The rise of generative AI represents a watershed moment, unlocking astounding creative potential and introducing more intuitive ways to access information and interact with tools. Amid this groundbreaking shift, startups are racing to bring innovative solutions to the market specifically designed to harness this power within the enterprise sector—transforming organizational knowledge into fuel for business productivity.
The latest solution comes from AI21 Labs who's recently announced Contextual Answers brings generative AI to the enterprise with a ready-to-use question answering engine that taps into organizational knowledge.
Contextual Answers allows businesses to upload entire libraries of documents – from knowledge bases and help center libraries to business reports, policies, and guidelines. It then offers a ready-to-use answering engine that provides responses entirely grounded in the uploaded data.
This unlocks a trove of organizational knowledge that is often siloed across systems and teams. Employees get rapid access to accurate, contextualized information to work smarter and be more productive.
This tool addresses a significant barrier to AI adoption identified in a recent KMPG survey which identified that many businesses struggle with the cost, complexity, and lack of specialization of generative AI models. These issues often result in incorrect or contextually inappropriate responses, posing significant liabilities and making AI unusable for many use cases.
How It Works
Contextual Answers provides an end-to-end API solution that eliminates these problems and also a slick graphical user interface. It is design to ensure that answers are entirely grounded in organizational knowledge, avoiding any "hallucinated" responses.
The platform really sets itself apart with its ease of implementation. In just a few steps, businesses can you can easily deploy a full question-answering system based solely on organizational data alone. Here's how it works with AI21's Studio platform.
Step 1: Upload your files. You can upload a file as it is, store it in a directory or add labels. This helps organize your filing system.
Step 2: Ask a question. Users can now ask a question and immediately get the answer with attribution to the relevant source. The question is used to query the knowledge base and retrieve the most relevant contexts.
The tool is already seeing a surge in demand from businesses across various sectors. Early adopters like Clarivate, a global information services provider, has partnered with AI21 to implement Contextual Answers across their library solutions. This collaboration allows students, faculty, and researchers to find answers grounded in curated and trusted scholarly content.
Other sectors finding value in Contextual Answers include:
- Customer Support: Reducing load and cost by answering end-user support questions using internal organization documentation.
- Financial Services: Assisting in the analysis of business documents such as financial reports, call logs, and past presentations.
- Education Service Providers: Enabling students, teachers, and researchers to quickly find answers in large databases of scholarly content.
- Legal Services and Insurance: Providing rapid access to relevant legal documents, including legislation, regulations, and internal compliance guidelines.
- Sales and Marketing: Supporting sales associates by pulling information from product documents, competitor analysis, marketing materials, and sales playbooks.
- Field Technicians: Enabling quick reference to manual-specific questions, saving time on searching through countless technical documents.
The benefits are compelling - open access to knowledge reduces the 3.6 hours employees spend searching daily, per Coveo research. Support agents can find answers in documentation versus escalating tickets. Analysts can rapidly cover more data sources. Students get better self-serve access to research materials.
AI21's Contextual Answers enters a competitive landscape already marked by significant innovation. Just last month, Databricks unveiled LakehouseIQ, an AI-powered knowledge engine for businesses using its Lakehouse platform. In a similar vein, Snowflake announced Document AI, a new large language model that helps businesses understand and extract value from unstructured data. The emergence of such solutions highlights the burgeoning demand for the power of generative AI in unlocking the potential of enterprise data.
Tapping into siloed corporate documents and data can unlock tremendous value - from boosting productivity to improving customer support. Contextual Answers aims to provide an accessible, ready-to-use solution. Enterprises now have an expanding menu of platforms to choose from. This is not a glimpse into a distant future, but a tangible reality today, where organizational knowledge is actively being transformed into actionable insights, driving productivity, efficiency, and innovation. As the AI field continues to evolve, these tools represent the vanguard of an exciting era of enterprise AI.