My Apple Watch buzzed and I looked down to realize I was getting a phone call. I immediately declined the call and went back to my conversation. The person I was talking to was surprised. “Aren’t you going to take the call?”, he said.
“No. We are talking and they will leave a message if its important.”, I replied. The other seemed stunned. Then I added, “My phone works for me, not the other way around.”.
Technology has made our lives easier and harder at the same time. I’m old enough to remember life before email. If I wanted to launch a new process or communicate something to a large group of people, I would have to write something that was circulated around to everyone, or more commonly, I would have to walk around talking to various stakeholders to get their input.
When emails became prominent, I found that elements of my job became easier. I could quickly get the thoughts of a large group of people and share information quickly. However, my life also got harder.
Now we are getting insights into the next generation of technology with artificial intelligence. We have the computing power and programming savvy to create tools that can learn and become better at a task. Recently, we’ve decided (right or wrong) to put those tools into the wild so it can learn from the vast amounts of data (right or wrong) that is out there.
The result is tools that can do more things for you. This is exciting, but we should be careful. We should think about what these tools SHOULD do for us, not just what they COULD do for us.
One simple example is online content. Many businesses have recognized the importance of putting out regular content to readers to keep front of mind in the online space and to establish themselves as thought leaders. Now, AI can write that content for you, saving a lot of time.
Not to get too meta here, but this is exactly what I am doing right now. I’m generating content to speak to you because you either were looking for something like this online or because you are a raving fan who reads everything our team puts out. This article takes time to write. I could tell ChatGPT to create a 500 word article on when AI should be used or when a human touch is preferred. Then I could focus my time on other things.
However, we’ve made the choice to write this the old fashioned way and the reason is because we don’t like the idea of a bunch of computers putting out people centric content. You are taking the time to read this article and I am taking the time to write it. It’s a connection that we share.
Sure, if I were sharing instructions on how to smoke a brisket or training you on the basics of lawn care, I could see where AI doesn’t matter. But we talk about people and teams and difficult issues. We feel like our content should be humanized.
Also, if humans stop creating content, the machines will start learning from themselves and the human voice will be diluted. I see it already in a lot of content. You can tell me the top 5 things I need to do to have a healthy relationship or you can tell me a personal story that helps me gain a powerful insight. AI is good at the former and humans are better at the latter.
We will use AI. We are looking at ways to use AI for survey analysis, research, and for professionalization of our content (design, editing, etc).
We are creating our own content because we have something to say that hasn’t been entirely said before… and that is a People Centric approach.