Weekly Buzz: MIT Study Shows Generative AI Empowers Workers

Happy Friday, and welcome back to a brand-new edition of the Weekly Buzz.

On the docket today: the impact of generative AI tools like ChatGPT on the workforce and how it empowers workers, the latest news on Threads (the good and the bad), and new features making it easier to get started on Instagram Reels.

Read on for all the details – and a little Friday Fun.

MIT study shows generative AI empowers workers and boosts productivity

A recent study by MIT’s Department of Economics has shed light on the impact of generative AI tools like ChatGPT on the workforce. The study aimed to determine whether these technologies would widen inequality or empower workers with new skills.

The results were encouraging, as participants using ChatGPT demonstrated increased productivity and expressed a greater likelihood of using the tool in future tasks. The study suggests that AI technology is more likely to complement human workers, empowering them rather than replacing them.

Unlike earlier AI tools that raised concerns about automation, ChatGPT’s deep learning capabilities allow it to handle more intricate and creative tasks like writing and design. The experiment involved 453 college-educated professionals assigned writing-based tasks, and those equipped with ChatGPT completed tasks 11 minutes faster and with improved quality.

While the study provides hard evidence of ChatGPT’s benefits, its real-world implementation remains uncertain. The findings highlight the crucial role of human nature in shaping the impact of generative AI on the workforce. 

Meta’s Threads surpasses 100 million users and competes with Twitter worldwide

Meta’s Threads has experienced remarkable success, amassing over 100 million users shortly after its release. The app has already garnered a substantial user base, reaching one-fifth of Twitter’s weekly active users worldwide and surpassing its closest U.S. competitor, Truth Social, by 86 times. Although early data indicated a slight dip in usage, Threads has since bounced back, with over 150 million downloads achieved at an impressive rate, surpassing the record set by Pokémon GO in 2016.

Data.ai also revealed interesting insights into Threads’ audience, with India emerging as the primary market for the app, accounting for 33% of global downloads. Brazil follows closely at 22%, with the U.S. at 16%. Unfortunately, Threads is not currently available in the EU due to regulatory issues surrounding privacy and data collection practices.

Threads recently received its first major update, with further improvements planned, such as a following feed, an edit button, multi-account support, and integration with ActivityPub. The app’s future looks promising as it attracts a large and diverse user base.

Threads faces criticism from civil rights groups over hate speech and disinformation concerns

But it’s not all good news for Threads. The new text-based community forum has come under scrutiny as civil rights groups and advocates raise concerns over its handling of hate speech and extremist accounts.

Despite early positive steps, such as automatically blocking users with prior Instagram blocks, the platform lacks clear conduct policies to address the issues effectively. 

A new letter from 24 organizations, including Media Matters for America and GLAAD, criticizes Meta for not extending fact-checking programs and removing policies warning users about serial misinformers. The letter notes that Threads reportedly showcases “neo-Nazi rhetoric, election lies, COVID and climate change denialism,” and more toxic content. 

Advocates stress the need for strong, unique policies, proactive AI safeguards against bias, and transparency in content moderation. The letter urges Threads to prioritize safety, equity, and civil society engagement to create a safer and more responsible platform.

Threads raises privacy concerns as the app collects extensive user data

And the less-than-stellar news for Threads doesn’t end there… 

The app is also criticized for its extensive collection of sensitive data on its rapidly growing user base. The platform’s specificity and quantity of information accessed have raised concerns among tech experts, who warn of potential risks if the data falls into the wrong hands or is misused for targeting users. 

Threads’ privacy policies allow the gathering of various personal details, including health and financial information, browsing history, and location data. Critics argue that this approach is common for social media services, leaving users with limited control over their data and vulnerable to potential privacy breaches. 

With Meta’s history of privacy controversies, experts advise users to carefully review the privacy policy and consider the company’s track record before signing up. 

Instagram unveils new “Templates” feature to enhance Reels creation

Instagram has introduced a set of “templates” to aid creators in crafting Reels more effortlessly. 

The new “template browser” offers pre-made video blueprints that users can modify and post with just a few clicks. These templates automatically integrate the desired audio, number of clips, duration, and AR effects, while still allowing customization options like removing clips, adjusting timing, and editing existing elements. 

Instagram aims to inspire and engage creators with these versatile tools as it competes with TikTok for the spotlight in the video content realm. The company has been testing these features since April last year, continually working to enhance the Reels experience and appeal to content creators. As Instagram continues to refine the templates, users can expect an even more enjoyable and seamless creation process for their Reels.

Have you given Reels a try yet?

Friday Fun

TBH, this cutie has much stronger willpower than we do.

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site