McKinsey's Lilli: How AI Can Give Big Companies an Unfair Advantage

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The world of business is changing fast, and AI tools are leading the way. Just recently, the big-time consulting company McKinsey & Company made a splash by introducing its very own AI wonder, Lilli. This brainy tool was designed to help McKinsey's 30,000 employees find information, get insights, and even connect with internal experts, all by using more than 100,000 documents and interview transcripts.

Lilli isn't just some pet project; it's been in the works since June 2023 and is about to roll out company-wide this fall. Early users are already raving about how it's turning weeks of work into just hours, and sometimes even minutes! Imagine getting that much done that fast.

Lilli is user-friendly, with a chat-style interface that lets you ask questions and get answers. It might remind you of other text-based AI tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT, but there are a few tricks up Lilli's sleeve. It has a sidebar with saved questions you can easily tweak, and it comes in two flavors: "GenAI Chat" and "Client Capabilities." One's like a big AI encyclopedia, and the other digs into McKinsey's massive database of documents.

What makes Lilli stand out is that it's super transparent. When it answers your questions, it shows its work – all the sources, links, and even page numbers are right there for you to see. No secrets!

Now, here's the exciting part: Lilli can do all sorts of things. Imagine you work at McKinsey, and you need info about a client's industry, a list of experts to talk to, or a 10-week plan for building a new energy plant. Lilli's got your back, and it tells you where it found the answers. It's like having a genius coworker who knows everything!

But here's the catch: AI tools like Lilli give huge companies a massive advantage over smaller ones. How? Well, it's all about the cash, the talent, and the data.

Developing a tool like Lilli costs a ton of money. Big companies like McKinsey can afford it, but smaller ones might not. Imagine trying to build a high-tech robot when you can't even afford a bicycle. That's what it's like for smaller firms.

Then there's the talent. AI experts are like the rock stars of the business world, and big companies have the money to hire them. Smaller firms may struggle to compete for those super-smart folks who make AI magic happen.

Lastly, it's all about the data. AI tools need loads of information to learn and get better. McKinsey's got a mountain of data, but smaller firms have more like a data molehill. You need a ton of info to make your AI smart, and that's a big problem for smaller players.

In a nutshell, McKinsey's Lilli is a fantastic leap forward in AI tools for big businesses. But we have to face the fact that it's not so great for the little guys. They don't have the money, the talent, or the data to keep up. So, what's the solution? Maybe we need to find a way to share these amazing tools or help smaller firms get access to them. It's time to level the playing field in the world of AI. Let's make sure everyone can benefit from this amazing technology.

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