Submitted by: Martin Straub, SimplePowerIT

Thinking back on the last 25+ years of technology, it is fair to say that some evolutions fundamentally shifted the way almost all of us now complete everyday tasks.  The internet kickstarted the “modern” evolution, followed by email, browsers (remember Netscape?), smartphones, search engines (yes, we all use Google as verb) and now AI, or more specifically generative AI engines such as ChatGPT and Microsoft’s CoPilot.

Although generative AI is not new, over the past 1-2 years, the commercial release of products such as ChatGPT has tremendously raised awareness of the power of these new tools.  Much like the first smartphones (Blackberries) it is reasonable to conclude that the development of AI tools are still very much in their infancy (and some likely will not be around 3-5 years from now).  The best is certainly yet to come and yes, that also means struggling with how to embrace the positive aspects of AI, educating the general population, and reducing the fear of the unknown.  Much like the concerns we first had when students could just “google” instead of traditionally researching an assignment, those same concerns have manifested themselves again. And again, we see the best educators adapting their teaching methods to embrace these tools into learning assignments as opposed to simply ignoring their usefulness or attempting to outright ban them from schools.

In much the same way, the most successful businesses in the modern workplace will be those that embrace generative AI tools.  Businesses that choose to ignore them certainly won’t gain nearly the productivity as compared to their competitors and will be more likely to be left behind.  It’s hard to imagine all the ways AI might be used in the workplace, from diagnosing automotive mechanical issues to patient healthcare, to researching legal matters and completing tax forms, the possibilities truly are endless.

What does that mean as either an employee or small business owner?  Now is the time to start forming your AI strategy.  It’s not necessarily even important that you completely understand how AI works to have a strategy for your business.  More important is being open to how AI will, without a doubt, impact the way your business is conducted.  Attend webinars, read industry publications, and seek out vendors for your business (especially software tools) that are incorporating AI into their products. 

An AI strategy is also relevant if you are an employee, especially those that are often referred to as “knowledge workers” and other professionals such as engineers, attorneys, and accountants.  Consider sampling AI’s power by subscribing to ChatGPT or using some of the tools major vendors such as Google and Microsoft are introducing into their browsers.  Once you understand how you can use AI to assist with searches and tasks related to your personal life, it will likely be even easier to extrapolate how the same can be applied to your professional world.  Employees who understand how to best utilize AI tools to increase productivity at work will most definitely be valued by employers looking to gain an edge and remain relevant.

The AI revolution has just begun – yes, it’s a little scary and also pretty amazing. Like with most change, those that embrace it are the most likely to succeed.  Good luck! If you have questions or would like additional information, contact SimplePowerIT today at (509) 433-7606

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