Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

42 COVER STORY Coca-Cola will use generative AI-powered digital assistants, powered by Azure OpenAI Service, to improve customer experiences We have completely reimagined the entirety of the PC – from silicon to the operating system, the app layer to the cloud – with AI at the centre, marking the most significant change to the Windows platform in decades.” Becoming a power user Microsoft and LinkedIn have identified four types of AI users: sceptics who rarely use AI, novices who rely on it a few times a month, explorers who interact with it once a week, and power users who use it several times per week, saving themselves more than 30 minutes per day. Over 90 per cent of power users say that AI makes their overwhelming workload more manageable, boosts their creativity and helps them focus on the most important tasks. This is making work in general more motivating and enjoyable. So how can employees become power users? “The path to becoming a power user starts with developing new habits,” say Microsoft and LinkedIn in the 2024 Work Trend Index, which lists experimentation, practice and preparation at the start and end of the day as key habits for the productive use of generative AI at work. Doing this can lead to employees intuitively using AI to catch up on missed meetings, analyse information, design visual content, interact with customers and brainstorm or problem solve. The report also shows that 61 per cent of power users are more comfortable with using generative AI when their senior leaders discuss the importance of using tools like Copilot at work. Plus, AI power users are 53 per cent more likely to receive encouragement from leadership to consider how AI can transform their function and 37 per cent say they are more likely to use new technology if they have received the appropriate training, such as learning about effective prompt writing. Teaching employees how to write the correct prompts is particularly important because users often struggle, including too much or too little information. “We hear one consistent piece of feedback from our customers: talking to AI is harder than it seems,” says Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of AI at work at Microsoft. “We’ve all learned how to use a search engine, identifying the right few words to get the best results. AI requires more context – just like when you delegate work to a direct report or colleague. But for many, staring down that empty prompt box feels like facing a blank page.” Copilot now offers to autocomplete prompts for users to speed up the generative AI process. It also has a new ‘rewrite’ feature to turn a basic prompt into a rich one. These advancements highlight the transformative impact AI is having on professional environments, underscoring the need for businesses to adapt and innovate to remain successful and retain talented and valued employees. “AI is redefining work and it’s clear we need new playbooks,” says Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn. “It’s the leaders who build for agility instead of stability and invest in skill building internally that will give their organisations a competitive advantage and create more efficient, engaged and equitable teams.” “ The path to becoming a power user starts with developing new habits” MICROSOFT AND LINKEDIN Photo: Unsplash/Tom Radetzki