“We examined the productivity effects of a generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology, the assistive chatbot ChatGPT, in the context of midlevel professional writing tasks. In a preregistered online experiment, we assigned occupation-specific, incentivized writing tasks to 453 college-educated professionals and randomly exposed half of them to ChatGPT. Our results show that ChatGPT substantially raised productivity: The average time taken decreased by 40% and output quality rose by 18%. Inequality between workers decreased, and concern and excitement about AI temporarily rose. Workers exposed to ChatGPT during the experiment were 2 times as likely to report using it in their real job 2 weeks after the experiment and 1.6 times as likely 2 months after the experiment.”

Researchers tracked 453 professionals, half using GPT-3.5 to do their work tasks, such as writing press releases, reports, analysis plans, and sensitive emails. Participants were incentivized with bonuses for above-average work. Other professionals evaluated the results for their suitability in the workplace.

The study, published in Science, showed the tasks assigned were completed faster and subjectively better using generative AI.


Experimental evidence on the productivity effects of generative artificial intelligence |
SCIENCE | July 13, 2023 | Shakked Noy, MIT and Whitney Zhang, MIT