The future does not wait for anyone, and in recent years the professional workforce has witnessed a remarkable evolution, thanks to the advent of ChatGPT and generative AI. These groundbreaking technologies have ushered in a new era of efficiency and innovation within the business world. As businesses strive to adapt to an increasingly fast-paced and data-driven landscape, ChatGPT has emerged as a transformative tool for enhancing productivity and decision-making. Its ability to generate human-like text responses, draft emails, and even provide on-demand expertise has revolutionized communication and problem-solving. Moreover, generative AI has become an asset in content creation, automating tasks, and enabling data-driven insights, ultimately streamlining operations, and boosting competitiveness. As advancements within these applications continue to evolve, it is evident that ChatGPT and generative AI are shaping the future of work, enabling businesses to operate more intelligently and efficiently than ever before.
Now, what if were to tell you that the entire first paragraph was written by ChatGPT?
ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an application created by OpenAI, a leading artificial intelligence research organization. ChatGPT is classified as a generative AI chatbot that has been trained on large data models to provide human-like responses to prompted inputs. The two main models of this program, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4, are both trained to pull online text data from books, articles, websites, and even social media. Debuted in 2020, the GPT-3.5 model emerged as one of the most advanced language models to date and is free to use. Since 2020, the GPT-3.5 model made improvements based on user feedback and continuous research, however, the model’s database is limited to knowledge up until September 2021. The GPT-4 contains the most up-to-date information and advanced capabilities and is only accessible with a paid subscription. ChatGPT, being a form of generative AI, has the ability to create new content like text, images, videos, or audio. As amazing as this tool currently is, we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what AI is capable of.
Artificial Intelligence in Our Daily Lives
Before you go and think that AI and “robots” are going to take over the world, let it be known that it has already begun. Not actually, but we do rely heavily on the use of artificial intelligence nearly every time we use our computers, smartphones, televisions, and even cars. As scary as the future may be, we are already seamlessly trained to use AI in our daily lives. Here are just a few examples of how easy it is to overlook how integrated we really are with machines:
- Smart Phone Face ID – AI uses biometrics to unlock your phone based on data stored around images of your face.
- Social Media – Personalized feeds and targeted ads are developed based on AI algorithms to recommend new content that may resonate with a user based on past behaviors.
- Email & Text – AI and natural language processors generate predictive suggestions and automatically check for errors when constructing messages.
- GPS and Travel Aids – Real-time traffic reports are generated from AI by gathering sources of traffic patterns and weather conditions when on route.
- Streaming Services – Streaming platforms, like Netflix, use AI to power user recommendations based on data stored from previous viewing patterns.
In a world so driven by technology and efficiency, it is hard to imagine our daily routines without the help of AI. But what do these advancements mean to the workforce? How will ChatGPT and generative AI influence the shaping of tomorrow’s professional environment?
Applying ChatGPT and Generative AI to the HR Function
ChatGPT and other generative AI programs may not take your job, but it does contain the power to change it. Any successful HR function relies heavily on the intellectual power of a human. After all, the HR aspect of business is built by humans for humans. Machines are not capable of operating with the high levels of empathy, knowledge, and experience that professionals like yourself possess. ChatGPT and generative AI do however have the ability to help improve recruiting, performance management, and professional development efforts.
- Recruiting: ChatGPT can assist in the recruiting process by helping managers write better job descriptions. The generated outputs can improve the speed and quality of producing the skills that are required to be successful in a job. Also, recruiters can use programs like ChatGPT to optimize candidate personalization. Organizations with thousands of applicants can streamline customized approaches in their outreach process with more personalization about the candidate, the job, and what other jobs may be available if the applicant isn’t a fit.
- Performance Management: On the human-facing side of things, ChatGPT can be a great preliminary tool for performance reviews. It is however not recommended to rely entirely on AI to generate an individual’s performance review as human judgment and empathy are still needed to make performance feedback meaningful and performance management conversations resonate. Instead, leveraging AI as an initial synthesis can help HR professionals gain quick insights into what is needed to aid a person’s professional growth.
- Professional Development: With such an emphasis on continued education and professional growth in today’s workforce, it is not always possible to have constant resources available to help you navigate professional development. ChatGPT presents the opportunity to illuminate a range of career paths and start helping people understand how to achieve their development objectives in their own time.
The McKinsey & Company reported that 80% of jobs can incorporate generative AI into technology and capabilities into daily activities at work. There are numerous areas in which AI can help optimize efficiency and inspire content generation, but it is still crucial to keep the human in Human Resources. By using this tool as a blueprint, professionals can gain quick insights into problems or processes that may not be initially seen on the surface.
