Consulting And ChatGPT: What Does The Future Hold
The growth of generative AI has been nothing short of a dream run. With AI’s evolution accelerating at a blistering pace, it’s transforming how we live and work and reshaping entire industries. We may be in the AI boom of our times, and at the forefront is OpenAI's ChatGPT, an AI language model capable of understanding and generating human-like text. While empowering industries with advanced capabilities, Generative AI, like ChatGPT also casts a shadow of disruption, especially on jobs that rely heavily on human intellect and interaction.
One such industry that these technologies are expected to impact is consulting!
The consulting industry, often seen as the guiding light for businesses navigating uncharted territories, has completely reformed over the years. With the rise of generative AI, could these technologies become indispensable tools for consultants or threaten their role altogether? Below we explore if technologies such as ChatGPT are here to replace consultants or empower them to be even more successful.
The Consulting Industry In A Nutshell
The consulting industry has been a vital part of the business world for decades, evolving alongside the businesses it serves. From its initial manifestation as a helping hand to businesses, it has grown to encompass a range of services that drive strategic decision-making and facilitate operational excellence.
But technology has brought a transformative wave to the consulting industry in the past decade. Integrating data analytics and digital tools has allowed for more effective, evidence-based strategies, making consulting services more dynamic and robust. In a world that thrives on data, harnessing this information has proven vital for consultants, enabling them to deliver more targeted, practical solutions.
Digital platforms are now providing a significant boost to the industry by removing the barriers to accessing top experts in any industry, enabling even small businesses to tap into high-level expertise. Wizly, for example, empowers businesses of all shapes and sizes to catalyze growth by providing access to a select and pre-vetted group of powerhouse experts across domains. Therefore, all businesses, ranging from early-stage startups to SMEs and growth-stage startups to late-stage companies, can join Wizly and access top experts worldwide to solve their business challenges in just a few clicks.
Is ChatGPT Worth The Hype?
ChatGPT and other generative AI technologies such as DALL-E, Midjourney, Bard, and AutoGPT are designed to augment human skills, save time, and create use cases. The power of ChatGPT lies in its underlying technology - the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture. This deep learning model leverages patterns in data to generate human-like text. The ability to comprehend and generate text makes it a versatile tool for many applications.
Across industries, the successful applications of ChatGPT and similar generative AI are impressive. In the creative world, it generates content, from writing scripts to creating poetry. In customer service, it's deployed as chatbots, offering 24/7 support and timely responses. In academia, it aids research by summarizing complex articles or generating hypotheses. There are a plethora of other use cases of ChatGPT that make it a lucrative proposition. While it conclusively is worth the hype around it, one should be informed about its limitations as well.
How Does ChatGPT Affect The Consulting Industry
In the consulting industry, there is no doubt that ChatGPT's potential advantages are considerable. Its capacity to process vast amounts of data swiftly could help identify trends, predict outcomes, and support decision-making. Its 24/7 availability could augment client communication, ensuring timely responses.
“Some will benefit, others will have to adapt but the biggest risk for me is the work of consultant becoming vanilla. No two prompts are the same but the datasets these AI tools work with are still fairly limited. That means that we end up with content that’s underwhelming or in the case of visuals, inconsistent, “ says Vanessa Bolosier, an independent marketing consultant and Wizly expert.
There are multiple challenges and limitations that companies need to be wary of before making a total shift to AI in their consulting strategy. It can't replace human intuition or judgment, especially when tackling complex or ambiguous situations. Its understanding is literal, not intuitive. Furthermore, generative AI models could perpetuate or amplify biases present in the training data, leading to unfair or flawed outcomes, that may be harmful for companies. Data privacy is another concern, especially in consulting, which often deals with sensitive business information.
Moreover, accurate insights are crucial for effective consulting. Despite its proficiency in data analysis, ChatGPT may struggle to deliver nuanced insights and require human assistance. While it can identify patterns and trends, it may miss subtleties or complexities that a human consultant could spot.
“Unless we start settling for lukewarm thinking and our standard drop to the « good enough » outputs generative AI provided, what will continue to matter is the uniqueness of thinking. And until we get to a point where AI is intuitive, I believe consultants who still take the time to think and follow their gut will be leveraged with AI but also stay relevant,” added Bolosier.
While ChatGPT may not be the ideal consultant that businesses are looking for, it can be an asset to consultants who want to augment their skills and approach. ChatGPT can be an asset to decision-making support, aiding consultants in their quest to deliver evidence-based strategies. It can process a substantial amount of industry data, offering valuable insights into market trends, competitive landscapes, and consumer behaviour. This data-driven approach can help shape robust, impactful strategies. However, with the current limitations of browsing and the cut-off date of September 2021, real-time expertise is presently not possible.
When asked about the impact of ChatGPT and other tools on consultants, Daniel Johnson, seasoned startup marketer, and Wizly expert said: “A lot of consultants at the moment are looking at ChatGPT and other AI tools to figure out how they can use them. While I was also sceptical at first, I have realised that the true value of a lot of consultants is using their experience to look at information and ensure better decisions through creativity and experience.
“While I found a few practical applications, it's more about exploring and refining ideas, helping us sort data into formats that make sense and accelerate such tasks. In the end, new technologies will continue to emerge, but we should focus on the value we provide and the problem we are specifically solving.”
Even though ChatGPT can provide primary consultation and support, it cannot replace the innovative thought, accurate insights, balanced outcomes, specialized knowledge, and meaningful communication that human consultants offer. Its application in consulting should be seen as a tool to augment, not replace, human expertise.
The Future Of Consulting With ChatGPT
While AI models like ChatGPT bring a slew of capabilities to the table, they also carry inherent limitations and challenges that underline the irreplaceability of human consultants. Data privacy, the inability to offer unbiased answers, the ethical use of AI, and limited creativity are only a few of the problems that these technologies bring.
Simply put, with the current AI infrastructure, there is no substitute for relevant industry experience. Consultants come with years, often decades, of experience in their field, providing them with deep insights and understanding that AI models like ChatGPT simply can't replicate.
“The true potential of AI in the consulting industry lies not in replacement but in collaboration. Rather than competing with ChatGPT and other AI models, consultants should embrace and utilize them to their full potential. However, with the rise of such generative AI tools, the vetting process of experienced experts must be even more stringent to ensure businesses are connecting with the right experts. This is where platforms such as Wizly can make a huge difference. At Wizly, we have 500+ vetted experts with decades of relevant experience across domains, ensuring businesses can tap into the right minds whenever needed,” said Samir Khadepaun, Founder and CEO of Wizly.
While ChatGPT and similar AI models hold remarkable potential, they cannot fully replace the deep-seated expertise, ethical considerations, and nuanced understanding that human consultants bring to the table. The key to the future of consulting may well lie in a balanced synergy between AI capabilities and human expertise.
Independent consultants say one of their largest challenges is to scale. For those who seek the ability to do more in a limited time, generative AI provides a massive lift. However, some say using AI tools can bypass potentially important human thought processes.
“By taking shortcuts with AI tools we also risk removing the essence of what often brings the results: the thinking process. When using AI tools to support and increase productivity, we avoid some of the necessary pondering steps that often make our thinking and contribution unique. It’s often in front of a blank page when struggling to put words on a concept or a thought that we unlock situations that AI can’t fully do just yet. AI can’t model the consumer voice because sometimes, it’s not a voice. It’s a facial expression, a movement we spot during user interviews that we then express or address,” added Bolosier.
The future of consulting lies not in AI or human consultants alone but in a dynamic interplay of both!