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- The generative AI tools everyone is talking about
Generative AI tools have gained immense popularity in recent years, thanks to their ability to create stunningly realistic and unique digital content. These tools use deep learning algorithms to generate new content, such as images, music, and even entire text articles. With their ability to produce creative and original content, generative AI tools have become invaluable for artists, designers, and content creators. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular generative AI tools available today. GPT-3 is a language generation model developed by OpenAI. It is one of the most advanced natural language processing (NLP) models available, capable of generating human-like text with remarkable accuracy. GPT-3 uses deep learning algorithms to analyze large amounts of text data and generate new text that is contextually relevant and grammatically correct. This tool can be used to generate anything from product descriptions to news articles and even creative writing. DALL-E is another remarkable generative AI tool developed by OpenAI. It is capable of creating unique and complex images from textual descriptions. Users can input a written description of an object, and DALL-E will create an image of that object from scratch. This tool can be used to generate high-quality images for design projects, marketing campaigns, and even for entertainment purposes. Artbreeder is a generative AI tool that uses machine learning algorithms to combine and mutate digital images. Users can upload their own images or choose from a library of existing images and combine them to create unique digital artwork. The tool also allows users to manipulate various visual elements, such as colors, shapes, and textures, to create their desired output. Artbreeder has been used to create everything from realistic portraits to abstract digital art. Runway ML is an AI platform that allows users to create and deploy machine learning models without any coding experience. The platform includes a wide range of generative AI tools, such as image generation, music generation, and even text generation. Users can simply input their desired inputs and outputs, and Runway ML will generate a custom machine learning model that can be used to create new content. Deep Dream is a generative AI tool developed by Google that uses deep neural networks to generate surreal and psychedelic images. The tool works by analyzing existing images and then enhancing certain visual elements to create new, abstract images. This tool has been used to create everything from artistic prints to digital wallpapers. StyleGAN is a generative AI tool developed by Nvidia that is capable of generating high-resolution images of human faces that are virtually indistinguishable from real human faces. This tool uses a technique called “style transfer” to learn the visual features of real human faces and then use those features to generate new, unique faces. StyleGAN has been used for various applications, such as video game character design and even deepfake detection. Pix2Pix is a generative AI tool that uses conditional generative adversarial networks (GANs) to generate high-quality images from simple input images. The tool works by learning the relationship between input and output images and then using that relationship to generate new, high-quality images. This tool has been used to generate everything from realistic images of buildings to unique artwork. In conclusion, generative AI tools have revolutionized the way digital content is created and produced. From language generation models to image generation tools, there are countless generative AI tools available to meet the diverse needs of content creators. Whether you are an artist, designer, or marketer, generative AI tools can help you create stunning and unique digital content that sets you apart from the competition.
- The types of AI you need to know
Artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly become one of the most transformative technologies of our time, and it’s revolutionizing the way businesses operate. The ability to automate decision-making, increase efficiency, and uncover insights from vast amounts of data has made AI tools indispensable to companies across all industries. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most disruptive AI tools currently available that will impact business and how they operate. Natural Language Processing (NLP) Natural Language Processing is the ability of machines to understand human language and communicate with humans in a way that is natural to us. With the advancement of NLP, machines can now analyze and interpret vast amounts of unstructured data, such as text, voice, and images. This has led to the creation of AI-powered virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, chatbots for customer service, and sentiment analysis tools that can gauge public opinion on a particular topic or brand. NLP is transforming the way businesses interact with customers, making it possible to provide personalized experiences, analyze customer feedback, and respond to inquiries more efficiently. In addition, NLP can also help businesses automate processes like data entry, document classification, and information retrieval, making them more productive and efficient. Machine Learning Machine learning is a subset of AI that allows machines to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. This has enabled businesses to create predictive models that can help them make informed decisions, optimize processes, and identify opportunities. For example, businesses can use machine learning algorithms to predict consumer behavior, analyze financial data, and detect fraud. Machine learning is also being used in image and speech recognition, making it possible for machines to identify objects, faces, and speech patterns. This has opened up new opportunities for businesses in industries like healthcare, retail, and manufacturing. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Robotic Process Automation is the use of software robots to automate repetitive and manual tasks. This has led to significant improvements in efficiency and productivity, as robots can work around the clock without getting tired or making mistakes. RPA can be used to automate tasks like data entry, invoice processing, and customer service, freeing up employees to focus on more strategic tasks. Predictive Analytics Predictive analytics is the use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. This has enabled businesses to make informed decisions based on data-driven insights. For example, businesses can use predictive analytics to forecast demand, optimize pricing, and identify potential risks. Predictive analytics has also been used in fraud detection, identifying anomalies in data that may indicate fraudulent activity. This has helped businesses prevent financial losses and protect their reputation. Computer Vision Computer vision is the ability of machines to interpret and understand visual data from the world around them. This has led to significant advancements in fields like autonomous vehicles, facial recognition, and object detection. Businesses can use computer vision to improve safety, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.
