More American businesses are starting to use artificial intelligence (AI) tools to come up with new ideas and to deal with customers.
Mattel is known for making children’s toys. The company recently used an AI image generator called DALL-E to come up with ideas for new Hot Wheels toy cars.
The used vehicle seller CarMax is using ChatGPT to gather thousands of customer comments. The social media service Snapchat has added a chatbot to its messaging service. And Instacart, a delivery service, now uses ChatGPT to answer food questions.
Even the Coca-Cola company plans to use AI to help create new marketing content. It has not said exactly how it plans to use the technology. But the move shows that businesses are under pressure to use the tools that many of their employees and customers are already trying on their own.
“We must embrace the risks,” Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said in a video announcing a partnership with OpenAI — maker of both DALL-E and ChatGPT.
Some experts warn that businesses should carefully consider possible harms to customers, society, and their own companies before choosing to use AI tools in the workplace.
Claire Leibowicz is with The Partnership on AI, a nonprofit group. The group recently released recommendations for companies producing AI-generated images, audio and other media.
“I want people to think deeply before deploying this technology,” Leibowicz said. “They should play around… but we should also think, what purpose are these tools serving in the first place?”
There is a reason for the concern.
While text generators like ChatGPT can make the process of writing emails and marketing documents faster and easier, they also appear to present misinformation as fact.
And image generators like DALL-E are trained in copying widely available digital art and photography. This has raised copyright concerns from the creators of those works.
“For companies that are really in the creative industry, if they want to make sure that they have copyright protection for those models, that’s still an open question,” said Anna Gressel. She is with the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, which advises businesses on how to use AI.
Gressel said it is safer to use AI tools as a “thought partner” but still people as the creator of final products.
Rowan Curran is with the research and advisory company Forrester. He said AI tools should speed up some office work much like using word processors and spell checkers.
Curran said, “It’s not like we’re talking about having a large language model just generate an entire marketing campaign and have that launch without expert senior marketers and all kinds of other controls.”
The growing interest in AI tools among the public has fueled growing competition among technology companies Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
Microsoft announced earlier this year it was investing billions more dollars into its partnership with OpenAI. Google is adding Bard chatbot to its search engine. And Amazon started working with Hugging Face to develop Bloom, a competitor to ChatGPT.
I’m Ashley Thompson.