The list of questions surrounding artificial intelligence is growing now that generative AI is here to stay.
Generative AI, or algorithms that can produce new content based on the data they have been trained on, has people asking questions like: Will it replace my job? Or, will it replace my entire industry?
Since ChatGPT launched at the end of 2022, generative AI and large language model (LLM) platforms have skyrocketed. Microsoft, Google, Meta, and IBM are just a few of the major players now in the space.
But it is not just “big tech” that is benefiting. With so much talk about ChatGPT right now, we wanted to ask another question: How are startups using generative AI?
We opened that question up to founders and startup employees alike. And we got some really interesting answers back.
Question: What are startup founders saying?
Startup founders and employees alike are notoriously strapped for time. Turning to cutting-edge tech solutions is nothing new, especially when founders are looking to streamline their day-to-day operations. So it is no wonder that those working at startups were quick to embrace ChatGPT. Its prompts have helped people with some pretty interesting business use cases already. And it is quickly becoming a go-to tool for developers, team leaders, and marketing professionals alike.
Jamie King, software engineering manager at Flashtract, Inc., is using it as an alternative to pair programming. Catherine Bhattachar, VP of operations at the North Carolina-based toy rental subscription brand Tiny Earth Toys, says she’s used ChatGPT prompts to write a curated phone auto-attendant message, draft new product descriptions for the website, and find bugs on the new website they are working to launch.
“ChatGPT is a wonderful place to start when you’re figuring out how to do things you’ve never done (which is what we do in startups constantly),” Bhattacher told Hypepotamus.
Mario Cambardella over at ServeScape said ChatGPT has helped the team put together first draft answers related to gardening-specific customer service questions. This helps the growing team put “time and resources into other areas” needed to build the business, Cambardella said.
Dianna King and the Eat Unrestricted team uses the technology for Instagram captions, copywriting, project outlines, and to write fun and “cheesy” content for their customers.
Infinite Giving co-founder Seth Radman even put together a list of 15 ChatGPT prompts startups can use to improve their product. He says startups can use the platform to help with writing website code, researching competitors, or even summarizing paywalled articles.
Investors are also taking note. Pitchbook estimates that $2.1 billion in VC investments have gone into generative AI startups since 2020.
Bill Nussey, Partner at Engage and Tech Square Ventures in Atlanta, said that while ChatGPT is mostly a “productivity enhancer” today, it is changing a lot about daily operations.
Marketing operations is a top use case, as Nussey said LLMs will augment “every aspect of the marketing industry—from copy writing to visual design to SEO.”
But beyond marketing, he is thinking about its implications for the legal industry, healthcare, and technical support roles.
Question: What Does ChatGPT Have To Say?
Now, we’d be remiss if we tried to write an article about ChatGPT without actually consulting ChatGPT, right?
We went right to the source to hear how ChatGPT thinks it can help startups. Here’s what it thinks:
Question: What does it all mean?
Tech reporters are riveted by ChatGPT right now, as they explore what its decision-making limits are and what legal protections and guardrails are necessary to keep the technology in check.
Alice Stewart, professor of business ethics at the University of Tennessee, said transparency is crucial for any businesses looking to implement generative AI tools.
“Let your customers know that they’re dealing with AI rather than a real human,” she said. “I think we might be coming to an inflection point where consumers would really appreciate more transparency about when they are being influenced by real people as opposed to being influenced by artificially generated information.”
The reality, Stewart added, is that it is still too early to tell exactly how ChatGPT and related chatbots will change the workforce.
“Many of the things that are happening now might not really be understood in terms of their impact and implications until we get maybe a decade or even two decades down the road….in business, we make these decisions and pursue profits…and [we] don’t often see the consequences that that are imposed on society at large until way after the fact,” she told Hypepotamus.