- 7 AI Platforms you need to know
Artificial Intelligence is no longer just a buzzword, it’s now a critical part of many industries. From healthcare to finance, AI is transforming the way businesses operate. However, for beginners who want to implement AI, it can be daunting to choose the right tools to start with. In this blog, we will explore the best AI tools for beginners. TensorFlow TensorFlow is a powerful and flexible open-source AI tool, and it's a great place for beginners to start. Developed by Google, TensorFlow is widely used in many applications, from image recognition to natural language processing. With TensorFlow, you can easily build and train machine learning models, and the tool offers a large community of developers and resources to help you get started One of the main advantages of TensorFlow is its compatibility with various programming languages, including Python, C++, and Java. Additionally, TensorFlow is compatible with various platforms, such as mobile devices and the cloud, making it a versatile tool for developing AI applications. Keras Keras is another popular open-source tool for building and training neural networks. It is user-friendly and intuitive, which makes it a great choice for beginners. Keras allows you to build complex models with just a few lines of code, and it comes with pre-built neural network layers, which can save you time and effort. Another advantage of Keras is its compatibility with TensorFlow, which means that you can use Keras as a user-friendly interface to TensorFlow, and take advantage of TensorFlow’s powerful features. PyTorch PyTorch is an open-source machine learning framework that is gaining popularity among developers. It is designed to be easy to use, flexible, and scalable, making it a great tool for beginners.PyTorch has a simple and intuitive API that allows you to create and train machine learning models quickly. It also has a large and active community of developers, which means that you can find plenty of resources and support.One of the main advantages of PyTorch is its dynamic computational graph, which allows you to modify your model’s architecture on-the-fly. This feature makes PyTorch ideal for building and training complex models. Google Cloud AutoML Google Cloud AutoML is a cloud-based platform that allows you to create custom machine learning models without requiring any prior programming experience. It’s a user-friendly tool that allows you to drag-and-drop datasets, and it uses Google’s advanced AI algorithms to train models automatically. One of the main advantages of Google Cloud AutoML is that it takes care of the complicated parts of building and training machine learning models, allowing you to focus on the results. Additionally, the tool provides a range of pre-built models for various applications, such as image and speech recognition. H2O.ai H2O.ai is an open-source platform that allows you to build and train machine learning models quickly and easily. It is designed to be user-friendly, and it has a simple and intuitive user interface. One of the main advantages of H2O.ai is its automatic machine learning feature, which allows you to build models without any prior programming experience. Additionally, the platform provides pre-built models for various applications, such as fraud detection and customer segmentation. IBM Watson Studio IBM Watson Studio is a cloud-based platform that provides a range of AI tools for building and deploying machine learning models. It is designed to be easy to use, and it comes with pre-built models and visualizations, which can save you time and effort.One of the main advantages of IBM Watson Studio is its integration with various data sources, such as cloud storage and databases. Additionally, the platform provides collaboration features, which allow you to work with others on building and deploying models. Microsoft Azure ML Studio Microsoft Azure ML Studio is a cloud-based platform that allows users to build, deploy, and manage machine learning models. It provides a drag-and-drop interface for designing machine learning pipelines and automates many of the tasks involved in building and deploying models. With Azure ML Studio, users can train models on large datasets, evaluate model performance, and deploy models to the cloud or as web services. The platform also offers a range of pre-built machine learning algorithms and allows users to import and export data from a variety of sources. Additionally, Azure ML Studio integrates with other Microsoft Azure services, providing a seamless end-to-end solution for building and deploying machine learning models.
