Apr 1, 2024

3 AI tools to boost your productivity 4x

Francisco Quintana
3 minutes

In this Writer's Room blog, Andela community member Francisco Quintana discusses that while AI won’t take our jobs, letting it take over some menial tasks can greatly enhance our productivity and employability.

In my almost 10 years as a data science and artificial intelligence (AI) expert, I’ve witnessed the evolution of AI up close. Like many people, I have been told that eventually my job will become obsolete because AI will replace me. While I never believed this previously, global organizations increasingly trust important tasks to AI, and media speculation is growing that AI will take over the world.

AI has existed since the 1950s, so it’s nothing new. But its impact on society is dramatic; today, generative AI can write code, create films and music, and even produce entire novels. It has seeped its way into every section of society. Almost all of humanity will encounter AI daily, as it lives in most of our digital products. AI plans our driving routes, suggests music and films, and now it even does our work.

In 2022, the launch of ChatGPT excited and shocked the world with its before unseen ability to create content over an extensive range of subjects. It inspired many developers to experiment and develop new products. ChatGPT opened the door for other technology, such as Google’s Gemini Pro and Midjourney. Over the past few years, we have seen that AI can do more than write articles, documentation and other copy; it can even predict human behavior.

While there are concerns that AI is designed to replace us, its purpose is to enhance and make us better at our jobs. Machines can complete tedious actions quickly and correctly; on the plus side, they work 24/7 at a low cost. But they lack human insight, decision-making and emotional response. Why not use AI tools to reduce menial tasks and provide additional time to spend on essential projects that require a unique human perspective? With extra time to spend on more significant tasks, we can hone our skills, develop our knowledge, and even complete certifications and courses that increase our employability.

Here are three ways I have used AI — or helped organizations adopt AI — to do four times more each day than they previously could.

Chatbots Assist Human Resources

Human resources (HR) is a vital department in every organization, ensuring employees are welcomed, valued and provided with expert guidance on integrating successfully into the company. Yet, many HR departments are overloaded with questions about different HR policies and stressed by handling employer and employee conflicts.

Instead of spending valuable time repeatedly answering the same questions, HR can use AI to help address common queries. For example, Google’s Vertex Search and Conversation AI software allows HR departments to create a chatbot from uploaded documents. The chatbot then acts as an HR sage to answer general questions. You can instruct the chatbot on how to answer specific questions and when to pass the question to a human user. The software includes an API that allows you to integrate it into most systems. And the best thing? It has a codeless interface, making it straightforward for HR teams learning to use it.

By answering employees’ most frequent and basic questions, such as “How many vacation days can I carry over?” HR professionals gain time to solve complex employee issues that require a considered human response.

AI Can Write and Fix Code

Writing code is one of the most impressive things I have seen AI do. While current iterations of AI-written code might not be production-ready, AI is good enough to perform basic commands. Most developers are used to searching on Stack Overflow for answers to questions or programming problems. Now, instead of entering something like “How do I authenticate a Google API on AWS?” into a website search, AI such as Google’s Duet AI or GitHub Copilot can not only answer the question but even write the code. These tools can even explain how the code works! By far, though, my favorite thing about these AI tools is that they can refactor your code. Yes, AI can fix errors in your code!

AI Reduces Time Spent on Pull Requests

As a senior developer, I often have to revert or ask for simple changes on pull requests, but AI can do it with tools like Copilot. Previously, I spent about two hours a day reviewing pull requests, but with AI taking the reins — cleaning up syntax or style issues — I can focus on fixing essential logic or algorithm design problems. Those two hours per day are now shortened to 30 minutes or even less.

Enhance Your Work with AI

AI holds the potential to enhance our capabilities, enabling us to accomplish more in the same amount of time. We can augment our skills and increase our productivity and employability by leveraging AI tools for repetitive tasks or problem-solving. From HR chatbots that handle routine inquiries to AI-powered code refactoring, AI can optimize our daily workflows and make us more efficient.

As AI technology advances, it presents opportunities to unlock our full potential. By embracing and exploring these tools, we can build a more productive and fulfilling future.

Francisco Quintana is an Andela technologist. As a Senior Data Engineer at Mindshare, Francisco uses Machine Learning, AI and the cloud to help deliver actionable insights and ensure people use data ethically to improve user experience and performance.

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