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Being Human in the Age of Generative AI
Wednesday January 18 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
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It feels like generative AI is coming for everyone’s jobs—from artists to writers to lawyers to programers. When computers can do what we do (but better) is there any circumstance where humans are still superior? Undoubtably yes—but it requires us to lean into our flaws and our feelings.
In this salon hosted by serial founder and executive coach Jason Shen, we explore how intelligent humans can find their place in a world of increasingly coherent machines.
The end of 2022 saw an explosion in generative AI: riveting movie scripts by ChatGPT, uncanny profile pics by Lensa, jaw-dropping renders from Midjourney, and massive rounds of financing from JasperAI, to name just a few.
And while some people are fighting AI—with the recent Artstation protest against AI art—the reality is that the genie is out of the bottle. There is no way this technology does not get widely adopted across sectors and functions in the coming decade—and many knowledge workers are at greater risk than so-called low or middle skill jobs of being replaced or outsourced.
So where does that leave us? How do creative and forward-looking people adapt to this massive sea change?
As Geoff Colvin wrote in his prescient 205 book Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will:
“In truth, a world that’s literally without work is highly unlikely for the fundamental reason that human desires are infinite. No matter how much that technology may do for us, we will always find something to want.”
As a first generation immigrant, Jason was told over and over, “Learn a hard skill! Make sure you are technically proficient!” by his parents. They were not wrong—having deep expertise within a complex system is no easy feat and would ensure some modicum of job security. But now, the tables have turned. It is intuition, sense-making, vulnerability, story telling, subtle facial expressions and the charming (and sometimes off-putting) quirks we all learned to hide that are becoming increasingly valuable.
And ultimately, expertise is also still necessary. Would you trust an AI diagnosis with your life without a human being there to assure you the answer is legit? Partnering with AI is another path we much come to embrace as a result of these ongoing breakthroughs (i.e. Centaur Chess, with players and AI working together).
So in this salon we’re going to get into all of it.
- What is most exciting to you about generative AI?
- What gives you the biggest heebie-jeebies?
- How can you express your humanity more in your work?
- How are you extending yourself through partnership with AI?
We will conclude with an exercise to help us bring a new method, element, or technique to express our humanity in our creative work—whether that be art, code, writing, or presentation.
- Jason’s Primer on Humanity and Generative AI
- Human Are Underrated Teaser Trailer (a 2.5 min video)
- I wrote a story for a friend (a deeply human piece of writing that could never have been done by AI)
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