Over the past few months Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been in the news quite a lot, especially in the form of ChatGPT. Even though ChatGPT promises to be a useful tool, the news has not all been positive. The EU privacy regulators have created a special task force to investigate ChatGPT and Italy has already banned access to ChatGPT. Microsoft has heavily invested in the company behind the tool, which rekindled competition between the big IT companies. 

For those who are not aware of what ChatGPT is, I asked the AI tool to explain itself in layman’s terms, this is the answer it gave me:

“ChatGPT is an AI programme that can understand and respond to human language, like having a conversation with a computer. It uses advanced algorithms to learn from large amounts of data and can provide helpful information, answer questions, and even make suggestions based on the conversation it has with the user. It’s kind of like having a virtual assistant that can assist you with various tasks or just chat with you.” 

Simply said, you can see it as a chatbot, unlike the annoying versions you find on websites and through customer service tools, but it is a rather more intelligent one that can provide useful answers. 

Given its smart answers and capabilities, there are also some concerns that ChatGPT threatens the existence of certain jobs, especially information rich jobs like in technology, media and legal. Thus I wondered “Can AI replace Alliance Managers?” 

Can AI Replace Alliance Managers?

To answer that question we must make a distinction in the different types of partnerships. In a rather straightforward, high volume type of partnerships, such as those we find in channels, jobs might be easily replaced by AI than in true, value creating strategic alliances. The difference? People! Even though Alliance Management is an information rich profession, the people involved make the difference. People who build relationships, have empathy and are creative, characteristics automation cannot replace.

In light of this article, I also asked ChatGPT for its opinion and it seems to agree with me:

“Alliance Management involves complex relationship-building and negotiation skills that require human empathy, creativity, and strategic thinking. While AI can help with certain aspects of Alliance Management, such as analysing data or automating routine tasks, it cannot replicate the nuanced and subtle human interactions that are necessary for successful alliances.

Furthermore, Alliance Management often involves managing different cultural norms, languages, and business practices, which require a deep understanding of different contexts and a high level of emotional intelligence that AI cannot currently replicate.

In conclusion, AI can provide valuable support to Alliance Managers, but it is unlikely to fully replace them in the near future due to the complex and human-centric nature of Alliance Management.”

So, for now a better question might be “How can AI assist Alliance Managers?” ChatGPT already provided some general suggestions in the quote above, for example, analysing data and automating tasks, but what else? Could it help with finding the right partner, or what can it do for communication? What do you think, have you tried ChatGPT already?

PS: Although smart and useful, ChatGPT is not always correct! After writing this article I asked the tool who I am and it said that I’m the founder of an American channel firm instead of a Netherlands based Alliance Coach and that I’ve worked for companies that never crossed my resume. I had to correct it 4 times before I received a factual correct answer. It still has a lot to learn! 😉