How Should I Be Using A.I. Right Now?

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

There’s something of a paradox that has defined my experience with artificial intelligence in this particular moment. It’s clear we’re witnessing the advent of a wildly powerful technology, one that could transform the economy and the way we think about art and creativity and the value of human work itself. At the same time, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use it in my own day-to-day job.

So I wanted to understand what I’m missing and get some tips for how I could incorporate A.I. better into my life right now. And Ethan Mollick is the perfect guide: He’s a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania who’s spent countless hours experimenting with different chatbots, noting his insights in his newsletter One Useful Thing and in a new book, “Co-Intelligence: Living and Working With A.I.”

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio app, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

This conversation covers the basics, including which chatbot to choose and techniques for how to get the most useful results. But the conversation goes far beyond that, too — to some of the strange, delightful and slightly unnerving ways that A.I. responds to us, and how you’ll get more out of any chatbot if you think of it as a relationship rather than a tool.

Mollick says it’s helpful to understand this moment as one of co-creation, in which we all should be trying to make sense of what this technology is going to mean for us. Because it’s not as if you can call up the big A.I. companies and get the answers. “When I talk to OpenAI or Anthropic, they don’t have a hidden instruction manual,” he told me. “There is no list of how you should use this as a writer or as a marketer or as an educator. They don’t even know what the capabilities of these systems are.”

You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio app, Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. View a list of book recommendations from our guests here.

(A full transcript of this episode will be available within 24 hours of publication in the audio player above.)

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Jennifer Buhl

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Kristin Lin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Mary Marge Locker and Kate Sinclair. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing from Efim Shapiro. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin and Rollin Hu. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.

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