Art of Message

Art of Message – April 29, 2023

Don’t force me into the box

What do these business products  have in common?

  • big tech companies such as Google, Microsoft
  • 2nd-tier big tech companies such as Salesforce
  • 100s of major technology platforms (eg. Notion, Canva, Wix)
  • 1000s of startups
  • major open-source tools, especially WordPress

They’re all incorporating user-facing AI features into their products.

As a result, AI technology has suddenly become ubiquitous in the workplace, affecting almost every area of work.

So why is it then, according to an interesting survey in the news, that 91% of companies hiring are looking for workers *skilled* in ChatGPT. And why are they hiring for this *skill* across the board: customer service, data entry, sales, marketing, HR, and software engineering.

I mean, if GPT-style technology already exists in their products, why insist on ChatGPT for new hires?

Partly this is because ChatGPT has, relatively speaking, great UX. The infrastructure may have problems delivering service, but as for the SaaS app itself (the web app you interact with), what few features it has  work well. To be fair, so do some other GPT-enabled products, but most employers still have no idea what they are. So of course market-share and brand recognition are at play as well – and the UX is part of that.

But the core reason businesses need ChatGPT-savvy employees is that, despite its tendencies toward filtration of results, it’s a “programmable” product.

What I mean is, rather than a product designer dictating how you use this kind of AI technology, you, as a worker, decide how to use it.

And for me, that’s the product design takeaway—give users freedom in how to use it, instead of trying to force it into the box you call a product feature.


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