With the event season “wrapping up,” here is a quick recap of what I heard from customers, prospects, analysts, and partners in the world of e-commerce and customer experience. Of course, there was a lot of talk about AI. But as one analyst said:
“There is a lot of ‘Augmented Intelligence’ and not a lot of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ out there today”.
Some questioned whether or not there is enough data for us to be able to “trust” AI just yet. Trust will be a major aspect of debate in the near future, as we will need to trust first the data and then the outcomes of using AI.
It was encouraging to hear leaders like Ingram Micro, Chief Digital Officer Sanjib Sahoo, bring us back to basics and say that companies should prioritize business value and then look to the technologies that enable it.
This has been a theme for HCL Commerce Cloud for the last 24 months, as we have seen the pendulum around technology in commerce swing wildly towards concepts like microservices without consideration of the outcomes that companies are trying to achieve.
Generative AI (often called “GenAI”) has quickly established itself as the next wave of innovation and it's likely here to stay. But all is not a ‘slam dunk’ for Generative AI, as I heard comments about its threats, opportunities and governance. Add in the fact that we are in a period of accelerated innovation, and the speed with which we must adapt can be downright scary.
Speaking at Connected Enterprise 2023, Chief Analyst Ray Wang said:
"We don't have enough data to make AI work. Billions of dollars will be wasted on
AI implementation without a data strategy."
Another comment also made me sit back and wonder where AI will take us.
"If we take away children's need to critically think, ingest data and analyze it for themselves,
it means you don't need to read and you don't need to write. You put in a few prompts in,
and it happens. Attention in children's brains will atrophy,"
said one speaker at a recent event. As someone with a lifetime of curiosity about how things work, this is very scary! Generative AI could become the crutch that kills critical thinking.
At Google Next and AWS: ReInvent, there was a lot of talk about Large Language Models (LLMs). From what I saw, we are heading towards multiple options for Generative AI and LLMs but will companies really be able to tell the difference between solutions (read: commoditization!)??
What will be interesting is the shift in models from foundational models to domain-specific ones. This is an area where HCLSoftware and the HCL Commerce Cloud offering will help companies fully take advantage of AI as we train the domain specific models for business use cases that enhance the customer experience.
Here’s the bottom line: AI innovation is moving at an accelerated pace. I recommend that you follow HCLSoftware on LinkedIn and attend the new HCL Commerce Cloud LinkedIn Live series on e-commerce, covering the future of commerce, including AI, so you don’t get left behind!