Hello, Quartz at Work readers!
When ChatGPT maker OpenAI announced last week that it would allow users to build their own personalized chatbots, the debut suggested we’re edging closer to the reality of autonomous assistants at work—or bots that can do things for us, like send emails or file documents, hopefully without putting anyone out of a job. At Quartz, we decided to see if we could use the feature to create an autonomous assistant for our newsroom. We named her Smoky Quartz.
Inside the builder, we uploaded Quartz’s editorial handbook, a 63-page document that serves as our team’s style guide. Now when anyone writing a story hits on a common question—Wait, is it the moon or the Moon? Do we say profit or profits?—they can just ask the chatbot for its advice, rather than read through the manual.
And Smoky works more dynamically than just a database: Chatting with the bot, I can ask her for feedback on my writing to make it Quartzier. Will it notice if my paragraph is using a dreaded zombie noun—explained and discouraged on page 21 of our style guide—and tell me how to revise it? Can it catch any corporate jargon or sporting slang—specifically prohibited on page 33—and suggest a more approachable turn of phrase? My chatbot doesn’t make me a better writer, but a better Quartz writer, and makes some of the more tedious parts of my job (like consulting manuals) a little less taxing. If only Smoky Quartz could take some of my calls, too.
AI ASSISTANTS HAVE ENTERED THE CHAT
Or could she? Other AI assistants promise to automate our most mundane duties on the job, including calls. Take the bots that will drop into virtual meetings on your behalf: They’ll put together notes on the conversation, assemble action items for the group, and even advise speakers on their pace and pitch. Others promise to read your emails like a personal secretary, sifting through inboxes for important updates and filing away receipts for invoicing. And when you’re ready to move on to a new gig—maybe one with fewer meetings or emails—still more AI assistants offer to automate the process for you, filling out job applications while you sleep.
Sure, artificial intelligence can take away some of the routine tedium of modern work. But the technology has plenty of flaws to work through first.
When software developer Josh Stir was leading a presentation of a new feature that would allow teammates to automate their own tasks, the virtual meeting’s AI assistant nudged him with a notification: He was, apparently, hogging the mic. “It was like, monologue!” Stir told the Wall Street Journal. “And I was like, yes, that’s what I’m here to do.”
That AI automating job applications? It had just a 0.5% success rate for landing an interview, one software engineer trying it for himself told WIRED; recruiters say they can tell when a candidate is wielding artificial help. The “spray and pray” method (or sending a firehose’s worth of applications in the hopes of getting any callbacks, AI or not) can hurt a candidate strategically, resume coach Lynda Spiegel has cautioned at Quartz.
And our Smoky Quartz? Well, she’s made her own mistakes. “Smoky is a little uneven—sometimes she gets it right and sometimes she doesn’t, even when her answer’s right there in the guide,” my colleague Susan Howson wrote after watching Smoky interpretive-dance her way through style advice. Given all their blunders and idiosyncrasies, it doesn’t seem the AIs are coming for real jobs just yet.
The prospect of hiring your own AI assistant raises ethical questions that teams will still have to answer for, too. Should we start to expect that artificial ears will be listening in on our conversations? Should we write our correspondence with the assumption that robo-admins will be reading it? And when can we decline a robot joining the team?
SPEAKING OF AI…
Pssst: Did you know that we run experiments with AI every week? Subscribe to our Daily Brief newsletter and you’ll receive a bonus edition on Saturdays dedicated to all things AI. While it’s focused on robots, it’s curated, written, and edited by actual humans. Sign up here!
WHAT’S THAT ABOUT WORK PERKS?
Today, career site Glassdoor released new data tracking US workplace trends—and looked at the last six years of company benefits to see which work perks are on the come-up. So which are most likely to be headed to your workplace?
