You have probably heard about ChatGPT by now, most likely from one of the headlines proclaiming it as the next great thing in technology.
In November 2022, ChatGPT’s developer, San Francisco-based startup OpenAI, made it available for public testing. A UBS analysis estimates that it became the fastest-growing consumer application in history in January, only two months after its inception, when it hit 100 million monthly active users.
With the help of a technology known as large language models (LLM), ChatGPT, which is supported by Microsoft, has taken the world by storm thanks to its capacity to produce expertly constructed documents like essays or poems in a matter of seconds.
LLM is part of an artificial intelligence discipline called “generative AI,” which enables users to nearly instantly produce new content, including text, music, and video, with a simple request. With its capacity to swiftly learn from and respond to further information and its design to provide conversational responses, the AI-powered chatbot is already heralded as a game-changer for several industries.
ChatGPT, a game-changer for multiple telco applications
The telecommuniations sector has taken notice of ChatGPT. The industry believes that ChatGPT has a variety of operational applications. Call centres and customer service are the most prominent examples. ChatGPT would offer professional advice to the agent, allowing for more accurate and efficient responses to customer inquiries. The platform can also help identify customer intent, summarise conversations, answer customer questions, and direct customers to resources. There is also talk of ChatGPT and other generative AI replacing customer service representatives entirely. The potential cost savings are enormous.
Telcos are also looking at ways their field technicians can use ChatGPT. With the proper training, it can help solve technical problems when experts are not available. It can also be used to manage Information Technology by helping manage data processing and decision-making, using both historical and online data, as well as figuring out the meaning of complex software code.
ChatGPT can help telcos save time by automating mundane tasks and focusing on more critical projects thanks to its advanced abilities to create human-like responses, write codes, copywriting and content creation, offer summaries or elaborations, and more.
Telcos race to create their own versions of ChatGPT
To fully reap the benefits of generative AI, some telco companies have already begun developing their own version of ChatGPT. KT is reportedly working on a product that will be released later this year. It is also based on the ChatGPT model, but it is said to have 200 billion parameters, as opposed to ChatGPT’s 175 billion machine learning parameters. SK Telecom has yet to announce a major product launch, but CEO Ryu Young-sang stated a few months ago that the company aims to realise its vision of becoming an AI company that benefits customers. China Telecom announced a few weeks ago that it plans to build an AI foundation model to develop an industrial version of ChatGPT for the telecommunications industry.
The benefits of ChatGPT as a useful tool for customer care and technical support in the telecommunications industry are obvious. The question is whether the operation of ChatGPT would cause regulators to be concerned. Telco regulators appear to be largely unaware of the entire field of generative AI at the moment. It could take years for them to develop relevant guidelines for its use in the industry.