What Is Generative AI and The Opportunity It Presents?

Beth Norton
July 17, 2023
5 mins

It’s pretty much impossible to avoid the great AI debate that’s going on right now. On one side, you have those who are excitedly speculating about the possibilities of this relatively new technology for businesses and beyond. On the other, people are understandably asking questions about how AI and people are going to co-exist as adoption becomes more mainstream.

So, with our new positioning as an AI Content Company, we wanted to explore a few of those big questions surrounding AI – now, and in the future.

What is Generative AI and is it going to take my job?

In short, Generative AI is when AI systems create output such as text, photo, video or code in response to prompts, from data they are trained on. It enables users to quickly generate new content based on a variety of inputs.

Our approach to Generative AI is to use it in a revolutionary, yet responsible way. But it’s easy to understand why there is some concern about how businesses will be using and relying on AI.

For us, Generative AI should be seen as a tool to supplement and support human creativity and endeavour. From enhancing productivity to sparking creativity, Generative AI can make a huge difference in how businesses navigate the digital world, how they compete in an omnichannel market and how they quickly respond to changing market and customer demands.

Really, the adoption of Generative AI should provide skilled teams with extra capacity to focus on higher-value tasks and projects – expertly refining content rather than spending time copying and pasting across all systems. One of the biggest benefits is how it dramatically speeds up the content creation process, boosting efficiency and enabling faster time-to-market.

In eCommerce, where content needs to persuade, Generative AI helps teams to make better creative and commercial decisions so they can spend their time on more important tasks.

If everyone’s using AI, won’t everything just be the same?

The generic applications of Generative AI everyone is using right now are all being trained on large data sets that are typically sourced from the internet – which means, to a certain extent, the same AI models are inevitably going to produce similar content.

And so, as adoption of this tech starts to widen, eCommerce businesses will need to build specific context into their content creation – as well as apply, as always, human judgement, knowledge and expertise in their content creation process.

Shopping context is what will make a difference, and that’s at the heart of our own approach to Generative AI content creation. Imagine, for example, the ability to create a broad range of pages for any one product, each one generated to be highly personalized to the specific shopping context of your individual customer?

The truth is that, even after all these years, neither personalization or omnichannel have ever really come close to delivering what customers want and expect them to be. Generative AI can finally change all of that, providing relevant and tailored customer experiences, without swallowing up all of your team’s time and resources.

What exactly is the opportunity with Generative AI?

Like a lot of new technological advancements, it’s easy to get swept up in the conversation and forget to ask how it actually makes your business more successful. So, what are the benefits of Generative AI?

The benefits are clear and compelling. Combining customer data, product insights and Generative AI together, businesses will be able to create and continually publish personalized content, tailored to their specific audiences. Whether it’s a particular customer need, a shift in market dynamics, an unexpected social trend or a one-off event, Generative AI allows you to combine the two things that have previously been out-of-reach for many businesses – creating content that’s truly personalized, and creating it fast.

What’s next?

Generative AI is only really taking its first steps into the world — and it’s not easy to say for sure what it’s truly capable of. Despite all the noise surrounding it, the idea of a powerful new tool that can do everything from automate repetitive tasks and simplify complex data analysis, to giving your customers an authentically personalized shopping experience, should feel exciting for any business with something to sell.

There is uncertainty, but there’s also a great sense of opportunity. The step that will start to make the biggest change for shopping experiences is when businesses use Generative AI to add that all-important context to their content.