Generative AI Comes to Office: What It Means (and Who’s at Risk)

(Microsoft is the author’s client.)

microsoft announced “Copilot” generative AI for Office. and i think it is big game changer As a Windows launch (I was a Windows launch analyst when I started my career).

Such advancements have a constant impact on employment, performance and related job trajectories.In thinking about generative AI, the third segment of the movie Fantasia — Apprentice Wizard – comes to mind. It dramatizes what happens when someone acquires incredible powers but doesn’t know how to use them properly and lands in a sea of ​​trouble. The most important part of using any doubling tool is learning how to use it properly and responsibly.

The most powerful feature of this tool is quantitative. Because you can do more in less time. (There are some qualitative features as well, but they are less mature at this stage.) People who care about quality often sacrifice quantity. Therefore, using AI tools to increase output may lead to better outcomes. – Notch work; conversely, those who work fast may be sacrificing quality.

A warning to “fast” folks: this kind of tool can be very tempting, but ultimately you have to focus on the quality of your work.

Tesla example

Tesla is a good example. When we entered the automotive market, we built our business as a technology company with a focus on automation and robotics. What I didn’t have was a deep knowledge of how cars are made. As a result, we were able to build an affordable electric car faster than anyone else, but it was plagued with incredible quality issues that dragged on longer than it should have. Tesla’s focus was on speed and cost containment, but the technology it used, robotics, generative AI and other automation sped up production without improving quality.

By contrast, when Jaguar first built the F-Type at its new automated plant, the company hired experts from Mercedes to run the facility. Jaguar has a poor reputation for quality overall, but the F-Type ranked much higher for quality because the people who run the factory implemented quality processes and had far fewer problems.

Technologies such as robotics and AI can greatly speed up processes, but they speed up both good and bad practices because they can’t tell the difference. You can teach an AI to tell the difference, but you can’t tell it to create if you don’t understand how to achieve high quality. In short, generative AI offers a way to significantly increase quality work for those who know how to produce quality deliverables. But those who trade off quality for quantity only produce poor quality work. It usually doesn’t end well.

While Tesla has ultimately improved the quality of its products, the initial advantages of being the only electric car company have diminished. An early sign is that Tesla buyers are some of the first to buy electric vehicles from companies like Porsche, which have a reputation for quality cars. Had Tesla previously focused on quality, the reputational damage could have been avoided.

who benefits most

What I find fascinating about Microsoft bringing generative AI to Office is that the technology, despite being so new, is incredibly capable and progressing at an almost unbelievable speed. is that ChatGPT, which is based on Copilot (the name of Microsoft’s effort), is already his fourth version and is currently being acquired. The application is new, but the core technology is four generations old.

For a product that has just been released, the quality of the tools is very high and the focus is on the user when the quality of the results is low. If users don’t quickly learn the strengths and weaknesses of this tool and focus on quality results, it becomes a problem for management to solve.

The first and most at risk are people who use tools poorly. They produce masses of low-quality results and make their shortcomings too obvious to ignore. Stand out from your peers. Not only will they survive this wave of technology, they will thrive on it.

PowerPoint Copilot

I am very excited about Copilot, but like you, I will focus on learning how to use it properly before relying heavily on it. We also always focus on quality while using our tools to improve productivity. (Because I don’t want to be obsolete). One very interesting aspect in that respect is his Copilot for PowerPoint.

This is a bit different than other volume-focused implementations in that it transforms text into a presentation. Many of us use PowerPoint like speaker notes, but we don’t take full advantage of that tool to convey our visual message. Copilot integrates our ability to script with a more intuitive visual medium, helping users create stunning presentations. Ironically, part of my first success in marketing was my ability to create better presentations. This ability made me much more visible to management than less skilled people.

For those who have cheated with PowerPoint but know how to tell a good story, this tool is a presentation godsend. Create images in documents and books that visually convey the concept you are trying to convey. Sure, you’re still going to have problems if you can’t tell the story from the start, but this one tool is what I’m most excited about.

how this technology will evolve

Generative AI is the first tool to truly learn from us. Over time, it can learn and automate what we do at an ever-increasing rate. , meaning that the proliferation of those defects can be minimized over time. Otherwise, you may end up having to spend a lot of time trying to keep your AI helpers from learning all the bad practices.

This tool class digital twinSo the more we work to ensure that our twins are of higher quality than we are, the better they will be when they mature. We are at the very beginning of the evolution of these tools. increase. It is clear that those who embrace this technology and learn how to use it effectively will replace those who do not – on typewriters and calculators.

This is just the beginning of the AI ​​wave. As with any such progress, the alternative is to drown in it, so it’s a good idea to learn how to swim in it quickly.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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