How Generative AI Changes Productivity
Thu May 04 2023
The cost of information dissemination and the implications of generative AI
00:02 - 10:43
- The cost of information dissemination went to zero with the invention of the web browser.
- Generative AI has profound implications for us, as it will massively decline the cost of cognition and creativity.
- Generative AI is taking a corpus of text and making predictions based on all human text available in the world.
- Generative AI is basic predicting what the next pixel should be.
- Generative AI systems predict the next word or pixel based on a corpus of text or images.
- OpenAI's big innovation was to bring in human feedback through reinforcement learning.
- The combination of data, compute, and prediction has given us powerful generative AI systems.
Applications of generative AI in various fields
05:37 - 26:14
- These systems can pass medical boards, bar exams, and job applications.
- Machines with humans will replace humans without machines.
- The copilot metaphor is useful for understanding the relationship between humans and AI.
- AI can make our jobs easier and help us do what we do better.
- AI technology makes everyone as good as the AI, bringing up the quality level.
- Training systems and curriculum need to change with the introduction of AI technology.
- Chat GPT and Bing Abing's are examples of AI technology that can be used for writing assistance.
- Hallucination is a common issue with generative models like Chat GPT.
- Autopilot should not be relied on when using AI technology.
- Edge cases can cause performance drops even with good AI, so attention must be paid to what's going on.
- Accountants, lawyers, consultants, and other knowledge workers can benefit from using AI technology.
- Generative AI can be used by accountants, lawyers, consultants and other knowledge workers to analyze data and do analysis conversationally.
- Legal assistants can use generative AI to access all legal documents in the world instantly and customize it to their particular circumstance.
- Individual worker productivity is phenomenal with generative AI.
- Generative AI is already being used for mundane tasks like responding to emails, doing spreadsheet analysis, doing textual analysis, doing summaries and creating beautiful summaries of Zoom calls.
- Generative AI can help improve low-end customer service calls through augmentation scenario or automation scenario where the first level triage is happening through generative AI.
- Generative AI can streamline administrative tasks, scheduling and task management.
- HR leaders can use generative AI to identify skills gaps and suggest new training.
- Marketing has been transformed by generative AI with personalized pitches and press releases.
- Generative AI can increase efficiency and productivity in factories through quality control and process automation.
The importance of digitization and embracing generative AI
25:44 - 31:32
- Digitization is imperative for companies to benefit from generative AI.
- Digitization imperative increases productivity in factories.
- Building AI factory and data pipelines is necessary for benefiting from AI.
- Generative AI can improve firm productivity by rethinking processes and business models.
- Companies must embrace generative AI at the IT architecture and organizational level.
- Individuals can use generative AI to boost productivity, but the promise is really scale.
- The big learning mandate here is for boards, C-suite, and the rest of the cream.
Enabling workers and reimagining work with generative AI
31:10 - 37:02
- The question is what will accountants do with the productivity boost?
- Companies should not just fire accountants but enable them to do higher level work.
- When ATMs were introduced, bank tellers became financial advisors.
- Leaders need to think about enabling their teams rather than just cutting costs.
- Removing boundaries on human capability could lead to a purpose-driven approach to work.
- Organizational leaders should immerse themselves in the tools and start reimagining work in their functions and organizations.
- There will be transition and upheaval, but some leaders will focus on growth while others focus on efficiency.
- Hundreds of companies are trying to improve performance through AI.
Other insights on generative AI
36:47 - 39:09
- There are hundreds of companies trying to improve AI performance.
- Abundance thinking is encouraged instead of efficiency thinking.
- Kareem Lakhani, a professor at Harvard Business School, co-wrote the book 'Competing in the Age of AI'.
- Next time on HBR ideacast feed, Adi Ignatius talks about how generative AI changes creativity.
- 'How Generative AI Changes Everything' is a special series of the HBR ideacast.