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35 Ways Real People Are Using A.I. Right Now

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

I enjoyed my micro-moment of #NYT fame on Saturday.

My experimental, GenAI-fueled Valentine's book made the #4 entry in the New York Times article "35 Ways Real People Are Using A.I. Right Now."

The book began with the ChatGPT prompt: “create a recipe for a tasty cocktail inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine accompanied by backstory in the style of the J Peterman catalog." Yes, I know this is an extraordinarily geeky Valentine's present. It only makes it slightly more romantic if you know that Mary is an acupuncturist who recently got her doctorate in Chinese Medicine. And she enjoys the occasional cocktail.

I used ChatGPT4, DALL-E, and Adobe's Firefly to generate ideas, conduct research, and create all the text and images in what became a 50-page book. Sliding into the GenAI rabbit hole.

My experiences with Generative AI leave me feeling a mix of awe and apprehension.

At the high level, here’s how I see it:

Pros / Opportunities:

🙂 EFFICIENCY: Automating laborious tasks will free up time for more creative pursuits.

🙂 CREATIVITY: AI will be a creative partner that offers new ideas/perspectives that inspire us.

🙂 Personalized EXPERIENCES: AI will create and tailor content to individual preferences and curiosities, improving user experiences across all platforms.

🙂 ACCESSIBILITY: GenAI will help create more inclusive and accessible environments, such as real-time translations and experiences.

🙂 INNOVATION: AI will rapidly analyze data and generate insights, driving scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements.

Cons / Risks:

🙁 JOB DISPLACEMENT: The automation of tasks will lead to job losses -- across large swaths of the economy. This may have a negative impact on socioeconomic inequalities.

🙁 BIAS & DISCRIMINATION: AI models will inadvertently perpetuate existing biases, leading to unfair or discriminatory outcomes.

🙁 Loss of PRIVACY: The widespread use of AI will result in increased surveillance and erosion of privacy, raising ethical concerns.

🙁 MISINFORMATION & manipulation: The ease with which AI can generate realistic content (images, video, voice, news) will contribute to the spread of misinformation, and broad deterioration of trust.

🙁 ETHICAL dilemmas: The rapid, unregulated development of AI poses complex ethical -- and existential -- questions, such as the extent of AI's autonomy, accountability, and explainability.

So much to discuss.....

Many thanks to Mary Arnold DAOM, LAc for inspiration on so many fronts.

Thanks to those of you pushing the conversation forward in practical and frequently uncomfortable ways Lex Fridman, Conor Grennan, Paul Roetzer, Nicholas Thompson, and Max Tegmark. And thanks to Allison Shapira for the nudge to share the project.

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