3 Ways ChatGPT will change how IO Psychologists work

In this article, we review key themes from our recent webinar on ChatGPT as well as additional research from the world of AI and machine learning to answer the question: “What are the main changes that ChatGPT (and similar technologies) will bring to the talent and IO Psychology profession?”

In TTS’s recent thought leadership webinar, presented by AI expert Jepson Taylor (for a recording of this session, click here), the wide impact of large language models such as ChatGPT was explored, especially as they pertain to professions such as IO Psychology. What follows is not only a distillation of that talk but also additional reflections on how talent professionals may benefit from technologies like ChatGPT.

ChatGPT: A quick introduction

We have reviewed the basics of large language models (LLMs) in a previous article, but to understand ChatGPT’s impact on IO Psychologists, a quick recap would be helpful.

ChatGPT is the most well-known and widely used large language model (LLM) at present, but all LLMs have common features:

  • They are AI models that can perform various language tasks like translation, summarization, and content generation.
  • To do such tasks, they are all trained on vast amounts of text data, which allows them to learn patterns and relationships between words and phrases.
  • Unlike old-fashioned chatbots, LLMs like ChatGPT are designed to understand context, which means they can generate responses that are appropriate to the situation, rather than overly generic responses that may not be appropriate or relevant.
  • In terms of the above, LLMs like ChatGPT can use their training to predict sequences and likely responses based on previous inputs. In this way, they seem to mimic intelligent conversational patterns and can predict missing data, whether numerical or verbal. This enables ChatGPT to appear creative or human it its responses, even though the process is one of prediction based on vast data sets rather than true creativity.
  • Lastly, all LLMs can recognize and respond to different types of language, such as formal and informal language, and can understand and respond to multiple languages.

Perhaps the most powerful capability of LLMs like ChatGPT is their ability to learn and improve over time. They can be fine-tuned on specific data sets, which allows them to generate ever more accurate and relevant responses.

In this way, models such as ChatGPT tend to become more intelligent in their contributions the more they are used, with the added potential of personalizing their responses to specific users (more about that below).

Now that we have reviewed the basics of LLMs, we can turn to three key ways in which ChatGPT might change or enhance the way IO Psychologists do their work.

#1 Increased efficiency in knowledge management

One of the most significant ways in which ChatGPT will change the way its users work is in knowledge management. ChatGPT can be used to generate summaries of lengthy books, articles, reports, documents, and emails, making it easier for professionals to digest large volumes of information in a shorter period.

In the world of IO Psychology, professionals often have to digest large volumes of research, ranging from scientific articles and textbooks to popular blog posts (like this one!). Over and above the normal range of professional reading IO Psychologists have to complete, one can add company-specific data sources, minutes of meetings, and transcripts of webinars and similar media.

ChatGPT is ideally suited to extract critical themes from various sources, summarize the information found there, and reproduce it in an easily digestible, well-written format, all within a few seconds.

As a result, ChatGPT will enable IO Psychologists to spend less time reading and sifting through data, and more time applying the insights gained from sources to their consultation with the businesses they serve. In addition, LLMs will be able to more accurately recommend future directions of professional reading, based on prior learning.

#2 More effective communication and collaboration

Another potential way in which ChatGPT can change the way IO Psychologists work is in communication and collaboration. ChatGPT can be used to generate natural language responses to messages and emails, allowing professionals to communicate more efficiently and effectively with their colleagues.

While all professionals can benefit from improved skills in writing and communicating, the reality is that few of us have the time available for such development. In addition, writing is a difficult skill to master, and professional psychologists may want to spend their available time on other, more IO Psychology-focused topics.

ChatGPT’s ability to rapidly compose robust responses might also be particularly useful for remote workers who face communication challenges due to differences in time zones and language barriers.

These powerful language abilities extend beyond just replying to messages, however. ChatGPT can also facilitate collaboration by generating ideas and suggestions for team projects. It can provide feedback on written documents, such as proposals and reports, helping talent professionals to refine and improve their work.

