The AI buzz is loud, but as an independent consultant, I need real tools, not just hype. What does "getting on board with AI" mean for me? It's about generative AI—machines helping create new, useful content.
Real-World Top AI Tool Testing: Hits and Misses
I've dedicated hours to evaluating AI tools that promise efficiency. For instance, a highly publicized slide-generating tool intrigued me, yet after trying to use it to create a presentation, it failed to deliver even a basic draft. Similarly, Dall-E excited me with the prospect of original images, but the output wasn't fit for professional use. These experiences underscore that many AI tools aren't yet ready for work applications.
As you read on, consider this: the hours I've invested in this exploration can be yours to save. I offer you a shortcut by sharing my insights and the outcomes of my deep dive. Skip the trial and error and leapfrog directly to the productivity benefits of AI.
Implementing AI into Work Systems
Albeit the rewards surpass the inefficiencies, there is still clunkiness in what I’m suggesting for several reasons. First, adding more products to your daily use will require you to flip between products you already use, like Outlook, and now add a window for ChatGPT. Both Google and Microsoft have shared that they’re integrating versions of Bard and ChatGPT into their office suites, but until this becomes more widely available, you’ve got another product on your hands.
Secondly, using non-enterprise AI products requires careful attention to privacy and confidentiality. Unlike enterprise solutions with built-in data security, public tools necessitate additional steps like data sanitization before use to ensure sensitive information remains protected. This is an extra process where you carefully remove or anonymize personal identifiers and confidential information before inputting it into AI systems like ChatGPT.
The AI Tools I Actually Use
Here's how I've woven AI into my workflow. Note that all of these are paid versions.
Tool: ChatGPT (premium)
Impact: Generates titles, revises summaries, and crafts job descriptions.
Email & Communication
Tools: ChatGPT + Grammarly
Impact: Refines grammar, tone, and brevity in professional communication.
Tools: Zoom + Teams
Impact: Provides partial support with meeting notes and key point summaries. I'm integrating the summary and transcription capabilities of these platforms into my workflow. I still rely on traditional note-taking to ensure accuracy, yet the new features are advantageous for secondary confirmation.
Task Management & Information Retrieval
Not Yet Ready: I'm watching this space for tools that offer tangible assistance. Information retrieval, in particular, is very exciting. The prospect of AI that can analyze past work and create content, for example, reviewing past project proposals and generating a new proposal, is promising and could be a game-changer.
My toolkit is succinct: ChatGPT, Grammarly, and AI features in Zoom and Teams. They're the best in class, and they're all you need to navigate the AI landscape confidently for now.