Davos CEOs are using ChatGPT to write work emails | CNN Business
Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of online learning provider Coursera, said that when he first tried ChatGPT, he was “blown away.” Now, it’s part of your daily routine.
Use the powerful new AI chat tool to send emails. He uses it to craft speeches “in a friendly, upbeat, authoritative tone with a mixed cadence.” He even uses it to help break down big strategic questions, such as how Coursera should approach bringing AI tools like ChatGPT into its platform.
“I use it as a writing aide and as a thought partner,” Maggioncalda told CNN.
Maggioncalda is one of thousands of business leaders, politicians and academics gathered in Davos, Switzerland, this week for the World Economic Forum. On the agenda are a number of pressing issues weighing on the global economy, from the energy crisis to the war in Ukraine and the transformation of trade. But what many can’t stop talking about is ChatGPT.
The tool, which artificial intelligence research company OpenAI made available to the general public late last year, has sparked conversations about how “generative AI” services, which can turn prompts into original essays, stories, songs, and images after training on massive online datasets. could radically transform the way we live and work.
Some claim it will put artists, tutors, programmers and writers (yes, even journalists) without a job. Others are more optimistic and postulate that it will allow employees to tackle to-do lists more efficiently or focus on higher-level tasks.
It’s a debate that has captivated many C-suite leaders, often after they’ve tried the tool themselves.
Christian Lanng, CEO of digital supply chain platform Tradeshift, said he was impressed by the capabilities ChatGPT displays, even after years of exposure to Silicon Valley hype.
He has also used the platform to write emails and claims that no one has noticed the difference. He even had him do some bookkeeping, a service for which Tradeshift currently has an expensive professional services firm.
So far, ChatGPT has been treated mostly as a curiosity and a harbinger of things to come. It is based on OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 language model, which is now obsolete; the more advanced GPT-4 version is in the works and could be released this year.
Critics, of which there are many, are quick to point out that it makes mistakes, is painfully neutral, and shows a distinct lack of human empathy. One tech news publication, for example, was forced to issue several major corrections to an article written by ChatGPT. And New York City Public Schools has banned students and teachers from using it.
However, the software, or similar programs from competitors, could soon take the business world by storm.
OpenAI investor Microsoft ( MSFT ) announced this week that the company’s tools, including GPT-3.5, the Codex programming assistant, and the DALL-E 2 image generator, are now generally available for to business customers in a package called Azure OpenAI Service. ChatGPT will be added soon.
“I see these technologies acting as a co-pilot, helping people do more with less,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told an audience in Davos this week.
Maggioncalda has a similar perspective. He wants to integrate generative AI into Coursera’s offerings this year, seeing an opportunity to make learning more interactive for students who don’t have access to face-to-face instruction in a classroom or one-on-one with subject matter experts. .
It recognizes that challenges such as preventing cheating and ensuring accuracy must be addressed. And he worries that the increased use of generative AI is not entirely good for society; people can become less agile thinkers, for example, as the act of writing can be useful for processing complex ideas and refining results.
Still, he sees the need to move quickly.
“Anyone who doesn’t use this is going to be at a serious disadvantage soon. Like, shortly. Like, very soon,” Maggioncalda said. “I’m just thinking about my cognitive ability with this tool. Compared to before, it’s much higher, and my efficiency and productivity are much higher.”