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Barbara Hinderer | July 29, 2023

Generative AI - The Next Productivity Revolution in Product Development

3d illustration of a futuristic city with trees and buildings.

This article deals with the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in product development (R&D). Generative AI shows potentials in increasing productivity and efficiency in product development and other business functions. For instance, it can be utilized in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries to expedite the development of new drugs and materials.

Additionally, it has applications in other areas such as improving design, product testing, and material optimization. Generative AI can leverage multimodal capabilities and offer significant added value in industries like retail and banking. The estimated potentials of generative AI in the studied industries are substantial and could further increase if the technology leads to groundbreaking innovations.

Industry spotlights provide detailed analyses of the application possibilities of generative AI in specific sectors.

Introduction The world of artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved, and generative AI is at the forefront. Generative AI enables researchers to explore innovative ways to enhance market analysis, design processes, simulations, and physical tests. In this blog post, we will take a look at the exciting possibilities that Gen AI offers.

Generative AI in Market Research and Product Development: Market reports, ideation, and product designs receive a whole new dimension through the use of generative AI. Researchers can generate prompt-based drafts and designs, enabling them to iterate faster and more efficiently. Virtual simulations are optimized when new deep learning techniques are integrated into generative AI, reducing physical testing time.

The Role of Generative AI in Product Development

Generative AI is not yet fully tapped in product research and development, but our research indicates it holds significant potential. In the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, generative AI is already making strides, supporting the generative design of candidate molecules for accelerated development of new drugs and materials. However, its applications extend further, from larger physical products to electrical circuits and more.

Early research analysis demonstrates the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) in various areas of product development:

  1. Market Research and Ideation: Researchers use Gen AI to enhance market reporting, generate ideas, and create product or solution designs.
  2. Virtual Design: Gen AI allows prompt-based designs and concepts, facilitating rapid iterations with more design options.
  3. Virtual Simulations: In combination with new generative design techniques, Gen AI accelerates and optimizes the virtual simulation phase.
  4. Planning of Physical Tests: Researchers optimize test cases for more efficient testing, reducing time for physical setup and testing.
  5. Product Development (R&D): Gen AI holds substantial potential for product development and research, with productivity gains of 10 to 15 percent of total research and development costs.

For example, companies in the Life Sciences and Chemical sectors are utilizing generative AI models in research and development to expedite the process of developing new drugs and materials. Entos, a biotechnology company, uses Gen AI in conjunction with automated development tools to design small-molecule therapeutics. These principles can be applied to other products, including larger physical products and electrical circuits, among others.

Multimodal Capabilities of Generative AI

Generative AI showcases potential not only in text-based applications but also in other modalities like image generation, audio, and video. In the marketing world, this technology can be utilized to create advertising materials and other marketing content. Its application in the media industry, for instance, in game design, is already yielding promising results.

Gen AI - A Productivity Revolution Generative AI is on the verge of initiating a productivity revolution in various domains. From market research to product development and beyond, this technology offers diverse application possibilities. Its potential goes far beyond its current application in text-based functions and could fundamentally change the way companies operate. We can look forward to upcoming developments and the groundbreaking innovations that generative AI will bring in the future.

The Technology’s Impact on the Future of Work

The future of work through Generative AI: Generative AI has the potential to automate individual work activities and improve the way knowledge workers operate. Similar to older technologies, Generative AI can support and complement employees in their respective fields. However, the application of this technology differs from older technologies, which will be shown in a subsequent article.

The impact of technological automation: In previous analyses, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that half of the working hours of employees were spent on activities that could potentially be automated through technological automation. However, the introduction of technologies does not happen overnight. It takes time to develop solutions and deploy them economically.

Changes in the work world are not uncommon: The mix of work activities and professions can undergo significant changes over time. For example, the work of a farmer has evolved, and modern technology now allows them to access market data and weather forecasts. Large changes in the job market are not unusual, but they can present challenges for individual workers. The economic challenges of demographic development also require an increase in labor productivity to promote economic growth and prosperity.