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Generative AI

How Slalom Build creates impactful solutions with generative AI

By Slalom Build

Builders across all of our capabilities have been busy rolling up their sleeves and digging into the world of generative AI (genAI) as part of one of our regular, multiple monthslong hackathons. This event is a great opportunity to help our teams push the envelope and upskill while also making significant impacts on the generative AI landscape.

Finalists of our generative AI hackathons have come up with ingenious solutions designed to help people fully embrace generative AI’s promise, including:

  • a Salesforce application to assist customer support teams
  • a booking and rental vehicle reservation chatbot to enhance customer experience
  • an interactive onboarding tool to support employee training and retention
  • digital avatars that rapidly deliver information to customers and users
  • a Recruiting as a Service (RaaS) product to enhance the candidate search experience which our Talent Acquisition team has user tested

Generative AI isn’t just a new hobby for us or restricted to hackathons. We’re also fully immersed in using this technology to build game-changing solutions for our customers, attract new customers, keep costs in line, maximize our revenue, and innovate ahead of disruption. Here’s a glimpse into how we’re putting generative AI to work within Slalom Build and the results we’re achieving.

Solid partnerships have boosted our generative AI capabilities

From the initial early rumblings of generative AI in tech circles, industry leaders have been collaborating with Slalom Build’s experts to advance their initiatives. From the start, we’ve partnered with Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, Amazon Web Services, OpenAI, and others to help these heavy hitters bring their solutions to life for customers across many industries.

Working side-by-side with these companies has helped us gain deep knowledge of their foundation models. Through this collaboration, our team has been exposed to cutting-edge code and sophisticated working methods that have helped us build meaningful generative AI solutions for our customers and ourselves.

A shout out to our SMEs

We’re fortunate to have a collective of cross-functional subject-matter experts (SMEs) who serve as our GenAI go-tos. This passionate group of advisors always has an ear to the ground. Their knowledge in this domain equips them to make sense of the mountain of information, and speculation surrounding generative AI. They ensure our services are leading-edge and future proof so our customers get the most out of their investments.

Our SMEs provide guidance to ensure we’re consistently building relevant and effective products. This team of specialists has been integral in developing our AI practice, including our work to create dynamic, highly personalized intelligent products.

A glimpse into how we’re using generative AI

We believe that humans and machines can work together for a successful outcome. We view AI, including generative AI, as a collaborator. These tools give our teams a helpful productivity boost much how people use autocomplete, spell check, or our old friend from the past, Clippy.

One example of how we’ve been using generative AI is integrating it within our Product Engineering Methodology (PEM) process for software development. We’ve been experimenting with generative AI within each of our development phases, from aligning on work, to designing, building, testing and eventual product release.

We are leveraging ChatGPTwhen creating user stories and handling code development tasks. Humans are relied on to double check the output. This has been a major accelerator for our developers, with code being written to meet user acceptance criteria easier and faster than without GenAI. Additional areas where GenAI has been lending us a hand in our workflows include:

  • Prototyping
  • Design
  • Code refactoring and annotation
  • Unit and functional testing
  • Debugging
  • Documentation updates
  • Solution monitoring

The positive impacts generative AI has on development

The gains we’re seeing from generative AI have been impressive, with our Builders using it not only to generate content pieces or give them an assist, but to increase our company’s agility and transform the digital experiences we’re co-creating with our customers. Here are a few more ways generative AI is paying off for software development.

  • Productivity gains. AI-enhanced engineering is driving increases between 30-50% in developer productivity. Traditionally labor-intensive tasks become less taxing and may be completed more rapidly. Backlogs can be cleared quickly to increase progress.
  • Breaking through programmer’s block. Tools like ChatGPT are handy at unblocking those ‘I don’t know how to start’ and ‘I don’t know what to do next’ feelings.
  • Enhanced software quality. Having an extra pair of hands can augment the quality of work, resulting in greater reliability and earlier detection of potential bugs.
  • Rapid deployment. Automation can speed up the software development process, moving projects to the finish line faster and reducing time to market.
  • Employee satisfaction. GitHub’s research shows that 88% of developers feel more productive when using the company’s Copilot tool. With greater satisfaction, less frustration, and less effort spent on repetitive tasks, technologists are left inspired, not tired.

Taking a pragmatic approach to GenAI coding

We don’t want to give you the impression that we’re feeding massive amounts of code into AI tools without any consideration whatsoever. Like many engineering organizations, once Slalom Build decided to adopt generative AI within our business, we’ve been engaging in deep reflection and moving deliberately. A fitting example of this is an article one of our Builders wrote about what to consider when coding with an AI boost.

Our employees are guided by our acceptable use policy and understand best practices. We’re inherently motivated by the responsible and ethical use of technology. It’s vital we continue to ensure our solutions meet the highest standards of quality, security, and privacy is paramount. We’re prudent with our implementation of this technology and aware of its limitations. Bias, intellectual property and privacy concerns, ethical development and deployment are all critical considerations for Slalom Build’s application of generative AI.

Now that you’ve discovered how we’re working with generative AI for software development, we’re curious about your experience. Are you unsure how to get started, exploring its use, or fully on board with its adoption?

We’re more than happy to explore the art of the possible with you, no matter what stage your in on your journey. Reach out to book your spot in one of our generative AI workshops. You’ll come away with new insights and ideas for AI transformation and get a set of solid next steps to improve operations and drive new opportunities.