“How Can I Use These New AI Tools?” is a question i believe everyone should ask, as artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the world. I recently had the opportunity to present some examples and discuss the potential impact of generative AI at the Rotary Club of New Orleans. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing some highlights from the presentation and providing useful resources for those looking to explore and benefit from the power of AI. I’m starting with some examples. I found from the reception to my presentation that most people have no idea what these tools enable us to do.
What is Generative AI?
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) describes algorithms (such as ChatGPT) that can be used to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos. Recent new breakthroughs in the field have the potential to drastically change the way we approach content creation.https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-generative-ai
How Can I Use These New AI Tools To Create Images?
I don’t consider image creation the most important aspect of generative AI, but it is a great place to start because of the obvious visual nature. I first asked myself “How can I use these new AI tools” in the fall of 2022. My first answer was to create content for marketing my tea company, Free Your Tea, during the holiday season. I first generated images like the two below to tie tea to Santa Claus and Christmas. I wrote prompts like “painting of Santa Claus drinking tea” and “studio photo of a cup of black tea in a Christmas setting”.
Other examples include paintings that capture the feeling of enjoying a perfect cup of tea, and images that depict tea taking you on a journey. These were all in the style of paintings, as I found that easier than photo-realistic styles. The first two are from some variation of the prompt “a man is lost in positive thoughts and good memories as he enjoys the most amazing tea he has ever experienced from a beautiful tea cup,”
With the continuous improvements in AI tools, I have since learned how to generate realistic photos of people enjoying a cup of tea, and what I consider absolutely stunning images of refreshing iced tea. Again, while I’m fascinated by what generative AI can do with images, my main point here is really to use it as an introduction to the implications of what it can do with text. I happen to have a business where images of people enjoying tea, and images that make you want a refreshing glass of iced tea, are useful. A magic assistant that helps us learn, think, and communicate is useful to everyone.
As of late March 2023, anyone can now create images using AI tools like Microsoft Bing’s Image Creator, which can be accessed at https://www.bing.com/create. Generative AI is not just something that a small subset of techie people can use, it is for anyone who can write a few words in a perfectly normal language that doesn’t even have to be English.
How Can I Use These New AI Tools To Create Text?
While creating images is important, writing is a more integral part of our daily lives, both at work and at home. You are more likely asking yourself “how can I use these new AI tools to generate text”, than images. I have found it very valuable to discuss topics with ChatGPT, and work with Bing AI as a kind of co-worker, but to begin with my focus here is on using generative AI to create text in similar ways that it can create images. One small example is that I was asked to share some information that was to be used to introduce me when I made the presentation that ended up becoming this article. I submitted the following prompt to ChatGPT and received a draft introduction that only needed minor edits.
As I was addressing a Rotary club I asked ChatGPT to lookup the Rotary four way test, and suggest two additional questions. There is nothing groundbreaking about the answer, but it demonstrates an understanding and some utility. An obviously useful case for a small business is generating more web pages, blog posts, and social media content based on existing content, possibly including performance data.
Comparing AI Tools
When comparing different AI tools, like ChatGPT and Bing AI, it’s important to consider their capabilities and limitations. For instance, ChatGPT has a data cutoff of November 2021, while Bing AI has access to up-to-date information through its search engine index. ChatGPT saves your chats for you, so you can go back to them. Bing AI does not, but lets you set if you want it to be more creative or more accurate. These things are of course changing rapidly. ChatGPT has just announced plugins. Google Bard is currently embarrassingly bad compared to the competition, but it is unlikely that a company like Google won’t at some point pull something out of their hat that actually outperforms others. To stay on top of this, organizations should have someone dedicated to AI, or work with someone external.
Practical Applications of AI Tools
It is hard to overstate the potential use for generative AI tools. Already you can discuss any topic you want to learn more about, ask them to help you with any task you are working on, or even ask them to help you reach any goal you share with it. You can have them help you with very creative things like coming up with new marketing ideas, or even products, or very precise things like writing the complicated spreadsheet formula you need, or even the code for an entire website or app. Examples from early adopters of ChatGPT 4 and Bing AI are many. I’ve embedded some below.
The speed of AI development is dizzying. ChatGPT was released November 30, 2022. Bing AI was released February 7, 2023. In just one week starting March 14 we saw the release of ChatGPT 4 and Google Bard, and announcements of Google Workspace AI and Microsoft AI Copilot for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams etc.
It is important to note that AI is not just about exchanging chat messages with magical assistants. That just happened to be the first thing most people got to see. AI integrates with other software, and not just in ways that you have to be a software developer to use. I love the example below of simply connecting ChatGPT with Google Sheets, and it only took me a few minutes to set it up myself. Very soon this won’t be necessary as both Google and Microsoft will include such functions in their spreadsheets.
10 Practical Uses of Generative AI
How can I use these new AI tools is something I’ve asked myself a lot lately. These are just some of the many ways I’ve personally used generative AI in the last week:
- Research and write cold emails and email replies.
- Rewrite documents in different formats.
- Write blog posts by providing a topic and optimization goals.
- Build a new website optimized for specific search queries (e.g., iced tea).
- Dictate spreadsheet formulas by describing their desired functions.
- Conduct market research for my own businesses and others.
- Create images and copy for marketing purposes.
- Generate short internal names for products based on existing names.
- Learn by having conversations with AI about topics of interest.
- Develop my AI consulting services to help clients utilize generative AI.
What Does It All Mean?
The impact of AI on the world is comparable to the introduction of computers, the internet, and cell phones. No new technology has been adopted by so many people in such a short time. ChatGPT reached 100 million users in just two months, while it took 15-20 years for computers, phones, and the internet to achieve similar adoption rates.
Every business and organization should consider what these AI tools can do for them now, what they might enable in the near future, and the implications of competitors gaining a head start in this domain.
So How Can I Use These New AI Tools?
The world of generative AI is evolving rapidly, offering incredible opportunities for individuals and businesses to harness its power for various purposes. With new AI tools emerging and existing ones becoming more accessible, now is the perfect time to explore and experiment with generative AI. By understanding how these AI tools can be used effectively, you can stay ahead of the curve and unlock their full potential in your personal and professional life. Are you asking yourself “how can I use these new AI tools?” Let me know if you want my help getting started! Also read about the AI Consulting Services I offer through Connect + Trade.
Helpful AI Links
- Chat OpenAI – Chat GPT
- Bing AI – Microsoft’s AI
- Image Creator from Microsoft Bing
- Playground AI – AI Image creator that uses Stable Diffusion and Dall-E