What is the Great GPT Tech Off? 

Version 1 is constantly on the lookout for innovative ideas and ways for its employees to build a culture they are proud to be a part of. In the first quarter of 2023, CTO Brad Mallard introduced a unique new quarterly challenge named the Great GPT Tech Off.  This challenge tasked Version 1 employees to find impactful uses that embraced GPT technology. A prize was offered for first and second place and 40 individuals from across the business came together to bring their ideas to life.

The Great Chat GPT Tech Off competition produced several outstanding projects and had the added benefit of bringing teams together on a common goal to find new angles on the latest technology.” 

The Competition  

The competition was split into two phases, the first where the entrants would create their problem statement and explore the problem that their design was fixing. Along with this, the team were required to outline a high-level narrative of their solution and share the key attributes of the solution that would address the problem. The team were also told to ask themselves- how big is this opportunity and how much societal value does it hold?  

Once the judges whittled down the entries to the final six, phase two began. This required the entries to develop their idea into a demonstrable solution which was presented in a ten-minute pitch to the five judges. The contestants were asked to consider the market opportunity, demonstrate their idea in action and exhibit the value of their concept- whether this was of social or sustainable value or anywhere in between.  

The Finalists  

We had six finalists in total following our initial submission selection. These finalists were selected to further develop their ideas into proof of values using OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3. They were supported through technical clinics with our Advisory Services team and pitch training from the commercial team. This helped to prepare them for the big moment – sharing their ideas with the judges.

Each team brought their own unique perspective to the process which highlighted the creativity and innovative thinking of those who took part. Submissions included an idea to aid in the Version 1 recruitment process to how GPT could make life easier for students and teachers. Each submission was thoroughly researched, provided a working proof of value using GPT technology and delivered a professional pitch to our judges. 

The Winner  

Our winners created a proof of value that demonstrated GPT technology’s value for neurodiverse people in society. Their creative solution adapted GPT technology to provide support and enable users to gain an understanding of an alternative perspective to the world we live in, from simple day-to-day tasks to social settings that can challenge some people. The potential impact for users is immeasurable and our judges called out the team’s enthusiasm and quality pitch as key differentiators in the competition. 

The Runner-up  

Our runners-up were a group of junior developers from our recent Academy. Their solution focused on driving efficiency in accessing information through GPT, a use case that was relevant to their own personal and professional experience. They harnessed GPT Technology using a unique approach which our judges found innovative and identified potential for application in various use cases across the business and potentially for our customers. 

The Result?  

The competition was a huge success. Each of the judges were blown away by the quality of the entrants and their individual ideas. The challenges will continue with quarterly competitions to bring in new ideas and drive creativity across the business. The feedback from the teams was hugely positive, with individuals forming new connections and learning more about cutting-edge AI technology.  

The driving force behind this idea to hold quarterly competitions is to engage our creative thinkers, bring new ideas from across the business, and give an opportunity to all our people to get involved regardless of their background, and to have fun whilst doing it.  

The judges each remarked on the impressive quality of solutions, the range of ideas and appreciated hearing new ideas from across the business as key highlights. CTO Brad Mallard, who initiated the competition, had this to say:  

“For this project, speed was of the essence which produced surprising results, and that kind of rapid innovation to solve societal problems is a true example of the spirit of Version 1. We also saw incredible collaboration and support from across the business, from commercial and delivery teams as well as development expertise. Congratulations to all the finalists and I’m looking forward to our next competition.” 

What’s next? 

The business will work with our competition entrants to further develop their ideas, in some instances, we would be keen to bring these to the market, pitch the ideas to our customers for specialist development and pilot them internally within Version 1. 

Another competition, which will be less technically focused, has kicked off for Q2, bringing more employees on board and encouraging them to develop and share their ideas. The theme this time is Back to the Sustainable Future, focusing on the journey Version 1 will go on to create a more sustainable future. We can’t wait to see what the talented teams come up with this time.  

Find out more about the innovative solutions from Version 1 and how we can help with your digital transformation journey.  

About Version 1

Version 1 proves that IT can make a real difference to our customers’ businesses. We are trusted by global brands to deliver IT services and solutions which drive customer success. Our team of over 3000 dedicated difference-makers works tirelessly to provide independent advice and deliver impactful changes to help our customers navigate the rapidly changing Digital-First world we live in. Our greatest strength is balance in our efforts to achieve Customer Success, Empowered People, and a Strong Organisation, underpinned by a commitment to our values. We believe this is what makes Version 1 different and more importantly, our customers agree.