💬 Issue #6: Don't trust the process.
When we've all been acting like robots already, replacing us is a piece of AI cake.
This is Friday. Behold, there are many like it but this one is yours.
As I was scrolling around the ‘net this week to find you some meaty stories about the weird future of work I stumbled upon what at first seemed to be a relatively innocuous blog post. You know the usual stuff: be yourself online, don’t fret about the results, and so on. You’ve read it.
Instead, I had really found a piece that resonated with me about the uncanny valley we find ourselves in with the recent “AI boom.” So much so I dedicated this week’s entire issue to the concept.
What specifically struck me about Jay’s post was this:
Q: Why do we worry these tools are greater masters of our craft than we are?
A: We're obsessed with only one part of the craft, and it's the exact same part AI is getting alarmingly good at owning.
Right in the chest. Let’s dig in.
The main thrust of Acunzo’s piece is our constant obsession of adopting other people’s process to the point of total homogeneity has left most workers vulnerable to being replaced by AI. And easily.
This widespread adoption of the exact same process without critical consideration is the meaning behind the term “industry standard” – which just means “the thing everyone uses because nobody wants to take a risk on anything new.” It’s by definition average.
These “industry standards” exist in nearly every corner of commercial enterprise - creative included. Take a visit to the Youtube homepage and you’ll see an endless stream of highly optimized Youtube videos that are virtually indistinguishable from one another.
The constant dread of the looming AI age is based on the belief that infinitely cheaper AI tools will soon be writing our blog posts and marketing copy, responding to our customer service requests, coding our software, and handling almost everything you can learn in a few weeks or months of training. This has been a supposed threat for a long time to repetitive computer work, but ChatGPT and Dall-E 2 have now brought that threat to the doorstep of “creative” departments at all levels.
AI is a “threat” because we’ve started acting like computers long ago in search of greater efficiency with lower effort. When most of our “creations” are formulaic it’s easy for some code to replace the last part of the chain: us.
Even the previously rare job of “CEOs writing heartfelt layoff emails” is all but automated now:
🤖 ⚡️ insert aggrieved employee name here, human ⚡️
Tell me that doesn’t read like every squishy but ultimately hollow layoff letter you’ve read in the last 90 days.
In the modern digital world of infinite sameness it’s not “AI” that’s coming for our jobs; the problem started when we conned ourselves into thinking this endless volley of word soup is actually creative work. The next phase, the AI part, is just futuristic-looking madlibs that do the same thing — and nearly for free.
What’s the solution then?
In short: See the world in your own irreplaceable way, develop processes that serve your unique way of working instead of “industry standard” tutorial hell, and practice your heart out until there’s no way an AI can possibly do what you do better. Branch out, take a risk, carve out your own piece of the creative economy.
If that doesn’t apply to your line of work, better polish up that resume. Or get ChatGPT to do it.
Would you like some PLG with that?
ON THE INTERNETS
Founder of AppSheet, acquired by Google, quits Googs in a huff saying they “get very little done quarter over quarter, year over year.”
The “UFO” shot down over Alaska by the Air Force with a heat-seeking missile likely a $12 balloon from a hobby club in Illinois.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
It finally happened: someone asked me where the library was in Spanish. I’ve been training for this since high school.
— Abigail Higgins (@abbyhiggins)
Feb 8, 2023
Me gusta mucho.
See ya next week!
— 💬 The EiT Crew at Status Hero
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