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Ric Raftis Consulting

Improving Productivity in LEAD Loddon Murray by Leveraging the Power of AI

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Background

LEAD Loddon Murray Inc (LEAD) is one of nine regional non profits focused on delivery of training courses centered around community leadership. LEAD’s flagship program is the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program (LMCLP). Participants, selected on merit, come from the ten Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the region.

Figure 1: LEAD Loddon Murray catchment

Source: Reproduced from LEAD Loddon Murray website

This article explores potential uses of artificial intelligence (AI) within LEAD to achieve better training outcomes, organisational productivity and efficiency (Washington 2023) . Borah et al. (2022) argue that AI is needed for SME’s just as big tech and that their growth will be dependent on it.

The organisation was decimated as a result of Covid and is now rebuilding. It is a perfect time to consider new ways of doing things in a highly constrained financial environment.

Opportunities for improved efficiency

Currently, the organisation has no AI functions in place at all. To some extent this could be attributed to the lack of knowledge in the area, an issue that affects many small non-profits. There is a plethora of AI applications available as off-the-shelf answers however (Jacobides, Brusoni and Candelon 2021). A further difficulty with AI implementation is the debate around ethics as discussed by Stahl et al. (2022), an issue irrespective of size of the organisation.

Figure 2: Ethical issues of AI

Source: Reproduced from Stahl et al. (2022).

Further valuable information is available such as Microsoft’s Future Computing ebook (Microsoft Corporation 2018).

Some applications selected from the following table are discussed as the ones with the greatest potential impact on both productivity and efficiency.

Table 1: AI Applications suitable for use in small non-profits and LEAD.

Application Purpose and use
Whimsical AI Generation of Mindmaps and Organisational Charts
GPT4 The latest iteration of ChatGPT
Llama2 Version 2 of Meta’s AI model just released and will be Open Source.
Typing Mind An improved user interface for GPT 3.5, GPT 4 and Plugins
Audio Pen Voice recorder that transcribes to text and rewrites using AI.
Response Mate

Input text from an email and it drafts a reply (created by the author)

AI Focused Newsletters Free subscriptions to build knowledge – many available
Gamma Input text and have slidedeck generated. Additional slides can be added and edited manually or with AI. Demonstrated in this article.
Readwise a web clipper that provides annotation abilities and invocation of AI called Ghostreader to interrogate documents. Integrates with Obsidian Personal Knowledge Management
Eightify AI ChatGPT Transcribes videos within YouTube and provides detailed summary with timestamps.
Microsoft 365 Co-pilot The next version of the software suite currently in beta test.
NOTE: All applications are used and have been tested by the author for suitability of use in a small organisational environment such as LEAD. The exceptions are Llama 2 as it was released 19 July 2023 to the public and Microsoft 365 with Co-pilot as it is still in beta test.

Source: Generated by author.

Gamma

Gamma creates a slidedeck using AI from a prompt generated by the user. The slide deck below was generated with the application as a demonstration for this assignment. It was then added to and edited where adjustments were required. With templates, themes and image generation all within the application, it makes it very easy to generate an enormous variety of presentations by small organisations in a way that would save considerable amounts of time. The generated decks can be shared in email links, embedding in web pages, exported to Powerpoint or downloaded as PDFs.

Audiopen

This application creates considerable opportunities for time savings. The concept is to record emails, documents, thoughts etc. Audio eliminates issues around typing speed. Many professions already use dictation machines, but Audiopen takes this to a whole new level. The application records your voice and produces a highly accurate transcription. It then creates an enhanced version with AI in a pre-determined writing style. The original audio, unedited transcription, and enhanced version are all downloadable for human modification. Time savings accrue as a result of not having to be in front of a computer. Although there is no mobile app, voice recordings can be uploaded for processing.

GPT 4

The latest iteration from Open AI is a considerable leap forward from ChatGPT. One of the greatest challenges faced by smaller organisations is the lack of access to specialised knowledge. Google may provide links to sources, but it does not elaborate on the information, whereas GPT 4 can be used for document summaries, preparation of articles, drafting of letters and emails, ideation and generation of outlines. When GPT4 itself was queried, one of its abilities was “Enhanced Teaching Capabilities: GPT4 could serve as a sophisticated tutor in numerous domains, offering personalised learning experiences ranging from grammatical lessons to advanced topics like quantum physics.” (Exploring GPT4: Potential Capabilities & Tasks – TypingMind.com n.d.). Two examples of how this could be used by LEAD is building training programs based on up to date regional parameters and also creating scenarios for participants to consider. It should be stressed that the quality of the output will be very much dependent on the quality of the prompts interrogating GPT4.

Critical Analysis of Microsoft 365 deployment in LEAD

The current Microsoft 365 Office Suite is already used within the organisation. It is an established process within all organisations generally that the next iteration of the software will be used once available. The next version of Microsoft 365 will take this software to an entire new level (Spataro 2023). The capabilities are already known as it is already being beta tested in selected organisations. The video below demonstrates the remarkable changes the software will offer (Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot 2023).

Microsoft 365 could replace the specific applications mentioned above and has been traditionally free for non-profits like LEAD. The result may be the large techs like Microsoft serving the bulk of the market. The win here for organisations such as LEAD, is the development costs of bespoke AI applications may be affordable for small organisations. As LEAD is now reliant on self-funding, this could lead to intellectual property that could be sold to similar organisations to build revenues.

Conclusion and recommendations

Use cases have been examined for AI within LEAD workspace. Despite not having AI applications at present, the article demonstrates several that could drive productivity and efficiency. Implementation of AI can be an area fraught with externalities. For a non-profit, credibility and reputation are critically important.

