AI experts say that Microsoft, Google AIs only make middle management easier.

Google Gemini has been integrated into the search giant's productivity software.
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  • Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini are advertised as AI-powered productivity tools.
  • But Ethan Mulk, a leading AI expert, has a more cynical view of the product.
  • Copilot automates middle management while Gemini simplifies monitoring, he told the WSJ.

Microsoft and Google launched their own AI-powered productivity tools last year, citing them. As products that can revolutionize the way people work.

But a leading AI expert thinks otherwise.

Ethan Mullick, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, has been tapped by the White House, JP Morgan, Google and many others for his insights into artificial intelligence.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mullack said that Microsoft's Copilot and Google's Gemini are simply tools that will make the lives of employers and managers easier — and not in a good way.

He called Microsoft's AI chatbot Copilot integrated into the company's productivity software like Teams, Outlook and Office “dangerous” because it “automates middle management in the worst possible way.”

The journal doesn't elaborate on Mulk's point, but Microsoft advertises Copilot as a way for managers to communicate with employees by summarizing work updates and key points from meetings.

Google Gemini, which can analyze videos, could give employers the ability to monitor white-collar workers in the same way Amazon tracks its employees, he told the Journal.

Microsoft and Google did not respond to requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

In fact, Microsoft and Google have said that their respective AI models will transform the workspace.

In a blog post, Microsoft wrote that Copilot “makes everyone a manager,” helping workers write emails or analyze data sets with the right tone.

In a February blog, a Google Cloud partner also wrote that Gemini is a “groundbreaking tool” for Google Workspace that can help with email drafting, project planning, and data management.

The two companies' investment in AI and integration of the model into their existing productivity tools has so far paid off. In their most recent quarterly earnings filings, Google's parent company Microsoft and Alphabet reported profits of $21.9 billion and $23.7 billion, respectively.

Both companies' leaders say AI is giving them a boost in efficiency.

“Microsoft Copilot and the Copilot stack are orchestrating a new era of AI transformation, driving better business outcomes across every role and industry,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a press release.

Mulk may be cynical about AI as a productivity tool, but the professor has a positive view of AI overall and sees himself as a “rational optimist,” according to the Journal.

“There isn't a single large-scale general-purpose technology that doesn't have ups and downs, and part of my message is that we still have the agency to call some things bad,” he told the Journal. told the Journal. “And we need to do that.”

Mullick did not respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours.

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