#TechTalks: AI in the workplace – friend or foe?

Published: 22 March 2023
Published: 22 March 2023

As AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology continues to become more advanced, many employees are left increasingly fearful that they will be replaced by robots. But, is AI really coming for people’s jobs? Our IT experts explore what the advancement in AI means for employment and explain the benefits of using AI in your workplace in our latest #TechTalks article.

Whether it’s the daily conservations we have with Alexa or Siri, or our regular Google searches, AI has quickly become an integral part of our personal and professional lives.

If you have watched any film about robots in the last 20 years, you would be wise to approach AI with some scepticism. However, while AI world domination is reserved for the big screens (at least for now), the potential threat of machine learning on job security is a real fear for employees across the globe.

So, are people right to be worried, or is AI technology an opportunity for innovation that your business should embrace?

What is AI and how does it work?

AI is one of the most rapidly evolving and exciting advancements in technology. From chatbots to self-driving cars, the world of AI is a continuously expanding area of computer science that uses machines and computer systems to manage vast amounts of data and mirror human intelligence and behaviour.

We often overlook how incredibly intelligent computers really are. By employing a series of technologies and processes such as deep learning and natural language processing, AI can be trained to automate thousands, even millions, of specific and complex tasks without the need for human input.

What are the latest developments in AI?

With new tools and software being launched every day, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest in AI technology. Even as you’re reading this, computer scientists throughout the world are working on the next ‘big thing’ in AI.

While it would be impossible to list them all, below we look at some of the latest AI offerings from Microsoft and OpenAI:

ChatGPT

It would be hard to talk about the latest in AI tools without mentioning ChatGPT. Launched by OpenAI in November 2022, ChatGPT has quickly become the poster child of AI writing tools, attracting over a million users in the first five days of its release.

At its core, the AI-powered natural language processing tool allows users to input written prompts and generate new human-like text and responses. While that might not seem ground-breaking at first glance, the capabilities of ChatGPT have grabbed the attention of the business world.

ChatGPT can write essays, solve computer code, and offer personalised recommendations on a host of topics (and that’s only scratching the surface!) However, like any innovative technology, ChatGPT isn’t without its teething problems, and it has been shown to create incorrect information.

OpenAI is hoping to rectify earlier fallings with the release of the new ChatGPT-4.

The new AI-powered Microsoft Bing

First launched in 2009, Microsoft-owned Bing has undergone significant changes over the years as Microsoft attempts to pry some of the search engine market from Google’s clutches. Microsoft’s latest efforts have led them to reveal an updated version of Bing, powered by AI.

Microsoft announced the preview release of a new AI-driven Bing at the start of February 2023, with the aim of reinventing the way users search. Whether you are planning your next trip and want an itinerary, or need festival recommendations based on your music taste, the fresh-faced Microsoft Bing uses AI to give users more tailored answers to their search queries. These tailored answers are achieved through Bing’s new AI-powered chat feature, which runs on a next-generation OpenAI language model.

By unifying the browser, search, and chatbot technology, Microsoft hopes to create not only a better user experience but unlock new capabilities with search engines and web browsers.

The new Bing is currently available in preview to a limited number of users, with Microsoft announcing that a further preview rollout for mobile is on its way.

Office 365 Copilot

Bing is not the only Microsoft platform that will have an AI refresh as the new Office 365 Copilot has been announced.

Whether you already have one, or dream of hiring one, a personal assistant is there to take care of all your admin work so you can focus on the more important tasks. Someone to write your email, take meeting notes, and draft documents. With the introduction of its new Office 365 Copilot, Microsoft is aiming to provide its users with their own digital PA.

Looking to power a new, AI-driven age of working, the Office Copilot will allow 365 users to summon an AI chatbot to perform various tasks across their Microsoft apps, from converting Word docs into PowerPoint presentations to providing team members with project updates.

Developed with the latest version of ChatGPT and Microsoft Graph, the new AI digital assistant combines the strengths of a large language model (LLM) with business data and Office 365 apps. The Copilot can be easily integrated within all your Microsoft 365 products, enhancing your daily work operations through automatic syncing with your calendar, emails, documents, meetings, chats and contacts.

While the new AI feature is not yet available to every user, Microsoft 365 users can look forward to having their own AI assistant in the near future. If you are not already using Microsoft 365, Infuse can help you seamlessly integrate the software and Cloud-based services into your business.

What are the benefits of working with AI?

AI has revolutionised the workplace in recent years. Thanks to the level of accuracy and speed AI can offer, businesses from all industries are turning to automated tech to enhance the effectiveness of their work operations.

From greater cyber protection to reducing workloads, here are three of the top benefits of using AI in the workplace:

AI increases productivity (and promotes creativity!)

A common challenge businesses face as they grow is limited capacity. With increased work comes less time or hands to do it. As well as extra strain on resources, a lack of capacity hampers creativity. By automating some of your more mundane and time-consuming administrative tasks, AI can free up your team’s capacity, making room for more fulfilling work and creative solutions.

AI reduces human error

People often use being ‘only human’ as an excuse when things go wrong. We all make mistakes, but these accidents can be extremely costly for businesses. AI can eliminate the risk of human error by gathering, analysing, and interpreting substantial amounts of data to complete tasks to a high-level. By removing the human element from certain processes, you can guarantee the accuracy of the end results.

AI better protects data and improves cyber security

Businesses have become more data driven. This has made the digital landscape an increasingly dangerous place for businesses, with ever-evolving cyber security threats.

Advanced cyber-threats require a more sophisticated defence and AI is the latest weapon in the arsenal that businesses have in the fight against cyber-crime.

Unlike traditional cyber security solutions that simply react to potential breaches, using the latest in threat-hunting technology, modern AI-based security tools actively search for them. By adopting a proactive approach to cyber security, AI can help to discover threats earlier and reduce the damage caused by a cyber-attack. AI-based solutions can also predict how and where you are most likely to suffer a breach allowing you to strengthen the weak spots in your IT infrastructure.

Has your company experienced a security breach? Find out how your business should respond to a cyber-attack.

The big question – will AI replace jobs?

Despite the excitement surrounding the benefits and future possibilities of artificial intelligence, there are many who are concerned about what this means for employment.

So, will AI replace jobs? In short, yes, but it will also create them. Let us explain.

There’s no denying that in time advancements in AI will result in some job roles becoming automated, however, AI will also pave the way for new job opportunities. In 2020, the World Economic Forum reported that it expects AI will replace 85 million jobs worldwide by 2025. While, on the surface, that is enough to give any employee nightmares, it also reports that in the same time AI will create 97 million new jobs.

AI has also made a significant impact in streamlining the hiring process itself, with companies now using AI-driven recruitment platforms to quickly find qualified candidates for open positions. These systems can screen resumes, assess experience and qualifications, and instantly feedback to hiring managers.

Therefore, although jobs will be replaced, AI will not only open the door to new career opportunities but help job searchers find work quickly.

Enhance your IT solutions with Infuse

Whether you believe AI is a friend or a foe, it is inevitable that AI will impact your business in the future, and failure to embrace modern technology will leave you lagging behind.

As a leading cyber-security and IT support provider in the UK, Infuse continues to utilise the latest technology and software to provide our clients with expert IT solutions.

For more information on how our modern IT services can advance your business, get in touch with us today. Our Derby based team of IT support specialists has extensive experience in helping companies like yours take control of their IT systems.

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