- How to turn an idea into a business
Starting a business is not an easy task, it requires a lot of time, dedication, hard work, and most importantly, a great idea. However, having a great idea is just the beginning, the real challenge is to grow your business idea and turn it into a successful venture. In this blog, we will explore some tips and strategies that can help you grow your business idea and take it to the next level. The first and most important step in growing your business idea is to define your value proposition. Your value proposition is the unique selling point that differentiates your product or service from your competitors. It is the reason why customers should choose your product over others. Your value proposition should be clear, concise, and compelling. It should answer the question, "why should I buy from you?" To define your value proposition, start by identifying the specific problem your idea solves. This could be a problem that is contained within a greater problem or a problem that has a simpler solution or a faster route to market. Next, think about who your idea solves the problem for. Who is your target audience? Does your solution provide something of value that works for them? Once you have identified your target audience, you can start to think about the market your idea would have to operate in and who your competitors are. This will help you refine your value proposition and make it more compelling. Once you have defined your value proposition, the next step is to validate it. Validation is the process of testing your idea in the market to see if there is a demand for it. Validation can take many forms, such as surveys, focus groups, or landing pages. The goal of validation is to get feedback from your target audience and refine your idea based on that feedback. This will help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your product or service meets the needs of your target audience. After you have validated your idea, the next step is to create a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is a product or service that has enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development. The goal of an MVP is to launch your product quickly and test it in the market to see if there is demand for it. An MVP should be simple, cost-effective, and easy to use. It should focus on solving the core problem of your target audience and nothing more. Once you have launched your MVP, the next step is to acquire customers. Acquiring customers is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face. There are many ways to acquire customers, such as paid advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and more. The key is to identify the most effective channels for your target audience and focus on those channels. You should also measure the ROI of each channel and adjust your strategy accordingly. Another important aspect of growing your business idea is to build a strong team. A strong team is essential for the success of any business. Your team should have the skills, knowledge, and experience to help you achieve your goals. You should also look for team members who share your vision and are passionate about your idea. Building a strong team takes time and effort, but it is well worth it in the long run. Finally, as you grow your business idea, it is important to stay focused and flexible. Focus on your core value proposition and don't get distracted by shiny objects. At the same time, be flexible and willing to pivot if necessary. The market is constantly changing, and you need to be able to adapt to those changes. Be open to feedback from your customers and adjust your product or service based on that feedback. This will help you stay ahead of the competition and grow your business idea into a successful venture.
