OK, I’m becoming a little more excited about AI…

Dylan Bland
3 min read4 days ago

Back in November last year I wrote that I couldn’t be less excited about AI. I stand behind most of what I said, but as expected, my thinking has evolved a little…

I now find myself using Chat GPT4 basically every day. Examples of how I use it:

  • Brain storming new ideas (what are five things I haven’t considered?)
  • Meeting and interview preparation (what are five open questions I could ask to help achieve my objective in this meeting?)
  • Help with mathematical equations and Google Sheet formulas
  • Explaining words or concepts that I don’t understand
  • DALLE sketches to help express my ideas and set direction

I think of Chat GPT as a trusted friend, colleague, teacher…someone I can ask a question and get something reasonable back — quickly. While the answers in some cases are probably only 90% there and it’s still possible to pick holes — you get something reasonable back, and if you layer your own thinking and judgement over top, it definitely allows you to quickly get up to speed on new material and progress your own thinking in broad strokes. An unexpected upside is there are no dumb questions, and I do find myself being more inquisitive and learning more because there’s no judgement and my ego doesn’t get in the way. There really are no excuses not to learn anything and everything.

One of the things I wrote about back in November was a fear that the next generation of kids will be taught by bots — and they’ll no longer have a personal relationship with a teacher and all the wonderful advantages and life-lessons that come with that. My thinking has evolved a little here as well.

Today’s announcement of speech and video-based AI is incredible technology, and it’s clear to see how, used correctly, this will help kids learn to a much higher level. In the future it’s easy to imagine $9/month for a personalised AI tutor, vs. the current model of paying a person $60/hour, $70/hour, $80/hour for a similar service.

Watch this video to see the technology in action:

For me though, it’s the Dad in the frame that’s still providing so much of the value. And it’s the same for any real-life tutor you’re paying an hourly rate to site alongside your child to support and encourage learning and asking the right questions. Sitting alone with an AI in a bedroom or the classroom is still not the answer for me. We need to be thinking about these tools the same way we’d be thinking about a calculator, MS Excel or a dictionary. Incredible tools that accelerate learning and understanding, but ultimately there to support real people with something to learn, or a job to do. A one-for-one replacement is not the outcome we should be chasing — although our profit-driven capitalist society will forever tempt us down this road, if our goal is to survive, let alone thrive.

Like so many people, I’m still left with the lingering question of what’s it all for. Our endless drive for more and more productivity and endless efficiency does strip the world of joy and simple pleasures. Do we want to rob our kids of the pleasure of writing prose? Of solving complex equations? Of learning to code? Of learning a new language? Of learning to draw? Ask anyone who’s taken the time to be expert at any of these things and they’ll talk about how mastering these skills and using them on a daily basis is one of their true pleasures and sources of happiness — more so than watching hours of Netflix or whatever so many people do these days to fill their downtime.

The AI revolution is upon us and it’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves which parts to embrace and which to reject. I think going all-in will lead to some terrible outcomes, but equally, ignoring it completely leaves too much untapped opportunity on the table which would be a terrible waste of our human potential. I find myself living somewhere in the middle…I’m using Chat GPT every day, but I’m still the guy who brings a paper notebook to a meeting (packed with questions that AI probably helped me write!) and I give anyone in the room my undivided attention — and I love it. I still prefer to read paperbacks than a Kindle and I’m miles away from wanting Chat GPT to write me and read me a bedtime story. But it’s fascinating to see where it’s all going…

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Dylan Bland

Love web, gaming, cars, business, politics and philosophy. Formerly @MightyApe and no clue what's next. Live in Auckland, New Zealand.