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Embracing Generative AI as a Vital Business Productivity Tool

Recently, businesses have asked the wrong questions about artificial intelligence. Instead of viewing it as a threat to the human workforce, AI is a productivity multiplier that is quickly becoming vital to the modern workplace. 

Can Businesses Opt-Out of AI?

In February 2023, ChatGPT became the fastest-growing application in history, having reached 100 million monthly active users in just two months. Amidst this explosive growth, there have been predictions that companies which fail to embrace AI will go out of business.  

By comparison, imagine a business that failed to adopt electronic mail in favor of landlines and fax machines, or avoided servers in favor of a basement filled with file cabinets. 

These may be amusing, albeit real, scenarios, but they’re fitting analogies for companies that don’t champion the use of AI tools for their workforce. 

On March 21, 2023, Bill Gates wrote, “The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone. It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other. Entire industries will reorient around it. Businesses will distinguish themselves by how well they use it.” 

how well they use it – not if they use it. 

The Right Questions to Ask About ChatGPT

In a recent meeting, I heard a colleague ask with some trepidation, “Have you played around with ChatGPT? Can you reveal that you’re using it?”  

There seems to be a stigma around the technology, but these aren’t the questions we should be asking. Reach out to your closest colleagues as well as those with a completely different job function than yours. Then, like a prompt engineer regenerating their query, ask these questions instead: 

  • How do you use it in your field/industry? 
  • What is a unique topic that generative AI tools have helped you write or learn about? If you’ve yet to use a tool like ChatGPT, what are the barriers to adoption for you? 
  • Would you be willing to utilize other digital assistants to enable you at work? 

While it can be a fun pastime for some, ChatGPT has clear benefits for businesses. It’s vital to recognize that generative AI technology such as ChatGPT is not a gimmick. Let’s not minimize the utility of the tool by talking about “playing around” with it. 

AI as a Powerful Enablement Tool

AI is a tool that can be used in many different fields. Organizations should be exploring how it can help with everyday work. UBS shares this sentiment, stating, “We believe AI will ultimately be additive to employment and economic growth.” 

Often, I use ChatGPT as the first stop for queries in development and administrative functions in the Microsoft 365 suite, even before web searches. Rather than entering a question into a search engine, with AI you’re able to provide more context around your query. For example, a user can clarify that they’re a consultant working on a specified project for a client in a specified industry. This context enables the AI to generate a response that’s more relevant to their situation. 

Microsoft's AI Advancements

Another reason to be confident in the usefulness of AI tools is the massive development made by Microsoft. On March 16, 2023, the company introduced Microsoft 365 Copilot. Their introductory blog describes this powerful productivity tool and opens with beautiful, reassuring sentiments. “Humans are hard-wired to dream, to create, to innovate. … But today, we spend too much time consumed by the drudgery of work on tasks that zap our time, creativity and energy.” Copilot is integrated into Microsoft 365 in two ways: embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps, and the new Business Chat, which can respond to natural language prompts for tasks such as generating status updates. 

Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft said, “There’s an enormous opportunity for AI-powered tools to help alleviate digital debt, build AI aptitude, and empower employees.” 

Then on May 4, 2023, Bing Chat was made available to everyone as an integration with Bing search. Bing Chat can provide summarizations and answers to the content you view online, reducing the time it takes to find answers. 

Who Will Take Your Job?

With tools like ChatGPT and Copilot, people can do their work better, uncover the solutions they need and find answers more quickly, as well as catch mistakes. At the end of the day, it reduces time stuck on obstacles and enables more time for creativity.

 AI won’t take developers’ jobs. Instead, what is a threat to your job is a developer who knows how to use AI. The focus is still on people, and the people who effectively use AI will be the most productive. 

AI can serve as a force multiplier. There’s a big opportunity for everybody to use it in one way or another, no matter what field you’re in. 

How to Stay Secure While Leveraging AI

Technology consultants, like Netrix Global, can help you to leverage these tools for the right use cases while still ensuring proper governance, helping you to leverage this new technology to its fullest without sacrificing your company’s privacy and security. By combining our technology expertise with our knowledge of your unique business objectives, we can advise you on how best to use these AI advancements – the same way we advise the use of a variety of other technologies. 

Contact us to discuss how Netrix can help your organization best leverage emerging AI technologies to achieve your business goals.  

MEET THE AUTHOR

Eric Xu

Eric Xu is a consultant in the Modern Applications & Data Intelligence practice at Netrix Global. His expertise in cloud solutions allows him to translate technical concepts into actionable strategies to optimize productivity and collaboration. Passionate about empowering people through technology, Eric excels at prioritizing clients’ needs, then delivering tailored solutions that drive business success. Prior to Netrix, Eric earned his master’s degree in information technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.”