AI Washing and Real Capabilities | Separating the Tools from the Toys

Blog Posts | Posted On May 08, 2024 | By:

It is amazing, yet not surprising at all, that every single product or solution in the technology market today is touting AI. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence from November 2023 has Generative AI right at top of “Peak of Inflated Expectations” – 100% accurate.

Gartner 2023 Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence

The speed at which this technology is being presented to the public and the Enterprise is breathtaking. Over the past 18 months several new resources, tools, and toys are now part of my daily routine:

  • Midjourney was released in July of 2022. I have a Midjourney Channel on Discord and use it on a somewhat regular basis.
  • Chat GPT was launched in November of 2022. I remember a team meeting in February of 2023 where my entire team was sitting around with browsers connected to Open AI and seeing how it might be used for first drafts of marketing two pagers, etc.  I also remember coming home from that meeting and showing my wife (a 7th grade English teacher) how difficult her job is going to get in the coming years when you can have ChatGPT write you a pretty good essay on “The Outsiders” in about 10 seconds.
  • There has been a lot of chatter about music being derived from AI as well; I spent a weekend playing around with Udio and a few other platforms making songs to annoy my 15-year-old daughter about an upcoming soccer game. I don’t think any major pop star is threatened by my musical prompt prowess just yet!

What genuinely got my attention was when Microsoft released Copilot a few months back.  At first it seemed like a Microsoft flavor of ChatGPT; however, when you asked it questions about data that was stored in Microsoft Teams and asked it describe services and offerings we have defined or a summary of work deliverables for a specific client, (to paraphrase Emeril) BAM – there it was. Then a colleague sent me a meeting summary Copilot had created after a call and the contextual awareness, semantic understanding, and easy to identify next steps blew me out of the water.

I see this same value proposition being communicated by Google at their recent Google Cloud Next conference. Their Day One recap was chock full of impressive technology announcements and demonstrations:

  • Gemini 1.5 and Vertex AI | Amazing demonstrations of scale and deployment of AI developed and deployed within the Google ecosystem. A few discussions and demos caught my attention:
    • CEO’s from partners and customers of Google discussing how their leveraging Gemini code assist were seeing productivity increases of up to 40%. That is a meaningful number; I would love to see a deeper dive in terms of code quality, code security, etc. that might expand this value proposition.
    • Real world examples of where this technology impacts lives – from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety using Google AI for real time communication with non-native English speakers to HCA in Tennessee leveraging the platform for nurse care handoff for patients.
    • A real time demonstration of an online retailer who had an AI customer agent who could recognize an article of clothing from a video and recommend options that were similar.
    • The ability to leverage a connection back to Enterprise data sources and integration with Google Workspace and have this platform assist with the generation of job posting requirements, Statements of Work, etc. is something that I would leverage today.
    • AI Infrastructure | Google demonstrated some amazing capabilities at managing infrastructure intelligently to lower cost/resource consumption in the support of these new AI capabilities. They are recognized as the leader in this space in a Forrester Wave for AI Infrastructure Solutions in Q1 of 2024. It is nice to see a powerful attempt to manage these resources at scale.
  • Google also touted how these capabilities can enhance cyber security capabilities:
    • Google Chrome Enterprise | An Enterprise browser with a no cost core release and enhanced capabilities (DLP, URL Filtering, etc.) at a per user/month cost. I can see this getting adopted very quickly as a standard.
    • Palo Alto Network is leveraging a partnership with Gemini as part of their Cortex XSIAM platform to accelerate both usability and understanding across both the platform and security agent deployments.
    • Gemini Threat Intelligence which can help security teams write and execute remediation playbooks.

The ability to tie in a broad ecosystem of Enterprise data and collaboration tools is what is setting apart both Microsoft and Google at the moment in this AI enablement landgrab. This is not to say that AWS is without capabilities in this space.  Amazon Bedrock , Q, and Amazon Sagemaker are already available or in preview for the development of apps at scale.

I have to wonder if the easy integration with Enterprise Data and collaboration tools makes adoption of AI technology easier in the short term with platforms like Copilot and Microsoft, a strong internal and external capability statement like Google has made, or an app specific focus like AWS is staking out.

As a spectator, it will be fun to see where this goes in the next two years, but AI has real stakes today for the modern Enterprise. Planning for it on a strategic level is something that the IntraSystems Advisory Division can help with.  Reach out today and let’s talk!

MEET CHUCK HOPPENRATH | Advisory, Modern Applications & Cloud

Chuck brings over 20 years of technology experience working in media, public sector, and service verticals, as well as operating his own IT Consultancy in the metro-Atlanta area. Chuck brings a wealth of experience to IntraSystems Advisory Division in offering expert guidance and strategic solutions to organizations navigating the complexities of the digital landscape.

Chuck has served as a Cloud & Infrastructure Architect, Enterprise Architect, System Engineer, and Network Engineer for a wide variety of customers, including the first Federal Government application deployed to Amazon Web Services.  At IntraSystems Advisory Division, Chuck provides clear and concise counsel to leverage innovation effectively while managing risks and optimizing operations.




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