What’s Driving Office Workers Toward Embracing AI?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

The use of artificial intelligence by office professionals is growing, with positives of enhanced productivity, simplified data management and help in making informed decisions. Consequently, more office workers perceive AI as a beneficial partner. The world is changing rapidly, and businesses need to think carefully about their AI strategy.

John works as a technology blogger in an information technology company, and as part of his job, must write about technical concepts such as SQL, APIs, and endpoints.

With a background in Arts and Humanities, there’s quite a mission in quickly getting up to speed in the world — how can he write blogs on topics OAuth 2.0 when he doesn’t know what OAuth is?

So he quickly needs someone to explain OAuth in a way a newbie can understand.

Enter ChatGPT. John writes “Explain OAuth 2.0 to a dummy“, and the simple explanation follows. ChatGPT to the rescue. John even says “Thank you“.

John’s case is one of many where workers are embracing AI at the office.

For while there is this fear and anxiety about artificial intelligence (AI) replacing human workers, there is the perspective that AI, especially generative AI (as in, AI which can create content) has been an ally that can unlock human potential and enable higher productivity.

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A survey across the USA and UK by SnapLogic found that 81% of respondents believed that AI had improved their performance, with workers calling for more AI in the workplace.

The main workers noted were faster productivity, improved decision-making, and accelerated ‘time to insights’, thanks to tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney.

Behind the Increasing Adoption of AI

It has been a big change in mindset, from viewing AI as a threat to an ally by the employees. So what has been behind this shift?

Of course, skepticism and caution still prevail, but they’re no longer the only thoughts that AI evokes.

Our friend John’s hypothetical case demonstrates how generative AI can provide knowledge in tailormade ways that suit the understanding of different individuals — ChatGPT can explain a complex concept to both a 10-year-old and a computer science engineer in ways that cater to their levels of understanding and backgrounds.

The Internet, for all its riches of information, is not as good at finding custom information or knowledge for people, at least not as quickly or tailor-made as AI.

From importing, parsing, processing, and displaying data, to generating dashboards and reports that are easy to understand and present, it’s an upskill with little requirement on behalf of a worker.

This was acknowledged in a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which found that AI can improve workers’ productivity, especially in the customer service sector, by 14%.

Risks and mitigation

Benefits apart, the increasing adoption of AI brings some questions for organizations to ponder — the risks and the downsides.

Unbridled adoption and use could result in intentional or unintentional disclosure of confidential data, such as when Samsung banned Generative AI after discovering that its proprietary software code was being pasted into ChatGPT.

So far, organizations, especially those in the financial sector, have responded to dangers by banning generative AI, while some organizations like Apple have been trying to build their proprietary generative AI tools. Amazon also encourages its employees to use Code Whisperer, its homegrown AI tool, as part of their jobs.

The Bottom Line

Risks notwithstanding, organizations can’t afford to turn their back on AI. The future is coming in fast.

At the same time, companies need to tread carefully — knee-jerk reactions will not help in the long run.

It’s easier said than done, though. Until then, organizations will need to keep searching for solutions that optimize their business without exposing holes in their defenses.

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Kaushik Pal

Kaushik is a technical architect and software consultant with over 23 years of experience in software analysis, development, architecture, design, testing and training. He has an interest in new technologies and areas of innovation. He focuses on web architecture, web technologies, Java/J2EE, open source software, WebRTC, big data and semantic technologies. He has demonstrated expertise in requirements analysis, architectural design and implementation, technical use cases and software development. His experience has covered various industries such as insurance, banking, airlines, shipping, document management and product development, etc. He has worked on a wide range of technologies ranging from large scale (IBM…