60% of users expressed a high level of confidence in the ability of generative AI to effectively draft impactful workplace documents
Creating workplace documents, whether it's a presentation, a grant request, or a proposal, has often been a source of frustration for many employees. It's not just about getting inspired, it’s about weaving a compelling story backed by data, being concise and eye-catching in a world full of distractions, and presenting it all in a visually appealing way.
In the last few months, both text and image based generative AI tools have become a great aide for workers. In an earlier Pulse IQ report, we had found that close to half the users surveyed were using AI to help them at school or work. So it's no surprise that Canva, a revolutionary design platform with a valuation of $40 billion, released a plugin for ChatGPT last week. This joins other work-focused plugins like Slack and Zapier, showing that SaaS companies see AI integrations as a way to better support their customers.
In the latest round of Pulse IQ, we surveyed 124 participants from various industries and job roles about their use of AI. We posed the question: "How confident are you in AI's capacity to generate materials such as proposals and presentations that have a significant impact on your daily tasks?" A resounding 86% of users were confident in AI's capacity to draft work documents, with 60% very confident and 26% somewhat confident. Interestingly, 13% of users, primarily women and Gen Z individuals, held reservations about using AI for this purpose.
Among who were confident in using AI for work documents, the key reasons included:
- It provides a starting point: Users felt that AI can generate high-quality initial drafts of documents. Users can then edit and build upon these drafts to meet their specific needs.
- It saves time: Another significant factor is AI's capacity to summarize extensive amounts of text, generate content, and conduct research on various subjects by synthesizing information from multiple sources.
- Improves Quality of Writing: AI also assists users with tasks such as checking for grammatical errors and ensuring adherence to style guides and templates, which helps in the creation of standardized documents
Many users see AI as an assistant that helps them speed up the process of preparing documents and presentations. But, many do not feel that AI can fully create important documents – yet:
“AI is smart and can take the hassle out of researching. They're able to draft materials in no time, while all I need to do is edit.”
—Amber, 34, GPT-3.5
“I have received exceptional results through my use of AI and it truly takes all the information that I provide and puts it into a professional platform. The key for me is that even after AI generates draft materials - I ultimately revise it to make it polished, personalized and well targeted to the audience.”
—William, 50, Bard
“AI-generated content should be carefully reviewed and edited by humans to ensure accuracy, clarity, and alignment with the intended message.”
—Rain, 37, GPT-3.5
“It has good logical ideas on standard topics that I use on a day to day basis. I use it for idea generation instead of full completion of a presentation.”
—Andrew, 34, GPT-3.5
Although users are not oblivious to the limitations of AI tools, confidence in these tools remains high. Most users believe that AI is continuously evolving and improving, addressing existing limitations over time.
I have watched AI progress over time and it has moved super fast and I feel like in the near future proposals, presentations will not be an issue for AI not to mention the ability to do a far superior job versus what a human could do.
—Larry, 40, GPT-3.5
"I've had nothing but success using this type of technology and looking forward to using it even more often in the future as well.”
—John, 39, GPT 3.5
Nonetheless, many users still have valid concerns regarding using AI for writing important proposals, which primarily revolve around issues like content hallucinations, potential copyright infringement, and a prevailing sense that AI-generated content lacks the human touch. People have noticed that AI-generated content often comes across as stilted and devoid of the natural nuances found in human communication. These concerns underline the need for continued refinement and ethical considerations in AI content generation.
“While AI can be very helpful in generating initial drafts of proposals and presentations, I think it still lacks the nuance and creativity that comes from human input. AI might be able to create a first draft, but I think it would still require my input to make the material truly impactful and effective. I believe that the human element is still crucial when it comes to creating persuasive and compelling proposals and presentations.”
—Bernie, 28, Bing
“I'm still concerned about the possibility of copyright infringement with AI content. It's why I would never seriously use AI to generate full articles for me.”
—Shawn, 38, GPT 3.5
“AI doesn't know the background for what you are doing, so sometimes the stuff they make is hard to make a personal connection with. Stuff like presentations and proposals require human touch.”
—Prashant, 24, Bard
“Because AI is still a brand new tool and has been stated, by even its creators, to still give incorrect answers from time-to-time and its database is not updated with the most recent information in the world.”
—Ugochukwu, 35, Bard
“Nooo! I have zero faith in leaving it to a computer to write proposals, grants, fund requests etc. Those things need a personal touch. They need experience and even compassion. AI does not have that ability.”
—Nicole, 39, Bing
Users have high confidence levels with AI tools and they are increasingly using them for workplace document creation, streamlining processes, and enhancing productivity. Although AI is a helpful tool, in many cases, it is still unable to create complex, nuanced written content without human intervention.
- Savvy workers use AI as an assistant, not as a replacement for their work: AI users are simultaneously seeing AI as a way to streamline the creative process for documents and presentations and noticing that the content AI "creates" lacks the depth and nuance of an expert, human touch.
- Businesses should help workers better leverage AI: Because existing tools leverage open source and/or big tech language models, businesses that rely on style guides or specific content creation guidelines will need their own customized AI features to help their teams thrive. Microsoft Azure (via OpenAI) and Claude offer API access to their large language models (LLMs) to allow companies to customize AI based on their own data and needs. Other companies are on the way towards building custom generative AI for different workflows and industries.
- Don't forget the security talk: While users may be aware that they shouldn't provide private information or customer data like addresses, phone numbers, etc. into AI, gray areas exist around what types and levels of detail can be provided around business information. For example, what if one of your team members pastes a sales proposal for a customer into an AI tool for grammar editing purposes? Leaders should prepare for a future where most of their teams are using AI on a regular basis, and educate them accordingly on the risks associated with their tools.
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