Three CIOs on the Rapid Adoption of Generative AI

Applications of AI

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Cambridge, Massachusetts — When CIOs get together to talk, it’s almost always on broad topics like digital transformation and change management. But this year, one development proved nearly impossible to avoid.

George Westerman, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said on a panel he moderated at MIT Sloan last week, “Until you mention the term AI, or generative AI, that everyone is talking about. We cannot move this conversation forward.” CIO Symposium.

In the nearly six months since OpenAI announced ChatGPT, as concerns about data privacy and security have led some companies to severely limit or even ban its use, vendors and companies have been racing to find enterprise applications for this technology.

CIOs must weigh the risks against the potential benefits of emerging technologies and look beyond the hype to consider real-world use cases.

“We’re bullish on that,” Tom Peck, Sysco’s EVP and chief information and digital officer, said during a panel discussion. “But we’re still trying to figure out build or buy and why software companies keep renaming their products and saying, ‘This is our new AI-infused version.'”

Deepa Soni, Hartford’s vice president and chief information officer, said the company is already running predictive AI models in many systems “from sales to claims to underwriting.” Stated.

Soni’s team is considering many potential applications for generative AI and is proceeding cautiously, she said.

“We already have a lot of use cases where we think it can be applied, and we are currently experimenting with it to get hands-on experience,” Soni said. “The important thing is to be prepared to use it safely and safely.”

Sysco is also leveraging native AI capabilities across its software estate, Peck said.

A global food distribution company is now looking for ways to responsibly introduce generative AI into its customer-facing applications, said Peck, with menus and recipes for Cisco customers based on heuristics and search patterns. I mentioned the possibility of curating.

early adopter

CarMax’s use of generative AI tools predates ChatGPT’s public launch by more than a year, according to Shamim Mohamad, vice president and chief information technology officer at the auto retailer.

The Carmax business model is partly built around extensive customer and product reviews, and this text-heavy feature lends itself well to generative AI capabilities.

“We’ve been using GPT to explore available content and organize it in a way that makes sense for each customer,” Mohammad said at a panel discussion.

Carmax has a system to check the accuracy of each entry before publishing.

Looking ahead, Mohammad sees potential applications in improving the efficiency of engineering processes.

“We’re all having trouble finding techs,” he said. “If we can use generative AI in a safe way, [engineering] You will be more productive and be able to focus your energies on high-value human tasks. “

The University of Hartford has an AI accelerator group that is currently looking at AI applications across engineering, Soni said. Insurers are also considering using non-technical staff.

“Right now we are thinking about ways to empower all of our knowledge workers,” Soni said.

Like Carmax, Sysco, and many others, The Hartford is exploring the potential of generative AI to enhance existing technology and business practices.

“In the insurance industry, everything is based on using data to assess risk,” says Soni. “Anything that uses large amounts of data to make better decisions is important.”

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