In Praise of Boring AI




  • in realistic business writing tasks, ChatGPT decreased the time required for work by 40%, even as outside evaluators rated the quality of work written with the help of AI to be 18% better than the ones done by humans alone.1 After using it, people were more worried about their jobs… but also significantly happier - why? Because a lot of work is boring, and AI did the boring stuff fast. (View Highlight)
  • Automation has always been about eliminating work that is repetitive, and often dangerous or boring. (View Highlight)
  • Scholars studying work often conceive of jobs as a bundle of tasks. Take my role as a business school professor. My job isn’t just a single, indivisible entity. Instead, it comprises a variety of tasks: teaching, researching, writing, filling out annual reports, maintaining my computer, writing letters of recommendation, and more. The job title ‘professor’ is just a label; the daily experience consists of this mix of tasks. (View Highlight)
  • And some of those tasks are boring. Many of them are boring and important (writing letter of recommendation is an honor, and an important one, but not a lot of fun) and I have written about the risks of automating those tasks before. But a lot of boring work is just tedious, and is not worthy of deep focus. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t do this stuff at all. In our less ideal world, AI can do it for us. (View Highlight)