The AI chatbot revolution

SAE institute's Hiba Hassan highlights the new era of transforming user experiences through AI

“What’s funny about this image?” and “Write brief HTML/JS to turn this mock-up into a colorful website…” are requests that ChatGPT4 can now answer to as demonstrated by Greg Brockman, President and Co-Founder of OpenAI  during the Developer Livestream of ChatGPT4 on March 14th. The popularity of AI chatbots and large language models is transforming user experiences, significantly challenging the traditional marketing and advertising industry. As browsing behavior shifts, traditional online user data metrics such as search queries, website visits, and clicks metrics may no longer paint an accurate picture of users’ needs or desires. Instead, the focus is shifting towards understanding the nuances of natural language interactions between users and AI-powered platforms.

Microsoft integrated ChatGPT into its search engine, Bing, in a beta trial early this year. The integration provides a chat experience for searching by giving ChatGPT access to up-to-date information on the internet. Any “search” request generates natural conversational text that is referenced with a list of citations that allow the users to validate the data sources. While there have been errors in the beta versions in sourcing from fiction or being aggressive and refusing to assist, the speed of growth predicts stable versions in a short time. The rise of conversational prompt search, brings with it a much simpler user experience, cutting down the process of typing keywords, browsing sources, clicking,  navigating, and extracting data, to a simple question that collates the information needed. 

The rise of AI chatbots is changing the way users search for information, and e-commerce sites like Instacart Inc. are taking notice. The grocery-delivery app is set to add OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot technology to its platform, using the humanlike artificial-intelligence language tool to improve customer service, marketing, and other automated tasks. The new feature, called “Ask Instacart,” is expected to roll out later this year and will tap into data from more than 1.5 million products stocked by 75,000 grocery stores in Instacart’s partner network. JJ Zhuang, Instacart’s chief architect, sees ChatGPT as the perfect solution for the cognitive load involved in grocery shopping, citing factors such as household budgets, health and nutrition implications, seasonal produce, cooking skills, and meal preparation times. According to Mr. Zhuang, the software integration is an experiment with what’s possible, and the perfect use case for smart AI in e-commerce. In addition to Instacart, Shopify Inc., an e-commerce website builder, is also experimenting with ChatGPT, the company has announced. As more companies seek to enhance their customer service, marketing, and other automated tasks, the use of AI chatbots like ChatGPT is becoming more widespread.

Snap Inc. has announced the launch of My AI, a new AI-powered chatbot that uses the latest version of OpenAI’s GPT technology customized for Snapchat. The chatbot is an experimental feature available exclusively for Snapchat+ subscribers since February 27. My AI can recommend birthday gift ideas, plan trips, suggest recipes, and even write haikus. However, as with all AI-powered chatbots, Snap Inc. warns users that My AI is prone to hallucination and may be tricked into saying just about anything. The company also reminds users not to share any secrets with My AI or rely on it for advice. Despite the potential for errors or biases, Snap Inc. is confident that My AI will enhance the user experience and looks forward to hearing feedback from users. 

On March 16, Microsoft announced the development of Microsoft 365 Copilot, which pushes the change in how users interact with productivity even further. Copilot combines the power of large language models with business data and Microsoft’s productivity apps to upskill users, unlock productivity and unleash creativity. Copilot is embedded in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more, and also includes Business Chat, which uses natural language prompts to generate status updates based on customers’ calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings and contacts. For example, Copilot in Word can help users jump-start the creative process by providing a first draft saving hours on writing, sourcing, and editing time. Similarly, Copilot in Excel can help users analyze trends and create professional-looking data visualizations in seconds. This increases efficiency in work and adds weight on ideas and strategies rather than execution. 

Adapt AI, a venture founded by former OpenAI employees, recently unveiled a preview of their latest AI model called ACT-1. This model is designed to understand natural language and carry out complex tasks, aiming to replicate human-like capabilities while interacting with computers. The company believes that this AI model will greatly enhance what people can achieve using computers and predicts that most computer interactions will eventually rely on natural language processing in the future.

The growing influence of AI chatbots is significantly altering user experiences, redefining how we search for and engage with information. This transformation emphasizes the importance of quality content over flashy quantity and prompts marketers to reconsider search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword architecture strategies. The emergence of efficient, time-saving technologies has led companies to appreciate the benefits of AI in streamlining complex tasks. As more businesses experiment with large language models like ChatGPT, it becomes evident that these innovations will play a crucial role in shaping the future of e-commerce, productivity enhancement, and overall user experience behind a computer. Undoubtedly, the potential for AI chatbots is immense; as their growth and development progress, we can anticipate even more groundbreaking innovations and applications in the years ahead.

By Hiba Hassan, head of the design and visual communications department, SAE UAE