Is your company using generative AI tools? Consider these 3 key principles to guide your approach
Generative AI tools are changing work as we know it. Leaders want to incorporate AI into their businesses, and companies are launching new products to transform how knowledge workers engage in their day-to-day activities.
This speed of innovation is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and keeping up with every new announcement can be overwhelming. But we’re all learning quickly. As recently as mid-2022, the average person wouldn’t know what you meant by “generative AI tools.” But as of May 2023, Pew Research reported that 58% of adults are familiar with ChatGPT.
Even in just the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that our customers’ questions are becoming more sophisticated as their knowledge of the landscape evolves. How will their data be handled? How can they safely roll this technology out to their global workforce?
We delved into these questions and more at the recent Generative AI 2023 summit, which Zoom hosted in partnership with Fellows Fund and HubSpot. While there were many illuminating conversations about the importance of benchmarking AI, the benefits of open versus closed models, and how AI is rapidly advancing, three key principles emerged. Keeping these concepts in mind can be useful for guiding your generative AI strategy, whether you’re creating products or evaluating how to fit AI into your workplace.
A customer-centric AI approach
Listening to customers and focusing on their wants and needs is essential for companies looking to incorporate generative AI tools in ways that people will actually want to use them.
In his fireside chat with Fellows Fund founding partner Alex Ren and HubSpot CEO Yamini Rangan, our CEO, Eric S. Yuan, shared that customers are curious about how we leverage AI to improve our product experience. We’ve been doing that for years, looking at how people use our products and incorporating AI into features like virtual backgrounds and noise suppression, and using conversation intelligence with our Zoom Revenue Accelerator offering — all with a focus on creating a better experience for our customers.
Smita Hashim, our chief product officer, expanded on that during our breakout chat. She urged leaders to consider how people interact with their products to see how AI fits in. “Meet people where they are,” she said. “That’s where they’ll use the tools.” That shapes our product focus: new features that we launched very recently, Zoom AI Companion meeting summary and Zoom AI Companion Team Chat compose, help people work most efficiently in the spaces they’re already in.
By focusing on the customer, businesses will ultimately see the value of AI tools reflected in everything from employee productivity and retention to improved sales, better customer experience, and more effective team collaboration.
Trust at every turn
Data protection and transparency are imperative in today’s world. AI models often rely on data to learn and improve, but customers should have a choice in how their data is used. People using generative AI tools need to be able to trust that companies are being responsible with their data and transparent about what it’s being used for.
We believe building and maintaining customer trust is paramount. As Eric said during his fireside chat, “Once trust is lost, it’s hard to regain it.” That’s why at Zoom we focus on transparency, visibility, and control for our customers. For example, for our recent free trial launch of Zoom AI Companion meeting summary and Team Chat compose features, we let customers know how we use data when it comes to our Zoom AI Companion features and provided admin settings to control when they want to share the data for product improvement like training models.
Adaptability with AI tools
The AI landscape is constantly shifting — the conversations we’re having today are much different than what we were discussing six months ago, and the same will be true just a few short months from now. Companies need to have an adaptable mindset, and they need the generative AI tools they’re using to be adaptable, too.
Our customers’ desire for flexibility has influenced our federated approach to AI. This gives us the ability to tap into multiple large language models for different purposes, starting with our own powerful and proprietary Zoom AI models, along with those from leading AI companies such as OpenAI and Anthropic, and perhaps others in the future. Many of our products, like Zoom Virtual Agent and Zoom Revenue Accelerator, also allow customers to use our models to create company-specific outputs focused on their individual needs. In the future, certain customers could be able to bring their own model in alongside our AI-powered Zoom AI Companion and Zoom Revenue Accelerator features and products.
Product, process, people
“From our perspective, we need to consider things from a product, process, and people viewpoint,” Eric said during the event. “It’s crucial to embrace AI and leverage it to improve the product experience. We also need to look at how we can use AI to enhance the process workflow. Finally, improving productivity through AI is vital … it will revolutionize everything we do.”
Approaching AI through a customer-centric lens and keeping trust and adaptability top of mind are key to navigating this new landscape. For more insights from the Generative AI conference, check out our on-demand video library.