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AI Disruption: Grasping at the Uncharted Organizational Impact of ChatGPT

The impact of AI and foundation models on our lives, businesses, and careers is profound, but the full extent will only be understood in hindsight. That doesn’t stop us from trying. The way in which we have organized the world may change, and facing this uncertainty, our imaginations are wired to fill it in with images and stories that range from the doom and gloom to AI Utopia. Both of these extremes are unlikely, and while it’s easy to say that the reality will fall somewhere in between, the more probable outcome is that we really don’t understand yet what the spectrum will actually look like.

Foundation models are enabling us to organize and execute with language in a way we have never been able to do before. What I can tell you from my personal experience building AI teams and AI products and AI strategies for the last 15 years, specifically building a career helping organizations avoid hype-driven innovation while applying pragmatic AI to solve problems, this moment in time is different. I have been working with these LLM’s in some way for the last year and the capabilities and implications of existing foundation models and their rapidly developing ecosystems are profound. Everyone should lean into understanding these in the context of their lives, business and careers. The application of these are evolving faster than anything we have seen to date. Not least because the popularity of ChatGPT is a moment in time where everyone got to experience and imagine the art of the possible.

The normal structures and strategic frameworks that we use to analyze and think about these changes is limiting. This is because mouse of our value delivery systems came from assumptions that demand for things like information and software outstrip supply. Every organization should think about how to empower, de-risk, and observe the way they do with other disruptive trends but it also makes sense to go a step further. It’s worth remembering that these models are built on language, and language is diverse and broad. Look at your organization and see how the liberal arts graduates, literary and philosophy majors are engaging this tech. If we really want to increase the chance that we can understand and prepare for the future, it is entirely possible that the type of experience needed to get the most out of utilizing these tools is different than the type of experiences we are use to relying on in building value.

These models can act as universal translators. Within a language construct, there are many specialized languages. Legal, Medical, Software, Consulting, Business, and at the company level, Company specific language. An LLM armed with all this context and leveraged as a universal translator can unlock incredible insights and value in area’s of your organization categorically different than some of your existing innovation and delivery functions.

Who has insights into markets, customers, problems, and solutions? Who can engage the body of human knowledge in such a way that elicits diverse perspectives and solutions? How are you thinking about your organizations value delivery systems differently in a world where ideas have less barriers and the marketplace of ideas has less friction but where original thought and perspective is valued and needed?

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