“What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg (inventor of the printing press),” Mark Twain
Human beings are famously imprecise about predicting the future. After all, if we had been able to pinpoint the future, history would be replete with many more happy outcomes.
But that hasn’t stopped us from attempting to forecast the future. For instance, with every new technology come the champions and the Luddites.
While some predicted that the aeroplane was a terrible idea – because men didn’t have wings – others predicted a revolution in human travel, shipping and transportation.
While some were inspired by the freedom and adventurous possibilities of the automobile, others argued that the horse and buggy were more reliable and safer.
When the first television set arrived, its proponents extolled its ability to deliver news and entertainment to millions, while some asserted that TV would be a frivolous distraction and a tool for mind control and propaganda.
New inventions bring bright possibilities and dark disordering to existing institutions and ways of life. ChatGPT offers us both.
The 4th-century Christian theologian Saint Augustine wrote, “An act may contain something that refers to what has not yet come to pass.” And so, it could be with the birth of ChatGPT. It contains the seeds today of what may induce tomorrow.
ChatGPT: Search on Steroids
It might be short-sighted to predict that ChatGPT is a sinister tool leading us down the path of information perdition. Ask the experts, and you’ll find that it’s a more nuanced answer.
There is little doubt that AI and its spawn, ChatGPT and other Large Language Models (LLMs) just like it, will transform the customer service industry and the contact centre.
“We are at the dawn of a tremendously exciting second wave of AI capability,” said Stuart Dorman, Chief Innovation Officer at Sabio. “But it’s crucial to be aware that large language models like ChatGPT make mistakes – and they exaggerate. After all, for better or worse, they are trained on the existing data of the internet. A lot of caution is needed before deployment,” he said.
ChatGPT technology produces convincing human-like text and imagery that it can be difficult to know if it’s created by a human or not. At this stage, ChatGPT can easily mislead customers, create a false impression of authority and ultimately harm a brand.
Large language models like ChatGPT will not replace conventional chatbots but will support their functions with additional capabilities.
ChatGPT’s Big Promise
As generative AI tools become more widespread, it will impact four areas.
Chatbots will be easy to create. With tools from OpenAI, an employee with almost no experience can create a bot in a few minutes that can respond to questions from a broad range of topics. It uses natural language input that declares what the bot should do with a simple requirement in plain English with some options to go along with it.
It will significantly increase in-depth, automated customer journeys, with decreased effort.
Because the language model can be trained on previous contact centre conversations, contact centre agents will provide better answers to questions on voice and chat.
It clearly separates a traditional ‘search’ from a ‘question.’ A search returns a list. ChatGPT returns an answer. That alone is a tectonic shift in the way humans interact with technology.
The German philosopher and writer, Goethe wrote, “I hate everything that merely instructs me, without amplifying or directly enlivening my activity.” He might as well had described the difference between ChatGPT and everything else that preceded it in search.
Perhaps, when the history of ChatGPT is written, they will remember Mark Twain’s observation about the Gutenberg printing press, “”the bad that his colossal invention has brought about is overshadowed a thousand times by the good with which mankind has been favoured.”
To learn more about Generative AI and why it’s an important development for customer experience and the contact centre, download Sabio’s eBook.