How this software developer is integrating AI into work and life – GeekWire

The logo for Patrick Husting’s Ghostwriter Microsoft Office add-ins, generated in Midjourney.

The headlines about problems with Microsoft’s Bing chatbot didn’t dampen Patrick Husting’s enthusiasm for artificial intelligence generation.

The software developer and entrepreneur believes that this latest wave of AI will change work and everyday life – describing it as a fundamental change on the scale of the computer, the internet and the smartphone.

“If I’m a salesman, if I’m a professor, if I’m a lawyer, it’s not going to replace my job… it’s going to enhance me,” Husting says. “It will make me smarter. It will allow me to get my facts in faster. And it will allow me to go through my job much more efficiently, much more accurately.”

Patrick Husting.

Husting is the developer of a new third-party plugin called Ghostwriter that allows users to ask questions of ChatGPT and other OpenAI language models in a sidebar, so that the AI ​​chatbot generates answers and content directly in the document they are drafting . It is available for Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel, with other Office products coming soon.

The newest addition to the line, the add-in for Excel not only suggests formulas but also finds and pulls in sample data from the web in response to user queries.

Husting is a Seattle-area business leader, serial entrepreneur, and software developer who worked in Microsoft’s consulting business in the late 1990s. He came up with the idea for Ghostwriter last fall when he was using ChatGPT to write help, and got tired of cutting and pasting, and switching between windows.

He understands the advantages that large technology companies bring to this field, including the financial and technological resources to create and train the large language models needed to make AI work at this level.

However, they are also cautious on another level.

“I want people to take advantage of this, and I’m a little worried that these big tech companies are going to be the ones to control it,” he says.

Husting sees an opportunity for independent developers to unlock the potential of artificial intelligence for users across multiple platforms. It already offers the ability to use different OpenAI language models, and envisions eventually giving users the option to use AI from multiple providers within its plugins.

“This is the next big technological change,” he says, “and I’m excited to be on that wave.”

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