Artificial intelligence and the future of work: everything is about to change

New York (CNN) In a few months, you will be able to ask questions a A virtual assistant for taking meeting notes during a business call, summarizing long email threads to quickly craft suggested responses, quickly creating a mapped chart in Excel, and turning a Word document into a PowerPoint presentation in seconds.

And this is only on Microsoft 365 platforms.

Over the past week, the rapidly evolving AI landscape seemed to be leaping forward again. Microsoft and Google each a statement New AI-powered features to their premium productivity tools, and OpenAI introduced its next-generation version of the technology that powers the viral chatbot tool, ChatGPT.

Suddenly, AI tools, which have long been working in the background of many services, are becoming more powerful and more visible across a broad and growing set of workplace tools.

New Google features, for example, Prepare To assist in “brainstorming” and “correcting typos” in written work in documents. while, If your workplace uses the popular Slack chat platform, you’ll be able to use its ChatGPT tool to talk to your colleagues for you, potentially asking them to write new messages, reply to them, and summarize conversations in channels.

OpenAI, Microsoft and Google are at the forefront of this trend, but they are not alone. IBM, Amazon, Baidu, and Tencent are working on similar technologies. A long list of startups is also developing AI writing assistants and image generators.

The offer from tech companies is clear: AI can make you more productive and eliminate hard work. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the show on Thursday, “We believe this next generation of AI will unlock a new wave of productivity growth: powerful co-pilots designed to remove drudgery from our daily tasks and jobs, freeing us to rediscover the joy of creativity.”

But the sheer number of new options hitting the market is staggering and, as with so many others in the tech industry over the past decade, raises questions about whether they It will live up to the hype or cause unintended consequences, including enabling cheating and eliminating the need for certain roles (although this may be the intention of some adopters).

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Even the promise of increased productivity is unclear. The rise of AI-generated emails, for example, may increase the productivity of the sender, but reduce the productivity of recipients who are inundated with computer-generated messages for longer than necessary. Of course, just because everyone has the option to use a chatbot to communicate with colleagues doesn’t mean everyone will choose to do so.

Integrating this technology “into the foundational parts of the productivity software most of us use every day will have a huge impact on the way we work,” said Rowan Curran, an analyst at Forrester. “But this change will not affect everything and everyone tomorrow – learning how to make the best use of these capabilities to improve and adjust our current work flows will take time.”

Quick change of workplace tools

Anyone who has used the autocomplete option when writing an email or sending a message has already experienced how AI can speed up tasks. But the new tools promise to go even further.

The renewed wave of AI product launches began nearly four months ago when OpenAI released a version of ChatGPT on a limited basisAnd Astounding users by generating human-sounding responses to user prompts, passing exams at reputable universities and writing compelling articles on a range of topics.

Since then, technology – made by Microsoft Billion dollar investment Earlier this year – only improved. Earlier this week, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4, a more powerful version of the ChatGPT-enabled technology, which promises to blow previous iterations out of the water.

In early tests and the company’s demo, GPT-4 was used to draft lawsuits, build a working website from a hand-drawn graphic and Recreating iconic games Like Pong, Tetris, or Snake with very little or no coding experience.

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GPT-4 It is a large language model that is trained on a large set of online data to generate responses to user prompts.

It’s the same technology that powers two new Microsoft features: “Co-pilot,” which will help edit, summarize, create, and compare documents across its platforms, and Business Chat, which is an agent that essentially walks with a user as they work and try to understand and make sense of their Microsoft 365 data.

An agent will, for example, know what’s in a user’s email and on their calendar for the day, as well as what documents they’ve been working on, presentations they’re giving, who they’re meeting with, and what chats are happening on their Teams platform, according to for the company. Users can then ask Business Chat to perform tasks such as writing a status report by summarizing all documents across platforms on a given project, and then drafting an email that can be sent to their team with an update.

Curran just said How much these AI-powered tools change depends on the work on the app. For example, a word processing application could help create outlines and drafts, slideshow software could help speed up the design and content creation process, and a spreadsheet application should help more users interact and make data-driven decisions. The latter is believed to have the most significant impact on the workplace in the short and long term.

Discussing how these technologies affect jobs, he said, “should focus on job tasks rather than jobs as a whole.”

challenges ahead

Although OpenAI’s GPT-4 update promises fixes for some of the biggest challenges — from its ability to perpetuate biases, sometimes factually incorrect ones, to responding in an aggressive manner — there is still potential. Some of these issues find their way into the workplace, especially when it comes to interacting with others.

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The problem with any large language model is that it tries to please the user and usually accepts the premise of user data, said Arijit Sengupta, CEO and founder of AI solutions company Aible.

“If people start gossiping about something, they will accept it as the norm, and then start creating content [related to that]Sengupta said, “It could escalate personal issues into office bullying.

In a tweet earlier this week, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman He wrote that the technology behind these systems “is still flawed, still limited, and still looks more impressive on first use than it does after spending more time with it.” The company reiterated in a blog post that “extreme caution should be exercised when using the outputs of the language model, particularly in high-stakes contexts.”

Arun Chandrasekaran, an analyst at Gartner Research, said organizations will need to educate their users about what these good solutions are and what their limitations are.

“Blind confidence in these solutions is as dangerous as a complete lack of confidence in their efficacy,” Chandrasekaran said. “Generative AI solutions can also make up facts or provide inaccurate information from time to time – and organizations must be prepared to mitigate this negative impact.”

At the same time, many of these implementations are not up to date (the GPT-4 data they are trained on cut around September 2021). The onus should fall on users to do everything from double checking accuracy to changing the language to reflect the tone they want. It will also be important to have support and support across the premises to get the tools rolling.

“Training, education and organizational change management is very important to ensure that employees support the efforts and use the tools in the way they were intended,” Chandrasekaran said.

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