Discover more from Big Technology
Is Generative AI an Enterprise Thing?
ChatGPT was the fastest growing consumer product ever. But enterprise is where the action is — for now.
Office workers had themselves a week. Two days apart, Microsoft and Google introduced generative AI tools that make attending meetings, writing emails, scheduling travel, and catching up on projects infinitely easier. The products channel the wonder of ChatGPT, Dall-E, Midjourney, and Bard into clear, applicable uses. And these obvious uses just happen to be in the workplace. Perhaps it’s no accident.
About a year into the Generative AI phenomenon, it’s becoming evident that the technology is most useful in the enterprise first, with broader consumer adoption perhaps to follow. The booming launch of ChatGPT — 100 million users in two months — made it seem like fast, mass adoption of AI chatbots and their related tools was possible. But ChatGPT was ultimately a demo for companies looking to build on top of the technology. And now, as consumer chatbot usage tails off, they’re shipping.
Microsoft in particular revealed an impressive suite of generative AI features for enterprises that, if they function as presented, might change the workday for the better. The company’s Copilot, an “everyday AI companion” will live prominently on Windows 11, Bing, Edge, and Microsoft 365. And it really sings once it has access to meeting transcripts, emails, and documents.
At Microsoft’s New York release event on Thursday, I watched as it revealed products that simplify and automate some of the worst parts of office life. The company demoed a text generator that can read long Word documents and write blog posts highlighting the most relevant points. It showed another feature that allows you to prompt Copilot to summarize a slew of unread messages from an email-happy coworker. The technology can also read transcripts of meetings you miss and note the most relevant parts, or allow you to query the full discussions. Even simple updates like prompting Copilot to create a header image (and we all know the horror of creating those) seem quite useful.
At work, people will have real incentive to learn how to use these products, figure out their prompts, and master their intricacies, especially given that their next promotion, raise, or their job itself might depend on it. When the stakes are high, messing around with chatbots and image generators until you get it right is worthwhile. For consumers, the technology can feel a bit daunting, or not worth the effort. As one technologist told me this week, prompting is something you did on MS-DOS. We’ve built better user interfaces since then.
But as we get familiar with these tools at work, their utility will likely enter our personal lives. We might go from planning a meeting with AI to planning a vacation with it. Or from writing a blog post with a text generator to writing a bedtime story. Perhaps we’ll even ingest relatives’ words into long documents and turn that material into chatbots.
We’ll also see generative AI experiences more ubiquitously in the products we use every day, making the transition easier. Google, for instance, is connecting Bard to Gmail. And Microsoft is putting its AI Copilot inside Windows, where it will be hard to miss. “Having it in Windows, and having it naturally appear when you need it, is going to trigger average people to try it, and use it a lot more than they do today,” Microsoft consumer chief marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi told me.
Microsoft is also bullish on how Bing is stacking up vs. Google, challenging reports that generative AI hasn’t helped it gain on its competitor. “We have been growing share with Bing,” Mehdi said. “They’re internal numbers, I'm working to have a third independent third party that we’ll have shortly.”
In the near term, this week’s product releases should further assuage concerns of generative AI taking our jobs. These products are assistive, all but allowing you to be in two places at once, and should help cut down on the meaningless work that fills the typical workday. They may cause some homogenization in blog posts and corporate design — something a little human touch can help alleviate — but it won’t put people out to pasture. And it may even make our demanding work days a bit more manageable.
AI is transforming the jobs market. Engineers who can build, maintain, and fine-tune AI systems are in exceptionally high demand. Companies like OpenAI, Hugging Face, Google, & Amazon are hiring aggressively and offering top compensation, in many cases upwards of $300,000-$500,000.
Don’t get left behind. Make the switch today to an exciting ML career with Interview Kickstart.
✅ End-to-end prep: How to future-proof your career with AI/ Machine Learning/ Data Science
✅ Study AI/ ML / Data Science with the industry’s best - FAANG+ AI/ML Engineers & Industry Experts
✅ Get a sneak peek of Interview Kickstart’s AI Curriculum: Foundations, Projects, Interview Preparation, and much more for AI /ML and AI Data Science
The results speak for themselves: Alumni who consistently bag > $300K job offers. Highest compensation received: $1.28 million. This could be you!
What Else I’m Reading, Etc.
Flying taxi company is building a plant in Ohio that can produce 500 vehicles per year [AP]
Princeton researchers warn of “AI snake oil” [Semafor]
AI developers are turning to poets and writers for help [Rest of World]
The succession of Fox News has been decided, as Rupert Murdoch steps down [Vox]
YouTube launched a series of AI tools for creators [The Verge]
The UN is deadlocked over how to regulate AI and what to do with China [Axios]
Turns out Fitbits may be bad for your health [Insider]
See a story you like? Tweet it with “tip @bigtechnology” for consideration in this section.
Number Of The Week
The price of Bitcoin temporarily crashed on October 21, 2021, supposedly due to a typo made by an FTX employee that cost the company millions.
Quote Of The Week
“We pay more than the UAW btw…”
Elon Musk taunted legacy automakers amid the UAW strike.
Advertise with Big Technology?
Advertising with Big Technology gets your product, service, or cause in front of the tech world’s top decision-makers. To reach 140,000+ plugged-in tech insiders, reply to this email or write email@example.com
This Week on Big Technology Podcast: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on Cleaning Fees, Apple vs. Amazon, Building Products, and New York
Brian Chesky is the CEO of Airbnb. He joins Big Technology Podcast for an in-depth discussion covering Airbnb's product, business, culture, and roadmap. In the first half, we cover a series of product improvements the company is rolling out, breaking news on the state of cleaning fees, verified listings. and more. In the second half we go deep into how Airbnb builds its products, how it impacts neighborhoods, and the fallout of New York's new restrictions on the company. Tune in for a deep, unique, and compelling interview with one of tech's most well-known CEOs.
Thanks again for reading. Please share Big Technology if you like it!
And hit that Like Button if you like
My book Always Day One digs into the tech giants’ inner workings, focusing on automation and culture. I’d be thrilled if you’d give it a read. You can find it here.
Questions? Email me by responding to this email, or by writing firstname.lastname@example.org
News tips? Find me on Signal at 516-695-8680