AI technology investments and progress have been significant during the last five years. According to CBInsights, during the previous five years (i.e., 2018-2022), USD 206.3 billion were invested in AI startups globally, and US-based startups dominated AI funding and deals with volumes greater than the rest of the world.
Valuable AI companies and significant achievements have emerged in several industries, including Automotive, Cybersecurity, Content Creation, Defense, Data Analytics, Fintech, Healthcare, Pharma, and Retail.
The rise of AI technologies also stimulated important debates among business and thought leaders reflecting on their implications for business, politics, societies, and the future of humans.
However, only recently, with the OpenAI release of the ChatGPT application, awareness and interest in AI technologies have accelerated significantly and touched a vast audience.
To date, ChatGPT, a generative AI application, is the digital product with the fastest adoption rate ever, with 1 million users just five days after launch and 100 million active users two months after the launch in November 2022.
Articles about ChatGPT and generative AI technologies are published nearly daily in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. YouTube creators are deploying tons of content daily, and the largest technology companies (i.e., Baidu, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, etc.) have entered the race for AI technology dominance with a rapid series of bold announcements and product releases.
Prominent thought leaders seem to all agree that the impact of AI technologies on business and society will be as significant as microprocessors, personal computers, the Internet, and mobile phones, but much faster.
For many business leaders, especially those at middle-market companies still trying to master the basics of digital transformation, the speed of change can feel exciting and overwhelming at the same time.
The best way to prepare for the coming technological and business change rapid acceleration is to jump right in and take a few personal and business steps starting in 2023. This two-part article shares our thoughts, suggestions, and a few step-by-step guides.
Developing a personal experience is often the best way to improve understanding of a new product or technology. Following are a few recommended actions you should take in 2023 as an individual to start experimenting and develop a basic knowledge of generative AI technologies and their capabilities:
For each action, we are going to provide a step-by-step guide. Get your devices ready, and let's do it! If you have already completed one action, you can skip to the next. Completing the first four actions should take you no more than one hour.
OpenAI is an artificial intelligence (AI) research organization focused on developing advanced AI technologies and promoting their safe, ethical, and beneficial use for the betterment of humanity. Founded in December 2015 by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, and Wojciech Zaremba, among others, OpenAI has attracted top AI researchers and engineers from around the world.
The OpenAI API is the company's main released product, applicable to virtually any task that involves understanding or generating natural language, code, or images. The OpenAI API offers a spectrum of models with different levels of power suitable for various tasks and the ability to fine-tune your own custom models. These models can be used for everything from content generation to semantic search and classification.
It took Instagram and Spotify around 2.5 months and 5 months, respectively, to reach 1M users. OpenAI's new generative AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT (a web application running on top of the OpenAI API), on the other hand, reached 1M users in just 5 days after launching at the end of November 2022. In January 2023, it set another record, reaching 100M monthly active users after 2 months. For comparison, it took TikTok 9 months to hit the same threshold.
The first step to accessing ChatGPT is to sign up for an OpenAI API account. To that, open a new Internet browser tab on one of your devices (i.e., a computer, tablet, or phone), and follow our step-by-step guide.
To start, open a free OpenAI account at https://platform.openai.com/signup.
You can sign up by entering an email address and password or using your Google or Microsoft email credentials. Select your preferred method and follow the instructions until you land on the Overview page.
The OpenAI API consumes tokens when used. The free account comes with an initial credit of $18. A few hours of usage will only result in a charge of a few cents. However, adding a credit card as a payment method is better to ensure uninterrupted use.
To add a credit card to your account, follow these steps:
With your account setup completed, the next step is to start exploring and learning. First, select the Playground option in the top navigation bar. Here, you can enter a prompt (i.e., question), click the Submit green button at the bottom of the page and get an answer from the OpenAI API. As a beginner, use the default API settings displayed on the page's right side. Test a few questions and get a first feel for the results.
