AI makes work up to 41% faster, according to Bain data.
81% of AI users say they see increased productivity, shows our 2023 AI research.
And 71% of Gen Z and Millennials in the US already use AI.
In short, we can safely say that AI is here to stay in the Workplace.
No one – whether an individual contributor who needs to deliver as much quality work as quickly as possible or a CEO looking at the productivity of tens to thousands of employees – will say no to the gains AI has to offer.
So, what is AI? How do we use AI in the Workplace?
And how do we transform traditional teams and businesses into AI-powered ones?
I’ve transitioned for myself and my company, done the research, spoken to the experts, and will share how to go from 0 to AI Hero as succinctly as possible.
What is AI?
You may have heard of or are using ChatGPT, whose advent raised eyebrows and sparked daily discussions about using artificial intelligence (AI).
However, it's important to note that AI is not a new concept. It has been around for decades, and its evolution has been gradual yet significant.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the ability of machines to simulate human intelligence, including problem-solving and learning.
AI was around in the early 1900s, but it really started flourishing around 1950 when Alan Turing (yup, the guy from the ‘Turing Test’) explored the possibilities of “Artificial Intelligence” in a groundbreaking paper.
In the decades leading up to this one, AI development intensified, and we quickly found it in many products and services, from Google using it to optimize search to Teslas letting cars drive themselves.
What is Generative AI?
Generative AI is a tool powered by artificial intelligence that can create new content based on the inputs provided by a user.
Unlike older language models, ChatGPT and similar apps are based on "Transformers" (the “T” in ChatGPT.)
Transformers let the model understand the importance (emphasis) of one piece of data in a sequence as related to others. This allows it to be much 'smarter' than previous models. (This video from Google's Dale Markowitz explains it really well and is easy to understand.)
Think of it another way: if you met someone who read every book in the world, would you ask them to create a LinkedIn post for you? Or pose it your most daunting question?
Generative AI doesn’t stop there. It helps us map out an infinite number of scenarios to a situation, make comparisons, help decision-making with many variables, sift through data, and much more.
New iterations of tools like ChatGPT, Bard, and Claude can even browse the live web to do the research you otherwise would have done.
As a result, Generative AI is taking a lot of work out of the hands of those using it:
One in two respondents in our Generative AI at Work study say Gen AI helps them automate Email and Communication, and almost as many (45%) use it for Data Analysis and Reporting. 42% use Generative AI tools for research.
Content creation, often considered the main application of Generative AI, comes in fourth at 39% for writing and editing and 22% for design tasks.
Generative AI’s adoption has been swift because compared to regular AI, the technology is improving daily, creating many interesting use cases, and as experts say, is more "consumer-friendly"
This made it so that choosing AI tools in companies moved from being a tech matter done by the CIO to managers across departments using these tools as an alternative to traditional employee management software.
Generative AI is so powerful that it will change work forever, potentially impacting and eliminating hundreds of millions of jobs.
What could that look like?
AI Godfather Geoffrey Hinton thinks AI will make people focus more on the creative end of jobs. Like when ATMs were introduced, bank tellers focused on more complicated things.
But others aren’t so sure.
Copy.ai CEO Paul Yacoubian believes that with the incredible strength of ChatGPT-4, just a handful of employees can start a company.
In my 2024 predictions, I shared takes from known VCs who believe the first 3-person unicorn – a startup valued at over $1 billion, will become a reality soon.
This is why Wharton professor Ethan Mollick told us in Harvard Business Review soon after ChatGPT came out:
“The businesses that understand the significance of this change — and act on it first — will be at a considerable advantage." – Wharton AI Professor Ethan Mollick
What is ChatGPT?
We’ve been speaking a lot about ChatGPT, so what is ChatGPT, actually?
ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by a startup called OpenAI (which most people learned about thanks to the Sam Altman firing & rehiring.)
ChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is built on OpenAI’s language models and has been made even smarter with additional learning methods.
Give it a question, and it will answer based on more data than any human can ever process.
Doesn’t Google do this, too? Well, no. Google unlocks information by matching your search keywords to web pages containing information about that topic.
ChatGPT gives you a full answer in human(-like) language rather than just links. It’s like talking to someone who has read the entire internet.
