Impact 3: Augmented Research and Advisory
In October 2023, Forrester made a landmark announcement when they unveiled Izola, a new Gen AI tool “that allows users to query Forrester’s research and get a clear, synthesized answer via a simple chat interface.” Its beta rollout made Izola available to select Forrester clients, but the tool will eventually be released to all Forrester clients. Forrester isn’t the only research and advisory firm to leverage this technology to enhance their customer experience—HFS, Futurum, and others have made similar announcements throughout the year—and we expect to hear more about these exciting developments in the months ahead. Tools like these have thrust us into what Carrie Johnson, Forrester’s Chief Product Officer, calls “a new golden age of research.”
Analysts at firms large and small have weighed in on Generative AI throughout the year, with landscape reports from IDC, Forrester, Gartner, Omdia, S&P, Everest, and many others. Analysts universally agree on the promise of Gen AI to help analysts and AR pros alike become more agile and efficient by eliminating mundane tasks and sifting through large volumes of content. At the same time, AR pros are placing even more emphasis on the uniquely human aspects of the work we do as we offload repetitive tasks to new intelligent robot companions.
Impact 4: Ethical Challenges
The rapid adoption of Generative AI also brings forth a flurry of ethical considerations. Issues related to data privacy, the accuracy of AI-generated information, and the potential for bias in AI algorithms are critical concerns. The research and advisory industry is grappling with these challenges, striving to establish ethical guidelines and best practices for AI usage. Meanwhile, regulation from the US, UK, EU, China, and other world governments is largely hypothetical at this point.
For AR pros, there’s a growing need to maintain a balance between AI-driven insights and human judgment. Ensuring that AI complements rather than replaces the critical thinking skills of AR professionals is vital for the integrity and credibility of the industry. IDC has published a large volume of content throughout the year about Responsible AI to help organizations plan their AI strategy, highlighting the need for strong governance, architecture, training, and data protection. Forrester has highlighted the need for explainability and transparency to engender stakeholder trust. These are just a couple of examples of the ways analysts are thinking about the ethical challenges related to AI today.
Impact 5: Economic Boons
The economic impact of Generative AI on the IT industry has been significant. It is transforming the job market, creating new roles and demanding new skills. Employees and job candidates in many professions are now required to have a deeper understanding of AI and its applications, leading to a surge in demand for AI-related expertise. McKinsey estimates that Generative AI could add up to $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy across a wide range of use cases and sectors, increasing the overall impact of artificial intelligence by up to 40%.
Small businesses and startups have particularly benefited from the democratization of AI technologies. Tools that were once accessible only to large corporations are now available to the general public, enabling developers with slim budgets to compete against industry titans. Open source communities like Hugging Face enable users to share resources, models, and research, and to reduce model training time, resource consumption, and the environmental impact of AI development. The open source movement around Gen AI has led to a more dynamic and innovative business environment within the IT sector and will likely accelerate developments of these technologies in years to come.
The future of Generative AI looks promising, with continuous advancements in AI technology poised to further enhance the workforce in every industry, including Analyst Relations. We can anticipate more sophisticated AI tools that offer deeper insights, more accurate predictions, and even more personalized stakeholder interactions in the months and years ahead. In the near future, research and advisory clients can expect Gen AI to provide new ways for them to interact with research, offering a much more nuanced and immersive experience.
In the year since the release of ChatGPT, Generative AI has had a profound impact on our industry. It has revolutionized the way we communicate and create content, enhanced our ability to synthesize and query data, and brought to light new ethical challenges to consider as we progress toward an increasingly AI-augmented future. As we look forward to 2024, there’s no doubt that Gen AI will continue to be a pivotal force in shaping how we work and live. The most important question for you, the AR pro, is how will you learn to work with AI?