Chat GPT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is improving rapidly. Advances in technology will change the people work and live. The technology will be so commonplace that people won’t even know that they are using it or interacting with it.
AI holds the promise of ushering in a new era of productivity, similar to how the personal computer changed the world in the 80s and 90s and the smartphone changed the 2000s. AI will change everything in the 2020s and beyond.
We explore what business leaders, executives and managers can do to begin preparing their workforce for the coming change.
What is Chat GPT and Artificial Intelligence?
Chat GPT is a revolutionary new Chat Bot developed by OpenAI. It uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques that enable people to interact with it like they would a human. There is a chat box that you can type questions into, and Chat GPT will respond with an answer.
It differs from prior chat bots in that it was trained on absolutely massive amounts of information. It can write books, blog posts, walk people through technical problems, write computer programming code and recently gained the ability to interact with other computer systems through plugins and identify images.
Chat GPT is a subset of a greater number of tools called Generative AI. These tools can create text, computer code, images, videos or sounds and music by being prompted with text from a human. The results are already quite good and will likely improve exponentially over the coming years.
You can learn more about Chat GPT here: History and Future Impact of Chat GPT
If you haven’t already, you can sign up for a free Chat GPT account with OpenAI and begin using the service for free. Similar technology is available through Google Bard and Bing Chat
Why it’s Important to Prepare Employees for Chat GPT
Companies of all sizes have a choice to make. They can either resist technological change or embrace it and become leaders in corporate productivity which will give them an edge against their competitors.
It’s worth noting that there are some very serious concerns with being an early adopter of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace. The technologies are not fully developed, and while OpenAI and Microsoft offer access to an API through Azure Cloud Services there are not robust solutions available for data governance.
In the near future, we expect that the big tech companies will publish tools to deploy these technologies in enterprise environments that IT professionals can administer. Until that time comes, it’s worth looking at different ways the technology can be used today to boost productivity without putting confidential information at risk.
Even without a full deployment of the technology, there are a lot of more generic use cases that employees can start using to get them to start thinking about a new way to work and start mentally adjusting to working alongside AI.
Microsoft 365 Copilot will be a Game Changer
After Microsoft invested $10 billion in OpenAI, the developers of Chat GPT, they have had a steady stream of announcements showing all of the different ways that they are integrating Chat GPT into their products.
It seems as though there will be some form of AI in every product that they sell. You will be able to ask Microsoft Excel and Power BI questions about your data in plain English. Microsoft Power Automate and Power Apps will allow you to automate processes and create business applications without writing any code, and Microsoft Word and Power Point will automatically suggest text and images to assist you in your writing.
The data to support these automated tasks will come from company specific SharePoint files or Data Warehouses so that information is relevant to your organization.
Employees will Review and Edit AI Generated Content
As these technologies improve and become integrated into more products, employee roles will increasingly shift from creating to editing.
For example, rather than having the legal team write an employee handbook from scratch, AI could suggest a large portion of it and recommend specific approaches for the states that your company operates in. Then lawyers could do a final review and discuss with management the pros, cons and risk level of some of the choices made to determine what the organization is comfortable with and how easy the recommended policies could be to execute.
Another example is that an IT team could have AI partially automate a process, and then troubleshoot any areas that didn’t work and ensure that the appropriate organizational permissions are established.
In both of the scenarios above, the employee’s job moves from creating from creating to editing, validating, and completing the project. It’s a different thought process, and many people will struggle with the change.
Chat GPT and AI Will Eliminate Jobs
With all of the buzz around Chat GPT recently, and seeing the incredible things that it’s able to do many people are asking themselves if their job will be eliminated. We believe that Chat GPT will eliminate jobs.
Any time that there has been a leap in technology that’s accessible to the masses it has resulted in industries being turned upside down. The jobs of yesterday may not be the jobs of tomorrow, just ask Travel Agents and Video Rental Store Clerks.
The challenge for businesses will be to manage the change.
People Need a Clear Vision to Successfully Change
Fear grows in the absence of clear vision and transparent communication. As AI becomes more commonplace at work, there will be people that naturally take to the technology and find new and creative ways to make their job easier.
There will also be a group of people who distrust technology or will dismiss it completely. nThis group will struggle in the coming paradigm. Their attitudes will become toxic to the workplace and become a drag on morale.
As an organization, you will need to clearly communicate that change is coming, that there will be a new way to do things, and the thought process of this is how it has always been done is now over. People need to fully be aware that AI is a tool that the company will be embracing.
AI is rapidly improving, and new tools will come out at a breakneck pace. Communicate with your team that new tools are being researched and deployed. This gives them advance notice to start thinking about new ways to utilize it.
