Consulting Webflow Template - Galway - Designed by and
Business Technology
Navigating the Paradox of Value Creation in Generative AI
February 15, 2024
Business Technology

Enhancing Value Creation with Generative AI: A Balanced Perspective

This article explores the application of Generative AI (GenAI) across various domains, highlighting situations where it falls short in value creation and Large Language Models (LLMs) face challenges in reasoning and understanding prompts.


In December 2023, we delved into a collaborative study by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group, which highlighted the transformative impact of Generative AI (GenAI) on enhancing productivity and the quality of work among management consultants. This study introduced the concept of a complexity frontier, emphasizing the need for professionals to adeptly navigate the dynamic balance between leveraging GenAI's advantages and mitigating its challenges.

We will in this article try to refine our understanding of this complexity frontier, drawing upon the latest research findings.

The Paradox of Trust and Mistrust in GenAI Applications

Recent studies have revealed a paradoxical stance towards GenAI: it is often undervalued in areas where it significantly enhances value, yet overtrusted in domains beyond its competency. For instance, a study by the BCG Henderson Institute demonstrated that consultants employing GPT-4 in product innovation tasks surpassed their peers by 40%. Conversely, when GPT-4 was used to tackle complex business problems, its performance was 23% inferior compared to traditional methods. This discrepancy highlights LLMs' limitations in integrating nuanced data to resolve intricate issues. Moreover, the study observed a 41% reduction in the diversity of outputs, leading to a more homogeneous set of solutions among users.

Understanding LLMs' Nature and Limitations

LLMs excel in predicting subsequent elements in text sequences, showcasing remarkable capabilities in generating human-like responses. However, this prowess can mistakenly attribute human-like understanding to these models, leading to their misapplication. LLMs simulate basic logical operations but lack the capacity for advanced reasoning or synthesizing complex conclusions. Their probabilistic foundation also introduces the risk of error accumulation in multi-step reasoning tasks.

An experiment by MITSloan vividly demonstrates these limitations:

Experiment Example

Prompt: "There is an apple inside a blue box. There is also a red box inside the blue box. The red box has a lid on it. How can I get the apple?"

GPT-4's inability to recognize that the apple was not inside the red box not only showcases its reasoning shortfalls but also its comprehension challenges.

Prometee’s Conclusion: Navigating the Future with GenAI

These findings underscore the immense potential of LLMs in business while urging a deeper comprehension of their limitations. Businesses are advised to exercise caution when integrating GenAI into processes requiring complex logical reasoning. While prompt engineering may enhance LLMs' grasp of concepts, the indispensable role of human oversight in reasoning tasks cannot be overstated. By synergizing GenAI with human intelligence and complementary technologies, businesses can transcend the limitations of LLMs, paving the way for more innovative and effective solutions.

Through a balanced and informed approach, GenAI holds the promise of not just creating value but amplifying it across various business domains, transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation.