Since the release of ChatGPT in November of last year, headlines about AI in business have been incessant.
One of the biggest controversies is whether or not AI is a threat to the job market. Lots of differing opinions on this one, and time will soon reveal its lasting effects.
I’ve personally observed a whole gamut of responses from Northern Florida business owners: mild interest, full adoption, growing irritation, all-out worry, and absolute avoidance.
And as a trusted advisor to your business, I’d like to posit that with technology, the inevitable is inevitable. Let’s give it some serious consideration today and weigh the pros and cons.
Blockbuster showed us that business owners can’t ignore new technology and hope it will go away. ChatGPT is here to stay, even though its place and function are bound to evolve as we go.
My question for you today: How should we as business owners who want to stay in business respond to this new technology?
As a financial professional running an accounting and tax practice, I am constantly tasked with the evaluation of new softwares on the market that boast of new tech to make my job easier. ChatGPT has affected my industry massively, and my response, then and now, is that I must do what all business owners have had to do for centuries: I adapt.
Here’s what I think that could look like for business owners responding to AI today…
Facing the AI in Business Trend in Your Northern Florida Business
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” ― Benjamin Franklin
If you’re feeling like ChatGPT hasn’t yet affected your Alachua County company, think again. Some, if not most, of your employees have been using it in their personal lives and possibly experimenting with it in their work. Many employees are admitting to using it to expedite their work, even at companies where it has been banned.
Well-known names like Apple, Spotify, Verizon, and Wells Fargo (to name just a few) have already imposed restrictions on its use in the workplace, while others are specifically hiring people with experience in using it.
The most impacted industries by ChatGPT so far are computer coding, software development, copywriting, advertising, legal, customer service, Wall Street, and graphic design.
If you’re in any of these industries, this isn’t news to you.
My intent today is to lay a framework for how to address the use of AI in your business. Because the businesses that embrace new technology tend to outlast those who ignore it altogether.
So, let’s talk through some considerations that will help you evaluate the use of ChatGPT in your business with authority and understanding.
Understand its capabilities and limitations
ChatGPT is still in its infancy, and like any new development, it’s not flawless. The information it provides might be accurate, or it might not be. It’s crucial not to take the responses it generates at face value without human oversight and fine-tuning. Do your research.
Consider legal and privacy issues
As you use the tool, remember to protect customer privacy. Italy actually banned ChatGPT in March because of worries about data privacy. Make sure you don’t expose employee or customer data, and take steps to prevent data leaks. You can set up ChatGPT to stop gathering customer data or to stop collecting data after a certain point.
Think about how to leverage it for your business
This tool can be adapted for use in various arms of your company, not just the tech and marketing departments. Consider how AI in your business might increase efficiency in even the smallest tasks, from helping customers to generating new ideas.
Define its role in your company
Establish necessary boundaries. Define how AI should be utilized and remember that, as a relatively new technology, it’s wise to avoid overusing it across all aspects of your operations. Be clear with your employees about how it should be used, and empower your team to apply it where it fits best.
Oversee its use
It’s essential to recognize that in human terms, the tool is still in its early stages and requires continuous monitoring and guidance. ChatGPT is like a toddler that is still learning to walk. Guidance and supervision are key.
AI in business is not a distant concept anymore. But with careful consideration, it could become a useful tool that helps you grow and expand. You won’t know until you explore it for yourself.
And this note should help you get started.
Need help exploring new tech for your bookkeeping and accounting? That’s my area of expertise:
Looking out for you,