Most of us have heard about ChatGPT, while many have actually used it in some way, even if only to see what the hype is all about. It's one of the fastest adopted technologies ever and will have impacts on how we work, what we produce, and how quickly we're able to innovate.
This article explores some of the current ways that ChatGPT is already providing innovators with new tools to help them be faster and more effective. However, that's only a fraction of what's likely coming. See how innovation professionals, product managers, engineers, and even entrepreneurs might use ChatGPT to help drive innovation.
Here is how ChatGPT is going to impact innovation. Or at least this is how ChatGPT could impact innovation, according to ChatGPT…
I asked ChatGPT the question “How will ChatGPT affect innovation” and put the response below. As you can see, there are several different use cases where AI-based systems will start to have impacts. Some of these use cases are still very early-stage where the impacts may not happen for years, but with a long-term view, these all seem not only possible but inevitable.
I think this example goes to show that ChatGPT can and will be used in multiple ways, some that we could easily predict at this point.
- Idea Generation: ChatGPT can assist in idea generation by providing users with creative suggestions and generating novel ideas in various domains such as technology, business, art, and more. It can prompt users to think critically and creatively, which can lead to innovative solutions and concepts.
- Rapid Prototyping: ChatGPT can be used to quickly prototype and iterate on ideas. It can generate text-based descriptions of potential products or services, allowing users to visualize and refine their concepts before investing time and resources in actual prototyping.
- Problem Solving: ChatGPT can help users brainstorm and explore potential solutions to complex problems. By engaging in interactive conversations with users, it can prompt them to think critically and consider multiple perspectives, leading to innovative problem-solving approaches.
- User Experience Design: ChatGPT can be utilized in the design process to gather feedback on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) concepts. It can simulate user interactions and provide insights into how users may perceive and interact with a product or service, enabling designers to iterate and improve their designs.
- Language Translation and Localization: ChatGPT can facilitate innovation in global communication by providing language translation and localization services. It can help bridge language barriers, enabling collaboration and exchange of ideas across different cultures and geographies, fostering innovation on a global scale.
- Education and Skill Development: ChatGPT can be used as a tool for education and skill development, providing interactive and personalized learning experiences. It can offer explanations, tutorials, and practice exercises, helping users acquire new knowledge and skills, which can fuel innovation in various fields.
- Automation and Efficiency: ChatGPT can automate routine tasks such as data analysis, report generation, and content creation, freeing up human resources to focus on higher-level tasks. This increased efficiency can lead to more time and resources being allocated to innovation-related activities.
Overall, ChatGPT has the potential to impact innovation by assisting in idea generation, prototyping, problem solving, UX/UI design, language translation, education, automation, and efficiency, among other areas. It can empower users to think creatively, collaborate globally, and streamline processes, leading to the development of innovative solutions and advancements in various domains.
The innovation professional - Finding and vetting technologies use case
This is interesting data but I wanted to dive deeper and approach ChatGPT similar to how a researcher or innovation professional might use it in a functional way to enhance their research or IP partnership experience versus surface-level innovation questions.
I tried asking for a more narrow search topic. I asked, “What is the newest, most-promising battery technology?” The response was something you might typically find in a similar Google search. It provided a list of several kinds of battery technologies, what they are made of, and what their advantages are. There wasn’t really anything groundbreaking with this so far.
Another interesting note is that ChatGPT does not index patent data. So if you are looking for new technologies that might be licensable or just want to see what other research has advanced that far, this won’t provide you any information on that. A system like Scout is still one of the best applications for sourcing IP across patents, grants, or other SEC filings. While this might change at some point in the future, this is a large downside to using ChatGPT to find new technologies today.
I then asked, “What researchers are focused on solid-state batteries?” The result was also similar to something you might find on a Google search results page. See the side-by-side comparison below.
The main difference is that ChatGPT removes some of the noise and focuses on just providing the answer in a streamlined way. You don’t have to then sort through multiple websites to try to find the answer. It’s fast and effective, saving time.
There are pros and cons to this though. What if the information ChatGPT provides isn’t good enough or doesn’t have the right dataset? You can reframe your question to try to get more or different information, which can deliver new information, but I’ve found that it tends to provide some of the same information, just slightly reworked. However, with Google, you have a continued path to more information and allow individuals to process more or deeper information in a more discerning manner.
The Product Manager or Engineer - Competitive Research
For this use case, imagine you are an engineer working for Ford and focused on battery technology and you would like to see what your competitors are doing in this space. You might search for something like “What innovation is Tesla doing with batteries?”.
This provides high-level insights but stops short of providing any real technical information. You might use this information as a starting point in searching in other systems like Google, patent searches, or Scout to get to the real innovation. So while it’s promising to think you might be able to easily find out what your competitors are doing, it feels really shallow at this point. I think the only way this will change is to provide ChatGPT with accurate and up-to-date patent information, grant data, published research articles, SEC filings, etc… This still feels like it could be a good way out though.
The Entrepreneur - New products and services
One area that I don’t think ChatGPT surfaced in the self-evaluation of its future impacts on innovation is the unknown productization potential. What products will be built on the AI itself versus using the AI to improve your speed, efficiency, or idea generation? Think of this one much like the introduction of the internet itself. It helped connect people, ideas, brought efficiencies, etc… But it also created new industries built on the internet that wouldn’t have been previously possible.
In Wellspring’s Scout, we’re already seeing a large spike in new technology data points in 2023 when searching for ChatGPT. The innovation data is coming from large organizations such as Google, Microsoft, and many other technology companies in the form of patents, publications, press, web documents, grants, and startups. There’s no question that people are trying to find ways to monetize a product or service with this new tech.
The really interesting data that represents this category of entrepreneurship is the “Startups” category, in which we already see about 165 new startups. Some of the ideas or innovations range from using ChatGPT for medical advice to grammar-checking systems all the way to using AI-powered chatbots to build social applications. I’ll be watching this closely as I think it’s a matter of time until we see the next Google or Amazon making its first appearance.
ChatGPT is one of, if not the fastest adopted new technology ever. There are a lot of ways we can use this to enhance our ability to innovate, prototype, and do things faster. We know there are unknown productization impacts we don’t really fully understand yet but are starting to see the early signs of these in Scout under the startups filter. The really interesting things will be the unknown unknowns. What will happen that we don’t expect or wouldn’t have predicted? Will they be good for us, have some negatives, or some mix? Comment below as I would love to hear your thoughts.
If you are interested to see how searching in Scout for new technologies using your keywords or research topics compares, schedule a short demo here.