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Small Business Tech Roundup: Instacart Launches New In-App AI Search Tool Powered By ChatGPT

By June 4, 2023July 11th, 2023No Comments

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)

Here are five things in tech that happened this week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Instacart launches a new in-app AI search tool powered by ChatGPT.

Instacart — the grocery delivery service — is adding “Ask Instacart” to their system giving users an easy tool to get questions answered, access recommendations, and save personalized preferences. Powered by ChatGPT users can ask questions about food preparation, ingredients, menu suggestions, and more. Ask Instacart will also store user history further personalizing the shopping experience when new orders are placed. The integration of AI in the food service industry is revolutionizing how consumers acquire goods as Uber Eats has announced its partnership with Serve Robotics. The San Francisco based company will begin using robots for deliveries. Early reports say that 2000 robots will be deployed in selected markets. (Source: TechCrunch; Food Management)

Why this is important for your business:

This is exactly how AI and bots like ChatGPT will be impacting your business. Big software vendors, platforms and services will use using this technology to provide better services for its customers and better tools for the businesses that rely on them.

2 A new report unveils the top 50 online stores by state and reveals emerging ecommerce niches in the U.S.

The ecommerce landscape continues to expand based on a recent report released by Nexcess. The web hosting service listed the top 50 online stores based on performance and popularity. Overall the results show the success of many smaller or lesser-known online stores that have a solid customer base. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

Why this is important for your business:

Niche products such as cosmetics, pet products, and apparel are a significant part of the ecommerce market. The report cites that the pet market is projected to grow annually by 8.8 percent through 2027. These are potentially opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs.

3 — A ZDNet reporter says she’s tested a lot of AI tools for work and these are her five favorite so far.

AI is exploding and Sabrina Ortiz of ZDNet reported on her five favorite AI tools — at this point. Bing Chat takes the top spot in the chatbot realm. She commented on how the tool allows you to access answers on several different items in one spot. Everything from dinner tips to grammar corrections without having to sort through multiple results is why she ranked Bing Chat her favorite. — the transcription tool — also made her list given its time saving capacity. Lengthy recordings are transcribed in minutes with a high level of accuracy Ortiz reports. Other endorsements include Canva Pro and ChatPDF. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

There are a LOT of AI apps and tools emerging so which ones are really useful? That’s why I enjoyed this piece by Ortiz. The five AI techs she highlighted can literally increase both you and your employees’ productivity right now.

4 A lawyer faces sanctions after he used ChatGPT to write a brief riddled with fake citations.

An AI story that made recent news has some sobering takeaways. The New York Times reported on attorney Steven Schwartz whose use of ChatGPT for a lawsuit backfired. To research some legal history — for a case involving a man who sought compensation from an airline after an injury — Schwartz utilized ChatGPT to prepare a legal brief that cited previous cases — all of which were fake. Realizing his error Schwartz pleaded with the judge stating that he was unaware the AI would provide bogus information as a result of his query. The result is a possible sanction of legal briefings by Schwartz’s — to be decided on June 8 th. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

The takeaway is that today’s AI tools are exciting and can be very useful but we shouldn’t be entirely reliant on them, particularly if you’re in the professional services business. There’s still some work to do to make them more accurate and reliable.

5 — You can now customize the presentation of captions in Teams Meetings.

Microsoft 365 has a brand-new feature in Teams Meetings. Users will be able to customize the presentation of real time captions during group meetings. The captions font, size and color can be formatted by the user. As well, users can adjust how many lines appear on the screen. A language setting is incorporated as well allowing users to change what language is used for captions. This new feature is available for Microsoft 365 Insiders. (Source: OnMSFT)

Why this is important for your business:

Why not? It’s a good little productivity tool that increases the usefulness of your Teams application.

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