Harnessing Generative AI for Community Impact

Harnessing Generative AI for Community Impact

This blog explores our journey from identifying a common need within the community to leveraging the latest in Generative AI technology, all through the accessible platform of PartyRock. Discover how we're pushing using the new LLMs to foster clean energy adoption and make technology accessible to all.

Published Feb 29, 2024


In the rapidly evolving world of technology, the power to create and innovate should be in the hands of everyone, not just those with deep pockets or technical expertise. With this philosophy at our core, we embarked on a journey to build a tool that would make a significant difference for communities. Our mission was clear from the outset: leverage PartyRock to develop a solution that caters to the needs of those making meaningful contributions to their communities, especially in sectors where technology has yet to make deep inroads.
BrightEstimate stands as a shining example of what's possible when innovation meets intention. It's not just a tool but a proof of concept that demonstrates the swift and efficient deployment of applications tailored to assist contractors and small business owners across various fields. By focusing on the solar energy sector for our initial rollout, we didn't just choose an industry; we aligned with a movement. The sustainability focus and undeniable growth potential of clean energy perfectly encapsulate our vision of leveraging technology for societal good.
Our choice of PartyRock as the development platform was instrumental in bringing BrightEstimate to life. It allowed us to quickly prototype and deploy a solution that embodies our commitment to accessibility and practical innovation. As we continue to explore the vast possibilities of PartyRock, BrightEstimate serves as a testament to our belief that technology, when thoughtfully applied, can be a powerful ally in building a sustainable future.

Community Impact

In the heart of our project lies a deep commitment to serve those often overlooked, yet who perform essential, meaningful work within their communities. Recognizing the people who work in the field - independent contractors and small business owners - we set out to create BrightEstimate, a tool designed to empower them in their daily endeavors. Our vision was clear: to craft a solution that not only eases their workload but also amplifies their impact on community development and sustainability.
Choosing PartyRock as our development platform was a strategic decision driven by its accessibility and efficiency. It offered us a pathway to quickly and affordably prototype BrightEstimate without the need for specialized hardware like costly GPUs or deploying APIs with code. This approach not only streamlined our development process but also aligned with our goal of making advanced technology accessible to all, regardless of their technical background or resources. Particularly, to be accessible from a mobile device, which is a tool used in developed and developing nations.
We envision BrightEstimate as an example to non-technical individuals passionate about making a difference in their fields by quickly prototyping their ideas. The simplicity and power of PartyRock open the door for anyone to experiment with Generative AI, transforming innovative ideas into practical solutions. Our project is a testament to the potential of technology to democratize innovation, enabling every visionary to contribute to their community's prosperity and well-being.
Interface of BrightEstimate on PartyRock
Interface of BrightEstimate on PartyRock

How to Use BrightEstimate: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here's how you can harness the power of BrightEstimate to streamline your sales process and dazzle your clients:

🚀 Getting Started with BrightEstimate

1. Enter Your Data: You need to go to PartyRock.aws and look for the application. Here is the direct link as well. Here, you'll provide the nitty-gritty details of your site assessment and write the product options you have available.
2. Generate Your Proposal: Once your data is in, BrightEstimate works its magic. The AI gets to work, meticulously crafting a proposal. It includes everything from project specifics to estimated costs and savings, all laid out in an easy-to-understand format.
3. Visualize the Project: Curious about how the solar installation will look on your client's property? Head over to the 'Visualize' tab. There, you'll find a custom-generated image showing the proposed setup, giving both you and your client a referential picture of the project's potential impact. This visual aid is not just about aesthetics; it's a powerful selling point.
4. Email Support: Communication is key, and BrightEstimate has got you covered. In the 'Email' section, you'll find a pre-prepared email template that encapsulates the essence of your proposal. It's designed to grab attention, highlight the key points of your proposal, and prompt action. All you need to do is customize it with your client's name and any additional personal touches.