Next, we recommend you visit the Examples page, which includes an extensive list of sample prompts to get a better understanding of the OpenAI API capabilities and the art and science of prompt engineering (i.e., how to structure the questions submitted to the API to get the best results in different use cases). Scroll through the examples, select the ones that interest you one at a time, read the prompt, click the green button Open in Playground, and Submit the prompt to view the resulting answer.
At a later time, when you're ready to start learning basic concepts regarding the OpenAI API, visit the Documentation page and start reading.
ChatGPT is a web application developed by OpenAI to provide an easy-to-use user interface to the OpenAI API. ChatGPT Plus is a $20/month subscription service, and the only option to use the latest and most advanced GPT-4 model (currently, the most advanced model available through the API and the free ChatGPT service is the gpt-3.5-turbo model).
This section will guide you through logging in to ChatGPT, subscribing to the ChatGPT Plus service, and discovering a few leading websites about prompt examples and prompt engineering.
To log in to your ChatGPT account, visit the Playground page in your OpenAI API account and click the Try it now link at the bottom. Follow all the login instructions. If you had logged out from your OpenAI account, you can visit the log in page by navigating to https://platform.openai.com. When done, you will see the page below.
To subscribe to ChatGPT Plus, click the Upgrade to Plus link in the navigation menu. Next, click the Upgrade plan button in the pop-up window, enter your credit card information, confirm, and you're done!
After completing the upgrade, you should see the following page when logging in to your ChatGPT account. To use the latest GPT-4 model, select the corresponding option from the Model drop-down menu at the top of the page.
Now you're ready to start learning and experimenting. You can ask a series of questions, try out different prompt structures, and click on the New chat link when you want to create a new series of questions. Explore the questions (i.e., prompts) that interest you the most. Also, try out the following prompts (copy and paste them one by one) to get a feel of possible results:
To discover many more prompt examples and learn more about prompt engineering, many valuable free online sources are already available. As a start, here is our recommended list of some of the best sources:
ChatGPT is an application that users can access using a web browser but does not have a native mobile app. However, if you own an iPhone or iPad, you can use the Apple Shortcuts app to create the equivalent of a ChatGPT mobile app on your devices. Following is a step-by-step guide to doing that.
To start, on your iPhone or iPad, visit this page and click on the Get Shortcut button at the bottom of the page. This will install the Make app from URL shortcut on your device.
On your mobile device, open a new tab in your browser and search for 'ChatGPT logo'. Scroll through the results, and when you find a logo you like, tap and hold on to the logo and select the option Save to Photos to save a copy of the logo image in your Photos app.
Next, open the Shortcuts app on your Apple mobile device, look for the Make app from URL shortcut, and tap on it. When prompted for a Name, enter ChatGPT and tap the Done button. When prompted for an URL, enter https://chat.openai.com and tap the Done button. Finally, when the Photos app opens, tap on the ChatGPT logo you selected in the previous step. You are done!
Swipe up to close the Shortcuts app, scroll your device screens to locate the new ChatGPT app, tap on the icon, log in, and start using ChatGPT Plus on your mobile device. Repeat this process on all mobile devices where you wish to use ChatGPT Plus.
When using the OpenAI API Playground, you can use your voice to submit a prompt, leveraging the state-of-the-art open-source large-v2 Whisper model. To do that, when logged in and on the Playground page, look for a green mic icon in the top right corner. Click on the icon and record a prompt, the API will translate the speech to text and enter it in the Playground, and then you can click on the Submit button to generate a reply.
If you own an Apple device (i.e., Mac, iPhone, iPad, and HomePod), you can have a much better user experience by integrating the OpenAI API with Apple Siri using two Shortcuts created by Augeo Partners. When done with the installation process, using just your voice and without opening any web or mobile app, you can generate a reply or an image using a voice prompt. That will significantly improve your Apple Siri experience and you'll start experiencing the future of human-to-computer interfaces. If interested, let's get started!
To start, visit this page using any Apple device (i.e., Mac, iPhone, or iPad) and click or tap on the Get Shortcut button to install the Siri Pro shortcut on your device.
