AI is suddenly everywhere. I used to joke that AI is half true: "It's definitely artificial."
But all of a sudden it seems as though AI is going mainstream. My high school kid talks about how students use ChatGPT to write their term papers. My wife's students are using AI tools to generate images and voices in their design classes. Like a new neighbor, it would appear that AI has already moved in.
Many people are wondering what this will do to our jobs and their careers. As I see it, we have two real choices. We can resist it or we can use it. The third choice is to ignore it, and we do that at our peril.
The reality of course, is that we're already using it. When you see that gray predictive text show up in your Google doc or your emails as you type, and you press the tab key to accept the suggestion, you're already using a form of AI.
There are certainly metaphysical questions that surround this topic, such as the relevance of the soul or the spirit. But for now, we face an immediate topic: the practical usefulness of AI. And we can bet that every business that is trying to compete will find as many ways to embrace it as they can.
As a lifelong skeptic, I approach AI with a cautious and results-oriented perspective. I use the self-driving feature in my car, but I keep my eyes on the road. What we cannot do is to abdicate responsibility for outcomes. And we must not delegate our ability to think. That gift is too precious to give away.
~ Demian Entrekin | Head of Product at Finalis
My recently-graduated college kid muses about how cool and useful it would have been to have had ChatGPT for his courses—especially early on, when professors and algorithms weren’t canny enough yet to determine if an essay or thesis paper was delivered courtesy of OpenAI, LaMDA, JasperAI, or any of a thousand other AI flowers blooming of late.
Yes, I quite agree that we content-producer and other writerly types ought not to relinquish or delegate our ability to think! But as I see it—using AI as an efficient first-draft tool will give us more time to think. In my own workflow at Finalis these days, I’ve suddenly been gifted with the precious time to actually focus more on content expansion and creation.
How so? For a simple, practical reason: I no longer need to spend as much time reviewing and editing my colleagues’ internal and external communications, much of which comes in the form of emails (to clients, to colleagues, to higher-ups) and other public-facing comms. In a company in which a majority of our employees are non-native English speakers, this has been a necessary responsibility for me.
And why do I no longer have to spend much time on that? Because we’ve set up a workflow process in which they get to use ChatGPT—in the form of a Slack plugin—to vet, review, and even compose their communications! (No need for me to look at these all the time.) And it has been working spectacularly well, as our Finalist colleagues in such diverse teams as Capital Markets, Customer Success, Growth, Marketing, and People can attest to. If for nothing else, the natural language (well, English) capabilities of ChatGPT are quite solid indeed, if somewhat on the prosaic side.
But that is precisely what we were looking for here! If practicality and a results-oriented metric is what we’re angling for, we don’t have to look all that far for the kinds of everyday results that this new modality of AI-assisted communication is giving us. In spades. And I’m pretty sure other companies and startups are using AI and natural language processing in just the way we’re doing now at Finalis.
And this is only the beginning.
~ Lloyd Nebres | Communications Manager at Finalis