Learning AI is like Learning a New Language

AILearningCutting-edge research from the University of Pennsylvania warns that nearly two-thirds of jobs in the U.S. and Europe face exposure to AI automation. What's more, about a quarter of these jobs could simply be eliminated entirely by AI. Since white collar work is most at risk, if you're reading this on a computer, chances are high that your livelihood could be impacted.

The best thing you can do to survive the coming upheaval is to master some AI skills. But brace yourself – acquiring AI skills isn't easy. It's  a cognitive challenge of significant magnitude, equivalent to mastering a new language. It is simply not possible to gain AI literacy overnight, or by taking a "seven day intensive," or watching a lot of YouTube videos. It's going to require a few months of serious effort, and the truth is that nobody can do your mental pushups for you. Especially not an AI.

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Next Generation Governance Models for OpenAI

OpenAI’s recent drama is now over, and the upshot is that the board was supposed to save us from an A.I. apocalypse… essentially failed. The company charter charged its board with creating AI that "benefits all of humanity," and because the board really can do one thing – fire the CEO – it did just that. But when the employees effectively unionized and threatened to join the CEO at Microsoft, the board realized that it had a no win situation.

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Why you should care about Generative AI

digitaliceageThere's a rule of thumb in the entrepreneurial business called the order of magnitude requirement. Things need to be 10x better, faster or cheaper to succeed. What AI is doing is making some people 10x better at their job, which will inevitably cause some people who refuse to become AI literate to lose their jobs.  A recent report from Goldman Sachs estimates around 300 million jobs could be affected by generative AI! This is leading to a digital ice age, where your willingness to understand and harness the equivalent of fire will make all the difference for survival.

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The Innovation Spreorg Note

If you haven’t seen it yet, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is probably the biggest movie in the world right now. It’s #1 on Netflix and the perfect mood elevator for a world in lockdown. It’s been on fire on social networks as well, with fans of the movie posting “reaction videos” of themselves blubbering while watching the grand finale, like this was the musical answer to Christian the lion. Perhaps, in a way, this article is my own way of sharing my joy over this film – by explaining what this film and its concluding song can teach us about true innovation.

But first – SPOILER ALERT – if you haven’t seen the movie, stop here!

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A Message of Hope, Part 1: Achieving “Covidya”

 

Avidya is a Buddhist concept that describes a kind of ignorance that stems from an inability to see the nature of reality. The word “vidya” is the root of our word “video”, and comes from ancient Sanskrit meaning “to see” – hence avidya is “not seeing the reality of things”. (Putting an “a” in front of a word makes it the opposite, like atypical or atonal). I believe that it’s possible that COVID may have a beneficial side effect, to bring humanity into a state of “covidya” – the capacity to more clearly see the reality of things… together.

To understand the big picture, take with me a journey back in time, way back to the Cambrian explosion 500 million years ago… when we were single cells trying to figure out how to evolve into multi-cellular organisms. This particular process of advancing to the next stage of evolution, called coadunation, required learning how to work together. In my forthcoming book, “Coadunation: The Emergence of the Global Brain,” I propose that the very first requirement for the coming coadunation of human consciousness is learning how to see reality clearly collectively.

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