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Getting the most out of Generative AI

Are you getting the most out of Generative AI?

Unlocking the full potential of Generative AI (like ChatGPT) can revolutionize your workflow, your business and your strategy.💡

But did you know there are 6 key levels and 4 sub-levels to master?🚀

Picking the right one(s) can dramatically improve your results.✨

Level 1: Using the original ChatGPT Interface

You can, of course, still using the original ChatGPT chat interface as it was launched on 30 November 2022 to ask it simple questions.

Most people have tried this. And it turns out that ChatGPT is great when used in this way to, for example "write a poem about business strategy in the style of Dr Seuss" or "explain the causes of the first world war."

That in itself was revolutionary. For the first time we have a computer system where we could ask questions in  natural English, get answers in natural English and then ask follow up questions and have those answered within the context of the conversation thus far.

But it quickly emerged that, to get it to do anything more useful required more careful thought.

The original ChatGPT prompt interface allowed from prompts of up 4,000 characters. Simplistic prompts of c.100 characters were significantly underutilising this new technology.

And so the idea of "Prompt Engineering" arose.

Prompt Engineering is the science of providing Generative AI systems with more detailed and thoughtfully framed prompts to perform more complex and useful functions.

Boffins at places like MIT jumped on the bandwagon and produced longer and more complex prompts. They made them available for free or for a small fee. People started collecting prompts in documents from where they could cut and paste them into the ChatGPT interface and customise them as required.

It worked, but all the copying and pasting got a little tedious.

Level 2: Uploading Files

One of the first improvements was the ability to upload and query files.

The could be PDF or Excel files. (It turns out that ChatGPT is particularly good at analysing the data in Excel files.

Initially, this required plugins. But these capabilities were eventually built into the core product.

Level 2: Adding Custom Instructions

The addition of custom instructions reduced some of the tedious copying and pasting.

Custom instructions allowed you to provide some context which it would apply to all future conversations. 

For example, I could tell it "You are a business strategy consultant", "You use British English", "You communicate in a professional but friendly tone tone and don't use unnecessary adjectives."

This can improve your responses quite dramatically.

But you can only have one set of custom instructions, and that means you can only have one "persona" with ChatGPT. 

That's where GPTs come in (see level 4).

But first...

Level 4: Accessing the Internet

One of the biggest shortcoming of ChatGPT when it first came out was the fact that it was training on historic data only. This was less of a problem on the paid version of ChatGPT, but even that was always a few months behind the times.

That all changed with the integration of Bing. You can now ask ChatGPT to access a specific web page, or to search the Internet for specific information from which to provide responses. So, more or less, it it is on the Internet, and especially if Bing can find it, you can operate ChatGPT on it.

Level 5: Custom GPTs

Level 5a: Multiple Custom Instructions

Custom GPTs were a huge step forward. At their most basic, they allow you to create multiple sets of Custom Instructions. So you can create multiple personas trained on different instructions and switch between them with ease.

I've already built about 10 of these.

For example, I trained one on my tone of voice and preferred marketing channels to help me to develop and enhance marketing messages. I trained another on my professional track record and business offering to help me together consulting proposals. I trained a third to know what technology stack is built on so that it can help me with coding and technical trouble-shooting. And I trained a fourth on how search the Internet to support commercial due diligence on organisations I am looking at.

Level 5b: Uploading Knowledge

In addition to Custom Instructions, GPTs allow you to upload documents containing knowledge. The GPT can then use that knowledge in performing tasks for you.

For example, I uploaded a document summarising my consulting experience as well as client endorsements to my GPT for writing consulting proposals. The GPT can then extract the most relevant examples from that to use in its responses.

It would be easy to upload staff manuals, customer instruction manuals, contracts and agreements and all manner of other content and then to build GPTs around them to allow people to work with the information more intuitively.

Level 5c: Integrating APIs

The ability to upload static knowledge documents is powerful enough. But ChatGPT also allows you to integrate with systems via standard APIs. So you could build a GPT which now only knows the specs of all of the products in your product catalogue but can also tell you whether they're in stock at your local store.

Of course, APIs don't just provide information, they can also take in, store and act on it. So you could train a GPT on your product support manual, but also enable it to log a support ticket in your ticket tracking systems if it can't answer your support query. Or you could have it place an order for a product once it has confirmed stock levels and prices.

This means that GPTs can operate as 'intelligent agents', taking care of tasks for us.

Level 5d: The GPT Market Place

If writing prompts was complex, writing GPTs can be even more so. Just like we have experts engineering prompts that users can cut and paste into the chat interface (see level 1), expert GPT builders can also build and share GPTs with other users.

At the time of writing this, OpenAI have not yet released their official GPT marketplace, although they've promised it before the end of January 2024. I imagine this will operate much like the iOS and Android app stores, with GPTs available for free or at a charge.

In the mean time, it is still possible to share GPTs, as long as you know where to find them (or someone shares a link with you).

Level 6: Using ChatGPT's APIs

ChatGPT's API provide the final level of flexibility and control. You can embed Generative API into your existing applications or Low-Code/No-Code solutions.

If expect that this is where the most powerful applications of Generative AI will emerge. At the same time, the technology will disappear from view, working tireless and yet unseen in the background like electricity and Wi-Fi already do. already uses the ChatGPT API to perform a number of tasks related to developing and executing business strategy. Of course, the users don't see the prompts or the responses passed between and ChatGPT. They only experience the results without having to worry about the behind the scenes complexities. (Although we do tell them when we're using ChatGPT for transparency's sake!)

More and more applications are embedding Generative AI in similar ways. In fact you may already be using several without knowing it!

Chat GPT versions

Chat GPT is available in a number of versions: the free version, the paid retail version, the enterprise version and the APIs. Various of the features mentioned above are only available on some of these versions. In addition, each version comes with different levels of privacy and security, as well as underlying LLM models with different strengths, weaknesses and currency levels.

A full discussion of these versions and their implications is beyond the scope of this post, but important to understand as you plan your adoption strategy.

In conclusion

If you're an individual, you should be working your way up to level 4b. If you're an organization, you should be working your way up to level 6. You should be providing your staff and customers with solutions which harness Generative AI enhance their experience.

If you're still stuck on level 1, you're missing out on most of what the Generative AI revolution has to offer.❌

I spend most of my time at level 5, getting fantastic results. And, of course, is investing heavily at level 6 and getting even better results!

What level(s) are you working at? How is it going for you?

Are you using Generative AI like ChatGPT effectively in your business?

Contact me for help.

See also:

6 Levels as a pyramid

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