Episode 53 Curiosity + Chat GPT

May 3, 2023

Good morning from New York City. I’m still noodling some things that I learned at Pitch Please, the event I attended last week.   In case you’ve not heard about it before, it’s an event where editors from print, digital television come together to help creators, authors, and writers understand how to pitch their work to the press.

One of the things that stood out for me was that, when asked how they find stories or decide what they’re going to focus on besides the ideas that come to them through people that are pitching article ideas, most everybody on the panel  who spoke all said that they look at TikTok. My first thought was what a sad world we live in.

Then I got to thinking about this over the weekend.  I thought I don’t want to be one of those people that as they age, shut down. I have always been a futurist at heart. I’ve always been absolutely riveted by people on a mission, entrepreneurs who have a clear vision.  In fact, I’m an advisor with a company called X Gen ai. – the company works with AI on the back end of the retail shopping cart – so not only to stay connected to young, smart people, and people that are inventing the future and leveraging technologies. I have always had a fascination with people who have a vision, and I’ve always been interested in future technologies.

So, I was wondering over the weekend why I had such a, shall I say old person’s reaction to hearing that the journalists are on TikTok looking for ideas and trends.  This morning I stumbled upon a quote that I have. “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Alvin Toffler. He was a futurist and in his day spoke to the digital revolution and the communications revolution and its impact on culture.

Anyway, back to my story. So I stopped myself and this weekend I opened a chat G P T account. I not only opened the account, I listened to multiple YouTube videos trying to understand how to interact with it and how it’s different from Google. I had only used it previously for summaries of my podcast when I was unable to type with my broken write and needed text for my social media posts for search engine optimization.

So I was on a call with the guys from X Gen ai, the company I’m on the advisory board for, and we were talking about business and competitors, and I noticed when we were talking about chat. G P T they used the word generative. I looked at the definition of what generative AI is and I went down a rabbit hole. I’m going to read a couple of things to you very briefly here.

New generative AI technology learns how to take actions. That’s the key. Take actions from past data, it creates brand new content. A text, an image, and even a computer code based on the training from past data instead of simply categorizing or identifying data like other ai. So that’s a key piece of it. The advantages of generative AI are faster results, cost saving, improved decision making, increased creativity, and improved customer service.

So there it is. One of the big things about generative AI is that that’s where all the images and audio come from, and that’s where all the fear mongering comes in too. Now I don’t want to comment on how we should legislate this or how dangerous it is, or the potential negative impacts and ethical implications. I know there are lots of them – privacy, security, plagiarism, copyright, misinformation, harmful content – I know this. At the same time, I don’t believe it’s going away and I don’t want to be one of those people that just shuts down because I feel overwhelmed or because I think it’s something I can’t understand.

It felt good to stop and take the time to sign up and listen to some YouTube videos and try to understand the effect it’s going to have and the way we communicate. How we formulate questions and generate content in order to use it in positive ways as well.  I don’t want to be Pollyanna, but I also don’t want to bury my head in the sand because I feel like I’m incapable of understanding it. I mean GPT 3 isn’t even the latest version of chat. GPT 3 is the largest and most powerful AI model – or it was. It has 175 billion parameters more than 10 times its predecessor. So yeah, this is not going away.

One of the ways I calm myself or look for clarity is I go look at the research by Cathy Woods of ARK Invest. That’s A-R-K Invest. She talks about the convergence of future technologies and what artificial intelligence has to do with everything from battery technology to precision therapy, molecular diagnostics, robotics, and aerospace. That kind of stuff. When big data converges, there’s this exponential growth and incredibly positive outcomes.

This is the stuff that’s happening. This is the future. So, I’m not saying that everyone should jump into GPT, but I guess for me it’s about keeping an open mind and being curious and being willing to learn. To me, that’s what it means to be vibrant and alive. I know it can feel so easy to just want a retreat and put your head in the sand. I have that feeling a lot too, and that’s why I’m sharing how I handled it. This weekend, I simply went to YouTube and I asked Alexa to explain to me the difference between generative and predictive ai and to talk about the word convergence.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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