AI in the corporate space

Edmond Sanganyado

A FEW years back when social media came on stage, we felt it was the best thing that ever happened to technology.

Now, the big debate is on artificial intelligence (AI), which redefining speed, agility, precision, efficiency and effectiveness.

Organisations in general and those in the Global South in particular, should harness the power of AI. However, can AI replace human intelligence? Or does it threaten human existence?

To delve into this matter, I had to rope in the services of Edmond Sanganyado to help me unravel this issue to come up with this article.

Sanganyado is the president of the Zimbabwe Young Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the Institution of Environmental Science, Member of the Global Young Academy, and an assistant professor in the UK. He is on the Zimbabwe Research Network Committee.

Fast transcription

Our organisation recently ran a virtual meeting which ran for more than two hours. As the secretary, Sanganyado was tasked to take down notes and share the minutes with our executive committee members.

I did not take down any notes, but a few minutes after the meeting all our members had received the minutes. How did that happen?

I used a free chrome extension called Tactiq to transcribe and summarise the meeting and then used ChatGPT to format the summary into meeting minutes.

This task in the corporate world is done by an administrative assistant, but I managed to do it at a cost of US$20 per month.

I used ChatGPT to read a dozen newspaper articles on a topic and summarise their take-home messages and sometimes to write emails or recommendation letters.


ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful AI tool that harnesses machine learning to produce human-like text.

“This advanced digital assistant can answer complex business queries, generate detailed reports, provide insights into data, aid in multilingual communications and even simulate business scenarios. Its capabilities are transforming the way businesses operate, making it a must-have in the corporate world.” (ChatGPT, June 2023).

AI re-defining productivity

Commenting on the impact of AI in the corporate space, Microsoft chief executive officer, Satya Nadella said: “We believe this next generation of AI will unlock a new wave of productivity growth; powerful co-pilots designed to remove the drudgery from our daily tasks and jobs, freeing us to rediscover the joy of creation.”

In fact, a report by Goldman Sachs estimated that the boost in productivity, courtesy of AI, will improve gross domestic product by 7%.

While increased productivity is welcome, what Nadella did not mention was that there are people whose jobs entirely deal with the drudgery.

As AI becomes widely adopted, those jobs are going to be lost and some jobs are going to be severely disrupted.

Goldman Sachs puts the number above 300 million, and this includes architects, engineers, legal work and administrative support.

AI vs human effort

Adoption of AI in workplaces inevitably results in the creation of new jobs with a specific skillset not covered by the current formal education.

To borrow from Nadella, AIs are co-pilots, which means they need a pilot capable of charting the course.

ChatGPT, like other large language models, give responses based on the assumptions and premises of the person who inputs the prompt.

Secondly, they rely on the information they are trained on, and information is difficult to access in some countries such as Zimbabwe.

As a result, large language models struggle to give responses that are relevant to the Zimbabwean context.

Learning agility

It goes without saying, if team members do not take the initiative to learn, they will be caught flatfooted.

The best way to keep abreast and ahead is to learn about the subject of Artificial intelligence.

The reason why we should embrace AI is that it increases business value, improves safety at work and offers enhanced human productivity.

Yes, there is growing debate on the ethical issue of AI, but it has positive and progressive benefits. As a result, any leader should encourage everyone to learn AI.

  • Jonah Nyoni is an author, speaker, and leadership trainer. He can be contacted on Twitter @jonahnyoni. WhatsApp: +263 772 581 918

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