Quickly after its launch, The New York Times called ChatGPT "the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public."
And the public agreed: ChatGPT garnered 1 million users within the first five days of its release, and to 100 million not long after.
And now, according to our February 2024 Report on the Top 150 AI tools, ChatGPT is the undisputed leader in Generative AI:
ChatGPT is not only accountable for over 50% of all Generative AI traffic and searches, it's even bigger than Netflix, Microsoft, and The New York Times:
It's making its way to the workplace, too.
In our 2023 study, “Generative AI at Work,” 75% of knowledge workers in the US said they have heard of ChatGPT. This climbs to 81% of users and 84% amongst Gen Z and Millennial users.
For a tool that’s only been in the market for a year, 75% awareness amongst all ages and industries is incredible.
It’s also the most used tool.
Among knowledge workers who actively use Generative AI tools, ChatGPT once again reigns supreme: 60% of active Gen AI users use ChatGPT at least weekly.
So ChatGPT is wildly popular in 2024.
But to understand its overwhelming and transformational impact (in case you got used to GPT's power already), take a look at when an earlier version was demoed at TED.
After OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman explains how ChatGPT works in his TED Talk "The Inside Story of ChatGPT's Astonishing Potential," the Head of TED, Chris Anderson, comes onto the stage, visibly befuddled.
"Oh my goodness, pretty much every single thing about the way I work, I need to rethink," Chris says. "Who thinks that they're having to rethink the way that we do things?," he asks the audience.
Yeah. That’s definitely still the case, and more so than ever.
Like the iPhone, which bacome exponentially more valuable after the launch of its app store, so did ChatGPT get a big boost from launching GPTs.
Announced at at press conference right before Sam Altman's firing, GPTs are small apps that live within ChatGPT.
The simplest way to understand what a GPT is, is that you can train it on something you normally do yourself manually.
For example, do you often review the work of direct reports based on your knowledge or a certain framework?
Then you can now upload your framework to GPT, and rather than checking the work manually, you can let the GPT review it for you.
You can even let your direct report interact with your GPT to get feedback and fix issues before sending it to you.
And creating a GPT is simple:
Building GPTs is as 'no code' as it gets. You create them by talking to ChatGPT, which guides you through the steps:
- Define the Purpose
- Train It
- Launch the GPT
It's as simple as that.
Using GPT is also remarkably easy (and free.)
As of February 2024, you can even tag GPTs directly in your conversations with ChatGPT, and get them to execute your wishes. This makes it even easier to work with GPTs, and should further drive adoption.
For more on GPTs, check out my guide to Create GPTs.
ChatGPT and many others suffer from hallucinations, making up facts.
McKinsey explains AI hallucinations: “AI confidently generates inaccurate information in response to a user question and has no built-in mechanism to signal this to the user or challenge the result.”
Hallucinations in AI happen because of insufficient or biased training data, or incorrect assumptions the model makes.
These hallucinations can have real and damaging impacts, for example, by confirming bias, spreading misinformation, or falsely making someone believe a benign skin lesion is cancerous.
There have been instances where AI-generated content has led to problems. For example, a lawyer used ChatGPT to prepare a filing in a routine personal injury lawsuit. However, the AI presented fake cases, which the attorney presented to the court. This resulted in the judge considering sanctions against him. Whoops.
Research agency Forrester even predicts hallucination insurance will be a big money maker in 2024. Still, we have to not overthink a few cases of hallucinations versus the huge opportunity for AI to help us work faster – we may just have to fact-check it occasionally.
What are the benefits of AI?
So, with that history lesson and frightening look into the future of AI out of the way, what are the actual benefits of AI, as measured in 2024?
According to AI Statistics, there are a ton of benefits to using AI, including:
- AI makes work up to 41% faster (Bain.)
- 81% of AI users say they see increased productivity (FlexOS.)
- Employers are willing to pay an average of 47% more for employees with A.I. skills. (Amazon)
- 87% of AI users say it helped them develop new creative, analytical, and technical skills. (FlexOS)
- 97% of business owners believe that ChatGPT will benefit their businesses (Forbes)
For 100+ Statistics and Trends, see our Guide to AI Statistics.
