At the 2023 World Economic Forum, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the WSJ that the company will incorporate AI (such as ChatGPT) into all of its products. This raises a question: Do you wait to learn to use the version of ChatGPT that’s built into Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), or will you start learning how to use native ChatGPT right now? (You might expand the question to include all of the AI-powered creativity and productivity tools that have recently hit the market, like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, DALLL-E 2, etc.)

If you wait, you will be on a level playing field with everyone who uses Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. If you get in now, you’ll have to dig deep and spend time learn about prompt crafting.

Here are a few dates that might help you think about how specific technological achievements have changed how we spend our days.

Technology Milestones

  • 10,000 B.C. – Humans begin farming.
  • 5,000 B.C. – The approximate date of the invention of written language.
  • 1436 – Gutenberg press invented. (China had printing presses as early as the 9th century.)
  • 1712 – Thomas Newcomen’s atmospheric engine becomes the first commercially successful engine.
  • 1880 – Thomas Edison begins manufacturing and marketing electric light bulbs.

Computer Milestones

  • 1937 – Atanasoff-Berry Computer (the first electronic digital computing device) ushers in the digital age.
  • 1954 – Belmont Farley and Wesley Clark of MIT run the first artificial neural network.
  • 1956 – Arthur Samuel invents computer checkers.
  • 1997 – IBM’s DeepBlue beats chess master Garry Kasparov.
  • 2010 – IBM’s Watson beats humans on the TV game show “Jeopardy!”
  • 2016 – DeepMind’s AlphaGo beats world champion Lee Sedol at Go.
  • 2022 – ChatGPT and other commercially available AI tools increase productivity for skilled knowledge workers by 30% to 50%.

You may have other examples of technologies that changed the world, but if you plot this list of dates on a graph, you will notice the relative speed of the change has greatly accelerated in the past 50 years. It is showing no signs of slowing down.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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