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Much has been made about artificial intelligence, with new tools going live to the public like ChapGPT3 and ChatGPT4…do I hear ChatGPT5? 

If you’ve been following tech in the welding space, AIs are now working in all kinds of automation applications. For example, an audio warning when a defect is detected, or Novarc Technologies NovEye vision-based, artificial intelligence (AI)-guided control system on its latest Spool Welding Robot. 

As we’ve been saying since we started building ClearSource, there’s plenty of neat new tech when you’re on the tools… just not when you’re buying them! That’s still a game of emails and phone calls. 

While we work on the challenge of bringing e-procurement to the welding masses, we’re always trying to look around the corner to see what’s next. When we take a cue from the AI headlines, we ask ourselves, how will AI work for folks at distributor order desks? 

We decided to try an experiment to see what would happen if we presented ChatGPT3 with an order desk scenario. See below. 

One early response we heard back from a distributor partner was: 

Lol… interesting…Kinda correct, which is the worst answer possible. 

90% truth means 10% error. 10% error causes failures.” 

But wow, what an answer! It sounds very authoritative and has just enough technical verbiage to make you think, “This sounds right.” But what if that question was in relation to a structural weld and a failure resulted in a collapse of some kind? That’s the danger in some of the early versions of these tools when asking them complicated, nuanced or technical questions. 

You know who would have got that right? Your favourite order desk. And even if they didn’t know the answer, they have the resources to find you accurate information, so you don’t make mistakes. 

Unfortunately, many order desk staff are still bogged down processing repetitive, non-technical orders and quote requests instead of letting all that industry knowledge shine on your behalf! Not to turn this into a shameless plug for ClearSource, but our platform gets that boring stuff off their plate so they can get back to helping their customers with expertise and know-how. 

So, we can safely say that ChatGPT3 isn’t quite ready for the order desk, but in the meantime, let’s let “Actual Intelligence” do its thing!