Find Easy General Use Cases for AI in the Workplace
There are many different ways that you can use Chat GPT in a business today. You don’t have to wait until big tech deploys enterprise specific solutions.
It’s incredibly helpful for technical fields like finance, accounting teams, business intelligence, and financial analysis. You can also find ways to use it in supply chain management, sales, and call centers or customer service.
By finding quick wins, some departments will immediately see productivity gains. Other groups may not see immediate benefits but they’ll begin getting acclimated to using AI in their daily jobs.
Celebrate and Socialize Early AI and Chat GPT Wins
The first few times we used Chat GPT to create Excel Scripts and Power BI DAX formulas, it was like magic. These tasks went from something that could take hours of researching community forms and searching Google to something that Chat GPT created in a matter of seconds. This is even before the recent updates with Chat GPT that make it an ever better solution.
These wins are a very powerful tool for other employees in your department to see inventive new ways to use Chat GPT that they may have personally not thought of. It also gets people on board that are skeptical. Once they see that they don’t have to spend hours on a task they rather avoid, they’ll naturally be more inclined to explore new methods of doing things.
Why Cyber Security Training Matters in an AI Workplace
AI can rightfully be criticized because it can be a black box. Data goes into the box and comes out the other side. It’s not really clear what happens to your data in the middle as an end user, and even PhD’s in the Machine Learning field can find it difficult to decipher.
Until companies are able to deploy their own Large Language Models (LLM) like Chat GPT in their own data warehouses or utilize solutions that have data partitioned off from the general public, users should shy away from loading sensitive information into them.
Phishing scams where cyber criminals write convincing e-mails to your employees pretending to be an executive needing to transfer money, or need you to send them a password to a secure system become much more dangers in an AI world. Broken English and bad grammar have historically been dead giveaways that you don’t have a long lost rich uncle that wants to send you money. AI technologies like Chat GPT make it easier to correct grammar and sound like a native speaker.
Beyond these high-level concerns, criminals are just as interested in how they can use new technology for their own purposes and will no doubt find new and creative ways to attack your company.
Invest in Early and Ongoing AI Training Programs
As your company begins using AI more often, it will be important to continuously invest in training. The allure of the tools is that they are very easy to use. It’s intuitive to ask a question or type a request into a chat box and receive an answer. People have been using Search Engines for years, and it’s very natural.
However, getting the most out of AI can be more difficult. It’s not always clear what the most effective way to use Chat GPT is. How you ask a question, or follow-up question can be just as important as the question itself. If people are able to get the answers they want without having to spend hours going back and forth with a bot they will adopt it more readily.
As a workplace community, some will find trainings boring and others will get a lot out of them from a day-to-day workplace productivity standpoint. The more important benefit is that group trainings can let skeptics know that it’s okay to embrace AI, and it will become clearer of who on their team is the subject matter expert that they can lean on to get more out of these new technologies.
Ongoing education is going to be just as important as introductory training. When people first see a new tool, they don’t have the experience to know what they don’t know. Once they have had a chance to utilize the tool and explore it on their own, they’ll have more detailed and nuanced questions that formal training can help with.
Enable Cross-Functional AI Learning Groups
The way that a marketing and advertising department can utilize AI to create ad copy and generate images or videos will be very different from an accounting team that can ask questions about their data and create visualizations by describing the end result that they want.
However, there could be more overlap than you would initially think. Marketing can be very numbers heavy where utilizing new features coming to Microsoft Excel could be very helpful, and accounting people may not have the best graphic design skills to put together beautiful PowerPoint decks to tell a financial story.
Getting groups together across disciplines will help people in your organization to identify new potential use cases that they otherwise hadn’t thought of. They may even discover new AI tools that one department is already using that another could use as well.
Chat GPT and AI technologies are coming to our workplaces faster than ever. They will transform the way we live and work, whether we like or not. Managers and organizations that want to be thought leaders and embrace new tools will be the winners. Those who drag their feet and don’t want to learn new ways of doing business will be left behind.
Invest early on in employee training to reduce the number of people who reject the new technology. Accept that not all employees will embrace change, but do what you can to give them the tools and knowledge to be successful.
Socializing early wins, and clearly communicating the role of AI within an organization will help highlight the value that these new tools bring and minimize some of the fear that employees have with ambiguity and not knowing what is happening around them.
It’s important to note that while AI will revolutionize the way we work, relationships and people will always be a company’s most important asset. The years we spend with our colleagues and relationships we build go beyond changes in technology and the tools we use to complete our jobs.