Artificial intelligence (AI) is our new gold rush. People are scrambling to be a part of the scene. It’s easy to understand why. Media coverage of the technology is non-stop. And no one wants to be left behind.

The possibilities may be endless. However, we’re still not sure where this is all going. It’s been just about a year since ChatGPT hit the mainstream. We are still very much in the early days.

As it pertains to WordPress, AI is popping up in a variety of plugins. Text and image generation capabilities seem to be at the forefront.

As such, we’re currently in a copycat moment. It seems like some developers are adding AI just because they can. Its usefulness can vary quite a bit.

So, if you’re a product maker looking to add AI, ask yourself: Why? Here are a few factors that should influence your decision.

How Will AI Make Things Better?

AI holds great potential. But it can’t drive sales by itself. Much of your product’s success will be in how you use the technology.

For new products, originality means a lot. Will you use AI in a new or clever way? What separates it from others on the market?

Existing products already have an established user experience (UX). Thus, consider the impact of adding AI to the mix. The last thing you want is for it to get in a user’s way.

The goal should be to make things better. AI should help users do something faster and easier. Or it might help them do something that previously wasn’t possible.

The technology may be a great fit in some cases. But it might also be overkill. Therefore, think about the problem you’re trying to solve. Then, you can decide whether AI offers the best solution.

How Will AI Impact Pricing and Maintenance?

There’s always a cost to adding product features. It covers financial investment in tools and service providers. And we can’t forget about the cost of future maintenance and customer support.

AI is certainly no exception. For instance, tapping into ChatGPT’s API requires the purchase of tokens. It can become pricey at scale.

How do you account for this cost? Can you reliably pass it on to customers? And how do you prevent a customer from using an outsized number of tokens?

You can set token limits on your API usage. But what happens if you run out of access? That could inconvenience users or have you racing to buy more.

Product maintenance and support are also considerations. APIs tend to change. You’ll have to keep up with new developments.

Plus, you might not control some aspects of your AI implementation. That could leave you stuck in the middle between customers and your provider.

Jumping onto the AI bandwagon means committing to these costs. Think about what they mean for the present and future.

Can You Use AI to Fuel Growth?

Today’s version of AI is one thing. But what will it be capable of in a year? How does that fit into your product roadmap?

We can’t necessarily predict the future. Still, it’s possible to create an AI wish list of sorts. It should include items that could potentially help your product grow.

For instance, let’s say you’re adding a text generation tool. How do you expect it to evolve? There may be new capabilities down the road. That includes some we may not have dreamed of yet.

AI is likely to change rapidly. Therefore, you’ll want to prepare for the inevitable. Think about how you’ll adapt to what’s ahead.

It’s not about jumping on the next fad, per se. Envisioning the next iteration and how it improves your product is the goal.

Once you integrate AI, you’ll have a responsibility to stay current. A plan will allow you to keep up with best practices and user expectations.

Add AI for the Right Reasons

There’s a lot of noise out there regarding AI. With that comes pressure to implement the technology into your product. Even WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg has advised us to “leverage” AI.

But AI isn’t a magic tool. It won’t suddenly make your product a best seller. And it’s not necessarily the answer to every market challenge.

To that end, it’s worth thinking about the pros and cons. It may seem like everyone else is in a hurry. However, rushing yourself into a decision can be problematic.

If you already have a product, you’re impacting existing users. And they may not stand to benefit as much from AI as you think. Some may reject it outright. Novelty only gets you so far.

There’s also the potential cost of adding and maintaining new features. AI is yet another dependency that can impact your resources.

The bottom line is adding AI to your product is a long-term business decision. And it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

AI will work best for your product when added for the right reasons. Will it improve the user experience? Will it help you grow? If so, adding the technology may be a great move.

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