Issue #1 – Will AI Drive the Future of Human Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence has recently shifted from being exclusive to tech companies and developers to becoming readily accessible to everyone. New AI engines can quickly analyze vast amounts of data, offering insights in various formats, including text, images, and videos.
Artificial intelligence has recently shifted from being exclusive to tech companies and developers to becoming readily accessible to everyone. New AI engines can quickly analyze vast amounts of data, offering insights in various formats, including text, images, and videos. They're becoming increasingly adept at understanding context in conversations. This transformation is both exciting and daunting. The big question on everyone's mind, including mine, is how these changes will impact our lives and jobs.
This is my new project, a monthly newsletter where I’ll do a deep dive into the latest topics I am interested in or trying to make sense of and, of course, how they impact project management, business agility, and organizational transformation.
Welcome to the very first edition!
First things first, this newsletter is written by a real human, myself! I cannot say the same about the readers. They can be humans, bots, AI tools, or all sorts of technology that have intrinsically become part of our lives.
In recent months, artificial intelligence has left the corridors of tech companies and the hands of software developers and analysts to become mainstream, accessible by anyone, anytime.
Newly developed AI engines can digest and analyze huge amounts of data in seconds. They can generate incredible insights in plain text, images, and even videos. They are getting smarter as they can attempt to understand the context of the conversations. This is a scary yet exciting reality for everyone, including myself. I only know one thing for sure: More and more AI tools will come, and they will come fast.
Much faster than we think.
Of course, you, myself, and anyone else have the same question: how will these massive changes affect our jobs and lives?
Is this just hype, or is there something deeper behind it?
We need to remember that hype comes in cycles. The current hype cycle we are living in is attributed to the Generative Pre-training Transformer (GPT), or one of its commercial products developed by Open AI called ChatGPT. GPT is a technology that uses deep learning to produce human-like text.
As someone who is not 100% in the technology business, I see myself far more as a user of these tools than as someone who creates and develops them. Last December, during a short trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where I opened the International Project Management Conference, talking exactly about emerging technologies and their impacts on projects, I had the chance to use ChatGPT for the first time. I just typed: "Can you prepare an email to my boss with a summary of the following status report?" I pasted the report below the text and clicked "Enter."
Bingo. I was stunned by what I saw.
Following that, I used chatGPT, You, and various other tools hundreds of times to determine where the limit was! I tried very hard to deal with my sense of hype and shock at what I saw. You can listen to my experience in a recent podcast episode.
Now, we can see that competitors are vying to rival OpenAI's creation. Remember, these are mammoth-size tech companies almost ready to enter the AI war. Anything can happen. In another podcast, I shared why I think Google's launch of Bard was hurried. Google lost $100 billion in market cap because their AI engine, Bard, wrongly answered a question about James Webb telescope discoveries.
One question that has remained with me since that time is: How can Google, such a large, powerful, and knowledgeable company, make such a significant error by releasing a product that may not be ready for market scrutiny?
Ultimately, AI is what we, as humans, make of it
Let's look more closely. AI tools may continue to propagate information with the biases that already exist. It can be in your project, in your business, or even in your personal life. AI is biased because humans are biased.
An example is the case of Hirevue, the leading provider platform that uses AI to support its clients in the hiring process. One of the most popular Hirevue tools was facial expression analysis using AI. Based on her/his facial expression, the analysis attempted to assess mood, determination, commitment, and other underlying aspects.
After several studies of the Hirevue results, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint against them for their algorithm bias. After a long debate, Hirevue decided to discontinue the facial expression algorithm. This story is perfectly described in this great Wired article on this topic.
Going now into de use of AI in project management, my colleague Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez and I wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review to make sense of what is coming for us.
Applying AI and other technological innovations to project management could improve the success ratio of projects by just 25%, equating to trillions of dollars in value and benefits for organizations, societies, and individuals.
Remember, approximately $48 trillion is invested in projects every year. To make things even more challenging, according to the Standish Group, only 35% of projects are considered successful. The wasted resources and unrealized benefits of the other 65% are mind-blowing.
The feedback on the article was fascinating. I received on my social media channels hundreds of messages, questions, and comments.
After seeing the interest from our community, Antonio and I decided to do a free webinar this Friday, March 3, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. ET. The webinar will discuss the article and its implications further. We already have almost 800 people registered, and places are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can register at https://rvarg.as/aipm.
Let's make sense of all of this together. If we understand what is here now, we will be much more able to drive the future and understand not only the ChatGPT of today but, for sure, the ChatGPTs of tomorrow.
What is on My Radar Recently
Here I share some other topics that are keeping me awake at night so you can help me figure them out.
Trains Too Wide for Tunnels
Project failures can be truly EPIC. The Spanish government has spent more than €250 million on trains that are too big to fit in the network's tunnels. This will delay by two years the delivery of the much-expected trains. Learn more in this BBC post.
The 5 Minutes Podcast has reached 12 million views since its release in 2007. You can listen to the episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and many other platforms. They are free and creative commons. You can listen, share, enjoy, and download every episode on my website.
My workshop on portfolio management PMRank is the new addition to my online school. Now you can attend the globally recognized workshop on project prioritization at your own pace. Learn more and enroll here. Use the coupon PMRANK2023 to get a special introductory price.
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