Bain & Company inks alliance with ChatGPT creator OpenAI

26 February 2023 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read

Global consultancy Bain & Company has forged an alliance with ChatGPT creator OpenAI, with the goal of enhancing its client’s business potential through the groundbreaking AI technology.

One of the world’s top-three most influential strategic consulting firms – Bain & Company – has inked a deal with what it is shaping as potentially one of the most influential companies of any kind over the next decade or so; OpenAI, the brains behind ChatGPT and DALL-E.

Both AI models have generated endless discussion in recent months as the world struggles to catch up, including as to the recent beta testing of backer Microsoft’s Bing chatbot.

In a press release, Bain & Company stated that the new alliance builds on the consultancy’s adoption of OpenAI technologies for its 18,000-strong “multi-disciplinary team of knowledge workers” over the past year, having embedded them into its “internal knowledge management systems, research, and processes to improve efficiency.”

Other big consultancies in Australia, such as KPMG and PwC, are still grappling with exactly what approach to take to the revolutionary technology.

“AI has reached an inflection point and we foresee a huge wave of change and innovation for our clients across industries,” said Bain’s worldwide managing partner Manny Maceda. “We see this as an industrial revolution for knowledge work, and a moment where all our clients will need to rethink their business architectures and adapt. By collaborating with OpenAI, we’re delighted to have unmatched access to state-of-the-art foundation AI models.”

With the early backing of artificial intelligence alarmist Elon Musk, and ostensibly established as a transparent counter to ‘the threat’ of Google’s DeepMind AI research company, OpenAI initially billed itself as a non-profit dedicated to the development of ‘friendly AI for the benefit of all humanity’. Its GPT model however exploded from novelty into the public consciousness almost overnight, with Microsoft recently ‘lobotomising’ its Bing chatbot due to behavioural anomalies.

Despite these ongoing concerns and the scrambling from officialdom in response to ChatGPT’s latest incarnation, such as in the area of AI-generated university essays and political speeches, Bain is forging ahead. The consultancy intends to combine its “deep digital implementation capabilities and strategic expertise with OpenAI’s AI tools and platforms to help its clients around the world identify and implement the value of AI to maximise business potential.”

Client onboard: Coca-Cola

Another reasonably influential company – the world’s most prominent soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola – hasn’t hesitated in jumping on board the new Bain-OpenAI alliance, their engagement described by OpenAI’s head of ‘Go-To-Market’ Zack Kass as the most ambitious it had seen of any consumer products brand. Coke CEO James Quincey said in response that the company will be looking at ways to enhance marketing through OpenAI, along with business operations.

Kass concludes that “Bain’s internal adoption of this technology is also setting a standard for their clients to follow,” with the alliance next looking to among other things build the next generation of contact centers for retail banks, telcos and utility companies to improve CX and support sales and service agents with automated, personalised, and real-time scripts, as well as boosting marketing through “highly personalised ad copy, rich imagery, and targeted messaging.”

“This hugely exciting partnership is going to help us deliver more powerful AI solutions to our clients, and help them win as their industries transform with this generational shift in technology capability,” said Roy Singh, who heads a global team of more than 500 advanced analytics and data science practitioners as well as machine learning engineers at Bain. “Our clients will be able to identify the right business opportunities and implement them rapidly.”