Sam Altman, the co-founder of OpenAI, described ChatGPT as “incredibly limited, but good enough . . . to create a misleading impression of greatness. It’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important.”
ChatGPT is incredibly limited, but good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness.— Sam Altman (@sama) December 11, 2022
it's a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now. it’s a preview of progress; we have lots of work to do on robustness and truthfulness.
Why would the founder of one of the most successful AI tools out there put such a caveat around his work? And what does that tell us about using AI to create a board pack — arguably the most important document within an organisation, and certainly one that requires actual smarts from its writers?
Does AI have a role in creating your board pack?
Today’s AI tools are certainly proving themselves useful: over 100 million people around the world have now used ChatGPT, and the new crop of AI assistants currently emerging certainly seems to have the potential to infiltrate nearly every corner of life.
But as Bill Gates said of AI, “businesses will distinguish themselves by how well they use it.” The winners here will be those who use these new capabilities smartly and wisely. And that starts with understanding that “large language models” like ChatGPT only give a beguiling illusion of intelligence and are a lot dimmer than most people think. Yes, they may be skilled in piecing words together, but they have no conscious reasoning, moral compass, or even a way to distinguish between truths and lies — all they do is aggregate words in a way statistically likely to be correct.
To rely on AI to automate and author your board pack would therefore be absurd. Not just because asking ChatGPT to write your papers would breach most organisations’ information security policy, but because the AI wouldn’t know the context, understand the issues at stake, or be able to verify the accuracy of the content it spouts. This isn’t an hypothetical scenario either: two New York lawyers were fined earlier this year for relying on fake case citations made up by ChatGPT for a personal injury case. Getting this wrong has real life consequences.
How can you safely and smartly use AI in board reporting?
So if AI cannot be trusted to create something, the smart move is to use to augment and improve what’s already there. Whilst it can’t be our author, it can be our critical friend and editor.
Make AI your board report’s editor, not its author
You can’t just paste sensitive corporate information into public tools like ChatGPT (which typically have 30-day data retention policies and can serve up your data to other users) and ask them for advice. But Lucia, our board and management reporting platform, doesn’t share or reuse your data (it’s the only AI-powered tool purpose-built for board and management reporting that doesn’t do so) and can use AI to help authors consistently write high-impact, strategic, intelligent reports. It’s built on the Question Driven Insight (QDI) Principle, a methodology which builds three essential qualities into papers:
- Focus on what matters — asking and answering the pertinent questions that matter.
- Be rooted in critical thinking — reassuring the reader that robust, intelligent analysis has taken place.
- Communicate clearly and concisely — sharing the key points in a way that’s easy for the reader to digest.
Get feedback from AI reporting tools as you type
Lucia helps authors bake the QDI Principle into their board and management reports, and it does this at scale, systemising the approach and quality of papers organisation-wide. Its live analysis panel reviews text as you type, giving authors a real-time update on how their report stacks up and how it could be improved.
For instance, it can be hard for authors to strike the right balance of sharing enough information without drowning the board in details. Lucia’s AI tools can flag potential issues such as:
- If a paragraph is information-heavy but insight-light.
- Is it too backward-looking or overly biased towards the good news?
- Are there any sentences that are too wordy? Lucia will recommend how you can cut words or make them clearer.
- Lucia identifies a paper’s strengths and weaknesses, helping the author craft a better board or management report that is easy to understand.
Get live feedback and real-time prompts.
Auto-summarise or translate your board reports
Of course, all great papers start with a powerful executive summary that answers the key questions upfront, and AI can help you here, too. Lucia enables authors to auto-create an executive summary that they can then edit to ensure it accurately reflects the paper and all its complexities. And its auto-translate function means even the most multinational of boards can have their directors receive reports in their mother tongue.
Build your executive summary with just a few clicks.
Whilst Lucia and its AI tools can’t create the perfect board paper from scratch, it can critique and guide authors to prepare high-quality reports, and bring a systemised, organisation-wide approach to board reporting that’s hard to do through training and templates alone. And that, in turn, sets up the board to succeed, enabling directors to see what matters faster, add more value, and discharge their duties to best effect.
If you’re curious to see how Lucia’s AI tools can help you deliver better board or management papers, find out more here.