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Customer service representatives may not always have the answer to your complex questions. But getting those answers just became a whole lot easier, with technology that provides staff with curated answers at their fingertips.

It’s just one example of the power of generative AI. The technology can take large bodies of knowledge and summarize or create text and data based on that information. “These models are a new tool in your AI toolbox, to enable you to generate different types of insights and inferences more accurately or easily,” says Rob Dunlap, partner and generative AI practice leader at IBM Canada.

Generative AI is quickly progressing beyond experimentation. Mr. Dunlap says organizations across sectors are embracing the technology to transform what they do and how they do it. In a recent IBM Institute for Business Value survey, executives say they expect nearly half of their staff to use generative AI to augment their daily tasks in the next year.

A study by International Data Corporation estimates that the AI services market will grow from approximately US$36 billion in 2023 to US$65 billion in 2026. This rapid pace raises concerns regarding security, data management and ownership, and information bias. That makes it critical to have the right partner to identify where and how to incorporate generative AI.

IBM Consulting helps clients drive productivity across core business processes, and the recently established Center of Excellence for generative AI will help to accelerate those transformations. It uses the expertise of more than 1,000 consultants to help businesses make the transition to generative AI. IBM draws on its own technology, like watsonx, or accesses the appropriate tools from its vast ecosystem of partners.

To show what’s possible, the IBM Institute for Business Value offers a guide books series on customer experience, talent and transformation and application modernization.

Improved customer service is the most recognizable use case for generative AI, as many businesses have been using chatbots for years. But generative AI is much more advanced and precise.

For more on generative AI and the business applications of the future, see an event that The Globe and Mail hosted on Sept. 11, 2023.

“If you’re a knowledge worker in an organization, you spend lots of time looking through policy and procedure documents to determine the appropriate process to support a customer. Now it’s easily accessible,” says Mr. Dunlap.

Organizations are always seeking ways to improve not only the customer experience but also the employee experience. Here too, generative AI can support progress.

Talent acquisition is a serious challenge across industries. Generative AI can help to create a job posting, facilitate the talent assessment process and onboard new employees.

For talent, the rise of generative AI has led to questions about whether it will threaten jobs. Mr. Dunlap quashes those concerns.

“AI will augment employees and the work they do – not replace them,” he says. “Instead, it’s about using the information available to make the day-to-day of an organization function more effectively and efficiently. So that workers can free up more of their time for more productive and creative pursuits in the office.

Organizations that don’t adapt and innovate tend to be left behind. With so many possible uses for generative AI – and many that haven’t even been thought of yet – businesses can expect this evolution to be part of the modern workplace.

App modernization, where old systems are replaced with new ones capable of generative AI, is one of the ways to incorporate this technology into existing practices. The IBM Institute for Business survey found that 79 per cent of executives say using generative AI in app modernization projects will increase business agility and allow them to respond more quickly to changes in the market.

“It requires a partner that’s able to support you from a technology perspective, and that also understands your business and can help guide you where you want to go with these use cases,” says Mr. Dunlap. “It’s important to have both the technical understanding and platform, and the business context and vision.”

Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with IBM. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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