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Is AI the answer to everything?

If you’re like me, you get dozens of emails each week offering information on AI and your business.  It’s like everyone is creating FOMO about AI.

Well, I am definitely no expert, however I have been able to quickly identify a few instances where AI was used, without common sense.  And call me old fashioned, but there are times that AI can be helpful, logical and time-saving, but many times, human oversight or modification is necessary.  Let me give you some real life examples:

Last month I was reviewing applications for a scholarship.  I was on the scholarship selection committee and we had about a half-dozen applications to discuss.  All of the committee members had reviewed the applications before our call and we reviewed them one by one together.  As we were discussing one particular application, one of my fellow committee members pointed out that the applicant clearly did not write the application himself, as he left in the [prompts for dates] in the opening paragraph!  It made us question the extensive and verbose answers he gave to all the questions on the application.  A huge discussion ensued about the importance of authenticity.  We did not choose that applicant.

Last weekend, I was in Houston visiting friends.  I stayed at the J.W. Marriott. I had a question about whether their gift shop was open, so I tried calling the front desk/operator, but got an automated message, and was stuck in a continuous loop as my answer to their prompt questions did not get me to a human. I thought to myself – what happens in an emergency?  Even though I tried the standard “operator” or dialing “O” – I was stuck in the AI loop.

Later, I got stuck in a malfunctioning elevator (which I happily was able to exit), so I decided to try their mobile app, as I suspected it had a chat function.  I sent a chat saying they had a malfunctioning elevator and suggested they investigate and put it out of service until it was repaired (have you ever been stuck in an elevator?  It’s unnerving). I received two “auto-responses”.  First:  “Thank you for contacting us”. And Second: “Let us follow through on this and we will get back to you shortly.”  Well, after more than an hour of waiting for a response, I contacted the Hotel Manager in person.  She was horrified to learn that the chat was not being monitored (as it was supposed to be).

And finally, I was writing this newsletter last week and wasn’t sure if my title was catchy enough.  I had originally entitled it “Communications in your company” but wanted feedback from my (human) editor.  So, I emailed him asking for other suggestions.  I promptly received 7 options from him.  Probably because I am a writer and keenly aware of AI and its practical uses, I could tell they were AI-generated.  Here are the options I received.  They were so creative and benefitted from an AI scan of my newsletter to get the essence of my musings:

  1. All-Hands on Deck: How Regular Meetings Can Transform Your Company Culture
  2. The Monthly Meeting That Changed Our Company Culture
  3. Why All-Hands Meetings Are Essential for Modern Businesses
  4. How Regular All-Hands Meetings Can Strengthen Your Business
  5. The CEO’s Guide to Effective All-Hands Meetings
  6. How All-Hands Meetings Bring Our Company Closer Together
  7. All-Hands Meetings: Cultivating a Culture of Open Communication

They were all good fodder for me to create an improved title for my newsletter:  “Can Meetings Change a Company Culture?”

And that’s what I call common sense.  My editor used AI to start the conversation about a new title.  None of the options felt exactly right to me, but they did help me modify my title.

So, when you are considering how you can use AI for good, don’t forget about adding in a little common sense.

Onward and Upward,

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