Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe?

Artificial Intelligence: Friend or Foe?

In recent years, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) – namely ChatGPT – has given way to debate about its role in the bidding space. Will this advanced tool take away job security for bidding professionals? Or, can it act as a powerful ally to have in their corner? Our resident podcast host, Dave McCormack, sat down with Valtech’s European Growth Operations Director, Alex Lockhart, to hash out these questions and all things AI in March’s edition of Use These Better!

If you’ve logged onto LinkedIn, browsed the X (née Twitter) trending tab, or watched the news over the past year, you’ll be no stranger to the name ChatGPT. But what exactly is it? Alex describes it as a portal to a virtual library, leveraging resources like books, website content, podcasts, and videos to respond in a human-like way to prompts inputted by the user. Or, to put it simply, an advanced version of Microsoft Word’s ‘Office Assistant’ paperclip!

As a bidding veteran of 28 years, Dave is well aware of the technological advancements that have already made their way onto the proposal scene – gone are the days of in-person war rooms and individually printed copies of submissions, making way for digital responses, microsites, QR codes, and 3D visualisations. With this in mind, why is it that so many bidding professionals are resistant to the growth of ChatGPT?

Citing Terminator and describing the tool as potentially ‘dangerous’ for bid teams, Dave raises important questions about the humanity of AI. Sure, it can provide a logical, informed response to a question, but anything in the realm of USPs, narrative, and storytelling – the things that define a business’s successes and differentiate us from our competitors – remains to be desired. In the bid writing industry, where so much of what we put out is built on human interaction (storyboarding, SME interviews, peer reviews, etc.) it’s no wonder that so many of us fail to see the potential benefits of AI software.

On the flip side, Alex describes ChatGPT as ‘a friendly personal assistant’ with more to give than just copy-and-paste-able boilerplate. As bid writers or SMEs, we can all relate to a bad case of writer’s block. To combat this, ChatGPT can (or at least claims to) explain concepts in a human way, acting as a virtual colleague to prompt us when we’re feeling uninspired. This sheds light on a different perspective to the humanity argument – we can use AI tools as a helping hand when the realities of being human, like writer’s block, distractions at home, or even a bad night’s sleep get in the way. By adapting the information provided by ChatGPT with what we already know about the client and RFP information, we can take our responses to the next level, all whilst saving time and energy!

Of course, Alex understands that ChatGPT isn’t all the way there and that human intervention is required to interpret the information it provides. Where do you think ChatGPT and the emergence of AI will take us? Do you see it as a benefit to the bidding industry? Have a listen to the episode and let us know where you stand on the friend or foe debate!

Catch the full episode of our Use These Better podcast below.