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How Charlotte businesses are experimenting with AI
Join us this week for a series exploring the use of artificial intelligence in Charlotte. Come learn with us.
This week in The Ledger: ‘Faces of AI,’ a series examining the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence
By Tony Mecia
Like a lot of people, Peter Johnson started hearing the buzz about ChatGPT late last year.
He started seeing TikTok videos about how to use it for business and figured: Why not give it a try?
At TalentBridge, an employment recruiting company, Johnson writes a lot of emails. He connects job-seekers with companies that might be a good fit. Earlier this year, Johnson used ChatGPT to help craft an email to speed the tedious process of summarizing the candidate’s talents and tailoring them to each recipient.
“I brought in one of my biggest clients of the year with a cold email based on ChatGPT,” he says. “I was shocked.” After that success, he says he “started using it a lot more.”
Like TalentBridge, many companies in the Charlotte area and beyond have been envisioning how they might use artificial intelligence since ChatGPT burst on the scene nearly a year ago.
‘More profound than fire’: Artificial intelligence has the potential to upend virtually every industry by performing tasks previously believed to be largely irreplaceable by technology.
Some scientists have said it could usher in changes as sweeping as those of the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, or of the dawn of the internet age a quarter-century ago. The CEO of Google’s parent company has said he believes AI is “the most profound technology humanity is working on — more profound than fire, electricity or anything that we have done in the past.”
But it’s also stirring worries about job losses, which are already starting. Goldman Sachs economists predicted this year that as many as 300 million full-time jobs worldwide could eventually be automated by AI — including about one-quarter of the current jobs in the U.S. and Europe.
This week in The Charlotte Ledger, we’re taking a closer look at this emerging and sometimes controversial technology — and how local businesses are experimenting with it.
It’s a special series, available only to paying Ledger members, that we’re calling “Faces of AI.” It takes an up-close look at Charlotte-area people and companies that are using AI — how they’re incorporating it into their jobs, what they see as the pros and cons, and where they think it is headed next.
Readers will meet:
workers in creative fields such as web design, writing and editing — sectors that could be among the most disrupted by artificial intelligence that can do much of that in an instant
the founder of a local marketing company who offers advice on how small businesses can harness the power of AI to become more efficient
a local technology executive who says ChatGPT is child’s play compared with what’s coming next — and how his company helps local businesses imagine the possibilities
We’re placing our regular newsletters on hold this week to make way for “Faces of AI,” which will arrive in your inbox tomorrow through Friday at 8 a.m. … if you’re a Ledger member. If you’re not, you’ll receive nothing from us this week — unless you join today.
With emerging technologies, it’s often hard to know where they’re heading. But it’s important to understand them, in real time. That’s what our team hopes to share with you over the coming days — part of our goal of making our readers smarter about our community and the world around them. Come learn with us, as we show you the people on the front lines.
TalentBridge’s Charlotte market leader, Brady Teague, says that although his company is dipping its toe into using AI, he doesn’t foresee it as a replacement for human interaction. Rather, he says, it’s a productivity tool that can more quickly guide his employees to valuable conversations with workers and companies. He says it’s like “going fishing on the Great Lakes and going with a day guide who tells you, ‘Here’s the bay you want to go fishing in.’”
But he says the proliferation of AI should prompt discussions about how people work: “I think it’s really going to force people to step back and reconsider what they do and how they do it, and consider what the future looks like, utilizing this not as a threat, but as an opportunity.”
We look forward to exploring this critical topic with you this week, with “Faces of AI.”
Tony Mecia is executive editor of The Charlotte Ledger: firstname.lastname@example.org.
➡️ Join the conversation: How are you or your business using artificial intelligence? What do you think of it? Drop us an email, or leave a note in the comments (paid subscribers only 🔒):
Editor’s note: Our “Faces of AI” series is produced entirely by humans. It’s edited by Doug Miller, with contributions from freelance writers Kerry Singe and Hannah Lang and The Ledger’s Lindsey Banks (who used AI tools to create the series logo).
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