The first study into the workplace impacts of generative AI platforms has officially been published, and it's good news for those relying on it to boost productivity.
Generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and Google Bard have been all the rage in recent months, with businesses across the world using the technology to perform tasks like coding and content creation. While the tech is obviously helpful, studies hadn't yet been conducted to measure its effectiveness in helping employees get their jobs done.
However, despite only being live since November, a new study has emerged showing that worker productivity has seen a 14% boost in companies utilizing generative AI platforms.
Generative AI at Work
The study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, titled Generative AI at Work, found that the technology improves productivity by 14% on average.
“Progress in machine learning opens up a broad set of economic possibilities. Our paper provides the first empirical evidence on the effects of a generative AI tool in a real-world workplace. In our setting, we find that access to AI-generated recommendations increases worker productivity, improves customer sentiment, and is associated with reductions in employee turnover.” – the authors of the study
Productivity in the study was “measured by issues resolved per hour,” analyzing the work of 5,179 customer support agents from an anonymous Fortune 500 software company.
How Does Generative AI Improve Productivity?
If you've had a chance to utilize ChatGPT or any other generative AI platforms at your business, you likely understand how they could improve productivity on the first day.
However, this study attempted to create an environment in which the tech could be objectively studied to allow businesses to understand exactly how it can be used to improve productivity.
“This increase reflects shifts in three components of productivity: a decline in the time it takes an agent to handle an individual chat, an increase in the number of chats that an agent is able to handle per hour (agents may handle multiple calls at once), and a small increase in the share of chats that are successfully resolved.” – The authors of the study
On top of that, the study notes that generative AI replicated that work of the firm's top performers, which means that the biggest productivity improvements came from the novice and low-skilled workers. Conversely, generative AI didn't have a massive impact compared to the firm's high performers, which means we wouldn't recommend going around and laying off your whole team just yet.
What Is the Best Generative AI Platform?
If this research has swayed you to give generative AI a try at your business, we don't blame you. Plenty of businesses would be more than happy with a 14% productivity increase and given the low cost of entry for generative AI at this juncture, it seems like a bit of a no-brainer. So, which generative AI platform should you use?
Right now, generative AI is a two-man race between ChatGPT and Google Bard, which both have some serious tech resources behind them to get the ball rolling in Microsoft and Google, respectively. Both perform admirably for the majority of tasks and should help your business improve productivity.
However, in our research, we found that ChatGPT is a tad better at some of the more important business functions, like idea generation, summarizing extracts, and creative flair. Still, given the two platforms — and their many generative AI alternatives — are always learning, the best generative AI platform could be right around the corner.