AI or else
Start playing with AI before it outpaces you (because it will).
Lately, my Instagram feed has become inundated with the most gorgeous AI-generated architecture and interior design I’ve ever seen. I get lost swiping through carousels of mid-century modern spaces draped in luscious greenscaping with floor-to-ceiling windows set in elegant natural woods. The art is so realistic that I keep forgetting someone gave a description just like that to a computer to create it.
I am fortunate to surround myself with some pretty smart friends. However, when I ask them if they’ve toyed around with AI, almost all of them say no. Half of them don’t have a clue and just think I’m being a nerd, which I am. But I genuinely feel that the sooner we understand the role AI will play in our lives, the better off we will be.
You don’t need to wait around for the analysts and experts to tell you how your industry will use new tech, therefore requiring you to adapt or get left behind. Oftentimes, that’s too late. If you’re simply open to trying new things, free tools like Chat GPT or Microsoft’s Image Creator allow you to experiment with AI today and discover its potential for yourself. Then you can determine how it can impact your life, your work, and your industry.
You don’t need to look too far back to find a worthy comparison in crypto and blockchain technology. Remember when just a few years ago, the average person had no idea what a digital wallet was or how to buy cryptocurrency like bitcoin? Many still don’t, but today, these once-emerging technologies are mainstream, and those who adopted early have realized significant gains not just in their portfolios but in their understanding of larger industry-wide paradigm shifts coming our way. The same could be true for AI. If you take the time to get comfortable with it now, you might be ahead of the curve in benefitting from it.
So, what exactly is AI?
At its core, AI refers to computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. This includes tasks like language translation, image recognition, and decision-making. AI is already being used in a wide range of industries, from healthcare and finance to retail and transportation. And as this technology continues to evolve, its potential uses are virtually limitless.
One of the most exciting things about AI is how it changes the way we interact with technology. Instead of relying on clunky interfaces and commands, we can now use natural language to communicate with machines. This is in large part due to advancements in natural language processing (NLP), which allow computers to understand and respond to human language in a more nuanced way than simply Googling a bunch of keywords.
Learning about AI doesn't have to be intimidating. There are several practical and easy-to-use tools that can help you get started. For starters, there’s Chat GPT, which is a free language model developed by OpenAI that can generate human-like responses to prompts. It's an excellent tool to start experimenting with natural language processing and machine learning. You can use Chat GPT to generate text, complete sentences, and even have a conversation with an AI. With Chat GPT, you can get a feel for how AI works and what it's capable of doing.
Another free tool that can be incredibly useful for those just getting started with AI is Microsoft's Bing Image Creator. This platform, and those like it, allow you to create highly detailed images based on whatever description you can conjure up. It's a great way to experiment with image processing and learn how AI can be used in creative applications from generating social media graphics to creating custom designs for your website. Over the past few days, I’ve been having fun creating all kinds of images. In fact, below is the thumbnail image I created for this post using AI:
But one of the biggest reasons you should be paying attention to AI right now is because it’s changing the way we use the internet. Currently, we rely on search engines to find information online. But with AI-powered assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, we will have more natural and conversational interactions with the internet. This means that the way we interact with websites and apps is likely to change in the coming years.
Once you experiment with a few AI-enabled tools, you should be able to realize how huge this will be. From automating routine tasks to improving decision-making and problem-solving, AI has the potential to transform virtually every aspect of our lives. And as more and more industries adopt AI, those familiar with this technology will be in high demand. Our workforce will be transformed and shaped by its evolution. We should all be open to evolving, too.
Ben Myhre - As I mentioned in the newsletter, I go crazy for AI generated architecture and design. There’s no better example of this type of stuff than Ben’s Instagram page, where he blends Midjourney, Topaz (both advanced image generators) and Photoshop to produce jaw-dropping scenes that are drenched in mystery and imaginary delight. Take five minutes to teleport yourself away from here. Maybe it will inspire you to create your own scene using AI.
Deke’s Coffee - I recently stayed in Delray Beach, Florida for a childhood friend’s wedding. Any time I go away, I make it my business to find the absolute best coffee near my hotel. This is how I found Deke’s off Atlantic Avenue. Readers of this newsletter know I am coffee obsessed. The same goes for coffee shops, too. Deke’s mixes old school Florida beach vibes with skate, surf and coffee culture. I loved standing at their espresso bar where I chatted with locals just starting their day. Espresso-based hot drinks and a house made cold brew make the menu simple and to the point. You’d be silly to ask for anything but some cream. So, if you ever make your way there, stop in for a drink or you can buy some of their amazing coffee online, which they roast in the back of the cafe.
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