The Added Value of Gen AI

How can technological developments help companies advance and become future-proof? This is what Niels Snoep focuses on at Rabobank. For the past 1,5 years, he has been concentrating mainly on Generative AI. “Before that, it was Blockchain, and in a few years, it might be quantum computing or some other technology. More than just the technology itself, it’s about how a company handles changes and implements innovations.”

Snoep is giving a lecture on the possibilities that  Gen AI offers  during the EC meeting on July 9th. Gen AI is a form of artificial intelligence that can generate text, images, and varied content based on the data it is trained on. During the lecture, he will show which questions Gen AI can answer. Rabobank is also extensively experimenting with Gen AI. Others might benefit from the lessons the bank is learning. “At Rabobank, we started experimenting with this technology from the bottom up for knowledge purposes with a central selection and coordination, and we are expanding the central role to start the Gen AI use cases which offer most value for the bank. Therefore we decided all these Gen AI use cases to be streamlined and managed by one team.”

He describes himself as being in an ‘AI bubble’. “I work with people who are fully focused on Gen AI and my LinkedIn network is full with AI ‘fans’. But for the general public, this technology is still a big unknown. The enthusiasts have started using it, but not everyone is involved yet. It mainly teaches me that we are still at the very beginning of this technology. That’s fine as long as you are curious and open to experiment with it. Many (especially small) entrepreneurs are completely absorbed with running their businesses. There’s a shortage of staff, and there are various other issues to address, such as circularity and sustainability. Technological developments often move too quickly for businesses, and they need time to adapt.”

Where should a company start with AI? “Gen AI is not the answer to all problems for every company. I wonder how much Gen AI can mean for the local bakery. It starts with your business model: what challenges are you facing as a company? These might relate to labour market shortages, adaptability, or innovation. Based on these challenges, you can assess whether Gen AI can help you. Perhaps Gen AI can take over some tasks, such as marketing, but also in the field of innovation it can play an exciting role. Think of creating new recipes or flavour combinations.”

The Added Value of Gen AI

Hiring an expensive consultancy firm to guide you through the world of Gen AI is always an option, but Snoep advices to start somewhere else. “First, look at your own organization. You might have ‘digital nomads’ in your teams or early adopters. Bring them together for an afternoon and let them think about where they see opportunities for Gen AI in the company. That can be a good start. It all starts with a strategy and the business problem you are solving.”

Snoep looks forward to the discussion with the EC members. “I am curious about their views on the possibilities of using Gen AI within their companies.”

Niels Snoep
Innovation Manager SME & Corporates, Rabobank