🐣 Benefits on the rise: Parental leave, fertility support, and adoption stipends
🚗 Benefits in decline: Commuter costs and gym reimbursements
“In 2021 and 2022, as many companies were aggressively hiring [while] schools were only gradually reopening, there was a broad focus on what companies could do to attract parents back into the workforce,” Glassdoor chief economist Aaron Terrazas tells Quartz via email. “By some measures, it worked: Labor force participation among women of childbearing age is now around all-time highs. Millennials are now the single largest generation in the labor force and most of them are in their 30s, which are core family formation years. So adding family benefits may have been a lure for these workers as well.”
Our take? As long as the US remains the only world’s only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee paid parental leave, workplaces are filling in the gaps with bolstered family support. And although we’re still figuring out the role of return-to-office policies in our work, perks tacked onto the daily commute are understandably less useful now than they were five or six years ago.
BIG TECH IS SETTLING BIG DISCRIMINATION SUITS
$25 million: How much Apple is paying up to settle claims of hiring discrimination.
The hefty fee comes after the US Department of Justice alleged that Apple violated anti-discrimination laws, partly to favor employees holding temporary visas, when hiring for its permanent labor certification program.
It’s the biggest bottom line the department has procured under anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
But Apple isn’t the only Big Tech company that the US DoJ has sued for employment discrimination this year. Look no further than Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which faced litigation this summer for allegedly refusing to hire refugees and asylum recipients. (SpaceX, for its part, was able to block the case.) Quartz’s Ananya Bhattacharya rounds up the other Big Tech behemoths that have been hit with cases in recent years.
THE SILVER SCREEN IS BACK
Hollywood actors have formally ended their strike, marking an end to a historic work stoppage that stalled the American film and television industry for 118 days.
Last week SAG-AFTRA’s committee approved a deal with studios, winning better wage hikes, streaming residuals, and, in a critical victory, definitive limits on the use of artificial intelligence in their work. Like the striking writers before them, actors waged a contentious fight for protections from AI, especially its ability to use their likeness, generate convincing simulations, and potentially put them out of a job.
But people behind the screen—like visual effects artists, scoring musicians, and others—face a similar existential crisis. Now they’re looking to where actors have drawn the line.
IT’S A FACT!
A record number of CEOs stepped down from their roles in the past year, according to a fall analysis by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas. More than 1,400 CEOs of US companies had vacated the corner office as of September—up nearly 50% from the same period in 2022 and the highest rate in two decades.
Why are so many CEOs heading for the door? Companies don’t typically give reasons for their chiefs’ departures, but those CEOs who do report back mainly say it’s for retirement or stepping into other roles. No top execs, as of press time, have decided they’d rather commit to their DJ career.
QUARTZ AT WORK’S TOP STORIES
YOU GOT THE MEMO
Send questions, comments, and where you’re drawing the line with AI to email@example.com. This edition of The Memo was written by Gabriela Riccardi.
real free diamonds generator get free diamonds for hay day
download get free diamond litmatch apk for android apk4k
myths of moonrise 2023 redeem codes new gift code youtube
pull the pin hack mod unlocked no ads 153 0 1 modpda com
evony the kings return hack unlimited gems generator nifty gateway
rune factory 4 special archival edition announced for north
project makeover coins cash gems boosters hack and moves
beach buggy racing mod apk v2023 01 11 unlimited money
TikTok Coin Generators: Fact or Fiction?
Le futur du TikTok : Les pièces gratuites
Your Ticket to Chat Domination: Free Coins in LivU Video Chat
Where to Find Free Spins in Coin Master: Your Guide
The Science of Avacoins Farming in Avakin Life
How to Get Credits in Bingo Blitz Effortlessly
Mastering Spins in Coin Master: Expert Insights
Free TikTok Coins: The Real Deal
TikTok Coin Hacks for Content Creators
Unlocking TikTok Coins: Insider Techniques
مولدي العملات TikTok: النجاح والفشل
Free TikTok Coins: Insider Secrets
TikTok Coin Farming Demystified
زيادة رصيدك من العملات في TikTok: نصائح مهمة
LivU Video Chat Free Coin Generator Scams: What to Avoid
Coin Master Free Spins Today: Quick Tips
Free Avacoins in Avakin Life: Insider Secrets