In Maryland Heights, there’s a $500 million idea that popped up over a year ago during the 2022 holiday season, and it’s a real game-changer. OpenAI dropped their ChatGPT technology, and just like that, the AI game leveled up. People started fiddling around with the program during the holidays, and when they got back to work, they just couldn’t stop chatting about it. Tim Denny, VP of the Advanced Technology Center at World Wide Technology, said, “Everyone was kind of playing around with it on their own.”
You’ve got folks in tech and every other industry we can imagine who are thinking about how generative AI can shake things up. From hospitals to the factory floor, they’re strategizing how AI could make their businesses smarter and more efficient.
In December, World Wide Technology said they’re investing $500 million over three years to propel AI adoption for their clients. Whether it’s a California expert needing to communicate with a grower in South Korea, or a farmer who wants to know what the weather did to their yield. Generative AI can help everybody get the info they need, instantly. “Now a human can easily ask very intuitive questions. Things like, ‘How did a certain variable affect my yield last year?'” said Nitin Nahata, from Bayer’s digital farming arm, Climate.
But this isn’t the Wild West—there’s plenty of ethical and legal considerations to take into account. Lost in the hype is the risk of bad data with or without human intervention. “Done right, it can be a huge benefit. Done wrong, it can be a huge liability or risk,” said Chad Bockert, World Wide’s VP of marketing. They’re taking a cautious approach, with an “AI driver’s license” system for their employees. And they’re not the only ones.
Mercy Hospital is exploring the possibilities for AI across their health system and has released a chatbot for patients’ questions online. But don’t think the real deal is happening any time soon. So as companies start investing, the future of AI becomes more of a reality. It’s exciting and a little overwhelming. But for companies both big and small we’re on the brink of a whole new world.