Gen AI: The need for Human Intelligence (HI) with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Generative AI has the potential to change many aspects of our worlds, but it still needs a human inside.

Ipsos | Almanac 2024 | Generative AI
The author(s)
  • Michel Guidi Chief Operating Officer, Ipsos

November 2022: with the launch of ChatGPT, Generative AI (GenAI) emerges as a driving technological force, a tidal wave similar in its impact to the advent of the Internet. GenAI is poised to change the world as we know it: how we work, consume, communicate, get informed and educated, etc.

Twelve months later, it’s time to remember Amara’s Law – coined by the American scientist Roy Amara in the 1970s: ‘we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run’. GenAI will significantly impact the world as we know it, but it will take longer than some first thought.

At Ipsos, we have been very excited about GenAI since day one. In June 2023, we started a “mass experiment” by launching Ipsos Facto, our generative AI platform, with three goals – to democratise GenAI, embedding it in the daily lives of our employees; to operate by creating new applications to gain speed and efficiency in a range of tasks such as transcription, codification, translation, summarisation, extraction of themes, generation of toplines, etc.; and to innovate leveraging the new technology to improve existing products and build new ones.

IIpsos | Almanac 2024 | Generative AIpsos Facto has been a remarkable success. As I write this article, 51% of the Ipsos workforce have already used Ipsos Facto, and we saw 200,000+ prompts generated within just one month – and these numbers keep growing. Our challenge in 2024 is to embed Ipsos Facto in the daily lives of more people, and see it used more often and better – remember Amara’s Law!

We’ve learned a lot over the past twelve months, and we did so while avoiding the major pitfalls you may have seen in the news:

  • Security problems like the one Samsung suffered in April 2023.

  • Hallucinations, exemplified by the crazy story of a senior lawyer in New York who presented a court filing based on fictional texts of law, in May 2023.

  • Bias issues induced by GenAI, a source of great concern, considering our mission to understand the diversity and complexity of the world.

  • Loss of control, as exemplified by the 'crass’ AI poll generated automatically by Microsoft beside a news article.

How did we navigate those turbulent waters?

  • Ipsos Facto is safe: our prompts do not feed public models. It is agnostic: we keep making new models available, enabling users to compare and select the best models for the best outputs. And it is enriched with Ipsos’ unique, high-quality data.

  • By being rigorous in applying our evaluation framework, based around the concepts of truth, beauty and justice. In short, we ask ourselves if what we have produced is accurate, if we understand how the results have been generated, and whether we are acting ethically – and within the law – when we produce our outputs.

  • And importantly, by keeping the human in the loop, for prompt engineering, model training, verification and output activation. GenAI is like an exoskeleton: it can help you run faster, jump higher or carry more weight, but it still needs a human inside.

We have been busy this past year, using GenAI for efficiency with tasks such as text analytics, desk research, translation, data processing, quality checks, interview guides, etc. Even more importantly, we have been working with our clients to pilot new or improved products and approaches leveraging GenAI: we have launched new products such as Ipsos Signals GenAI, Ipsos RISE, InnoPredict AI, AI-powered communities, AI-boosted ideation workshops, Spark AI, Persona Bot, etc. We are leveraging GenAI to spot early signals; identify unmet needs; generate new ideas; write concepts; optimise product and develop pack; use persona bots to validate ideas; converse with data in our reporting and dashboarding tools; etc.

Let’s take the example of Ipsos Signals GenAI, which can explore social data by using AI and, with AI-powered interpretation of the data, generate predictions. From those predictions, we can start creating projects of future innovation. We can complete this entire process in just five days – once you apply GenAI to your project properly, the speed you can work with is crazy.


Ipsos | Almanac 2024 | Generative AI

And there is even more on the horizon. In 2024, we are making Ipsos Facto available to our clients, with access to our library of guided prompts. We will supercharge our storytelling with text to image, text to video, text to avatar, text to music. We will continue to work on ever-larger prompts, allowing more context and bespoke responses (our longest prompt today, leveraging Censydiam, is 33-pages long!). We will work towards developing new language models, beyond English. And we will launch more new products and applications, such as AI-Assisted Ideation workshops, Transcript and Knowledge curation, AI-generated segmentation insights, etc.!

At Ipsos, we champion the unique blend of Human Intelligence (HI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to propel innovation and deliver impactful, human-centric insights for our clients. 

Our HI stems from our expertise in prompt engineering, data science, and our unique, high quality data sets – which embeds creativity, curiosity, ethics, and rigour into our AI solutions, powered by our Ipsos Facto GenAI platform. 

Our clients benefit from insights that are safer, faster and rooted in the human context.

Let’s unlock the potential of HI+AI!