How generative AI will impact enterprise community user engagement

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Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, former board member and original investor of OpenAI, and active board member of Microsoft, recently co-authored a book called Impromptu: Amplifying Our Humanity through AI. His co-author? GPT-4. In his book, Mr. Hoffman suggests the impact of generative AI across several industries and professions.

Being the enterprise community professional and overall technology nerd that I am, my attention naturally turns to asking questions about how AI will impact the online enterprise community category. But rather than make predictions – and even worse, assumptions – as to the overall reach AI will undoubtedly have in the space, I thought I might present a list of questions we enterprise community professionals should be asking as they relate to our roles.

If your professional role is even remotely connected to technology, then without a doubt, you are already part of this conversation taking place with respect to artificial intelligence and GPT (generative pre-trained transformer) technology breakthroughs. So it shouldn't be surprising that we are seeing books co-authored (and soon to be authored) by AI.

Mr. Hoffman, no doubt, has had a front row seat to the transformative landscape that is artificial intelligence. In this book, he breaks down the potential impacts that generative AI technologies will have in education, creativity, justice, journalism, social media and the general transformation of work as we know it. It's exciting, it's scary and it's already here. It's a good read and I recommend it for anyone looking to better understand the potential in front of us.

The implications of generative AI for enterprise communities

If you have used ChatGPT or GPT-4, then you have most likely learned that the better the prompt, the better the output. In this spirit, let's consider our prompts and questions that will help us best leverage AI for building and developing world-class enterprise communities.

First, a question for all of us to consider: Is generative artificial intelligence a threat to my job or an opportunity in my career? I ask this question as a starting prompt because it will likely dictate how you ask other subsequent questions around AI. It also might reveal whether you are of a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Questions for community technology builders and product managers

For people who build enterprise community platforms, there are going to be important questions to consider around AI. We already know that it is already being used to a small degree in community platforms. The areas that are prominent (as of this writing):

  • Back-end workflows centered around moderation 
  • Guided onboarding and navigation with AI assistants and chatbots
  • Personalization and search

The above represents more of a machine learning model and not specifically a large language model (LLM) that GPT technologies represent.

Questions for community developers and builders to consider include:

  1. What is the impact and threat of LLMs and GPT (generative pre-trained transformer) technologies to communities centered around knowledge transfer? Will people forgo participation in online community in favor of interacting with an automated LLM chat interface?

  2. What opportunities do LLMs present for enterprise online communities?

  3. Are there immediate opportunities to integrate with LLMs and GPT technologies through an API layer to aid community users with contributing knowledge (think Microsoft Copilot)?

  4. Can content contained in communities be made available to LLMs as a source of knowledge and truth? How do we ensure that we are not feeding an LLM false or misleading content that might lead to incorrect 'facts'?

  5.  How much of my R&D budget should be applied to AI?

Questions for community managers

For those leading large enterprise communities, there are also some important considerations and rules of engagement that should be developed. Just as academic institutions are putting in place policies and procedures around the use of GPT technology, community managers will need to grapple with many of the same questions.

  1. Do we allow non-human registration to participate in online communities? If not, how do we verify human versus non-human registrants? This could also be a question for community builders in developing tools and technologies to identify non-human participants.

  2.  What policies and procedures need to be developed as a terms-of-use agreement between our community members and use of generative AI?

  3. What platforms are category-leading in terms of their R&D investment into AI?

Questions for community moderators

Moderation is an important function of communities and sometimes overlooked as the gatekeeper. Reducing the number of bad actors inside a community is an ever-evolving practice.

  1. Can GPT technologies aid in identifying bad actors in my community and provide a level of automation that is not possible with human moderators?

  2. How do human moderators and non-human moderators co-exist in my community workflows and practice?

Questions for community consultants and influencers

An emerging category in the space, community consultants represent a growing influence among global enterprises who are looking for expertise to help guide their own community strategy. These subject matter experts should be well educated and knowledgeable about generative AI to help keep their clients out in front of this tectonic paradigm shift.

  1. How am I keeping abreast of the rapidly changing environment of generative AI and LLM technologies?

  2. What should be developed in terms of a framework and operating model in how I make recommendations to my clients around generative AI technologies?

Final thoughts

 We are on the cusp of huge advancements in AI for the benefit of humanity, as Reid Hoffman argues in his book. How will the enterprise community segment respond? Well, that is up to us to consider, ponder, and more importantly, act with intention. Let's shape AI for the overall good of community, not its demise.

Learn more about iTalent Digital’s enterprise community practice.

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