As the search AI chatbot shindigs — like Microsoft’s Bing bot debut and Google’s Bard launch — wind down for now, who knew the hottest, trendiest party in generative AI would be … business productivity apps?
After years of being relegated to nerdy, wallflower AI status while self-driving cars, robot dogs and the future of the AI-powered metaverse got the spotlight, generative AI’s email-writing, blog-producing, copy-powering abilities are suddenly popular. And top companies from startups to Big Tech are developing tools to gain admittance to the generative AI bash.
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GrammarlyGo makes an entrance
Arriving fashionably late to this generative AI soiree is San Francisco-based Grammarly. The digital writing assistant with a browser extension is far from a newbie to the AI space, but today the company announced its GPT-powered, chatbot-style GrammarlyGo. The new offering will start rolling out to its 30 million daily customers in beta in early April, as well as 50,000 teams in Grammarly Business.
Touting what it calls “enterprise-grade” security safeguards, GrammarlyGo offers a quick prompt to help users compose text, reply to emails, set a preferred writing tone, ideate and get suggestions.
“It’s a fundamentally new way for people to interact with Grammarly,” Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, global head of product at Grammarly, told VentureBeat during a demo this week. “We’re super excited.”
A packed dance floor of generative AI productivity
But, GrammarlyGo has basically walked onto a packed generative AI dance floor where a hyped-up DJ has the crowd thumping. And in many cases, the party people are all wearing the same outfit, complete with ChatGPT-like bots, adorable names and only the latest and friendliest UX.
For example, San Francisco startup Writer appears tiny but mighty: Focused squarely on the enterprise space, it boasts customers including UnitedHealthcare, Accenture, Intuit and Spotify. Calling itself a “full-stack generative AI platform built for business,” CEO May Habib points out that Writer is not built on LLMs (large language models) such as OpenAI’s GPT-3 or ChatGPT, but instead last month launched three proprietary LLMs designed for “enterprise-ready generative AI.”
Writer offers some of the same generative AI features as GrammarlyGo and other tools, as well as the ability to enforce editorial rules and keep messages on-brand. In addition, Habib says Writer recently beat Grammarly, as well as competitors like OpenAI and Jasper, “fair and square” by signing Uber as a client.
“I told the team, ‘This is going to be the first of many, because where Uber’s CIO goes, everybody goes,’” she told VentureBeat.
Speaking of Jasper … and HubSpot … and Salesforce … and …
Speaking of Jasper, the Austin, Texas-based generative AI darling that hosted its own generative AI party — ok, conference — last month isn’t sleeping on its enterprise productivity laurels. It released Jasper for Business a few weeks back, which could lead to a serious dance (oops, app) battle.
And this week, two CRM leaders got the party started on the sales and marketing side: On Monday, HubSpot debuted ChatSpot, which combines HubSpot’s own tech with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, DALL-E 2 and Google Docs applications like Google Sheets and Google Slides. Not to be outdone, on Tuesday Salesforce launched Einstein GPT to help users automatically generate content, respond to emails, create marketing messages and develop knowledge base articles to help improve customer experience.
Plenty of other generative AI players are also getting their groove on in the business productivity space. There’s AI21 Labs’ popular Wordtune — its new Spices version launched in January offers a choice of 12 different cues that generate a range of textual options to add to and enhance sentences.
And the party isn’t over yet! Canva offered new generative AI-powered tools in December. Hyperwrite, which is powered by OpenAI-rival Cohere AI, is looking to take over your email. Startup Typeface emerged from stealth yesterday.
Big tech’s productivity AI tap dance
Microsoft threw its own generative AI CRM soiree this week when it announced Copilot, “currently in the testing phase” for the company’s Dynamics 365 suite of enterprise products. Besides building chatbots for customer service, it can help marketers generate fresh email content for campaigns.
Plus, on March 16, CEO Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of modern work and business applications, will host a virtual event, the Future of Work with AI, for customers to “share how AI will power a whole new way of working for every person and organization.” Hmm…is Bing’s chatbot coming to Word? Outlook? PowerPoint? Is an old-school Clippy going to be doing the Humpty Dance?
Google, of course, fell asleep during the early hours of the generative AI festivities. But Bloomberg reported yesterday that a new internal directive requires “generative artificial intelligence” to be incorporated into all of its biggest products within months. Google Docs, anyone? Party on!
Finally, there’s OpenAI and ChatGPT over there in the corner — too cool for this party, waving away admirers with a grin, saying, “Just check out the API — there’s probably a hackathon next weekend.”
There’s room for everyone at this generative AI party
According to Grammarly’s Roy-Chowdhury, there is room for everyone at this generative AI productivity party.
“I welcome interest in the space, I think that’s great,” he said. “I think it’s healthy, it’s great for consumers, keeps us on our toes.”
That said, he pointed out areas where he says Grammarly stands out, such as the browser extension that allows Grammarly to be accessed on any application, as well as its history of responsible deployment of AI systems.
Finally, there’s also the fact that many users are just comfortable with Grammarly — for those who prefer to Netflix and chill rather than party, so to speak.
In any case, there’s no doubt that the generative AI’s business productivity party will be hopping for a while. However, experts say the cool kids will eventually move onto the real generative AI killer use case for the enterprise — knowledge management.
So if you’re tired of this season’s hottest AI party, don’t worry: Just sit out this song and get ready for what comes next.
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