- Key ingredients in any good strategy
It’s important to have a good strategy in place for the growth of your business. A well-planned strategy can help you achieve your goals, while also ensuring that your business stays relevant in a constantly changing market. But what are the key ingredients of a good strategy? In this blog, we will explore some of the essential components that should be a part of any good strategy. A Purpose A clear purpose is the foundation of any good strategy. It defines the reason why your business exists and what it aims to achieve. Your purpose should answer questions like: What problem do you solve? Who do you solve it for? And what is your solution within the greater context of this problem? For example, “People are sad in the world, we want to make people happier” is a noble purpose, but it does not inform much about your business. On the other hand, “We believe we can bring happiness to the world by bringing lifestyle content and products to people looking to lead healthier lives” is a more specific and meaningful purpose. Strategic Goals Strategic goals are the specific outcomes you want to achieve through your business strategy. It’s important to ensure that these goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Goals such as “maximize customers,” “be no.1,” and “maximize income” are not SMART goals. They are more like aspirations that do not help you in achieving your goals. The Market You Operate In Understanding the market you operate in is crucial for the success of your business. This includes having a sense of your total available market, your served market, and your target market. By understanding your market, you can identify opportunities for growth and assess the competition you may face. Context/Research Context and research are crucial for any good strategy. This involves understanding the context of your strategic approach, such as why these goals, why this audience, and why this approach. For example, if your strategy includes abandoning three legacy revenue streams that your staff has been working on for years, even seeing growth in, why would you do this? It’s important to do research and analysis to see if you can have a lower cost, higher return stream from the same audience in another area. Framework for Delivery Once you understand the internal setup of your organization, you can build a strategy that works best for you. This involves developing a framework for delivery that takes into account your company's size and structure. Whether you are an enterprise level, SME, start-up, etc., it’s important to tailor your strategy to your company's needs. Understanding How Goals are Achieved Understanding how goals are achieved involves identifying the drivers, funnels, and enablers that will help you achieve your goals. Drivers are what will drive the goal, such as sales. Funnels are how people will get to your website or other platforms. Enablers are the staff, skills, tools, and processes you will need to create this activity and drive sales. A Strategy for Your Size Finally, it’s important to tailor your strategy to your company's size. If you have 1-10 people, keep it short and simple with a focus on purpose, brand, and key goals. For 10-50 people, focus on building a solid foundation and developing a clear vision. For 50-200 people, focus on building a strong team and establishing processes. For 200+, focus on scaling your business and expanding your reach. In conclusion, a good strategy is essential for the growth and success of your business. It should have a clear purpose, strategic goals, an understanding of the market you operate in, your audience, context/research, a framework for delivery and actions/targets to achieve your goals.
- What is innovation?
It’s a classic discussion in a lot of organisations, what is innovation? How do you classify it, and why should you embrace it? First, let’s start with the “official” definition of innovation: “a new method, idea, product, etc.” Now, let’s throw that out the window because how does that help you? Anyone can do a new idea or a new product, instead, we think you should consider innovation like this... “Innovation is an activity that achieves your purpose faster and decreases your chance of disruption.” Let's break that down. Generally, most organisations will have a sense of “This is the problem we solve and this is our solution to it.”. Commonly this can be contained within a problem and/or vision statement. For example, if you are not happy with families in the world not getting enough nutrition, your vision may be “We want to create a world where all families have access to affordable nutritious meals.”. While your purpose maybe “We believe nutrition is everyone’s basic right, we exist to provide affordable meals that provide a healthy balanced diet.”. To actually achieve that vision, to solve the problem, you will have top-level strategic goals. Often these goals are written in a SMART way (SMART meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). To achieve these goals some form of strategy or plan is needed that takes your macro and turns it into the micro for your team(s) to deliver. This in some shape or form will outline what you plan to do to get from A, today, to B, the realisation of your vision or at least the first major milestone in it. All well and good so far, nothing revolutionary there. We think innovation is something that could get you to that vision faster than your current planned activity. It’s something less proven, sometimes riskier. For example, you know that creating and marketing a product costs you £6 per item while you sell the product for £10, so if you grow your customers at X rate you can predict what your gross margin, income, net profit will be, etc. This can be structured in your strategy detailing the marketing/promotion/sales/production/service activity you will be doing to achieve your goals. Relatively simple, in theory. However there are also ways you could get more customers, create more products, potentially for less than £6, but they are not proven, they are experimental in your eyes, not in your plan. Then there is the notion that does your product or service, achieves your purpose and vision better than something else. An example of this would be Netflix disrupted the video rental market by launching its online streaming service in 2007. Suddenly the problem of people wanting to watch the latest films had a better solution than going to blockbuster to rent it. We all know where blockbusters are currently positioned in the market. Understanding where innovation fits in A good way to understand where innovation comes in is to imagine your organisation's growth drawn as a line on a piece of