The Positives of ChatGPT & Generative AI
Utilizing ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms in the workplace can bring forth a variety of positive outcomes. ChatGPT is a great tool to support an individual’s decision-making process by providing information, facts, analysis, and perspective; however, it is important to note the advice and recommendations generated from this machine is entirely based on algorithmic analysis of data and information. It is still crucial that the human element remains in control of this process as the users should make the final decision on how to accurately use the generated materials based on experience, knowledge, and assessment of the situation. In addition, the generated responses are entirely dependent on the detail or lack of detail the user is inputting within a prompt.
With that being said, here are some areas within the workplace that ChatGPT can positively influence:
- Productivity: ChatGPT and generative AI present the opportunity for us to automate mundane tasks in seconds and direct focus to other responsibilities that require higher priority.
- Content Generation: When fighting against mental blocks, ChatGPT can provide quick suggestions/solutions to lingering questions. By simply inputting a targeted prompt, users will be supplied with a wealth of ideas and supported information right at their fingertips.
- Free Learning Opportunities: Through effective prompts, ChatGPT can teach you a skill, provide insights, compile information, etc. Using the internet’s endless resources of instructional videos, articles, and books, you can have access to a vast array of learning courses that can enhance your learning development for free and on your own time.
The Negatives of ChatGPT & Generative AI
ChatGPT, like any other generative AI system, is not without its drawbacks. Keeping in mind that all generated materials are produced from a wide range of online resources, the outputs may not always be credible or accurate. ChatGPT lacks general insight. Instead, the algorithms behind the machine provide more summarized insights as opposed to unique responses that humans can create through knowledge, personal experiences, and subjective perceptions. Also considering that responses are entirely artificial, the structure and language included in them lack divergence and display patterns of unnatural communication. The lack of credibility, insights, and non-human language patterns are seen as the major identifiers in generative AI responses. In addition, here are some other negatives associated with relying on ChatGPT and generative AI to produce content:
- Biases: Just as humans have the ability to share thoughts and opinions on subjects through online outlets, generative AI programs, like ChatGPT, have the ability to source responses based on these postings. With the amount of inaccurate and misleading information being spread online, ChatGPT regularly produces biased responses on a variety of sensitive topics like politics, immigration, healthcare, gender, etc.
- Legal Issues: Users of ChatGPT have the right to reproduce text and other content generated, however, publishing outputs may have legal implications such as copyright infringements.
- Lack of Creative Thinking: ChatGPT responses are highly organized with clear logic which takes away from the human flair often desired for captivating writing. Despite the language and grammar structure being highly compressive, there is a severe lack of creativity due to the missing personal experience and insights that only humans can demonstrate.
- Inconsistencies: Since generative AI platforms rely on human input to generate responses, the answers provided are different every time.
- Ethics: Due to the inaccurate and biased nature of ChatGPT responses, the software lacks a general sense of empathy and ethics on a human scale. External use of generative AI responses also raises a concern of ethics depending on the way they are used, like students using it to complete schoolwork.
There is no doubt that ChatGPT and generative AI are great tools to help businesses streamline mundane tasks. However, there are numerous concerns around the accuracy, biases, creativity, and ethics within its current programming. Rather than finding ways to use ChatGPT’s content as is, consider using it as a starting point or a “muse.” Use it to challenge your thinking, generate new ideas, and compile information. Also, the more intricate your prompts are, the better the desired output will be. It is critical the human user remains in intellectual control and that the output responses are carefully evaluated or used as a muse for a topic and not taken as a definitive or final product.
Keep Up with the Times, Don’t Fall Behind
There is no doubt that AI is and will continue to influence the way we work. Programs like ChatGPT have emerged as one of the most groundbreaking and best technological advancements we have seen in our lifetimes. From an HR perspective, ChatGPT can be an ideal tool to help improve recruiting processes, provide insights into performance management, and guide professional development and continuing education. Because the HR profession is so people-centric, AI or ChatGPT will never be able to replace the intricate and nuanced work HR professionals like yourself do. Also, considering how early ChatGPT is in development, there are still a variety of unknowns, concerns, and risks associated with relying on this type of generative AI. Being that ChatGPT is based on machine learning, it severely lacks a human touch to its outputs – riddled with biases and inconsistencies while lacking creativity, empathy, and insights.
Until we know more about the capabilities and drawbacks of AI, it is important that humans remain in intellectual power when leveraging this technology. But that does not mean you should avoid using it entirely, as there are numerous aspects within the HR function that generative AI can help to make our lives easier. Don’t be left behind with the evolution of technology. Start finding ways to familiarize yourself with and implement generative AI into your daily routines, because after all, ChatGPT and AI are not going away anytime soon; they will only continue to improve and evolve the way we work.