Next Steps and Leveraging Amazon Bedrock

As we look at future improvements or next steps of BrightEstimate and its potential evolution, Amazon Bedrock emerges as a powerful ally to enhance and expand our application's capabilities. Our journey with PartyRock has set a solid foundation, and the next steps involve leveraging Amazon Bedrock to unlock new possibilities and further our mission of providing community-focused solutions.
  • Integration with External Data Sources: One of the most exciting aspects of transitioning to Amazon Bedrock is the ability to integrate with external sources of data. By utilizing Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), we can significantly improve the accuracy of the responses generated by the Large Language Models (LLMs). This means that BrightEstimate can deliver more precise and relevant information tailored to the specific needs of each business, directly impacting the quality of proposals and the efficiency of business operations.
  • Serverless Applications and Faster Content Delivery: Amazon Bedrock's seamless integration with AWS infrastructure opens up avenues for creating serverless applications using AWS Lambda. This not only simplifies the deployment and management of BrightEstimate but also enhances its scalability and reliability. Coupled with Amazon CloudFront, we can ensure faster content delivery to the end user, making the application more responsive and user-friendly. Additionally, the use of Amazon S3 provides a robust solution for data storage and retrieval, further enriching our application's functionality and the value it offers to users. For this, there is a great resource developed by Mike Chambers about Serverless LLM apps with Amazon Bedrock.
  • Access Control and Security: The ability to manage access permissions using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) introduces a new level of security and control over who can use BrightEstimate and how it's used. Establishing specific guardrails for the application ensures that sensitive business information remains secure while enabling users to harness the full potential of our tool without compromising on data integrity.
  • Integration with Open Source LLMs: Amazon Bedrock's flexibility also allows us to explore integration with a variety of open-source LLMs available through HuggingFace. This opens the door to a wider range of models that can be tailored to meet the unique demands of different industries, further diversifying the applications of BrightEstimate and making it even more versatile. Furthermore, it opens the possibility to make it available in other languages.
In moving forward with Amazon Bedrock, our vision for BrightEstimate is not just about enhancing its current features but about reimagining the possibilities of what it can become. The steps we plan to take with Amazon Bedrock are designed to make BrightEstimate a more powerful, efficient, and indispensable tool for contractors and small business owners across the globe.

Challenges and Limitations

Embarking on our mission with BrightEstimate, we quickly ran into a series of challenges that tested our resolve and creativity. While we were committed to leveraging PartyRock for its prototyping prowess and access to cutting-edge AI, we soon discovered limitations that required us to think on our feet and find innovative solutions.
Challenge: UI Limitations and Data Integration
While outlining the application, we were limited by the UI limitations of PartyRock. The platform's design did not allow for the addition of interactive elements like buttons or dropdown menus, crucial for triggering LLM responses at the right moments. This meant that any modification, no matter how minor, triggered a new API call, leading to inefficiencies and a less-than-optimal user experience.
Additionally, the inability to integrate external data sources directly into PartyRock posed a significant challenge, limiting the customization and accuracy of the generated content.
Challenge: Exporting Results
Another pain point was our inability to export generated content directly from PartyRock, complicating the process of sharing and utilizing the produced materials like proposals or emails. So the interactivity now consists of copying and pasting the results into other tools to print and send them to the final customer.
Nevertheless, neither of these limitations wasn't considerable enough to not continue with a POC or to significantly affect the user experience of what we wanted to achieve by allowing users to interact with Large Language Models.

Lessons Learned and Conclusion

From the initial concept to the development hurdles and the envisioned future enhancements, every step has been a revelation in harnessing the power of Generative AI for real-world applications.
Embracing the Future with Amazon Bedrock
The potential to elevate BrightEstimate using Amazon Bedrock is immense. It's not just about adding new features; it's about redefining what our application can do. Integrating Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) allows us to sharpen the accuracy of our tool, making it essential for contractors who rely on precision and specificity in their proposals. By exploring other foundational models, we're also looking at breaking language barriers, making BrightEstimate a global tool.
Expanding Horizons
Our vision extends beyond the solar energy sector. We see BrightEstimate becoming a versatile tool for contractors across various industries, adapting to the unique challenges and requirements of each field. The plan to pair our solution with no-code platforms signifies our commitment to accessibility, ensuring that anyone with an idea can bring it to life, regardless of their coding expertise. Furthermore, our exploration of partnerships with educational institutions and industry associations is a step towards ensuring that BrightEstimate evolves in tandem with the needs of its users.
Lessons from PartyRock
The experience of developing BrightEstimate on PartyRock has underscored the transformative potential of Large Language Models. We've seen firsthand that with the right approach, these technologies can be leveraged to prototype solutions that address niche problems in an accessible and user-friendly manner. The scalability offered by AWS tools like Sagemaker and the versatility of Amazon Bedrock have opened our eyes to the broader applications of Generative AI, heralding a new era of tech solutions that are practical, accessible, and impactful.
The Importance of User-Friendly Design
Perhaps one of the most critical lessons learned is the paramount importance of user-friendly design. Technology, no matter how advanced, must be accessible and practical for its intended audience. Our journey has reinforced the belief that the true measure of innovation lies in its ability to simplify complex processes and make meaningful contributions to society.
As we reflect on our journey with BrightEstimate and look toward the future, we're filled with optimism about the potential of Generative AI to transform industries. Our experience has been a testament to the power of innovative thinking, collaboration, and the relentless pursuit of solutions that make a difference. BrightEstimate is just the beginning. The lessons we've learned and the challenges we've overcome are stepping stones to a future where technology serves as a bridge to a more sustainable, efficient, and inclusive world.