Bridging the productivity gap through Artificial Intelligence

There are few technologies that may have as positive an impact on the world as Artificial Intelligence, but the biggest benefits might not be what you expect

Bridging the productivity gap through Artificial Intelligence

In 1941, Alan Turing penned an academic paper where he conceptualised ‘Machine Intelligence’ and its impact on society. This paper is now lost, but it is recognised as one of the first steps towards Artificial Intelligence.

Over the last 80 years, we have made considerable progress and some of the ideas are quite remarkable. But, as with much of life, the most impactful benefits are probably the ones we tend to ignore on first glance.

Introducing AI assistants

Microsoft research suggests 68% of employees don’t have enough uninterrupted focus time. Instead of making your business more money, your employee may have spent 5 hours building a slide deck for a customer presentation.

This is important but imagine if it could be done in a matter of seconds. Your employee identifies the content to be included, outlines key topics, highlights key data points or KPIs, and then click go. The employee becomes a project manager, with the AI assistant doing the painstaking work.

The same research said employees would like an AI assistant to reduce the amount of time it takes to produce work (33% said it was a top priority) by offloading the time-consuming elements, reduce meetings times (21%) and helping to prioritise workloads (26%). 

There is an appetite for employees to work alongside AI because it can help improve productivity, and as a result, increase job satisfaction.

Where could an AI assistant fit into my business?

The breadth of capabilities for AI assistants is quite amazing – there has been rapid progress in innovation over the last couple of years. Some prompts that could be used include:

  • Create a job description for a senior animation designer role based on the design team Core responsibility document which is stored in One Drive
  • Summarise my emails and chats from the last month that mention year end results, with the messages from the CFO on top
  • Summarise the meeting and list the action items discussed and the status. List all the decisions that were made and issues that were resolved
  • Summarise our new proposition in a slide deck presentation and include all sales data from the last 12 months from other products in the portfolio
  • Revise and reword marketing copy to create several different nuances for different audiences
  • Find information on troubleshooting our current production equipment from across the equipment manuals. Look for information on how to reset the processor

The above tasks are by no-means complex, but they are time-consuming. It might take an employee all day to complete the six asks, when realistically they are not what is going to add the greatest value to the business.

For example, instead of taking two hours to write a job description, the AI assistant could do it in a matter of seconds once you have directed it to the right documents. Those two hours could instead be used to interview two potential candidates. In this scenario, the AI assistant has saved the employee 50% of time spent, while also fast-tracking the process of hiring a new member of the team.

Bringing together Vodafone and Microsoft

In January 2024, Vodafone and Microsoft announced a 10-year strategic partnership, bringing together two of the world’s most recognisable technology brands. 

This is an incredibly expansive partnership, but at its core, the objective is to accelerate innovation and help customers evolve their business. First and foremost, we are now offering Copilot for Microsoft 365 services to UK business customers.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a powerful AI assistant which helps dramatically improve efficiency and productivity. The examples above are just a glimpse at what is possible, Copilot for Microsoft 365 can be implemented in any part of the business and customised to fit your requirements. For more information on how Vodafone can help you explore the power of Copilot for Microsoft 365, please visit the Vodafone Business Marketplace.

Claire Harris
Claire Harris

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