Which AI Tools Should I Use at Work?
There are many AI tools beyond the big platforms like ChatGPT and Bard that are worth trying out. And, if you’re anything like me, you may be hooked forever.
Below are my recommendations for some must-try AI tools that hopefully will fix the digital overload we all face nowadays.
AI Productivity Tools
Let me start with tools that will make you especially more productive.
Because starting your day without sorting through a mountain of emails and sitting in meetings for the rest of it is something we’d all love.
AI tools that will help you improve productivity include:
- Fireflies. A meeting note-taking app that attends meetings on your behalf, transcribes them, recaps them, and sends action items.
- ClickUp. A planning tool that got a huge AI upgrade in 2023. Its AI assistant can quickly generate subtasks, draft emails, and create or summarize documents. A lifesaver.
- Trevor AI. A tool I recently discovered that is perfect for optimizing your time management, as its AI lets you timebox your way to less work. (Pictured above.)
- Miro Assist. You'll want to use Miro, especially if you’re running a remote team. The whiteboard now has AI features like auto-structuring and mind map expansions. Gold.
- Mem AI. Mem lets you store all your notes and then ‘talk with them’ like you would with ChatGPT. Its AI understands the context of your queries, making finding specific information almost effortless.
See our full 10 (+3) AI Productivity Tools review here.
AI Websites for Common Work Tasks
Besides getting more productive, AI can also make you work better. These tools are the best in class for their task, like writing or generating images. My picks:
- Writing: Copy.AI. Copy.AI is the OG of AI text editors, but it has gotten so good. Nowadays, they focus on being an end-to-end marketing suite, but features like ‘brand voice’ apply to everyone writing!
- Creating Images: Adobe Firefly. Adobe Firefly aces creating images with features like Generative Fill, which can fill areas in an image with whatever you prompt it to create.
- Creating Marketing Visuals: Canva AI Image Creator. Compared to other AI websites, the image generator is basic, but if you already work in Canva, this is a must-have.
- Creating Presentations. Tome. For creating presentations, Tome is your new go-to. Forget PowerPoint, as Tome uses AI image generation and AI text generation to create stand-out presentations from scratch on any topic.
- Researching: Perplexity.AI. Often called the “New Google,” Perplexity combines ChatGPT-style intelligence with sources and insights on key topics. If you need to research something, Perplexity-it. (OK, Googling still sounds better.)
Read our guide to the Top 10 Free AI Websites to Work Smarter and Faster in 2024.
Free AI Tools for Work
One of the first things I did when it became available was pay for all my team members’ ChatGPT subscriptions. If AI makes people up to 40% more productive, the $20 dollars is a no-brainer.
If you don’t have a boss or company that wants to pay for your AI tool, don’t fret. There are many free AI Tools you can use for work. Here are some of my favorites:
- Writing: Chatsonic. Chatsonic is a great alternative to ChatGPT for content creation and is handy for freelancers, content creators, and social media managers. My colleague who tested it says it’s much better than ChatGPT 3.5’s (free version) outputs.
- Visuals: Canva. I listed Canva above in the ‘paid’ section, but Canva also has some nice abilities even when you use the free version. In short, you can’t go wrong with Canva as your day-to-day visual AI tool.
- Data Analysis: Rows. Rows existed before Generative AI but has become insanely more valuable since. It can analyze, summarize, and transform spreadsheets. You can use ChatGPT 3.5 50 times per month in the free version.
- Video: InVideo. This AI-powered video generator lets you input a script and create a video, like YouTube videos, shorts, social media reels, or webinar clips.
- Audio: Murf. This text-to-speech AI tool lets you turn scripts into high-quality, natural-sounding voiceovers with over 120+ realistic AI voices in 20 languages.
For more, check out our complete guide: 7 Free AI Tools to Make Your Life 10x Easier and Outwork Everyone.
Which AI Tools Should I Work Specifically to My Role?
While experts have demonstrated that with good prompts, GPT-4 (not specifically trained in medicine) beats the best medical LLM, Med-PaLM 2, in answering medical questions.
This overlooks the fact that it took people years or decades to build up their current workflows and that habits are very hard to change. Until not changing becomes too expensive (less productive, etc.)
