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AI, challenge or threat?

Generative AI. A phrase that understandably strikes fear into many of us, and perhaps particularly those working in the fields of writing, editing or translation, as I do.


We’ve all come across chatbots or made use of tools such as Google Translate and Siri, perhaps hardly acknowledging that these are examples of AI. But I was interested to see the ways in which we might be able to make the latest technology work for us in the world of comms. Having recently attended a webinar that focused on the application of AI in Sport, I admit that my interest was piqued and so I signed up for a short course entitled “Generative AI for everyone”, offered by Deep Learning via Coursera. Considering just how much language processing tools such as ChatGPT are gaining in popularity, I thought I should get on board and investigate how the technology might be able to support me in my daily work by supporting me with some of the more ‘mundane’ tasks. I admit I was quite surprised by much of what I learned, in terms of both where we are with the technology and the sheer scale of tasks that AI tools can assist with, whether by improving or speeding up our work (augmentation) or automatically performing a task on our behalf (automation). Once we come up with a breakdown of the tasks involved in any given job, we can better establish which of these tasks, if any, might benefit from the support of AI. And although many of the applications are of clear benefit to large-scale businesses, even I as a freelancer can make use of some of the technology to augment my work.


Although AI is not about to replace me (at least I hope not!), I can see that a tool such as ChatGPT might offer valuable support. And I do mean support, streamlining our work rather than doing it for us! Specifically, I can see that it could be of use to me when I’m editing content or looking to create a catchy headline or social media post. It can effectively summarise long articles when I have a lot to read and little time in which to do so, or rearrange a phrase or short piece of text for clarity or succinctness (particularly useful when translating, I think). And when we’re simply lacking in inspiration or suffering from a mental block, a language processing tool can offer up useful cues in response to our prompts, even answering direct questions as an alternative to a Google search.


Yes, I admit that I’ve been slow to get on board compared to many, but I now appreciate that – if used properly (and this is crucial!) – language processing tools can be a valuable asset. Rather than shy away from this tech, I believe we need to get to grips with it and use it to our advantage, particularly considering that AI is clearly going to play an ever increasing role in our lives. Keep your friends close and your ‘enemies’ closer, as they say!


#ai #generativeai #chatgpt #augmentation

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