Embracing AI

May 9, 2023

Well, Tomaz said ChatGPT rather than AI, but I’m going to comment on AI in general. And I know this post will date very quickly, but that’s expected.

Right now we’re in a state of massive change. Microsoft’s Build conference is in two weeks’ time, and the announcements are going to be significant (I’ve lined up a speaker for my user group the week after, and I can’t talk about what he’s going to speak about yet). But I’m sure the hottest topic at Build will be AI.

Microsoft Office Copilot was announced nearly two months ago, and the excitement around that continues to be high. I know people who are putting off hiring Executive Assistants until they know more about the impact of Copilot on the way they work.

And in data… well, who knows? I haven’t dived hard into it all. I’ve been distracted with other things. I suspect it’ll change a lot of things. I suspect the need to look up error codes will disappear. I suspect some tasks will become much easier than they are now, and that the work we do with clients will change. But Tomaz asked that we write about our own experiences, and not wax lyrical about whether or not our jobs are secure.

I’ve tried writing T-SQL code with ChatGPT, and found that I’ve needed to tell it to fix the things it does wrong. I’ve found that it doesn’t write code the way that I want it to (I’m quite particular about various things, especially when they relate to performance), but I assume that this will improve. After all, if it can write blog posts in my style, it should be able to process data the way I want. I just haven’t dived into it much yet.

As I said earlier – everything is changing. The rate of change is not about to slow down, either. We’ll be impacted by new technology, and by new tools built with new technology. Commercial matters like ‘original work’ will become more complex, and ethical matters will be more and more significant. Will an increasing reliance on AI models see a decrease in compassion as people are reduced to a series of data points even more (such as in the case of the person who can’t get a home loan because of the colour of their skin, and no fault of their own)?

Whatever happens, whether or not data science becomes more effective than before, whether business decisions become the realm of AI, it’s going to be on us to direct it the way we need. My experience so far has been that it seems very powerful, and the future is unknown. And as I said at the very start, this post will quickly become obsolete as these questions get answered.


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