In many industries, people will likely use existing software rather than toggle between the software they use for work and ChatGPT.
Take traders as an example. Even though ChatGPT allows them to transcribe a downloaded audio file of an earnings call and then query its contents, its unlikely they would. But now that Bloomberg has embedded this as a feature inside their existing technology and workflow, it suddenly will become a stand way of work for many.
Here are some other examples and tools to check out:
AI in Sales
Sales teams benefit tremendously from AI, as Z.S. cofounder Prabhakant Sinha writes in Harvard Business Review:
"Selling is interaction and transaction-intensive, producing large volumes of data, including text from email chains, audio of phone conversations, and video of personal interactions. The models are designed to work with these types of unstructured data. The creative and organic nature of selling creates immense opportunities for generative A.I. to interpret, learn, link, and customize."
According to Salesforce research, high-performing sales teams are already 2.8x more likely to use A.I. than underperformers.
Sales teams can use AI to automate everyday sales tasks, such as generating sales strategies, sourcing leads, creating outreach, answering emails, scheduling meetings, sending follow-ups, and negotiating deals.
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) spend over 60% of their time performing manual and administrative tasks that can easily be automated. With newer tools, AI can take over more 'human' tasks like coaching salespeople.
Some tools to consider include:
- Lyne helps research leads and quickly prepare personalized messages for each prospect.
- Grammarly AI creates personalized, persuasive messages and replies and writing coaching
- Reclaim intelligently schedules meetings without the back-and-forth
- ChatGPT helps you rehearse the most important discussions
- Read AI coaches sales calls by highlighting when to slow down or objections (and solutions) (pictured)
- Fireflies transcribes the meetings and send follow-up notes.
Check our AI Cold Outreach edition of "Stay Ahead," our weekly AI newsletter, and subscribe here.
AI in Marketing
My previous field of marketing (I spent almost 10 years at advertising agency Ogilvy) is one of the earlier adopters of AI, and for good reason.
Besides the hours of admin work (especially for those in client management), advertising has a lot of repetitive tasks where AI can play a handy role.
Looking at all the tools available now, I wish I entered the field 10 years later!
From brainstorming creative ideas to analyzing data and creating content, AI marketing tools to reduce workload, boost efficiency, and ensure consistency.
Popular AI Marketing Tools include:
- Copy.AI: For writing marketing and sales copy
- Synthesia: For generating product explainers and training videos
- Audiense: For social listening and curating audience insights
- Phrasee: For generating email copy testing and curating insights (pictured)
- AdCreative: For generating and prototyping ad copy
For more, check out our complete guide to AI Marketing Tools
AI in Recruiting
AI in HR has been around for years.
AI recruiting software offer innovative solutions to traditional hiring challenges by automating mundane tasks, enhancing candidate experience, and improving the quality of hires.
From personalizing candidate engagement to ensuring unbiased selection, AI in recruitment lets people-centric and forward-thinking recruiters and hiring managers focus more on the human aspect of hiring – which is what we need.
Below are some of my picks for AI recruiting tools to improve the hiring process:
- Textio Loop: for writing and optimizing job descriptions
- Fetcher: for candidate sourcing and outreach
- Skillate: for screening resumes and shortlisting candidates
- Paradox.ai: for recruiting chatbots (pictured)
- Vervoe: for pre-employment assessments (pictured)
For more, check out our complete guide to AI Recruiting Software Tools and AI Recruiting.
AI in Accounting
The Mordor Intelligence report of 2023 shows that AI in accounting could become a $6.6 billion market by 2029.
Even in 2024, the accounting and finance industry have started incorporating AI, although due to obvious concerns, it is still early days.
I reviewed several AI accounting tools and found these to be best in class:
- Rows AI: advanced data analysis of accounting spreadsheets (Bonus for Excel users)
- Vic.ai: automates AP workflows for companies with high-volume invoicing
- Docyt: streamlines expense tracking and management for small to medium-sized teams
- Bill (Formerly Divvy): optimizes AP processes and invoice management
- Receipt-AI: speeds up receipt scanning and data entry
For more, check out our complete guide to AI Accounting Tools
What Are the Barriers to More Companies Adopting AI?
AI makes sense for work. A lot of sense.
