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Embracing AI at Blend: Our Shift from Caution to Innovation

Generative AI has proven that it is here to stay. So the question is, in what manner should businesses integrate AI into their workflows and processes without creating skepticism from customers? The answer is: cautiously.

2/7/2024

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At Blend Interactive, we’re proud of our ability to quickly adapt and embrace new technologies, especially when it involves enhancing our web and content solutions. As a firm that’s helped bring several new content management solutions to North America, we understand the allure of the “latest and greatest.” We’ve followed more than one shiny object over the years!

However, while promising and exciting, those shiny objects often require a measured approach. For example, integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into our processes has been a unique challenge. It’s still rapidly evolving, so our approach has been to balance the excitement of new generative AI capabilities with the need for stable, reliable solutions for our clients.

In other words, we’ve been cautious. We’ve approached multimodal AI selectively, ensuring it offers tangible benefits rather than chasing trends. And with that, we’ve begun to position ourselves not as bleeding-edge adopters but as savvy early adopters.

Ensuring Client Trust and Understanding

First, our attitude toward AI has focused on maintaining client trust and understanding. As we gradually incorporate AI-driven solutions, educating our clients about AI’s implications and benefits is essential. Moreover, education goes beyond mere functionality; it includes AI’s ethical, privacy, and security concerns. It's vital to ensure our clients are comfortable and informed.

For example, Optimizely’s new AI assistant, Opal, enhances content personalization and quality, making suggestions based on user data and behavior. It also learns and improves over time, offering predictive analytics to forecast content performance. Opal will make content editing more efficient, intelligent, and practical, and it’s our job to understand exactly how this affects our clients, their workflows, and their budgets.

Cost vs. Benefit

As a small but mighty team, we are mindful of our investments. AI adoption is not just about acquiring technology; it’s about investing in training, resources, and changes in workflow. Our strategy has been to adopt AI in areas where the long-term benefits outweigh the initial costs and learning curve. We also can’t ignore the human element of AI. These new technologies require specific skills and expertise, and it’s an investment of our time and resources to ensure we’re savvy adopters. As we gradually adopt more AI-driven solutions, we also focus on upskilling our existing team and attracting new talent who are tech-savvy and align with our company culture. It’s redefining what an entry-level employee should know and how we can all best utilize our time creating custom solutions, not menial, repeatable tasks.

Our Ethical and Responsible Use

Finally, we’re not just about using technology for its own sake. The ethical implications of AI — from data privacy to algorithm bias — stay top of mind: Is this AI fair? Does it respect privacy? Equally important, we strive to use AI in ways that are responsible and aligned with our values as a company. For this reason, we’ve developed our own GPT model to serve our clients by understanding the specific needs of our industry, offering more accurate and relevant insights. Plus, it’s great for handling sensitive data securely, ensuring we meet privacy standards.

We’re Just Getting Started

The process of AI adoption at Blend Interactive has been met with some hesitation from some along the way. Still, we move forward cautiously with thoughtful decision-making, a balance of innovation and reliability, and a commitment to ethical practices. We’re excited about the possibilities AI brings and are strategically embracing it in a way that makes sense for our clients and us. We’re committed to being ahead of the curve when it aligns with our mission to deliver exceptional and responsible web and content solutions.