Fast-forward to today. AI has taken a quantum leap forward in a very short amount of time, but I think my original thesis still applies, although the media would like us to think otherwise.
You can use ChatGPT, Jasper or any of the other tools available to do way more than simply automate a menial task. In fact, most of us are surprised at just how advanced AI has become in such a short time.
I read that ChatGPT is already the fastest growing piece of software ever in terms of new users and usage. Just the other night I asked it to provide a weekly meal plan for my family centered around the Mediterranean diet. It took 30 seconds and came back with a comprehensive plan for the week, which we used to craft our shopping list. To be honest, I don’t really know why I didn’t ask it to make the shopping list, too.
To me, creating a meal plan and a shopping list are tasks that take too long and are still somewhat menial, so having AI do them is a very welcome addition to my life.
Using AI to create the first draft of a blog post, or a first pass at the script for a TV commercial, is great because it gives me something to respond to. In a recent test, I asked AI to ghost-write a blog post, and then I took that as a skeleton and added to it, coming up with something much better (please note that no AI is ever used in the creation of this column, because no AI would ever agree with some of my far-fetched ideas).
These are certainly not menial tasks, and are far more helpful than simply scheduling or taking notes. The value for me lies not in having the AI do the initial writing, but in having the AI give me something to work off of. It removes the “start from scratch” feeling that can be such a productivity killer.
I’ve seen research that suggests it takes the human brain 20 minutes to get into a groove, and every distraction can cost you 20 more minutes, as you need that time to get back into the that groove. My day is filled with meetings and conversations, and each of these require follow-up and actions to be taken. All this activity takes away from my ability to sit, think, write, and strategize in the way I know is most helpful to my role.
For me, these AI tools are like having someone else to bounce off ideas. I have someone (or something) to begin a thought process and get into a groove faster, thereby allowing me to create something of value in a shorter period of time, regardless of the distractions that affect my day. This is a true time-saving exercise and one that can make me far more productive.
This use of AI as a strategic partner is more like what you see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, like the way JARVIS is used. I guess the stories we see on the silver screen are far more accurate than I ever could have imagined.
Do I see AI replacing roles and responsibilities in the workforce? I guess I would be forced to say yes, based on how I am using it and how others are using it as well. Do I think this is altogether bad? No. AI can allow the people who are here to take on the more intelligence-based roles that keep us excited. AI can be used to radically increase productivity by getting our animal brains back on track in a faster manner. We can use it to shift away from distractions and get into a groove faster, ultimately becoming more productive.