5 Practical Ways To Use ChatGPT for Work

March 8, 2024
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ChatGPT has taken the world by storm, providing innovative solutions that are driven by artificial intelligence (AI). But what exactly does this entail for workers, and how can it be used most effectively and efficiently to improve daily tasks? 

Let’s take a look at how companies can use ChatGPT, or other AI tools, for work to further productivity in any industry. 

ChatGPT: A Brief History

Although it’s hard not to have heard about ChatGPT in headlines about AI technology, most of them focus on the model’s content creation capabilities based on machine learning algorithms. What’s often left out is that OpenAI, the company behind the all-rounder AI chatbot, started as a research nonprofit in 2015 and founded OpenAI Global LLC to compete with industry giants like Google and build artificial general intelligence (AGI).

That objective is also important to understand why ChatGPT was such a leap in natural language processing. Rather than trying to preprocess a data corpus, the OpenAI team started with generative pre-training on diverse, unlabeled training data. By shifting task classification to a later stage, the team enabled ChatGPT 1 to handle a wider range of text and command types.

OpenAI introduced the original model of ChatGPT as a research preview alongside a sibling model in 2022. Only a few months later, the company announced its collaboration with Microsoft that allowed for integration with Bing Chat. Ever since then, OpenAI has expanded its AI model’s core functionality in various ways, from ChatGPT plug-ins and custom instructions to DALL·E integration for image generation. 

After most internal resources for further growth seemed to be exhausted, OpenAI’s leadership focused on license agreements with the publishing industry, Axel Springer and the American Journalism Project being just two examples. 

While those individual decisions seem to be in line with the original goal of creating a model capable of AGI, it can make it challenging to stay on top of the model’s features as it keeps competing in a head-to-head race with Google Bard or Gemini. The impression you got one day of generative AI’s impact may very well be outdated by the next.

5 Practical Ways To Use ChatGPT for Work

At this point, it’s important to note the features to hope for in ChatGPT depend on the model and subscription you use. You can still take advantage of the free tier, which includes access to ChatGPT 3.5. However, ChatGPT Plus, Team and Enterprise accounts not only include the more advanced GPT-4 but also DALL·E — not to mention the option to prevent the model from using your entries for training.

Another factor that influences how you can use ChatGPT, or if you can use it at all, is the kind of data you’re handling. Especially for research-intensive industries, concerns about confidentiality and intellectual property are a key consideration when shaping policies for AI usage.

Here are some strategies to leverage ChatGPT for work:

1. Summaries

The amount of data employees handle is exploding. Every day, we all save meeting transcripts and reply to endless email chains, and ChatGPT can be a suitable remedy. Assuming you have the right to share the respective information with the model, you can ask it to summarize large reports or highlight particular data points related to your current task.

By integrating ChatGPT with additional tools like Zapier, your team can even train chatbots on your organization’s documentation for streamlined customer support, onboarding, internal research and lead qualification. This can make it easier to identify actionable items sooner and save experts’ time while relying on the model for everyday requests.

2. Brainstorming

Since ChatGPT has been trained on so many different kinds of sources across industry research and even social media, it can be beneficial to employ it for brainstorming sessions. While it’s true that every AI language model’s response can contain biased and factually incorrect information, brainstorming is usually paired with a validation phase anyway. This makes it an ideal use-case scenario for leveraging ChatGPT and working around some of its weaknesses.

Of course, you need to be somewhat strategic about your ChatGPT prompt. After all, the model’s very goal is to predict the most likely word to follow after the previous one. What a content creator or business strategist understands by creativity usually involves the combination of remote ideas and runs directly counter to the AI bot’s approach. As long as you’re aware of this circumstance, you can either select distant concepts yourself before prompting or ask for them specifically.

3. Research

As a rule, it’s not advisable to treat ChatGPT as a search engine. While it can provide some information with accuracy due to the way it’s been trained, asking about research on niche topics will often result in hallucinations. That said, ChatGPT can be a great way to identify reputable industry resources that would otherwise be hard to find, even with most search engines. 

The advantage here doesn’t lie in a one-stop shop for research where you can grab fully annotated reports. Rather, the AI tool aims to completely understand your current task before blindly recommending sources based on the initial keywords. You could first describe your entire project and then inquire about suitable research options. 

Plus, with ChatGPT’s plug-ins, countless academic papers can now be searched right within the model. That means, you could ask about a paper, have the model explain basic terminology, find a value that correlates with your specific task and have DALL·E generate a diagram to illustrate your own content.

As long as you differentiate between the mere language processing model and quotable sources, ChatGPT can greatly enhance research while saving time and effort.

4. Data Analysis

Similar to research, data analysis is one of the tasks that benefit the most from OpenAI’s recent addition of plug-ins such as Wolfram Alpha’s. Supported by those extensions, ChatGPT can sift through and analyze large amounts of data and text, making it easy to understand in simpler terms. As you examine your information, you can have ChatGPT:

  • Summarize statistics.
  • Visualize trends.
  • Handle missing values.
  • Generate reports based on data sets.
  • Build predictive models.
  • Automate reporting.

Whether you use ChatGPT to mediate between IT and less technical co-workers or to perform business calculations, it’s probably worth investigating paid tiers for these kinds of tasks. The model itself will be great at summarizing and translating hard data into more understandable language, but you need to know that your data is analyzed by your internal software or a plug-in before ChatGPT processes any results. Under these circumstances, it can be a powerful tool.

5. Translations

It may not be the best option for a clean and publishable translation, but thanks to its broad access to information across the internet, ChatGPT can give you a rough translation of text in diverse languages. Since some digital experience and service management platforms already integrate with ChatGPT, this can help boost customer engagement in other languages, lending even a small business the professional image of a large company.

Some more advanced translation tools may require preprocessing or fine-tuning during the translation process, whereas ChatGPT benefits from the way it’s been trained. No matter how raw the data input, be it a blog post or a job application, it will at least attempt to translate it, likely while offering a broader selection of languages than some specialized tools.

While that doesn’t make it the ideal choice for more polished AI-supported translations, the ability to use chat to clarify ambiguous phrases paired with its adjustability makes it suitable for quick research tasks. If you do decide to utilize another translation model or even human translators, you can also feed the results back into ChatGPT for analysis to document and maintain editorial consistency.

Putting ChatGPT to Work

Rather than ignore technology advancements, assuming they’re a fad, get ahead of the curve and use it to your company’s advantage. 

Need further training on how this technology works and how best to implement it in your space? 

Video Training Power provides on-demand instructional videos designed for engaging classroom-like discussions. Get started with Video Training Power today.