From bot to app: How OpenAI, Perplexity and other AI tool providers are shaking up the market

May 31, 2024

Are we starting to see disruption in the tools and applications we use every day? It is still a slow process. But it is picking up speed.

OpenAI's new language model is impressive because it can mimic our various communication channels much better than its predecessors. No wonder, since it combines text, audio, and images in one model. But that wasn't the most exciting thing OpenAI unveiled a fortnight ago. The more important news was the announcement of ChatGPT as a desktop application. This app could have far-reaching implications for how we interact with each other. It can already do more than the web app, handles audio like the mobile app, and can 'see' our screen. The example of the maths tutorial shows how useful this is. It doesn't take much imagination to see how corporate help desks will work in the future.

It will be some time before new data analysis capabilities make Excel obsolete, but the question is already being asked: When will Excel be used and when will ChatGPT be used? Excel remains the safer choice for complex data analysis, but for simpler, interactive, and faster analysis, especially in the area of speech and text, ChatGPT may already be the better choice.

Not just OpenAI

Other well-known AI vendors are also making progress. Arc is positioning itself as an alternative to Chrome, promising (and delivering) an end to thousands of open browser tabs.

Perplexity launched Perplexity Pages this week. Perplexity's answers are clearer than Google's search results and more reliable than Google's new AI-generated summaries. With Pages, results can now be presented and shared as a visually appealing page - another important aspect of competing with the big productivity tool vendors.

Sharing and collaboration are areas where the new players have some catching up to do. But they know that. Canva, for example, focused on enterprise use cases when it unveiled its new features this week.

Of course, the incumbents are not sitting on their hands. Microsoft, in particular, is positioning itself as the one-stop shop for all AI productivity tools with its Copilots. However, the race has become more open as the new players have moved beyond the chatbot niche.

We can see it for ourselves: Up to a quarter of the time we use productivity tools, the new tools have taken over - and the trend is rising.

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