February 29, 2024 By Giulio Soliani 2 min read

In the fast-paced digital age, business professionals constantly seek innovative ways to streamline processes, enhance productivity and drive growth. Today’s professionals, regardless of their fields, must fluently use advanced artificial intelligence (AI) tools. This is especially important given the application of foundation models and large language models (LLMs) in Open AI’s ChatGPT and IBM’s advances with IBM watsonx™.  
 
Professionals must keep up with rapid technological changes such as cloud computing and AI, recognizing the integrative power of foundation models, which are increasingly central to AI-based automation. The transition to the foundation model era signifies a substantial change in how professionals use technology to enhance their digital strategies. By using cutting-edge technology, professionals can optimize decision-making processes and enhance operational efficiency. 

For instance, business analysts now play a crucial role in bridging the gap between business and IT but also in integrating these foundational AI models into business strategies, further augmenting and optimizing operations. They translate business needs into solution requirements and propose ways to optimize business operations. 

The next leap: Beyond low-code platforms 

While the rise of low-code platforms has marked a significant evolution in bridging business requirements with IT implementation, the current market trend is veering toward more intuitive, AI-driven solutions. Foundation models urge businesses to look beyond conventional limitations, with their inherent ability to understand, generate and process human-like text, allowing non-technical professionals to interact and build applications by using natural language, marking a shift from conventional programming. By transcending the constraints of low-code platforms, businesses can build more robust, tailored solutions that align closely with their evolving digital strategies. 

Deploying LLMs effectively, like any tool, requires professionals to understand their capabilities and potential biases. Blending creativity and domain-specific expertise with AI’s computational prowess helps ensure technologically sound and contextually relevant solutions. 

From digital assistants to AI assistants

The narrative surrounding digital assistants is evolving. While computer-aided instructions or computer-assisted instructions represented a previous breakthrough, AI platforms like watsonx are elevating the concept. Instead of mere assistants, these AI-based automation platforms act as collaborators, offering insights, handling routine tasks with precision and accuracy, and enhancing decision-making processes for knowledge workers. 

The distinction between traditional robotic process automation (RPA) robots and AI-driven digital collaborators is paramount. The latter not only automates but also comprehends, reasons and learns, providing richer, more dynamic interactions. More importantly, they enable systems and tools to conform to the needs of the users, responding intelligently to users’ natural language requests.  

IBM’s vision: watsonx, watsonx Orchestrate, foundation models and beyond 

IBM strategically innovates by venturing into the world of foundation models with watsonx, demonstrating their dedication to revolutionizing businesses through AI. Their powerful IBM watsonx™ Orchestrate platform equips digital assistants with essential tools to deliver unparalleled value. Simultaneously, IBM complements this ecosystem with its RPA and Process Mining tools, offering a low-code interface for business analysts to unearth and enhance business processes. 

In essence, IBM’s comprehensive suite, centered on watsonx, aims to usher in a new era by empowering businesses to use foundation models. This supercharges their operations, helping to ensure a harmonized dance between human expertise and AI-driven automation. 

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