2023 saw a revolution in artificial intelligence for business use, spurred on by the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022. This brought AI into the wider public consciousness and has spawned a plethora of AI-enabled tools, from established players incorporating new AI features, to a blizzard of new market entrants.
So as a business owner, where to start? How can you best leverage the new wave of intelligent tools to improve your businesses’ performance and productivity? Here is a quick run-down of the best AI tools for business, across 5 key categories.
Large-Language Models (LLMs), also known as generative AI, are sophisticated chat interfaces that allow you to have a conversation with the tool and treat it almost like a virtual assistant. The best-known of these is OpanAI’s ChatGPT, with GPT-4 being their most sophisticated model. OpenAI recently launched ‘GPTs’ and an associated marketplace. GPTs are mini-programmes within the tool that can be pre-configured to carry out certain tasks. This can save time on creating detailed prompts.
LLMs are fantastic at giving you ideas, producing outlines for blog articles, writing landing pages, scraping websites and summarising information, and any number of other tasks. You can even ask them to write computer code. Claude, from rival firm Anthropic, excels at writing long-form content. Bard, from Google, has access to Google’s vast search database and can be a good alternative to ChatGPT and Claude. Remember to fact-check anything an LLM tells you, as they can be prone to spitting out inaccurate answers.
LLMs are incredibly versatile and can be used across most areas of business, to speed up repetitive tasks, conduct research and summarise data, write content or presentations, code, or generate ideas, to name but a few.
Top Tool: ChatGPT (GPT-4)
Another area in which AI has excelled in recent months is that of image generation and editing. Midjourney can create stunning, fairly realistic and extremely detailed images. OpenAI’s Dall-E is not quite as sophisticated but is available as an integrated tool with ChatGPT for paying customers. It is easier to get to grips with than Midjourney due to the chatbot interface. AI-generated images are becoming more mainstream as their quality improves. You may have seen them and not even realised they weren’t real, such is the fidelity of some of the best image generation engines, such as Midjourney.
Popular graphic design tool Canva also now comes equipped with a suite of AI-enabled features. These enable users to create graphics from scratch if they cannot find what they need from Canva’s extensive stock image library. The new features allow users to create entire slide decks from a single prompt. The quality of results is variable and these new features have some way to go before they become truly useful.
Top Tool: Midjourney
Cloud-based project management tools have taken off in recent years, and what was once the preserve of MS Project is now a broad landscape of online software designed to improve team productivity and deliver projects to the agreed time, cost and quality. Leading project management software includes Monday.com, Asana, ClickUp, Notion and Jira.
These productivity tools allow teams to:
- Automate tasks
- Manage backlogs and sprints
- Communicate more easily
- Manage risks
- Report on progress in real-time
- Control costs.
A new generation of machine learning project management tools is on the horizon. Leveraging databases trained on thousands of real-world projects, these AI tools will be able to predict and help mitigate risks, issues and bottlenecks before they happen, making proactive, data-driven suggestions to project managers. Businesses taking advantage of these new tools may gain or retain a competitive advantage, and deliver projects faster and better than their competitors.
Top Tool: ClickUp
With the new generation of AI-powered live text-to-speech transcription services, you’ll never need to take meeting minutes by hand again. Transcription software recognises words and phrases and can distinguish between different speakers, offering impressive accuracy of 90% or more. Transcription software integrates with your Microsoft or Google calendars, automatically joining meetings and taking live notes. Notes can be searched and annotated in real-time by meeting participants.
Some tools offer extended features such as integration with CRM systems like SalesForce or Hubspot, can analyse meeting notes for insights, and even generate follow-up emails automatically.
Top Tool: Otter.AI
The rise of chatbots has revolutionised online, real-time customer support. The current crop of tools takes advantage of AI to respond to customers with helpful, informative answers, just like a human support agent would. It is no longer necessary to anticipate and pre-program every possible question and answer into the tool’s knowledge base.
The best tools in this space connect to your website, social media channels and email, allowing you to automatically interact with customers regardless of channel. Some of the market leaders also boast impressive knowledge base capabilities.
As well as solving users’ pain points, AI chatbots can guide potential customers towards a purchase. They can answer their questions and recommend products. They’re a powerful lead-generation tool, providing quantitative insights using customer data about common queries and preferences. These insights help businesses to improve their products and services.
Top Tool: Tidio Lyro
Artificial intelligence is becoming ever more ubiquitous in today’s business software. But, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of what will soon be possible using machine learning, large language models, and natural language processing. From ideation to content creation, image and video generation to meeting and diary assistants, AI has a lot to offer businesses aiming to improve their productivity. Learn more about how AI can support your business.
For software advice, implementation and support, please contact the Woodstock IT team today.