Mind Readings: Templates are Generative AI Goldmines

Mind Readings: Templates are Generative AI Goldmines

In today’s episode, discover the gold mine of generative AI use cases: templates. You’ll learn how repetitive, templated tasks, particularly in operations departments, offer the most significant opportunities for AI implementation. Additionally, you’ll gain insights on leveraging generative AI to automate these tasks, saving time, reducing costs, and improving accuracy.


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Christopher Penn: In today’s episode, let’s talk about the gold mine for generative AI use cases.

Where is that gold mine? How do we know where generative AI is going to make a huge difference right away? The gold is where the templates are.

Back in 2015—2016, I used to say this in my AI keynotes back in the days when we were doing AI talks that had no generative element in them—as classical AI.

I used to say, “If you do it with a template today, a machine does it without you tomorrow.” This is now more true than ever.

Generative AI allows us to handle unstructured, templated tasks with ease, like “summarize this meeting,” “write this email,” “make a blog post”—unstructured tasks, but highly repetitive.

And there’s a template: “Hey, here’s a template for a blog post.

Here’s the template for the staff meeting notes.”
So when someone asks where you find the opportunities for generative AI use cases, my answer is simple: wherever the most templates are in your organization.

For most companies—most marketing departments—that’s in marketing operations.

You have a template for a client report, you have a template for an RFP response, you have a template for a press release, you have a template for an expense report.

And chances are, just reading the names of those templates, at least one of them gave you a visceral response.

Oh, expense reports, customer service tickets, annual reviews.
This is something that Katie Robbert and I talk about a lot: the use cases for generative AI vastly exceed “write me a blog post.” That’s like taking a Harrier to the grocery store—yes, it can do that, but it’s a gross underuse of its capabilities.

Generative AI is capable of incredible tasks.

And the easiest ones to figure out are where things are templated and things make you go “ugh,” right? If it’s a template today, you should convert it for use with generative AI today so that you’re the one operating the machinery tomorrow, that you are the one who is getting that work done still.

But you do it with a machine, and you do it faster, you do it better, you do it cheaper.

Otherwise, your organization will at some point do that task with or without you because the efficiencies are too good to ignore.

Any rational organization is going to look at the efficiencies of generative AI and say, “We need to get on board.”
Generative AI’s most powerful use cases for saving time and saving money are going to be in operations—marketing operations, financial operations, operations in general.

Why? Because unlike that blog post that you’re trying to write with ChatGPT, operation stuff is largely internal.

There are far fewer issues with permissions and copyright and contracts and work for hire, etc.

No one is critiquing the artfulness of your expense report.

Frankly, there should be no creativity in an expense report.

No one cares how original your prose is on your monthly activity summary.

No one is going to challenge the copyright on a customer service call summary or notes in your CRM.
And the time savings of turning these templates into generative AI actions are going to be massive.

You know this already, just by your reaction to the names of these templates.

Very few people are excited to complete an expense report.

Very few people are excited to write up a call summary.

Most people would be okay handing that off to an assistant.

They would cheer handing that off to a machine, which means it’s going to get done faster.

It’s going to get done more correctly and more thoroughly, which for anything in operations, that is a huge win.

So wherever the templates are in your organization today, that’s where your biggest wins in generative AI are going to be today and tomorrow.

Get started.

Find those opportunities.

Find those templates and start automating them right now.
That’s gonna do it for today’s episode.

Thanks for tuning in.

Talk to you on the next one.
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