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Employees are not waiting to adopt AI tools

Generative Artificial Intelligence is just part of the AI picture.

The AI field has many different areas of expertise. In the last year, a subset of AI tools, called Generative AI tools, have landed in the hands of consumers and caused quite a news media storm. Now that millions of people are gaining experience using these generative tools we can get a clearer picture of what they are.
The Generative AI tools you are reading about in the news, and hearing about from friends, are tools where you can direct the computer to create paragraphs of text and multiple images by typing in instructions in the form of sentences, not lines of computer code.

If you’re a working professional in St. Petersburg, you have probably heard that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here and it’s going to change everything. It’s as revolutionary a technology breakthrough as personal computers and the internet age. What is it, and how might it affect you?

For example, you can use a popular AI service called Microsoft CoPilot, which is powered by ChatGPT. To try it via a website, visit copilot.microsoft.com and type a question or give a command like, “Tell me a joke about a cow.” CoPilot will then use what you typed to present you with a complete joke about a cow in the form of text on the screen.

You can also use the same tool to ask CoPilot to create an image of a cow by typing, “Create an image of a cow.”

Generative AI mimics intelligence

There is no artificial brain in some secret lair doing all this. There has always been a goal of humanizing technology to a point where it’s easy and intuitive, this is just the latest step along that path. Without getting technical, AI takes your typed request and then uses math to reference its knowledge and attempts to predict what you want to create. So, after asking for a cow joke, in the example above, the AI creates a joke based on thousands of jokes it has been trained upon. It’s different from a Google search, where the search engine is looking to report a web page related to your search term. With the AI, it’s usually constructing newly generated content to present to you.

So, if you were to ask for something very specific, like a joke about a fish born in 2006 with three eyes and a tennis racquet, Google won’t find that joke anywhere, but the AI will create a new joke for you.

Your employees are not waiting on leadership to adopt AI tools

My company (an AI consulting company in St. Petersburg) is in the business of helping integrate successful and rapid plans to integrate AI throughout the organization in ways that prioritize helping front-line workers quickly leverage the technology. We find that most organizational leadership sees AI as an important issue to address, but have not fully assessed how it could be adopted in their corporate environment. In stark contrast, we’ve found that most front-line employees are already using at least one AI tool regardless of whether the company is aware of its usage.

Jim Hundley is a Co-founder and Managing Partner of ASCENDalyst, a woman-owned business consulting company in the Tampa Bay area specializing in working with business leadership teams on effectively bringing artificial intelligence into the workplace at all levels. We service businesses in the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater areas.