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Can ChatGPT help to support innovation in business? 

ChatGPT is the name on everyone’s lips at the moment, for its ability to auto-generate new ideas and solutions quickly and conveniently. We ask, can this unique platform be used to support business innovation or does it limit creativity through being over-prescriptive?
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Can ChatGPT help to support innovation in business? 

ChatGPT is the name on everyone’s lips at the moment, for its ability to auto-generate new ideas and solutions quickly and conveniently. We ask, can this unique platform be used to support business innovation or does it limit creativity through being over-prescriptive?
Person holding mobile with Chatbot appearing above.

ChatGPT is a remarkable tool. It has the ability to generate responses to all kinds of prompts, questions and queries which appear convincingly human-like.  

The platform learns by sifting and analysing huge amounts of existing accumulated data, but some are asking – does this help business innovation or does it limit creativity through being over-prescriptive? 

What are the positives of ChatGPT for business and innovation?

ChatGPT – and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in general – is notable for its ability to generate new ideas and solutions quickly. In response to any question, users can expect to receive a range of responses including suggested solutions to complex problems or new product ideas, all delivered at speed. 

This can be especially useful when there are short deadlines to generate new concepts or content in fast-moving industries like the tech and financial sectors. 

One of BCU’s STEAMhouse Business Incubator members has embraced AI for the opportunities it offers in terms of commercial research. 

Jason Jackson, co-founder of Get Found, comments that his company has been “using ChatGPT to help learn about the new industries we are working with at an exponentially fast rate compared to traditional research.” 

Though he does warn: “ChatGPT in isolation is only as good as the person using it.” 

 What are the negatives of ChatGPT for business and innovation? 

A key driver of innovation is human understanding and insight – by removing that from the creative process and replacing with AI, a vital element goes missing. The lack of human intervention or ‘common sense’ can generate unreliable ideas and flawed solutions. 

There is also a danger that users could become too dependent on AI, stifling creativity rather than engendering it.  

Worth considering also, that with more than 100 million individuals having used ChatGPT as at February 2023 – the most rapid rate of growth ever recorded for an online service – it can only reasonably be expected to generate a finite number of truly “original” ideas. 

Alem Al-Khamiri, Digital Director at Fuel Communications, and STEAMhouse Business Incubator member points out another downside of such material – the potential negative effect on a business’s all-important Google ranking. 

He observes: “Google has previously adopted a hard-line stance against AI-generated content and while that has softened over the past 12 months, my feeling is that any degree of acceptance has been reluctantly adopted.” 

“For that reason, I am not using ChatGPT or any similar tool to write content for my clients, nor would I recommend it.” 

Should you use ChatGPT to support innovation in your business? 

The general view on ChatGPT is that while it can be a useful addition to the toolkit, it is no substitute for human creativity, insight and commercial acumen. ChatGPT can suggest ideas, respond quickly and provide new insights but has some clear limitations in terms of its output. 

The issue is self-evidently striking a workable balance between the human element and the technology platform. 

Ade Bullock, founder of Workup seems to have found useful middle ground. He says: “We have experimented with ChatGPT for generating code and marketing copy and it has been pretty impressive. It could provide a big step forward in productivity, especially for routine activities.” 

“In the future however, the issue will be how you as a company can differentiate yourself when everyone has access to the same tools.”  

For this article we spoke to businesses from BCU’s Business Incubator, part of our £70m STEAMhouse facility which is home to dozens of companies with innovation at the forefront of their product and service offerings. Find out how you can become a member here. 

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