In a recent episode of the Sidecar Sync podcast, Mallory Mejias and Amith Nagarajan discuss the U.S. News and World Report’s recent launch of an advanced generative AI search function across its website, usnews.com. The tool is designed to better understand a searcher’s query and return results that more closely meet the searcher’s needs, enhancing the web user and content consumer experience.
While large language models (LLMs) and custom GPTs are designed to generate text based on the vast data they've been trained on, often creating content or responses from scratch, generative AI search integrates these capabilities with advanced search algorithms. This unique combination enables it to understand user queries in-depth, search through vast databases, and generate responses that are not only relevant but also finely tuned to the specific needs of the query. This unique blend of search and comprehension, coupled with generation capabilities, sets generative AI search apart.
Why Associations Must Eliminate Friction from Their Web Content
In their conversation about U. S. News and World Report’s recent launch, Amith said, “It's not the best content that wins, but the content that you can access with the least friction,” and so it goes that “friction becomes the enemy of associations.”
Associations hold a wealth of knowledge for their members. They serve as experts in their industry and have exceptional content repositories. But if an association has a complex or antiquated navigation system that prevents members from finding and utilizing their knowledge base, the knowledge (and the association) loses its value.
Many associations have tried to eliminate friction by implementing a federated search tool, which allows users to search for information across multiple sources, including CMS systems, document repositories, and other databases. While federated search systems are able to gather more information for the user, they are not able to understand the user’s query and curate a response with the most relevant and useful information. This leaves the user overwhelmed with results, which translates to a lack of usable insights.
As Amith said, it is not the best, but the most accessible knowledge that wins.
How Associations Can Provide the Most Accessible Content
Generative AI search tools, like Betty Bot, demonstrate the blend of conversational AI and precision search. A custom GPT serves as a basic look-up tool: You give it access to information, a user asks a question, the custom GPT finds the piece of information it can use to answer the question, and then it responds. Betty does all of this and more. When Betty is given a prompt, she stops, thinks about what she wants to do with the prompt, and then chooses a response path based on the user’s query.
As generative AI search evolves, it promises to continually redefine information management within associations. Adapting to and integrating this technology effectively will be key to improving your digital offerings and enhancing member services. It's a significant step towards ensuring associations remain relevant and effective in a digitally evolving landscape.
We encourage our readers to continue exploring the potential of AI in associations. Share your thoughts, experiences, or inquiries with the Sidecar community and stay engaged for more insights on harnessing AI's power in information management.
Discover How AI Can Help Organize Your Association’s Data and Content
Interested in taking the first step in using AI to improve your members’ web and content experiences? Download our free ebook, “Ascend: Unlocking the Power of AI for Associations.” In it, you’ll learn how AI works and how you can use it to optimize your existing content, create new and relevant content, and elevate your value proposition.
November 30, 2023