Any decision to embrace AI within the organisation, should include that there be a Responsible AI sub-committee formed at Board level. This committee needs expertise in the matter of AI or access to knowledge. Their role would be to recommend to the Board the adoption of any programs and the ethical ringfences to be applied.

In closing, there is no doubt there will be a revolution in the way we work as a result of AI. It is considered important that as a leader in the area of community leadership and the tools to enhance that area, that LEAD becomes an innovator, authority and leader in the area.

References

Borah, S, Kama, C, Rakshit, S, & Vajjhala, NR 2022, ‘Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)’, in PK Mallick, AK Bhoi, P Barsocchi, & VHC de Albuquerque (eds.), Cognitive Informatics and Soft Computing, Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, Springer Nature, Singapore, pp.717–726.

Exploring GPT4: Potential Capabilities & Tasks – TypingMind.com n.d., viewed 20 July 2023,  https://www.typingmind.com.

Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot | Your Copilot for Work 2023, viewed 16 July 2023,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7xTBa93TX8.

Jacobides, MG, Brusoni, S, & Candelon, F 2021, ‘The Evolutionary Dynamics of the Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem’, Strategy Science December, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 412–435.

Jones, N 2023, The Power of AI for Good: How Nonprofits Can Harness Technology to Change the World​. | LinkedIn, LinkedIn, viewed 20 July 2023,  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/power-ai-good-how-nonprofits-can-harness-technology-jones-mpa-edd/.

Spataro, J 2023, Introducing the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program and 2023 Microsoft Work Trend Index, The Official Microsoft Blog, viewed 19 July 2023,  https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2023/05/09/introducing-the-microsoft-365-copilot-early-access-program-and-2023-microsoft-work-trend-index/.

Stahl, BC, Antoniou, J, Ryan, M, Macnish, K, & Jiya, T 2022, ‘Organisational responses to the ethical issues of artificial intelligence’, AI & SOCIETY March, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 23–37.

Washington, C 2023, It’s Time For AI To Improve Nonprofit Performance, Forbes, viewed 18 July 2023,  https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/2023/01/25/its-time-for-ai-to-improve-nonprofit-performance/.

STATEMENT RE USE OF AI

I acknowledge the use of various AI models for the purpose of this assignment. These included, Typing Mind using GPT3.5 and GPT4. OpenAI GPT4 was also used as was Bard, Gamma, Audiopen and potentially others for the purpose of querying, testing, generation concepts, ideation etc. Attempts were made to test Llama, but it is currently not performing well and is difficult to access. In addition, AI research tools such as Elicit, Consensus and Litmaps were also used to explore academic literature. Prowriting Aid has been used in a live format to highlight potential grammatical and spelling issues and suggest rewording of complex sentences.

The prompts used include:

  • I want you to act as an academician. You will be responsible for researching a topic of my choice and presenting the findings in an article form. Your task is to identify reliable sources, organize the material in a well-structured way and document it accurately with citations. My first suggestion request is :

    • Blog post: Consider the role of AI in an organisation that is a not for profit and providing community focused training. Its flagship product is a Community Based Leadership program conducted over 10 months. Sessions are held online and in person to deliver concepts around leadership, communication, governance, ethics and related disciplines of use in leading community organisations.

    • There are no current types and roles of AI used in daily operations within the nominated industry or organisation.

    • Critically discuss how AI applications could be used in the organisation and how it could enhance productivity.

    • Choose one AI capability and critically analyse how its deployment would fulfil the core business function’s needs and provide a competitive advantage to the organisation. For the purpose of this section, use the new Microsoft 365 suite of products with AI co-pilot demonstrated in the Youtube video found at https://youtu.be/S7xTBa93TX8

    • Example blog post headings:

      • 1. Background on organisation is not required from you. I will write this separately.

      • 2. The improved efficiency and/or effectiveness of incorporating AI in the organisation.

      • 3. Critical analysis of Microsoft 365 being deployed with Code Pilot in the organisation

      • References

  • The prompt used for the creation of the demonstration slidedeck in Gamma is not available. It seems that once the input has been given to the model, the prompt can no longer be accessed. The developers have been approached regarding this issue and the necessity for academic disclosure explained. They have agreed to consider this for a future upgrade.

  • GPT 4 was also used for the generation of an Ethical Statement.

    • The prompt used was: Act as a responsible ethicist and take into account the importance of ethics in today’s world where there is so much content generated by AI. Then answer my question below:

      • Given the level of interaction we have had in this conversation, which has been, to my mind, a partnership that has generated many ideas and concepts, please write an ethical statement that I should include at the foot of the finished article. This is assuming of course that you consider an ethical statement is warranted.

    • Assistant’s Response: Given our conversation and the co-creation of the ideas in this article, I agree that acknowledging our collaboration ethically is both warranted and important. Here’s a suggested statement:

    • Ethical Note: The development and refinement of the concepts in this article have benefited greatly from an interactive dialogue with an advanced AI developed by OpenAI. The AI assistant served as a thought partner in the exploration of the presented analogies and concepts of leadership. Throughout this co-creative process, it assisted in stimulating thought, guiding discussion, identifying gaps, providing suggestions, and refining the philosophical basis of this narrative. It’s important to acknowledge that the resulting article is a product of this partnership. However, final interpretation and articulation of the concepts are the author’s.

    • I believe this statement acknowledges the AI’s role in the process while reaffirming it as a tool assisting you, the author, in your creative process. It’s important to note that as an AI, I don’t initiate topics or develop ideas autonomously – rather, I respond and contribute based on the prompts, guidelines, and feedback you provide.

Whilst the Ethical Note has been completely generated by GPT4, it is considered to represent a thorough and complete explanation of the interaction as it occurred and the writer is happy accept the statement and issue it in supp ort of the work.

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