Generative AI for Everyday Productivity

November 1, 2023
Author: Haochen Wu

Can you imagine a day without smartphones or internet? Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is the next platform that will transform our daily interaction with technology, and the goal is to achieve ultimate productivity.

Learning from the "Future"

Yes, you heard it right. But the more accurate phrase here should be Generative Reality — a virtual environment where humans interact with generative AI agents that have believable and realistic behaviors.We always learn from the past. What if there exists a place where you can test out your plans and gain meaningful insights before actually implementing them in the real-world? It is happening.

Researchers put 25 characters, instructed by ChatGPT and custom role descriptions, into a virtual world. The characters can perform daily routine tasks, occupation-related work, and  “they form opinions, notice each other, and initiate conversations; they remember and reflect on days past as they plan the next day”. Humans can enter the world as a character and interact with them through natural languages. Reasoning, thoughts, feelings, and memories of the characters are all visible.

Want to monetize a creation; want to start a lawsuit; want to keep heathy; want to experiment self-driving cars in edge cases? Why not see the generated plans and the possible outcomes first?

An Effective Mapping from Capabilities to Needs

Now, let’s come back to reality. Besides creating values for business operations and enterprise applications, generative AI (GenAI) is gradually reshaping our life and increasing daily productivity in terms of Search, Learn, Create, and Communicate. While generative AI taking care of repetitive and information-intensive tasks, we are freed up to focus on other tasks requiring creativity, empathy, and critical thinking.

Search: As the key capability of GenAI, knowledge compounding is to organize information and structure thoughts from various sources of unconstructed data. Large language models (LLMs) can understand our requests and generate concise answers and recommendations written in nature language. Additionally, domain-specific applications of LLMs provide expert-level knowledge and advice. Hours of efforts on searching can be done in seconds.

Learn: As we learn from vision, hearing, and actions, GenAI becomes a “teacher in the pocket”. Multimodality of GenAI can combine various data types (text, images, audio) and higher-dimensional information (video, depth) to create a more realistic and immersive environment for learners to interact with. Theory of Mind (ToM) facilitates our understanding of knowledge by ascribing to mental beliefs and underlying intentions. The GenAI’s ability of reasoning and explaining ToM as well as the multimodal information during the learning process would significantly improve efficiency of the learning process.

Create: GenAI enables us to realize our ideas through content creation. It can be for fun, for passion, for a job. Creation tools have been introduced in various Design-and-Make domains, spanning art, media, engineering, and entertainment. By providing task-specific templates, suggesting design ideas, automating creation process, GenAI makes us more capable and productive.

Communicate: A ChatBot can make us feel less alone; having a ChatBot without personalization and alignment, I would rather be alone. GenAI’s ability in taking notes, drafting, emails, and keeping diaries enables efficient communication with yourself, with others, and even with memories. Maybe at some point, we can connect with someone in different time and space.

A To-do List