Just 2 weeks ago, I gave a talk on “digital skills” to university students.
The basic objective was to make them understand that either you keep up with technology or you will get run over by it.
And I actually gave quite a few examples on the evolution of Artificial Intelligence.
There were many other software advances that could be good examples (such as the Metaverse, the Internet of Things, Blockchain, …) but Artificial Intelligence was particularly outstanding.
Because it spent many years lying fallow.
In fact, my last internship at university was in Artificial Intelligence.
Back in 1986.
The point is that it went for many, many years with almost no progress.
However, little by little, in the last 10 years, it has been regaining ground.
At least in terms of what reaches the public.
Telephone assistants that can give you basic attention just by voice.
Systems that recommend what you might be interested in, in shops, on Netflix, on Spotify.
Personal assistants that you can talk to so they can turn on the lights.
Or find a film for you on TV.
Or play rock music in your car.
And there is news of their use in other areas, in which I don’t move, but which are impressive nonetheless.
Like those who beat the best chess or Go masters.
But in recent months the evolution of AI has been brutal.
Applications that generate tweets on any subject that interests you.
Or that write ad texts for you.
Or that generate invented images of “dogs howling at a lighthouse in the style of Van Gogh”.
There are even those that scan a purchase receipt and tell you whether it is deductible as a business expense and then account for it.
A mix of entertainment and professional applications.
In fact, I showed in the presentation how, with a small programme, I had generated, with the help of an AI, a text on that same presentation.
About the use of “digital skills” in the professional environment.
That’s what my talk was about.
The one a fortnight ago.
In the last two weeks, a new AI system, ChatGPT, has been launched, capable of holding fairly coherent conversations on the basis of a question.
Basically, a Google substitute that, instead of giving you links to websites that deal with a topic, it elaborates the answer in natural language.
And that is able to follow the thread of a conversation.
This is sure to be a game changer in the coming months.
So I have to give more or less the same talk again in March.
I thought I would be able to build on the work it took me to prepare this one.
But I see that so much will have happened in this field that there is no point in revisiting it now.
Whatever I update will be obsolete by the end of this month.
So I can apply to myself what I was explaining to my audience: either you keep up with technology or it will run you over.
But, with a bit of luck, I can ask the AI to write the next presentation for me.
So it will make my job a little bit easier.
Because the idea is for the AI to help us and make things easier for us.
If you have in mind or simply want to explore possible uses of AI in your industry, now is a good time to talk about it.
PS. I’m testing ChatGPT. I’ll let you know about the experience soon. If another development doesn’t come out in the next few weeks.