AI in the future of working life

Generative AI, such as Chat GPT, has brought AI into a new light recently. In particular, its impact on working life has been a topic of discussion in Finland and around the world over the past year. Ilari Richardt, Director of Digital Services at Terveystalo, shared his views on the opportunities AI brings at Terveystalo's event "Tulevaisuuden työelämän tekijät".

Ilari Rikhardt

Generative AI, which is the current state of the art, started in 2017 with a research paper published by Google. At the time of publication, it did not attract much attention, although a team of researchers had discovered a new and revolutionary way to store data. This new way of storing data virtually enabled the emergence of generative AI models. Today's models - such as GhatGPT - not only store words, but understand the context of the words and learn from it. For each word, the AI model is trained by asking three questions: why is this word here, what other words are related to this word, and how are they related.

– Thanks to the new storage method, today's AI models learn the context and can interact with us in a very understandable way, even if they don't understand things on a human level, says Richardt.

AI is not limited to a single domain, but has a wide range of applications. Goldman Sachs has estimated that up to 60% of professions will be transformed by AI. So AI is entering the world of work in a big way, and its impact could be revolutionary.

In Finland, too, every company must now consider how AI can be used in its own business. The change is already underway, and AI will inevitably affect every organisation's personnel, the nature of work, career paths and competitiveness, among other things, says Richardt.

Many companies put the brakes on in exploring AI because they see the new technology as an expensive investment. Instead of building your own AI solution, Richardt recommends exploring different AI solutions with the help of technology providers, which makes them reasonably affordable. 

Several models can be augmented with the organisation's own data and ensure that the underlying AI data only contains data that is approved by the organisation. This allows everyone to get started in a lightweight way, confident that the AI will work according to the principles of the organisation.

Three ways to harness AI to work for you 

1) AI as a content provider

Various AI applications offer assistance in content production. In addition to high-quality text, they can also be used to create images, videos, audio - practically anything. But you need to know how to talk to AI to get a satisfactory result. The use of AI may create new roles for organisations: there is a need for people who can interact with AI models and train them to produce content that meets the needs of the organisation.

2) AI as a sales assistant

It is already possible to harness AI as an assistant in sales negotiations. When two companies are negotiating a future partnership, the conversation can be recorded via microphone and the AI can be tasked with drafting a written contract proposal based on the conversation at the end of the negotiation.

3) AI as a data interpreter

AI can clarify complex information and crystallise it into a comprehensible form, which naturally improves the flow and efficiency of work. In many organisations, for example, there are a lot of employee manuals and not many people know every exception by heart. Instead of using open data, an AI assistant can be provided with the entire organisation's HR guidelines to internalise, and then be asked for instructions on what to do in specific situations. The AI assistant is able to retrieve the answer from the correct instruction, combine interpretations of different instructions and tell the inquirer what is the agreed way of doing things in the organisation.

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