Sunday, June 18, 2023

Wharton Professor: Employees Are Using Generative Artificial Intelligence, Not Telling Employers

From Professor (innovation & entrepreneurship + AI effects)Ethan Mollick's One Useful Thing Substack, June 18:

It sounds like a science fiction setup: companies are at risk from disruption from AI unless they can convince their secret cyborgs to reveal themselves. But I think it is an accurate summary of the dilemma facing organizations.

To understand what I mean, and why it is so important, we need to start with a basic premise. Large Language Models are a breakthrough technology for individual productivity, but not (yet) for organizations.

The initial evidence suggests that AI can have huge impacts on individual productivity. Early controlled studies have suggested time savings of anywhere from 20% to 70% for many tasks, with higher quality output than if AI wasn’t used. Yet, the current state of AI primarily helps individuals become more productive, not so much helping organizations as a whole. That is because AI makes terrible software. It is inconsistent and prone to error, and generally doesn’t behave in the way that IT is supposed to behave. So, right now, AI doesn’t scale well. But, as a personal productivity tool, when operated by someone in their area of expertise it is pretty amazing.

Today, billions of people have access to Large Language Models and the productivity benefits that they bring. And, from decades of research in innovation studying everyone from plumbers to librarians to surgeons, we know that, when given access to general purpose tools, people figure out ways to use them to make their jobs easier and better. The results are often breakthrough inventions, ways of using AI that could transform a business entirely. People are streamlining tasks, taking new approaches to coding, and automating time-consuming and tedious parts of their jobs. But the inventors aren’t telling their companies about their discoveries; they are the secret cyborgs, machine-augmented humans who keep themselves hidden....


HT: Fortune

That would be a firing offense in many organizations.