approach, a differentiator rather than a constraint, by providing value to all stakeholders: the business, citizens, and consumers.
So go ahead, explore the manifesto. And in our forthcoming blog series we will provide more context to each component of this document. Do let us know what you think and share your experience.