"Having people do routine tasks that A.I. can do is not an option. We will need technology to do the mundane work so people can do higher-value work," said IBM CEO Arvind Krishna
If AI has so many benefits, why aren’t more companies already using AI?
As I wrote in “Three Barriers to AI Adoption,” the reason is, as you may have guessed, threefold. I'll share those, and two more:
1. People don’t see how AI could benefit them.
At the time of writing, PEW data showed that only 13% of Americans had used ChatGPT.
Forward to the release of our report “Generative AI in the Workplace,” 57% of all respondents use Generative AI tools at least monthly (ChatGPT being the most used AI tool), and 81% of them say AI has improved their productivity.
Clearly, more people have now discovered that AI can benefit them. But the remaining 43% still feel they don’t need AI.
The number one reason to not use AI is a “Lack of Relevance or Necessity,” with respondents saying, "My job doesn’t require it,” "no need for them with their current abilities,” and "I don’t know how they would help me with my job.”
And even personal usage and conviction don’t mean that companies have adopted AI as well.
In fact, “Workplace Restrictions and Unavailability” is the number two reason for people not to use AI, with responses such as "the company would rather not," "they haven't been introduced yet in our office," and "our organization doesn't use them at all.”
2. Most AI still needs to be integrated into major tools.
Another major reason I highlighted at the time is that AI isn’t yet integrated into many major tools. As people take years or decades to build up their current workflows, AI is much likelier to be a big hit in the workplace once it’s integrated into existing software and systems.
Well, this problem is getting solved, with all the major productivity and collaboration software suits rolling out AI.
As I wrote in my 2024 Predictions, research agency Gartner is forecasting that in 2024, 40% of all enterprise software will have Generative AI embedded, up from less than 5% in 2020, and Forrester analysts predict that 60% of workers will use a personalized AI to perform their jobs and tasks.
Microsoft rolled out Co-pilot in an early beta and expects to deliver it to all customers in 2024. Google did the same with its AI features.
Together, they cover the lion’s market share for key office tasks like email, meeting calendars, document creation, and collaboration, meaning that most people will use AI in the workplace in 2024 (whether they want it or not.)
3. Companies aren't digitized enough for AI to be truly advantageous.
Only when companies are highly digitized can we fully reap the benefits of AI.
The more digital a company is, the more it can take advantage of AI. This is why digitally-minded and remote companies have an outsized opportunity to leverage AI, as futurist Dror Poleg pointed out in "A.I. and Remote Work: A Match Made in Heaven."
But many are not.
This means company leaders have a big job to do to get all their proprietary data into (custom) LLMs.
As Harvard Business School professor Karim Lakhani says:
"Digital transformation and A.I. are the same things. You need to have data streams ready – the digitization imperative only increases as companies without data won't benefit."
McKinsey's Lilli is a great case study of the opportunities of knowledge management meeting AI. The consultancy created its own AI from decades of client reports and research that only its team can access.
Future of Work Strategy Leader Phil Kirschner recently recounted how Lilli helped him prepare a presentation with such unique ideas that would not have been possible without AI and McKinsey’s commitment to knowledge management.
In the future, companies’ proprietary data sets and how their teams unlock through AI will be a major competitive advantage.
4. Data and Privacy Issues
Privacy and Trust have emerged as new reasons companies do not embrace AI.
The third-most mentioned reason in our study about Generative AI adoption is Privacy and Trust.
A notable number of responses express distrust or concern for privacy, highlighted by statements like "I don’t trust it to protect my privacy" and simply "I don't trust it."
Companies agree: they’re scared to death employee or customer data would leak by uploading it to an LLM.
It’s why many companies, especially those in heavily regulated industries like finance, government, defense, and healthcare, have said no to Generative AI so far. This includes Apple, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, Northrop Grumman, and Citigroup.
But as Antony Slumbers reports,
“2024 opens with a gift to corporates. The new ‘Team’ version of ChatGPT removes the number 1 reason so many of you have not been making the most of Generative AI - not wishing to upload anything proprietary into the open bucket of OpenAI.”
