Generative AI Takes Root in Business World Despite Skills Gap Hurdle

By Greg Tavarez January 22, 2024

A decade ago, many of us would not have thought there to be a super-intelligent tool that could assist us in creating fresh ideas, personalized experiences and new products. Sort of like a “genie in the lamp” tool, in a manner of speaking.

Well, the idea of such a tool has become a reality in the form of generative AI, and it has caused quite a stir over the past year or so.

In fact, a recent O'Reilly Media report, a technology learning provider, revealed that generative AI has taken the enterprise by storm, with 67% of surveyed companies actively employing the technology. This widespread adoption, surpassing even the initial hype of earlier disruptive technologies, is fueled by the promise of increased productivity, optimized operations, and enhanced customer experiences.

Two-thirds of respondents reported active generative AI use, with nearly 40% of those companies adopting the technology within the past year. This rapid uptake signifies a level of enthusiasm unseen in previous technological advancements. Maybe the thing that comes closest was, namely, the introduction of smartphones.

So, this data raises questions as to what drove the adoption surge. Increased efficiency emerged as the primary driver of adoption, with 54% of respondents citing it as the most anticipated benefit. Automation of routine tasks and enhanced content creation are seen as key areas for improvement.

Marketing teams leverage AI-powered content creation for personalized campaigns and targeted advertising. Product development benefits from generative design tools that optimize product iterations and accelerate innovation. Customer service experiences are enhanced through AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, providing 24/7 support and personalized interactions.

“Generative AI is a gateway to a new era of opportunity for businesses, with the potential to drive growth, optimize operations, and deliver exceptional customer experiences that set them apart from the competition,” said Mary Treseler, Chief Content Officer at O'Reilly.

However, there are challenges that come with this technology, including identifying suitable use cases, navigating legal and ethical hurdles and overcoming critical skill gaps in AI programming and data analysis. Expertise in AI programming, data analysis and AI/ML operations is in high demand, with companies struggling to fill these critical roles.

But what topped the list of challenges, according to the report, was identifying appropriate use cases – mentioned by 53% of respondents. Legal and compliance concerns, ethical considerations and data quality issues also emerged as significant hurdles.

As this groundbreaking report unveils, we are far from reaching the peak of what generative AI can achieve, and organizations still have time to invest in the critical skills development required to be at the forefront of the AI revolution,” said Treseler.

Despite the challenges, the report concludes with a note of optimism. The rapid adoption and growing understanding of generative AI's potential suggest that the technology is here to stay.

Be part of the discussion about the latest trends and developments in the Generative AI space at Generative AI Expo, taking place February 13-15, 2024, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Generative AI Expo discusses the evolution of GenAI and feature conversations focused on the potential for GenAI across industries and how the technology is already being used to create new opportunities for businesses to improve operations, enhance customer experiences, and create new growth opportunities.

Edited by Alex Passett
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