I used ChatGPT to talk to my boss for a week and she didn't notice. Here are the other ways I use it daily to get work done.
- Nick Rolle is an associate editor of insights and analytics at Insider.
- He used ChatGPT to help with work assignments for one week before telling his coworkers or manager.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Nick Rolle, an associate editor of insights and analytics at Insider. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I used ChatGPT every day at work for a week and didn't tell anyone. None of my coworkers knew, and my manager had no idea. And it's been so valuable to me that I'll continue to use it to help me with my workload.
Using it has made me a more efficient worker, and I think it can help people in a lot of different industries. I've even gotten some of my coworkers at Insider to start using it, too.
I was worried if ChatGPT would do my job better than me
Part of the reason I didn't tell my coworkers right away is because I was a bit worried about whether this thing could do my job better than me.
My team and I are essentially data analysts on the editorial side, and we provide the newsroom with insights and analytics that inform what our audience cares about.
I do a lot of work in Looker, Google's business intelligence platform. Day to day, I could be coding, working in Google Sheets, fixing up dashboards, or doing other tasks.
Before I showed my team how I was using it, I asked ChatGPT if telling them about it could lead to me losing my job.
It said no because I would be showing my team something that will benefit them. Then it reassured me by saying that they'll remember me as the one who introduced it to them before anyone else. So ChatGPT actually convinced me to do it.
I waited until I used it for a full week before talking about it during our team's weekly meeting. With new technology, I always try to thoroughly test it out myself before endorsing it. But once I realized how much easier it was making my life, I knew I should show them.
I first heard of ChatGPT when I started seeing articles about it in our newsroom last year
I'm not normally an early adopter of this kind of tech. I didn't actually start using ChatGPT until the end of February, when a classmate in my graduate program pulled it up for a project we were working on. I was curious, so I started playing around with it and asking simple questions.
Now, I honestly use it every day.
When I first used ChatGPT at work, I was trying to create a new field in Looker that would classify records based on some criteria defined by an algorithm. The code I had written was messy, so I asked ChatGPT to 'optimize' it.
It spit back a new and way more organized way of doing it along with a detailed explanation about what I could be doing differently.
Compared to the one I wrote, the code ChatGPT gave me was easier for a person to read and I was surprised by how much detail it gave in its explanation. It was something I could really learn from.
I've started to use it in other ways — like writing messages
I had to give some important people in the company an update on a project I was working on but didn't have much time to put it into words. I told ChatGPT, "I'm an editorial data analyst, and I want to update my stakeholders about where I'm at in this project" and gave it a brief, choppy explanation of my progress.
ChatGPT gave me a well-written and professional message to send to them. The only problem was that it read like an email. So I told it to turn it into a Slack message — and it did.
I don't use ChatGPT for every Slack I send, only the longer, more detailed ones. No matter what, I'll never fully copy and paste what it spits out because it sounds super formal, even when you ask it to be informal — that's usually what gives away that a human didn't write it.
I also use the AI chatbot for Trello, a tool my team uses every day to manage new projects or tasks. When you make a Trello card, you give it a name and a description. It's a big pain in the butt to put into my own words the questions being asked.
For example, someone may ask, "Can you pull our team's page views in the last 180 days?" I could then put that into ChatGPT and ask it to produce a Trello card. I can take what it gives me and put that into Trello.
I used to occasionally miss tasks because I'd procrastinate so much when it came to writing descriptions for Trello. Now, I don't miss tasks.
I do worry about privacy
The more specific you are with questions, the better answers you'll get. So I will tell it that I'm an editorial data analyst at Insider when I ask it questions. If I said the same thing but for the Wall Street Journal, it might give me a different answer since the two news outlets have different brand identities.
I'll always take care when talking to ChatGPT and try not to write prompts with company-sensitive information because I wonder if competitors could somehow access this information. ChatGPT is open source, which means anyone can use it for free. But the drawback is that that information is potentially vulnerable to a data breach.
When ChatGPT crashed, I realized how much I rely on it now
ChatGPT went down at one point because there were too many people on at once. But when I saw that if you're a subscriber to ChatGPT Plus, you'd be prioritized over other people, I considered buying it myself.
But I remember worrying that I'd rely too much on it, the same way people have forgotten how to spell words since the autocorrect feature. I thought to myself, "Oh man, I'll have to go back to Google again" to answer questions that come up throughout the day.
Still, I plan to use it in my daily life for the foreseeable future. And I'm excited because I think this technology is only going to get better.
If you use ChatGPT and would like to share your story, email Jenna Gyimesi at email@example.com.
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