#3 Enhanced personalization and assistance

Perhaps the most exciting avenue of change that ChatGPT and similar technologies could bring to IO Psychologists is through acting as highly personalized, virtual “oracles” or assistants.

Because LLMs like ChatGPT can be trained on specific data sets, such as company data or industry-specific information, they can generate highly specialized responses. In addition, future renditions of ChatGPT are likely to incorporate the option to personalize responses based on individual preferences and past AI conversations.

What does that mean in practice?

For one, it might result in IO Psychologists (and other professionals) having access to a highly individualized AI assistant (or what is sometimes called an “oracle”), that learns from its conversations with the individual, combines specialized data sets (e.g. contemporary IO Psychology research and knowledge), and then provides expert advice and opinions on a host of topics that are important to that individual.

This in turn will give IO Psychologists access to more targeted insights and information, making their work more efficient and effective.

Another consequence of having a personalized ChatGPT-like assistant could be to enhance one’s own professional development and training. Based on an individual’s work history, skillset, and career aspirations, ChatGPT can suggest a personalized approach to professional development. This can in turn lead professionals to upskill and reskill more efficiently, making them more competitive in the job market.

Third, and somewhat farther off than the implications mentioned above, is LLMs’ eventual capabilities to mimic our likely responses. Future versions of ChatGPT will adapt themselves to an individual user, they could serve as virtual substitutes for that person, essentially mimicking likely responses and thought patterns.

This ability could be very useful in professional networking, where one’s virtual persona can network with those of other, like-minded professionals and identify key people to speak to or learn from. In addition, it will be possible to assign one’s virtual persona tasks such as answering questions during a webinar or meeting using one’s own response style and knowledge.

While these capabilities may seem closer to science fiction than reality, the exponential growth and development of AI and LLMs such as ChatGPT put such resources within the short, rather than long-term horizon for most professionals.

Final thoughts

ChatGPT and other LLMs are likely to change the way IO Psychologists work in significant ways, from increased efficiency in knowledge management to more effective communication and, in the near future, acting as virtual oracles and assistants in daily and professional tasks.

While the overall direction such technologies are taking seems generally positive for professionals, there are some caveats to consider as well:

  • While ChatGPT can increase efficiency in knowledge management, it will still be incumbent on the talent professional to understand the limitations of the system. This means that users will need to evaluate the quality of the information generated by the LLM to ensure that it is accurate and relevant.
  • Using ChatGPT for communication and collaboration can sometimes lack the “personal touch” or the distinctive voice of the individual. There is of course also the danger of professionals becoming overly reliant on ChatGPT and thereby neglecting developing their own skills.
  • In personalizing ChatGPT, talent professionals will need to pay particular attention to the data sets used to train the model, ensuring that these are accurate and relevant.

    In addition, there is the danger that LLMs could mimic not only the positive attributes of a person but also the negative ones, like biases toward certain information sources and types. Having said that, ChatGPT offers highly robust ways to eliminate biased responses in ways that humans are generally incapable of (or at least find highly challenging).

In conclusion, LLMs like ChatGPT are almost certainly going to be powerful professional tools for IO Psychologists and talent professionals alike. ChatGPT especially, in its current and future iterations, will enhance our efficiency, facilitate new insights, and serve as expert and highly personalized virtual assistants.

In our recent webinar presented by Jepson (Ben) Talyor, the current Chief AI Strategist at Dataiku, he had this to say about the future potential of ChatGPT:

“This [ChatGPT] is not hype . . our brains are stuck in a process. Most of us are overqualified for the work we will do tomorrow, and our best parts are moments where we are stretched to learn new things and be creative. LLMs will help facilitate us to do new things, be more creative and be less stuck in a process.”

We are excited about the promise artificial intelligence models like ChatGPT hold for our professions. If you would like to know more about how technology can help you make better talent decisions, reach out to us at info@tts-talent.com