Freshworks chief architect on generative AI’s transformative impact
Ramesh Parthasarathy demystifies the future of business software and spills the beans on the company’s vision for AI.
Generative AI in the hands of everyday business users is one of the more significant innovations of our time. As these technologies become more mainstream, Goldman Sachs Research estimates a 7% (or almost $7 trillion) increase in global GDP. But what can everyday business users expect?
We sat down to chat with Ramesh Parthasarathy, chief architect at Freshworks, to understand how generative AI will improve the work-life of support agents and their customers, IT professionals and their employees, and sales and marketing teams and their prospects.
ChatGPT (and the underlying GPT models) have taken the world by storm. In your opinion, what could be the impact of generative AI on business software?
AI-driven capabilities within business software have been in the works for a long time. It started incrementally: bots answering basic queries or suggesting articles based on the keywords in a customer’s message.
However, the simplicity and accessibility of ChatGPT have made generative AI mainstream. This development will push the industry beyond basic AI capabilities. We can now converse with our software and use fewer clicks to complete tasks. Users will begin to look at their software as a co-creator that enables productivity and resourcefulness. We can already see a shift in perspective—users are embracing AI more willingly than they did initially.
Support teams will have software solutions that understand customer intent and sentiment and help compose tactful responses. Marketers will use software to craft compelling copy to suit their exact target groups. IT agents can have their users self-serve their requests with hyper-personalized yet automated workflows. At every step, your interactions with business software will become more human (even if that sounds counter-intuitive!) as you seek answers, suggestions, or summaries.
Today, almost every business is investing or thinking about investing in AI and large language models. What, in your opinion, will be the real differentiator for a solution provider in the AI space?
The real differentiator will be the data quality a company can use to train language models and the domain expertise it can bring. Having been at the helm of innovation in customer experience (CX), IT, and sales and marketing technologies for over a decade, Freshworks brings distinct data and rich insights, including our own models. Our customers have been using our AI offerings out of the box as part of the solutions they already know and love.
When business users begin to use generative AI, they should be able to offload some of their tasks comfortably, even if they can only hand off simple queries or tasks. Generative AI solutions will continue to need human intervention at various points. However, when the solution starts to deliver predictably, it will be easier to monitor it and fine-tune its output.
How is Freshworks looking to add value to customers through generative AI?
Freshworks has been at the forefront of the AI revolution since 2018. Freddy AI, our native AI engine, was designed to work with open-source AI advancements alongside our native in-house R&D. In 2021, we introduced precise recommended responses based on GPT2. Our beta launch of generative AI enhancements to Freddy AI in March received a positive response. We are now reimagining comprehensive experiences at scale for customers, employees, business users, and developers by building on pillars that matter to them. Here are the themes our customers can expect us to explore:
- Business user productivity: On the productivity front, generative AI will redefine “delight.” For example, support agents can expect to have a proactive assistant guiding them to personalize experiences and help them delight their customers. Marketers can forecast deal cycles better and auto-generate copy that resonates with customers.
- Customer and employee experiences: Similarly, consistent context-aware interactions will be the cornerstone of long-term relationships. We will enable agents to glean qualitative feedback and recommendations on customer and employee experiences in addition to quantitative data. This way, they can identify why scores such as CSAT or NPS plateau and efficiently prioritize improvement measures.
- Speed of innovation: Developers will have assistance across their app development journey. This will offer a high-quality development experience and can significantly accelerate the speed of innovation.
- Efficiency Improvement: The underlying theme for all these shifts is doing more with less — fewer interactions for users within the software and more delight, in turn. As we move away from the industrial era equation of productive hours with output, we must look at the quality we are creating!
What is Freshworks’ vision with AI? What is the core of our AI strategy?
We are reimagining product-user interactions at every step and building AI capabilities that can be a part of every business user’s workday. The idea is to simplify our users’ jobs so they can be more productive, creative, and thoughtful with their customers, focusing on higher-value tasks.
This vision is born from our use-case-driven AI-modeling approach and our rich domain-specific data. That means we do not take a one-size-fits-all approach. We use a combination of large language models, domain-specific models, and account-specific models to bring the best-fit solutions to our customers. And even with such an ambitious vision, we have consistently prioritized security. With more than 60,000 customers trusting Freshworks, our generative AI offerings are built on a solid foundation of trust and security.
Learn more about our latest AI-driven innovations with the Freshworks Q2 ’23 Launch Event.
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