For the first time in a while, I’m writing just about my thoughts on a topic, rather than specifics. As a result, this will be categorised differently, and maybe I will continue it as a series…
It is hard to spend a single moment of a day at the moment without AI popping up. Social media is alight with opinions, dos and don’ts, hype and Skynet fear. I’m going to start by saying – I think that’s important.
If you spend some time looking at the capabilities that modern AI can offer, you quickly realise that this isn’t a fad. This is something that is coming at us like a train, and is here to stay. That certainty is why I think a mix of opinions is important. Experts on the subject are openly saying they are unsure where this can, will, or should go. That is both exciting and terrifying.
Rather than focus on the terrifying (I personally don’t think it will get there FWIW), I want to focus on the exciting. Recently I’ve seen some use cases, and some demos that have convinced me that this will make my work life better. While I haven’t seen something yet that helps my personal life directly, perhaps AI helping work can indirectly give me a better balance of time.
Also, I currently have zero interest in the creative side. Art, music, even blog posts are something I have no care for seeing AI involved with.
Part of my job requires me to explain complex technology to people in simple language. I have spent some time trying to think how could I explain AI in this way. I think simply stating it’s a new assistant is more confusing than helpful. “I don’t want or need another Siri”. I also think getting to deep on LLMs etc helps no one. I’ve simply settled on AI is an enabler for a new generation of your productivity tool.
In the same vein that an abacus helped you count, and a calculator was a leap forward, AI will be the tech that facilitates a leap forward for your tool.
Let’s take Excel as an example. It’s not a core tool of mine, but I use it a lot. Mostly to read data, rarely to work with complex sets. However when I do, finding out how to do something is difficult. Excel has been around a long time, there is a huge amount of content, searching and finding what you want always takes longer than a single Google search. Enter AI to boost productivity. This is what I want from it.
Working with VS code and GitHub Copilot creating Bicep templates etc. I’ve seen some of this already, write a comment, get some code. It’s not perfect, and sometimes maybe it’s not even correct and this is important to me and why I am calling AI tech to boost your tool.
I don’t think AI can replace someone. I might be wrong, absolutely. But right now, I see it making people more productive. You still need people to validate and confirm the value of what AI has returned. Regardless of capability, I don’t want AI to find data, edit it, and send it to a client, without me involved. I do want it to do the heavy lifting for me, hopefully helping me hit send quicker and with less mental effort. But that is far enough for now please.
As the title says, I’m sold. As long as modern AI can save me time and do so with a degree of accuracy that ensures I can spend time validating and tweaking rather than correcting work it has done I think this will change how we work forever. It is a very exciting time to be working with this technology.