Next, you must generate an OpenAI API key to set up the Siri Pro shortcut. Log in to your OpenAI account here, click on your account name in the top right corner, and select the View API keys option.
Click or tap the Create new secret key button on the API keys page.
When the pop-up window appears, click or tap on the green button to copy your API key to your clipboard.
Open your Shortcuts application on your Apple device of choice. Locate the Siri Pro shortcut, right-click or tap, and select the edit option. Next, select all the text in the first Text box, as shown in the image below, and paste the content of your clipboard to replace the existing text with the OpenAI API key you generated and copied in the previous step. If, for whatever reason, your OpenAI API key is not in your clipboard anymore, you need to repeat the previous step to generate and copy a new OpenAI API key.
If you want to look at the remainder of the shortcut, scroll down and look at the second Text box to see how we structured the prompt. By default, we instruct the OpenAI API to provide a short answer. However, we also instruct the API that when the long answer prompt is appended to the question, the API should provide a more comprehensive reply.
Finally, close the shortcut, right-click or tap on it, select the Rename option, and shorten the name to Pro. Now you can activate the shortcut with the following voice prompt: Hey Siri Pro (to confirm Siri is activated on your device, open the Settings app on your device and confirm that the Listen for "Hey Siri" toggle is on).
Now you are ready to use your new shortcut! For an initial test, try the following two voice prompts:
If the API is overloaded and does not reply, repeat the prompt. Continue with your preferred questions to play around. Not only you connected Apple Siri with your OpenAI account, but you also learned how you can use the Apple Shortcuts app as a no-code solution to build a front-end interface for any API!
Next, we'll follow a similar process to install a second shortcut on your devices, Siri Draw Image, that will allow you to use a voice prompt to generate an image and store it in your Photos app.
To start, visit this page using any Apple device (i.e., Mac, iPhone, or iPad) and click or tap on the Get Shortcut button to install the Siri Draw Image shortcut on your device.
Open your Shortcuts application on your Apple device of choice. Locate the Siri Draw Image shortcut, right-click or tap, and select the edit option. Next, select all the text in the first Text box, as shown in the image below, and paste the content of your clipboard to replace the existing text with the OpenAI API key you generated and copied in Step 2. If, for whatever reason, your OpenAI API key is not in your clipboard anymore, you need to repeat the Step 2 to generate and copy a new OpenAI API key.
Finally, close the shortcut, right-click or tap on it, select the Rename option, and shorten the name to Draw Image. Now you can activate the shortcut with the following voice prompt: Hey Siri Draw Image (to confirm Siri is activated on your device, open the Settings app on your device and confirm that the Listen for "Hey Siri" toggle is on).
Now you are ready to use your new shortcut! For an initial test, try the following two voice prompts:
If the API is overloaded and does not reply, repeat the prompt. Continue with your preferred voice prompts to play around and test your creativity!
You have now integrated Apple Siri with two OpenAI API endpoints. One to generate text answers and the other to generate images. If you can dedicate one hour per week to experimenting, reading documentation, browsing sample prompts, and learning prompt engineering, you will soon develop a good understanding of the emerging generative AI technology field.
When learning new topics and skills, I like to combine personal experiences with reading books. As we are approaching the time for summer reading, here are three suggestions that will help you expand your thinking on AI and generative AI technologies and develop a deeper multi-disciplinary perspective:
Congratulations! You have taken the first personal steps to enter the new age of AI. Expect innovation and industry progress to accelerate rapidly in the next twelve to twenty-four months.
Also, stay tuned for this article's part two in a couple of weeks that will discuss what we think are a few business steps you should take in 2023.
Augeo Partners is a boutique firm of senior leaders with a passion and significant track record in driving organic revenue growth and operational productivity through strategy, process design, digital technologies, and change management. We partner with management teams and private equity investors to accelerate value creation through a set of proven strategies and repeatable playbooks. The time to leverage business best practices and digital technologies to accelerate value creation is now, and Augeo Partners can help.