Editor's note: This article draws on insights from a CIO Dive Live event in September. You can watch the session about finding success in AI here on-demand.
As the impact of generative AI becomes clearer, enterprise leaders are thinking through where, and how, to enable the technology.
One way to find the ideal use cases internally is through organizational feedback to identify pain points where AI could assist.
That is one of the strategies driving Walmart's AI playbook. The retail giant last month released a multipurpose generative AI-powered tool called My Assistant to 50,000 employees. Now, employee's requests are helping the company find what other tasks AI can assist with.
"We don't know what they're going to come up with," said David Glick, Walmart's SVP, Enterprise Business Services, during a CIO Dive Live event Sept. 13. "But what we want to do is crowdsource from everybody in the company, rather than have a few product managers and technologists sit down. I think that's going to give us things we haven't even thought of."
Market pressures are funneling business leaders closer to generative AI, despite concerns over safe implementation. Two in 5 leaders plan to increase AI investments due to recent advancements in generative AI, according to McKinsey data.
Most business leaders are still in the exploratory phase of generative AI and haven't quite identified specific use cases, said Brian Jackson, research director at Info-Tech Research Group.
"They have some ideas about what the use case will be and where the value will come, but they have to prove it out before they roll it out into an operational environment," Jackson said.
Access and efficiency
AI has shown it can augment the capabilities of human workers, moving repetitive tasks off humans' desks and automating it in the background. The technology also shows promise for solving new problems or boosting customer experience.
For NewYork-Presbyterian, the push to bring the technology into its existing IT state focuses on three core areas, according to Peter Fleischut, group SVP, chief information and transformation officer:
- Improving the efficiency of healthcare
- Expanding access to healthcare
- The reduction of the burden of disease.
"We have about 100 various projects that we use, and have applied and are implementing, to improve the provider experience," said Fleischut. Using AI to reduce the burden of disease is the most exciting application of the technology, he said, as it allows the hospital to evade the linear nature of medical care, allowing doctors to identify potential diagnoses earlier in the care process.
"We think there's a lot of applications in cardiology, neurology, oncology and pediatrics," he said.
For Walmart, another use case is to identify the tasks that AI is well suited for, then build technology around it.
"We have a 300-page benefits guide, which we expect associates to go through and try to figure out what their benefits are," said Glick. If someone needs help in understanding the content of the guide, help desk agents can use AI to find the correct response, he said.
"Between the human and then the computer, they usually get the right answer," Glick said. "We've seen a lot of efficiency come out of that as well as, more importantly, better answers for our associates."