Have you ever kept a secret from your boss?
A secret that helps you work better, quicker, smarter?
Welcome to the world of 'secret cyborgs'.
These are people who use Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to make their jobs easier.
But they keep this secret from their bosses.
You might find it hard to believe, but around 85% of working professionals could be 'secret cyborgs'.
They've discovered AI tools that can do parts of their jobs.
And they're using these tools to get ahead.
But why are they keeping it a secret?
According to Ethan Mollick, a professor at Wharton, there's a big dilemma.
He calls it the "Do I Tell My Boss About AI" Dilemma.
Just like a secret shortcut on your daily commute, many workers don't want to share their AI secret.
They worry they might lose their jobs if their bosses find out.
They worry they might get into trouble for using AI without permission.
They also believe that the value of AI comes from people not knowing they are using it.
It's a tricky situation.
After all, if you found a faster, easier way to do your job, wouldn't you want to tell your boss?
But, if telling your boss might cost you your job, you'd probably keep it a secret too.
"Elle" (Not real name), 24, Junior Digital Marketing Executive
"Oh, it's like being a kid in a sweet shop," Elle chuckles when asked about her 'secret cyborg' status. "I feel a bit naughty not telling my boss, but I'm simply using all the tools at my disposal to perform better. ChatGPT has been a real game-changer for me; it helps me create catchy ad copy for our Facebook campaigns. Canva AI is another tool I love; it effortlessly generates images that resonate with our target audience."
"But there's this tiny voice in the back of my mind asking, 'What if they think any algorithm can do my job?'. It's a constant balancing act, trying to outperform while preserving my indispensability. Also, I'm a bit worried if they'd question the originality of my work since I'm getting a little help from Bing AI for my dissertation research."
"Ross", 26, Project Manager and Consultant
Ross, a confident and straightforward professional in the chemical consulting industry, doesn't shy away from sharing his experiences. "Look, time is money in the consulting world. Fireflies.ai has been invaluable, transcribing meeting notes so I can focus on the actual conversation. I've found an assistant in AI, and it's in ClickUp. It has transformed how I manage my team. And Beautiful.ai? Oh, it saves me hours on building client presentations."
"However, I always ponder on the what-ifs. What if they find out I'm using AI and consider my skills redundant? It's a strange spot to be in. I'm not doing anything wrong; I'm only maximizing my efficiency. But until there's a clear company stance on this, I guess my AI toolset will remain my secret sauce."
"Ahmed", 37, Freelance Videographer
Ahmed, a thoughtful and quiet creative, offers his perspective with a smile. "As a freelancer, you are your own boss. But, I still feel this cheeky thrill using ChatGPT to brainstorm video ideas and make storyboards. It's as if I have a hidden co-director assisting me."
"However, it's not without its concerns. I sometimes fear that these AI tools might replace creative roles like mine. But for now, they are my invisible crew, and I'm more than happy to let them take some credit... as long as it stays our little secret."
The thing is, this secrecy doesn't just affect the 'secret cyborgs'.
It affects the whole company.
If everyone is keeping their AI tools a secret, the company misses out.
Companies can't take advantage of these tools if they don't know about them.
So how can we solve this dilemma?
Professor Mollick suggests a three-step strategy.
First, companies need to acknowledge that anyone can contribute to the AI agenda.
AI isn't just for tech whizzes or IT departments.
It's for everyone.
Second, companies need to reassure workers that they won't get into trouble for using AI.
They need to create an environment where employees feel safe using and talking about AI.
Third, companies should reward those who bring forward AI solutions that benefit the business.
A little recognition can go a long way.
At the AI Leadership Lab Meetup Group, we believe in this strategy.
We want to bring AI use into the open.
We want to turn 'secret cyborgs' into AI pioneers.
And we want to help companies in Manchester benefit from the power of AI.
This silent revolution is happening right now, right here in Manchester!
We're inviting professionals from all levels to join us on the 29th June for the first North West AI and ChatGPT User Group.
Whether you're a C-suite executive, a department manager, or an aspiring leader, this group is for you.
Join us today and be a part of this exciting journey!
Together, we can navigate the world of AI, share real-life case studies, and find the best ways to integrate AI into our workflows.
The future of work is no longer a distant reality.
And it's time to bring the 'secret cyborgs' into the spotlight.
Because, as it turns out, we're all a little bit 'cyborg'.
We just need to stop keeping it a secret.
Get your space at our upcoming meeting on 29th June in Preston here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/north-west-ai-and-chatgpt-user-group-open-evening-connect-share-learn-tickets-655207632667