The new ChatGPT Team offers companies a guarantee that their data will not be used for training the LLM. In addition, they will receive higher usage limits, a larger context window that can handle more data and longer conversations, and the ability to share Custom GPTs internally, all for a monthly fee of $25 per employee.
5. Gaps Between Executives and Employees
The final challenge preventing companies from adopting AI is that executives see the promise of AI very differently from their employees.
In my interview with Rebecca Hinds, Ph.D., Head of The Work Innovation Lab at Asana, she shared that according to Asana research, there are three big gaps between how executives and individual contributors view AI:
- Optimism Gap: Executives see the promise and potential of AI more than Individual Contributors do.
- Transparency Gap: Executives think they are more transparent in using AI than they are according to individual contributors.
- Resource Gap: 25% of executives say they provide AI training, but only 11% of ICs agree.
- Leaders must close these three gaps to gain the benefits of AI in organizations.
But she also told us about the great potential that’s around the corner for companies who do adopt AI:
“To fully harness the potential of AI, it will take concerted effort—rigorous upskilling and reskilling programs, intentionality, and a strategic approach. But the promise is there. Generative AI could revolutionize our workspaces, transforming these tools from simple efficiency boosters to partners in our journey toward greater creativity and skill mastery." – Rebecca Hinds, PhD., Head of The Work Innovation Lab, Asana
What Trends Will We See for AI in 2024?
With such impressive improvements in just the one year since ChatGPT launched, what will 2024 have in store for us regarding AI?
Here are six AI trends I predict we’ll see take place in 2024:
1. Generative AI's Rapid Advancement. The release of GPT -5 is expected to make AI incredibly powerful.
Features that we can expect include:
- Enhanced Video Integration: Sam is a strong proponent of video's crucial role, suggesting that GPT-5 might seamlessly integrate video inputs and outputs.
- Advanced Reasoning Capabilities: Compared to GPT-4's limited reasoning, akin to a child's level, GPT-5 is expected to advance in complex System 2 cognitive abilities, allowing for deeper, more thoughtful analysis.
- Improved Consistency and Reliability: While GPT-4 might occasionally produce a quality response in several attempts, GPT-5 aims to learn and remember optimal task execution methods, ensuring consistent, reliable performance.
- Customization and Personalization: Acknowledging the diverse needs of GPT-4, the new version will enable extensive customization, including personal data utilization, calendar and email integration, and connection to external data sources to cater to individual preferences and requirements.
For more on the next generation of GPT, check out my guide to ChatGPT 5.
Beyond ChatGPT, as mentioned in this article, we’ll see more integration into enterprise software for improved productivity and decision-making. Gartner predicts that 40% of enterprise software will incorporate Generative AI by 2024.
2. Augmented Working. This trend focuses on augmenting human intelligence and capabilities in the workplace. Bernard Marr notes its applications in various professions, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. Companies that don't adopt AI risk falling behind, with 75% of financial services CEOs believing in AI's competitive advantage.
3. Improved Customer Experience (CX). Forrester reports an anticipated improvement in global CX, aided by Generative AI in customer service. NatWest Bank's enhancements to its virtual assistant, Cora, exemplify this trend. Over 50% of Americans expect AI to improve customer service, with technologies like Notion Q&A aiding HR professionals.
4. Everyone Becomes a Creator. According to a study, Generative AI enables better writing, editing, and designing. Tools like Adobe Firefly and Dall-E are becoming common in creative processes. The creator economy's growth, supported by AI, allows more content creation and personal branding opportunities.
5. Chip Shortages. AI development faces challenges due to GPU and chip shortages. Large buyers like Meta and OpenAI are affected, while Dell and HP cater to smaller-scale applications. The environmental impact of high-power chips like NVIDIA H100 also poses a concern, alongside high costs.
6. AI Legislation and Regulation. Increasing AI integration necessitates robust legislative frameworks. The EU leads in developing AI regulations, while the US lags. The EU's AI Act proposes restrictions on risky AI applications, highlighting the global need for responsible AI development.
For a detailed look at the 2024 AI Trends, check out my article: The Top 6 Must-Know AI Trends for 2024.
What is AGI, and Will We See AGI in 2024?
One thing I didn’t have as my prediction for 2024 is AGI.
