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Generative AI Lab: Clearing obstacles and building bridges to a brighter future

Robert Engels
Sep 14, 2023

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a step change.

While hyped technologies often grab our attention before fading into the background, the potential impact of generative AI continues to increase. What’s more, the revolution is just beginning. Our newly launched Generative AI Lab is here to make sense of the opportunities and challenges that this transformation brings.

Understanding the impact of the revolution

Capgemini defines generative AI as a technology with the capability to learn and reapply the properties and patterns of data for a wide range of applications, from creating text, images, and videos in different styles to generating tailored content. It enables machines to perform creative tasks previously thought exclusive to humans.

Capgemini Research Institute reports nearly all (96%) executives say generative AI is a hot topic of discussion in their boardrooms. Across organizations in every sector, digital and business leaders are talking about how generative AI might be applied to a series of use cases from customer engagement to sales processes and onto operational activities.

It’s important to recognize that generative AI is more than just chatter. Gartner® published that in a recent Gartner, Inc. poll of more than 2,500 executive leaders, 45% reported that the publicity of ChatGPT has prompted them to increase artificial intelligence (AI) investments. Seventy percent of executives said that their organization is in investigation and exploration mode with generative AI, while 19% are in pilot or production mode.[1]

The rate of investigation is uppermost at high-tech companies. Where OpenAI led with its work on ChatGPT, other vendors are now following quickly in their footsteps. Capgemini Research Institute reports 86% of organizations are either working on generative AI pilots or have already enabled functionality.

Attend any technology conference today and you’ll hear a barrage of AI-related product launches. Fearful of falling behind their competitors, technology vendors are fighting to grab a piece of the generative AI action. The technology market is being flooded with standalone tools and AI-enabled additions to existing systems and services.

Panning for nuggets amongst this AI gold rush is an intractable challenge. At work, curious staff are beginning to use generative AI in their everyday activities and executives are looking at ways to harness that momentum.

While some of these tools could lead to huge boosts in productivity, it’s crucial to understand how these tools exploit data and how they might operate as part of an integrated technology stack. Today, we believe this deeper awareness is lacking. The result is a series of major hurdles that are associated with publicly available generative AI models:

  • Too disjointed – They don’t address the needs for risk, privacy, and business controls.
  • Too universal – They don’t understand business knowledge and cultural context.
  • Too uncontrollable – They don’t have mechanisms to control the quality of outputs.
  • Too risky – They don’t prevent third parties from reading and learning data.
  • Too immature – They don’t have a built-in and enterprise-scale technology stack.

Developing an awareness of what’s next and what’s possible

At Capgemini, we recognize the potential benefits of generative AI are undeniable, yet so are the potential risks that come from unregulated deployment. Business leaders can’t afford to let the technology be implemented without due cause and consideration. In this fast-moving area of innovation, it’s vital to establish what’s coming next and what might be possible.

Capgemini’s dedicated Generative AI Lab is working to develop this important insight. Our group-wide effort aims to understand developments and advances in AI. With the rapid rise of generative AI, we expect the pace of change to quicken further. We anticipate both impactful breakthroughs in capabilities and unforeseen challenges and applications.

The Lab orchestrates our efforts to make sense of this revolution. We develop thought leadership, research, and internal readiness in this emerging area, allowing the wider group to develop a strong sense of how generative AI will affect all businesses today, tomorrow, and long into the future. The Lab’s work concentrates on two key horizons:

  1. Internally, we provide a lighthouse effect on what’s coming next in generative AI. We develop an awareness of the key capabilities that are required, providing an early warning to our group of any major changes that are emerging.
  2. Externally, we present industry-leading thought leadership on the opportunities and challenges from advances in generative AI. We undertake research and development alongside partners and academics, establishing practical responses.

Our Lab is staffed by a dedicated team of Capgemini AI experts from around the world. While the rush to implement generative AI is a recent trend, the technology itself has been a long time in gestation. During this period, Capgemini has worked with clients on AI across multiple sectors, including life sciences, consumer products and retail, and financial services.

We’ve helped a life science company re-sequence DNA and we’ve supported banks as they’ve used generative AI to translate old software into modern languages. We’ve worked on documentation for highly complex engineering products, and we’ve partnered with an insurance firm as its uses natural language to provide accurate answers to non-technical staff.

The experts in our Generative AI Lab will draw on these experiences and develop internal knowledge and external responses as professionals continue to explore emerging technology.

Conclusion: Rewards without the risks

The rapid rise of generative AI brings excitement and concern in equal measure. However, three-quarters (74%) of executives believe the benefits of generative AI outweigh the risks, according to the Capgemini Research Institute. Our Generative AI Lab has been created to identify pathways to a brighter, AI-enabled future. The Lab will work to clear the obstacles and build the bridges that will help us all reach this destination successfully.

[1] Gartner Press Release, Gartner Poll Finds 45% of Executives Say ChatGPT Has Prompted an Increase in AI Investment, May 3, 2023. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Robert Engels

CTO Insights & Data North-Central Europe
Robert is an innovation lead and a thought leader in several sectors and regions, with a basis in his role of Chief Technology Officer for Northern and Central Europe in our Insights & Data Global Business Line. Based in Norway, he is a known lecturer, public speaker, and panel moderator. Robert holds a PhD in artificial intelligence from the Technical University in Karlsruhe, Germany.