Technology Insights

10 Ways AppDirect.AI Enhances Advisor Efficiency

By Ideas @ AppDirect / November 22, 2023


Artificial intelligence is redefining the business and technology landscape, opening up unprecedented opportunities for providers, advisors, and their end clients.

With a current market value of $40 billion, projected to surge to $1.3 trillion by 2032, the demand for AI tools across industries is soaring. This remarkable ascent in value is particularly noteworthy given the relative youth of popular AI chat tools, such as ChatGPT, which marks its first anniversary on November 30th.  These chatbots—ChatGPT, Bard, LLama, Bard, Cohere and others—use Large language models (LLMs) as the architecture to analyze the data and the context of words related to one another. The models learn the patterns and connections between words and phrases to mimic human intelligence.

Enter AppDirect.AI—a strategic tool designed specifically for advisors and providers. This innovative solution can help maximize customer value, helping users select the right solutions and tools, and giving users the ability to create personalized AI bots from the AppDirect AI Marketplace.

Here we’ll uncover the top capabilities of the AppDirect AI Marketplace as shared by Nicolas Desmarais, AppDirect CEO and Chairman, during our recent State of the Union webinar.

Jump to minute 6:00 to hear from Nicolas directly

First, identifying AI’s limitations

Despite the promising potential of AI technology, it has inherent limitations. During early development phases of AppDirect AI functionality, our engineering team identified several crucial gaps in existing AI tools, including:

  • AI tools tend to be generalist solutions: A lot of chat interfaces are built on top of large language models (LLMs), but they’re very generalist in nature and aren’t trained to handle specific problems. For instance, the LLM that powers ChatGPT uses an algorithm that's trained on huge volumes of text-based data scraped from the internet and any other sources that it's ‘fed.’

  • Technical creation: We found that the service we were working with was highly technical, and you needed to be familiar with APIs to tokenize your own data and create embeddings that the large language models can process.

  • Shallow data pools: While the underlying language model is trained on a large amount of data, is it easy for it to access your own data pools within your company? We found that it’s not easy to get larger language models trained on specific data without engaging several engineers or data scientists

  • Isolated interactions: We also found that the interactions felt very isolated because they’re often through a chat interface, which can be very bilateral. It’s just you and the AI, and you don’t get the same collaborative benefits that you would by interacting with colleagues or different chatbots collaborating together.

  • Consumer-first and public: The AppDirect team found the experiences with AI to be very consumer-first and public, which raises concerns about data privacy.

  • Limited or inconvenient access: It can be inconvenient to access the power of GPT or a chat interface, and you’re often limited in what you can do.

Introducing AppDirect.AI

Armed with these insights, the AppDirect team meticulously strategized to overcome these gaps, seamlessly integrating their solutions into the framework of AppDirect.AI.

AppDirect.AI is a strategic tool designed specifically for advisors and providers, helping users select the right solutions and tools, and giving users the ability to create personalized AI chatbots from the AppDirect AI Marketplace, which they can set to public or private. The AppDirect AI Marketplace is different from the AI-chat bot, AppDirect Concierge which was introduced several months ago and enables advisors to use a chat-interface to interact with solutions and data within the AppDirect Marketplace and catalog. For a demo and more information on the chat-bot tool, read our blog, “Harnessing the Power of AI: Embrace the Opportunity, Not the Threat.

This tool is also trained with AppDirect Marketplace data, so it can process information, SKUs, merchandising content, and pricing. This integration simplifies the process of finding the right solutions within the AppDirect Marketplace.

Democratizing technology, including AI, is at the core of the AppDirect mission. AppDirect.AI empowers partners, enabling them to optimize internal processes and deliver enhanced value to their customers, ultimately fostering growth. The AppDirect engineering team worked on solutions for each of the above problems and built them into the AppDirect Marketplace.

10 ways advisors can utilize AppDirect.AI

This AI Marketplace is built for providers and advisors, taking the power of GPT and large language models and putting them into advisors’ hands so you can leverage the technology intuitively. Here’s the top 10 capabilities and ways advisors can use the AppDirect.AI bot creation tool. Keep in mind, new functionality is in development and coming soon!

  1. Use specialized capabilities—Users can create AI experiences or AI bots that are truly specialists and are fine-tuned to solve specific problems.

  2. Self-serve tools—With the self-service capabilities you can create an AI with specific capabilities. Any partners and advisors can use it to create their own AI.

  3. Use deep data pools—Making the data easy to access and creating an AI that easily learns from your own data sets.

  4. Collaborate with teams—Built-in capabilities make it possible to use AI with your team members or clients to collaborate.

  5. Create with confidence with enterprise-grade security—The tool is secure and built with business usage in mind. Everything is hosted privately and won’t be added to public data pools, so you don’t have to worry about data privacy.

  6. Extend AI functionality to other business cases —Use AI within your website or for other uses.

  7. Search the marketplace for AI tools—When you open up AppDirect.AI, you’ll notice that it’s not directly a chat functionality. It looks more like the marketplace layout that you’re used to. You can browse categories and already created bots to find AI that meets your customers’ specific needs.

  8. Chat with AI tools to find the best solutions— Use the tool to find out more about features and use cases to help you make the best recommendations for customers.

  9. Build an AI bot—AppDirect.AI will offer the ability to build your own AI bot. You can name it and it will generate instructions to help you get a sense of how it will work, making it ideal for beginners. Those who are more experienced can conduct full prompt engineering to get the most out of it. To train the AI, you can upload your own data, whether that’s from a website, a CSV file, a Google Drive folder, text files, PDFs, and even images. If you have larger data sets, we’re also working on APIs that will be released soon.

  10. Share your AI bot—Once you have created an AI, you can share it with team members and clients. We’re currently working on adding Slack plugins, voice control, and embeddable components for your website to make your AI more extensible beyond the AppDirect interface.

Embracing the AI opportunity—Advancing capabilities for advisors

With the tool currently in its beta phase, it will be a gradual rollout to our advisor and provider base over the next few months and beyond. 

Stay tuned for upcoming enhancements that will further refine the AI features highlighted earlier, ultimately delivering a more seamless and efficient user experience, all focused on optimizing business results.

Learn more and hear from our special guests in the full October State of the Union webinar.