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What’s your take on generative artificial intelligence, AKA gen AI?

🤿 Maybe you’re diving in head first.

🗺️ Perhaps you’re tentatively exploring what’s possible.

✋ You could be avoiding it at all costs.

🤷 Or you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.

However you feel, someone else is going through the same emotions you are right now. Gen AI is here, and it’s changing how all of us think about what we do.

How we come together in our workplaces to discuss and think about the wider implications of gen AI matters. It could be the difference between long term sustainable success or a rocky road ahead.

But how did gen AI become such a big topic of discussion?

It started with the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022. Within a week, one million users were prompting its gen AI bot. ChatGPT now receives around one billion web visitors a month, with an estimated 100 million active users. It’s already into its next iteration, ChatGPT 4.

Competitor bots like Google’s Bard are also making headlines. But it’s the multiple different ways we can use gen AI that’s really driving the conversation.

✍️ Content creation. 

🎨 Image, video and audio generation.

⌨️ Coding.

Gen AI can do all these things, and much more, often faster and with greater agility than how we did them before. It’s no surprise that it’s caught the imagination of millions.

But what exactly is generative AI?

It isn’t the same as the artificial intelligence we’re more familiar with from science fiction. As ChatGPT itself explains, gen AI “is focused on solving specific tasks within a limited domain, such as generating text, images, or music.”

The AI from science fiction is better known as “artificial general intelligence”, or AGI. ChatGPT adds that the difference between gen AI and AGI is the limitation of its scope:

💬 “Gen AI is focused on generating data within a specific domain, while AGI aims to achieve human-like intelligence across a wide range of tasks and domains.”

So ChatGPT isn’t here to replace us humans just yet. But it is here to take some of the work off our plates.

And it turns out, many of us are already using it for just that purpose.

In a March 2023 Korn Ferry survey, 46% of professionals said they already used ChatGPT in their workday. 83% say they’ll use it in the future. The downside though? Only 43% say they actually trust what ChatGPT generates.

Here’s the challenge. Gen AI has created a crossroads for all of us. Do we go all in on gen AI? Do we dip our toes in the water? Do we see which way the wind blows before we move forward?

Where each of us goes from here could have huge implications for our business, our potential for success and our people. How we use AI could be one of the most important decisions we make.

With all this on our minds, it’s natural to feel all sorts of different ways about gen AI.

🤯 Excited. Nervous. Optimistic. Cynical. Perhaps even indifferent.

What isn’t in doubt, though, is that it’s something we’ll need to address sooner rather than later. As Hilary Sutcliffe, Director of SocietyInside, says: “The generative AI genie is well and truly out of the bottle.”

With that in mind, we’ll be delving into gen AI and how it could affect workplace culture in this series of articles. We’ll look at gen AI through the lens of inclusion, leadership, sustainability and wellbeing.

How can we get the most out of AI, while being aware of what could go wrong? That’s the question we’ll look to answer.

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