The rapid progress (velocity) at which Generative AI is developing is why experts believe that in our lifetime, we will see machines with more intelligence than all humans combined. With this intelligence, they can do any cognitive task humans can currently do.
This level of intelligence is known as “Artificial General Intelligence” and worries people as it raises questions about what humans can do.
Sam Altman’s comments about what GPT5 can do make it seem like AGI is closer than we thought. It’s even rumored that he said AGI is coming soon during the kickoff of his YCombinator program, encouraging startups to ‘build with AGI in mind.’
What Jobs Will AI Replace and How?
Even without AGI, AI can perform tasks that usually required our brain power, like processing language, recognizing patterns, and decision-making.
And thanks to ChatGPT’s widespread adoption, AI is more accessible than ever.
This has led to increased efficiency as AI performs everyday tasks like taking meeting notes, sending emails, and writing documents (tasks that take up to 60% of our time and are the leading causes of our digital overload.)
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that many jobs become redundant as AI improves at taking over our work. Especially once AIs can train and manage their own AIs (also known as AutoGPT.)
First, we need fewer people to do the same amount of work, causing a marketing team to downsize by 50%. Then, there will be roles that are completely unnecessary because AI can do them.
According to Goldman Sachs, roughly two-thirds of jobs will be affected by AI, eventually eliminating 300 million full-time jobs, or 18% of jobs globally.
These displacements will heavily affect developed markets, with Hong Kong and Singapore leading in the APAC region.
Jobs AI Will Replace
Jobs AI will replace include especially jobs with administrative and legal tasks, according to Goldman Sachs, but that’s far from the only category:
AI will disproportionately affect higher-paid jobs, counter to what’s been happening in the 21st century when automation mostly affected blue-collar jobs. As reported by Wired:
"Studies by Oxford and McKinsey had predicted that lower-wage, lower-skill jobs would be hardest hit, as indeed they have been throughout the entire history of automation going back to the steam-powered weaving loom.
The conventional wisdom is now that higher-paid jobs and creative jobs (including mathematicians, tax preparers, quants, writers, and web designers, to name a few) are the most highly exposed to automation (100 percent exposure for the professions just listed.)."
More specifically, AI could replace:
- Coders. According to a ResumeBuilder study, Software Engineering companies lead AI Adoption, as AI is increasingly good at coding with GitHub co-pilot. But it’s only getting better, bypassing coding altogether with tools like screenshot-to-code.
As I shared with CNBC, “Even the best engineers will be valuable until they are not.” Already, 94% of engineers said in a survey AI will lead to less hiring and lower salaries.
- Customer service representatives. If you’ve used the Voice function on the ChatGPT app, you know fully AI’d customer service can’t be far away. AI can provide quick and accurate answers at a fraction of the cost. Already boosting the performance of lower-skilled employees by up to 35%, AI may soon be capable of handling all help desk questions.
- Designers. The progress of image-generating tools in just one year is astonishing. It’s not hard to imagine that anything you can, well, imagine, AI can produce. Because of this, game designers and photographers (see: This Model Doesn’t Exist) may also find themselves out of a job fairly soon.
- Writers: The obvious one in this list is that AI will heavily affect writers. The New York Times shared that AI-powered assistants like ChatGPT can perform writing more efficiently than humans. Multiple publishers experimented with AI, including CNET (which failed partially), Buzzfeed, and many others. Industry publication Publisher Weekly concluded: “It’s too late to avoid AI.”
For more, see my article From Coders to Writers: Jobs AI Will Replace.
Companies that have started reducing jobs due to AI
Some companies have already started to hire less people or even downsize due to AI:
- OpenAI itself considers replacing coders with AI. (January 2023)
- IBM paused hiring for 7,800 jobs AI could do. (May 2023)
- Duolingo cut 10% of contractors as AI creates in-app content. (January 2024)
For more, check my detailed article on Jobs AI Will Replace.
How AI Will Impact Management
If you’re on flexos.work, chances are you are a modern, people-centric, and tech-savvy leader. Well, for good or bad, AI is coming for you.
Because if work changes, management changes.
With my favorite definition of the word being that management is "getting work done through other people," how people do their job significantly impacts what management will be like.
When individual contributors are supercharged by AI and less work to be traffic controlled, managers will likely pivot towards coordination and coaching.
