By Paula Sparks

In my early career, there was concern about computers taking over jobs – when in actuality; it created dozens of computer positions. I was in my early twenties and volunteered for computer positions because others were afraid of it. I was a relational database programmer, computer operator, computer teacher, and database administrator. All of my IT friends told me I went to the “dark side” when I entered HR. My passion was to work more with people than with data. However, I still have some geek in me – so I find it fascinating the use of artificial intelligence and specialized chatbots like ChatGPT being leveraged in the workplace and perceptions about it.

Just like the industrialization age changed mechanization, Artificial Intelligence is changing intellectual processing. In preparation for this article, I had a conversation recently asking a group of people what they thought of AI, and it turned into a consensus of AI takes away jobs. But, does it really? How do we let AI be our friend?

We all like various levels of technology. Every time we use dictation on our phone, ask Alexa a question, program our Google Nest while we are out of our house, or identify foods to purchase in an app… Artificial Intelligence is behind the scenes giving us suggestions on things we have bought before, prompting our favorite music to fill the room, or helping us craft a text quicker with dictation. 

In our minds, the early stages of AI may have begun with automated phone systems, robo-callers, “I am not a robot” item identification, spell checkers, and chatbots on websites asking if they can help us. AI has many forms and is being used in multiple industries. Chatbots, robo-callers, machine learning and voice recognition with Alexa/Siri, vehicle sensors, mobile translation/dictation, facial/fingerprint recognition, medical advances with biometrics and robotics, data mining, program coding and finding trends… and the list goes on.

The latest buzz on ChatGPT is that it’s a chatbot on steroids that can understand natural language requests and dig deep into data to find solutions. Need help with your resume? Ask ChatGPT a question and give some parameters and poof – you have immediate ideas you can draw from. ChatGPT capabilities can develop programming language suggestions, templates to be used for research papers, resumes, individualized education plans, specialized workouts, developing recipes, and even a broad list of what it takes to plan a wedding. 

AI and ChatGPT are simply tools – they can help make life easier.

There are cautions. 

  • Coding may not be 100% correct, so you still have to read through the lines to ensure it is accurate. 
  • Plagiarism is possible with writing presentations or research papers.
  • Intellectual property and cyber security are still major concerns for companies to keep data safe. 

In a world of highly technical professionals, there is concern about AI taking over aspects of their job positions. So, how do you prepare your people for change management, and transition while creating job stability?

  • AI may take over tactical and often monotonous aspects of positions. With the Great Resignation and worker shortage, this will aid in creating more time for people to be strategic.
  • AI will not replace social connection. We have been through a lot in social anthropology over the past few years. Covid and quarantine have developed an insular perspective on relying on technology and creating social awkwardness. It is easier to text or IM than talk; working remotely, using video conferencing, and not seeing anyone physically for long periods of time. Many companies are going back to the office. The need is strong for the capability to have meaningful face-to-face social connections.
  • ChatGPT can create factual emails for you. Nuances in having the ability to show people you care – especially in providing meaningful feedback and addressing conflict in a tactful way – will still exist. 

If employees want to differentiate themselves for retention and marketability, soft skills will remain important. Increasing leadership and conversational skills, as well as emotional intelligence in areas of self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management, will give them the edge.

The bottom line is that our society is moving forward into unknown territory, and change can be scary. However, we cannot hide our heads in the sand and pretend this new technology does not exist. Things will change because of these new advancements –and others we don’t even know about yet— and we as leaders and teammates, must find ways to embrace and use it to enhance the roles we play in our jobs and our lives. As with any new advancement, opportunities, and challenges will present themselves as we move forward, it is up to us to use our capabilities wisely.

We are an organizational effectiveness consulting company. We help our clients walk through business challenges every day. If you find an impartial perspective would be helpful, we would love to talk with you. Our professional consultants will come alongside you, providing tools and resources to help identify and solve your most difficult organizational and leadership challenges. If you’d like a free consultation to talk about how professional coaching services, leadership development training, or strategy sessions can help you or your organization, contact us for a free consultation at admin@InnovativeConnectionsInc.com or call us at 970-279-3330.

If you find that you would benefit from an impartial perspective, we would love to help. We are an organizational effectiveness consulting company that helps clients walk through business issues every day. We will come alongside you to provide tools and resources to help identify and solve your most difficult organizational and leadership challenges. Contact us for a free consultation at admin@InnovativeConnectionsInc.com or call us at 970-279-3330.

Our mission is to give voice and action to an emerging future. As a partner in your success, we would love to help you find your voice, see your vision, and imagine what the right action could be for you, your team, and your organization.

Here’s the link to a recent Harvard Business Report article if you’d like to learn more:
The 3 Human Super Talents that AI will not replace – curiosity, humility, and emotional intelligence.

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