paper. Growth being the delivery of your strategic targets based on your planned activity. The line goes from where you are, let's say point A, today, to where you want to be, let's say point B; achieving 100 million customers by 2030. How long this line is will vary based on your planned activity; it represents your growth rate. This is your current course, and when you will achieve your goals by. It’s possible that when you do your actual calculations off your business model and strategy you might find that you are not predicted to meet your vision/goals by when you thought you would, this could be because you don't have enough money, resources, or just that the calculations don't pan out, but we’ll come back to this. Now, imagine a line above this with a faster growth rate, that achieves your vision sooner. This is what you could achieve if you were “lucky”. If you were in the right place at the right time, you brought in more revenue, you had more success with delivery .etc. Maybe an influencer endorses your new nutritious meals and 20% of their follower base starts buying your product. This is what you would ideally like to see but the plan does not add up to it; it’s your ideal, your hope. In reality, to achieve it you are often counting on a large amount of luck, because you don’t have the right agreements in place with the necessary contacts or you lack the fundamentals to deliver on it. So, let’s imagine a line lower and longer, where your vision is delayed or never delivered. This is a worst-case scenario and one you want to avoid at all costs. This is what could happen if you experience market disruption. Changing consumer behavior and Covid-19 could be considered market disruptions as would a brand new product launch that disrupts your market. Think Spotify disrupting the music industry or Netflix leading to the end of video rental. In the example above Blockbuster did not consider this when a subscription service was presented to them, they did not factor the cost of disruption to their business. This is also where other competitors are innovating faster than you and inspiring customers to buy their products because they solve their problems better. The question becomes how do you deliver your vision sooner, and then set your goals on even bigger ideals all while avoiding market disruption? We would consider anything that falls into this category to be innovation. Innovation is how you can experiment with unproven products, activities, marketing, and ideas that could move the dial on your growth rate. You still need your core activity, this is proven and calculatable given the predictive market conditions but you recognise that it’s not always going to be this way and you need to explore other ways of thinking to accelerate your organisation. Why is this innovation? Innovation is all about perspective; is it only innovation if no one has done it before….ever? Most ideas take inspiration and steal from others. Many believe it was Picasso who said “Good artists borrow, great artists steal”. So ,you can steal another idea, (assuming no patent rights!), and utilise it for your own benefit. Or create something completely new. If it provides a boost to your organisation this could be considered innovation. The key here is it’s not something you have been doing before and have proven it works for you, but it is something that could help you achieve your vision/purpose sooner. Why does knowing what innovation is matter? Knowing what innovation is helping foster a different environment for nurturing it. It also allows you to build a better model for measuring its impact and understand things that are more likely to be successful in the future. This allows you to create innovation initiatives or actually use the power of the word innovation to inspire and empower. You might set up a specific innovation team or have it as a strand/initiative in your strategy. You could also challenge your staff by allowing them to present or explore ideas. This also helps you build a framework to understand the investment in time/resource/cost to innovation. Should you spend time explore 2 innovative projects or 10? How much time should staff spend on innovation as opposed to their core workload? So, how do you have your cake and eat it? The key here is to understand 100% of your activity should not provide 100% directly positive return on the investment be it financial or time-based. The limits of innovation? Innovation does not guarantee success. Sticking the word innovation on a project or initiative does not equal higher impact instead you need an approach to understand how innovation empowers the seeds to create change and drive more growth and higher impact to achieving your vision. You also need to understand innovation is a net sum game, for every one hugely successful idea you may have nine that never excel as you’d hope. The point is that overall the value you receive in one success and nine failures is far greater than if you didn’t ever take the risk on the 10 ideas in the first place. It also means you took the time to understand would that particular idea help you and what would happen if someone else explored it first. Where to start with Innovation? We are going to cover this in another blog post, so stay tuned for that but for now, we would consider the following key elements to ensuring an overall net success with innovation. A strong understanding of why you exist and what are your opportunities/limits to achieving that The trust and belief to allow your staff to go and try things The right “Business Intelligence” to understand and measure the impact. To make a business case to scale the idea, you’ll have to prove the idea can work in the right market. A framework to go from idea to launch in a scalable way. For example, once you have an idea can you just get on and do it, do you need to create a pitch or business case to be approved. You then need to consider a discovery phase to explore the assumption it will have its desired impact. After that, you might consider a prototype or trial before expanding into larger releases and markets. The buy-in and support of the right people in your organisation Understanding /scaling resources; essentially time and talent. Whether you create an innovation team made up of current staff or new staff will depend on your organisation setup and culture, their abilities and how they are supported will be key. Will they have funds for researching or working with outside support, for example. Lastly, and just as important as everything above is the ability to tell the story of the innovation. This is critical to winning hearts and minds and getting people onboard What’s next Come talk to us if you want to explore innovation!