And that’s good, because even though we all know why are managers important, they are overloaded and burned out. According to 2023 Humu research, managers have "TWICE the attrition risk compared to other employees and a 25% increase in burnout.”
Of course, if AI does a bit too well, we may not need managers at all. As ChatGPT told me: “If AI is capable of doing most of what human managers do, it's possible that AI systems could take on the role of managing human workers.”)
For a more in-depth look into this topic, check out my article AI in Management: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Management
AI’s Impact on the Job Market and Salaries
According to recently released research from LinkedIn, AI job postings already more than doubled between July 2021 and July 2023, while applications for AI roles rose by 19% in the US and 11% globally.
Interestingly, job posts on LinkedIn that explicitly mention AI enjoyed 17% more application growth over the past two years than job posts with no mentions.
But it’s not just AI. As Karin Kimbrough, LinkedIn’s Chief Economist, commented, AI will impact jobs in all industries:
“The transformative effect of Generative AI on the workforce will have been seen far beyond the Technology industry alone. Nearly every industry will be impacted to some degree - most notably Retail, Wholesale, Financial Services and Professional Services.” – Karin Kimbrough, Chief Economist, LinkedIn.
The top five in-demand AI jobs that pay over $100,000 include Supply Chain Specialist, Sustainability Manager, and Sales Manager – not at all tech jobs. And many of them can be done from home, too!
A 2023 Amazon study found that employers are “willing to pay an average of 47 percent more for employees with A.I. skills,” likely driven by 73% of employers prioritizing AI hires but can’t meet AI talent needs.
So if you’re keen to understand ChatGPT and Generative AI better, no matter which role you’re eying, there are a few courses that have come highly recommended:
As a Business Leader, How Can I Help with the Adoption of AI in My Teams?
There are a few ways to speed up AI adoption:
- One CEO made ChatGPT the first page to load when opening Chrome for all employees
- Another made A.I. accomplishments part of monthly celebrations.
- We ourselves frequently share new use cases of AI
Please note that you can’t force AI if people are against it. A recent IÉSEG School of Management study found that teams' enthusiasm to collaborate with AI is dampened when forced to use it.
To implement successfully, opt for a role-by-role and department-by-department approach, as Microsoft's Head of Strategy, Chris Young, advises in an HBR podcast interview.
Professor Tsedal Neeley told HBR that organizations must ensure people fully understand the technology and create "A.I. fluency."
Another Microsoft advice, therefore, is to train frequently.
"Leaders we surveyed said it's essential that employees learn when to leverage A.I., write great prompts, evaluate creative work, and check for bias. As A.I. reshapes work, the human-AI collaboration will be the next transformational work pattern—and the ability to work iteratively with A.I. will be a crucial skill for every employee."
What about Women and AI?
A conversation not enough people have is about Women and AI.
Because while conversations about AI on LinkedIn increased by 70% in the past year, they are predominantly driven by men, with 58% participation, compared to only 31% by women.
According to the study, men are more inclined to learn AI skills than women, up to twice as much in markets like Italy and the UK.
According to our "Generative AI at Work" survey data, it was found that while 57% of all respondents use Generative AI tools at least once a month on average, only 45% of women use them.
Additionally, the survey revealed that men use Generative AI much more frequently than women, with men being twice as likely to use the technology on a daily basis.
The impact of this could be significant, as AI jobs pay better and women’s jobs are 9% more likely to be disrupted by AI.
For a deeper dive into the data and the topic, see my article “AI Creates $100k+ WFH Jobs – But What About Women and AI?”
The Bottom Line
AI has truly transformed the workplace in 2024.
A key takeaway for me is that AI already enhances productivity significantly. With 81% of users reporting increased productivity and Bain estimating up to 41% faster task completion, AI will be undeniably attractive for employees and employers – there’s no stopping it.
The journey toward AI integration won’t be without challenges as we deal with people’s existing workflows, fear of the unknown, and practical issues like data privacy.
As AI evolves, especially towards AGI, it's clear that its successful adoption hinges not only on technological advancements but also on a cultural shift towards embracing AI as an enabler of human capabilities rather than a replacement.
At least, for now!