Dan Arens

In the early years of the technology era, computers were feared by many in the workforce. In retrospect, computers did eliminate many jobs, but for each job they eliminated, more than five were created in the technology industry. They also changed the world. As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more common in the world of today, the adversity it generates today could be turned into an advantage tomorrow.

The artificial intelligence platform ChatGPT was launched on Nov. 30, 2022 as a free application on the OpenAI website. That launch created a tsunami of criticism, as many students used it for answering take home tests and provided assistance in writing essays. Many school districts across the country banned the use of ChatGPT in their classrooms.

In fact, in the early days of artificial intelligence, the Associated Press reported, “The new Text Classifier launched by OpenAI follows a weeks long discussion at schools and colleges over fears that ChatGPT’s ability to write just about anything on command could fuel academic dishonesty and hinder learning.” In response to comments like that, OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, replied that their product was not foolproof. Jan Leike, head of OpenAi’s alignment team said the product “is imperfect and it will be wrong sometimes.”

In early February of this year, Microsoft previewed their ChatGPT/Bing search engine. According to Digital Trends, more than 1 million people registered for access. The updated relationship between AI and Bing is only the beginning of a new age. When they successfully registered with Microsoft, users received an e-mail from Windows which stated, “We’re excited to give you access to an early preview of the new Bing— your AI powered copilot for the web. As you start using the product, we would love your feedback to make the new Bing even better— please use the feedback buttons to help us learn. We don’t have a mobile experience ready yet— we are actively working on it and will have it ready soon. Until then, please continue to use the new Bing on desktop and download the Bing app from your favorite App Store to ensure you are ready for the best experience when mobile is ready.”

In the recent past, Google introduced its AI platform Bard as an integrated part of their Chrome search engine. There is a waiting list for it, as well.

As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.” The same could be said for AI. From your perspective as a business owner or manager, you need to be prepared to review, accept, or reject AI. Many articles have already been written about AI, its positives and negatives. As is true in most new and developing areas, some of the articles are complimentary and some are very discouraging. Only time will tell as new and different versions of AI are rolled out.

According to Business Insider, AI could eventually eliminate many positions, among them jobs in tech, media, law, market research, education, finance, design, accounting, and customer service. If those scenarios were to take place, it could happen over the course of many years or decades.

For example, human resource departments could use AI to create algorithms that review data extracted from skill set databases. The resulting information could help the firm find the right people for the right job, saving the department huge amounts of time. To the contrary, they could also use AI to sweep their database and help select non-performers who could be laid off when necessary.

A survey of human resource professionals conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace indicated they believe AI can provide “opportunities for mastering new skills and gaining more free time, allowing HR professionals to expand their current roles in order to be more strategic within their organization.”

While now may not be the time for your business to even consider using AI, it is worth monitoring things as they evolve. Be on the lookout for areas and ways in which AI could be successfully implemented by your firm; ways that could cut your costs, while not affecting the caliber of your product or services. Or increase your revenue without sacrificing the quality of your deliverables.

As is true in most businesses, timing is everything. Be aware of the ongoing developments in AI and be prepared to use them when the time is right.

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