Data-Driven Leadership and Careers

2022: The year that changed the way we work

Cassie Kozyrkov
8 min readDec 24, 2022


Remember 2020? So many of us thought that was going to be the big one for the way we work. I thought it would be the year that changes productivity forever. And in many ways it was; it forced us to spring clean our dusty attic of beliefs about what makes people productive. Decades of in-office 9-to-6 culture blown out of the window! It was a year that showed us just how resilient the human spirit is and how robust our ability is to get things done. The big discovery that year was how little productivity could change if we put our minds to it.

And that’s how 2022 snuck up on us. You might not have seen the flash of lightning if you weren’t looking out of your window… 2023 is when you’ll hear the boom. That’s when the thunderclap will be too loud to ignore.

Image created by the author with Midjourney.

The year 2022 was remarkable for the sheer amount of showing off we’ve all witnessed on the frontiers of productivity.

I usually write about data science and AI from the point of view of leaders and professionals who use data as raw materials for solutions. But from the perspective of everyone else, many of those solutions simply looked like a slightly smoother or more efficient application. The mathy old guard would casually poke fun at all the funding-grubbing neophytes who felt the need to tell everyone their solutions were “AI-fueled” when it really shouldn’t matter. Does it work x% better than the traditional solution? Great. That’s pretty much all anyone needed to know about it.

They’re not AI tools, they’re proofs of concept in a productivity revolution.

But as 2022 comes to a close, there’s something every data non-professional does need to know. There are a lot of “AI tools” popping up like mushrooms in your social media feed. If you’re ignoring them because you’re not “an AI person” or not excited by tech, you’re missing the bigger picture. They’re much more than AI tools. They’re proofs of concept in a productivity revolution.

So, if you’ve been ignoring all this AI stuff, let’s catch you up.

Phase 1 — Research AI



Cassie Kozyrkov

Chief Decision Scientist, Google. ❤️ Stats, ML/AI, data, puns, art, theatre, decision science. All views are my own.