- How to start Digital Transformation
In a previous blog, we explained what Digital Transformation is. We covered its value and some of the barriers you might need to overcome. But a key question remains for many organisations, how do you start a digital transformation? Some assumptions So, let's assume you have some of the business essentials below: A solid understanding of your purpose, with something like a problem statement. You’ve done all the essential market validation. You understand your total available market and your target market. Your message is clear on your unique selling point, and you have something like a unique positioning statement. So where to start? Well, if you have that, we believe you should start with the future: What’s coming, new trends on the horizon and beyond. Current trends that are going to grow in the future. How the needs and expectations of your audience will change. In the future, there will be opportunities for new audiences as well as delivering on your core purpose with your existing audience. However, there will be significant risks too. If you fail to understand the impact of a future digital world, you could become less attractive than a fresher solution. You could also lose valuable market share to a new or more adaptable competitor. Gaining insight into future consumer needs will empower you to create a strong vision of where you want this transformation to take you. Everything else, targets, business needs and your roadmap for getting there derives from that. But wait Now you might be thinking, you need to look at your internal make-up first, review the tools you use, look at your current strategy, map skills and gain stakeholder input. Well, that might seem like a good idea at first, but there is little point changing anything if you don’t know who you are going to need to be in the future. For example, who your primary audience will be and what your services and products are going to need to look like will impact your internal operations. Of course you will need to update legacy systems, adopt new ways of working and grow the competencies of your staff. All of this needs to be informed by your future vision, not the problems of today. The targets and goals you set for your transformation will also need to be based on the future world you are heading towards. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” — ALBERT EINSTEIN Developing a roadmap In future posts, we’ll talk about what needs to go into your roadmap, how you get from a to b, but you can start thinking like this: What is your vision of the future world in which you want to thrive? What does it look like, what new customers are there, what experiences will your current customers be expecting? What new technology is coming that will enable you to deliver your core purpose more effectively? What changes will you need to embrace to get there in the Macro and the Micro? How are you going to everyone ready to collaborate more than they ever have on your journey? Wait, what about being Agile? So you’ve heard people speak the praise of Agile Project Methodology, it is an iterative approach to delivering projects requirements derived from Agile Manifesto published in 2001. We are going to cover where Agile sits within digital transformation in a future blog, but for now, consider these three points: Scanning your future is the beginning; you will need to be adaptable along your journey. Don’t confuse Agile (upper case A) and agile (lower case a); one is a project methodology; the other is an adjective. Agile can be a valuable part of digital transformation, but it does not equal digital transformation. We are doing great now; why change? To answer this, we are simply going to give you two quotes from CEO’s of companies that were thriving in market value before plummeting in market share because they failed to see the changing needs in consumer behaviour “Is Netflix a threat? Is the Albanian army going to take over the world?” — JEFFERY BEWKES, CEO TIME WARNER, 2010 “ I don’t ever see them being a real threat, downloadable music is just a fad and people will always want the atmosphere and experience of a music store rather than online shopping.” — STEVE KNOT, CEO HMV 2002 How can we tell how future trends will affect us? To help start Digital Transformation, we offer a piece of work we call, Blue Horizons; We embark on a period of discovery with you and find the trends and market shifts that are going to affect you, We show what fits in with your brand and your key demographics, We look at what has the most value, what are the dependencies, what resources, skills and training you’ll need. We then put this all on a roadmap for you and then, if you need help with it, we work with you on business change throughout the whole process. Find out more about our Blue Horizon and Digital Transformation work or just come and say hi…