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February 9, 2023
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How to Be an AI-Oracle

02 February, 2021

What is going to happen with AI? Will it take over the world? Can it do EVERYTHING better than humans eventually?

Predicting what will happen with AI is a touchy subject…

For many, the thought of intelligent machines helping to make our lives easier died when Alexa came out. It taught us that, no, this is just another dumb idea that had potential, but is not an annoying failure.

But that viewpoint is changing, RAPIDLY. Thanks to Chat-GPT, Jasper, Midjourney, Lensa, and a host of other AI-derived solutions, with many more being launched daily, everyone has perked up to the idea of AI taking over.

The mood went from, “Great, another dumb NFT/Crypto thing to worry about” to “holy crap, I think this might replace a bunch of peoples’ jobs (maybe even mine).”

Now we’re seeing stats like “AI will make 375 million jobs obsolete over the next decade” (source).

So, what’s going to happen now, and who might have an idea of what will happen next?

What Gives You the Right to Predict the Future of AI?

I have a vision (many actually) that I’ll share in this article series.

First, I’d like to explain why I consider myself an AI-Oracle, and why you might be one too.

I believe I’m uniquely qualified based on my age, career, personality, interests, and creative intelligence.

My Age: Old Enough

I’m 39 right now, born in 1983. I’m at the edge of the Millennial generation, putting me between Gen Z and Gen X/Baby Boomers.

My dad was a computer engineer (happily retired now) and provided me with insights and exposure to technology since I was a child, including access to a computer at 5 years old, giving me 34 years of computer use today.

My Career: In the Trenches

I am currently the President of DigitalMarketer, the premiere provider of marketing education online. Prior to that I had a website and brand development agency. Prior to that I was an executive for one of Joe Rogan’s companies called Onnit (they bought my media company in 2014).

Prior to that I had a magazine and online community where I personally curated and designed over 10,000 pieces of content. Prior to that I was an executive at a tech startup focused on communication between teachers and students.

Throughout it all I was creating content in a variety of media spanning over 20 industries.

My Personality: Reformed Introvert

My personality and life experience have made me more of an observer and curator than an innovator to date. I suffered from depression between the ages of 15 and 39 (something I only realized over the last 6 months). 

Combine that with a leaning towards extreme introversion, guilt, and discipline, and you get someone who was only interacting with people on a superficial level. 

Because of this, my viewpoint hasn’t been skewed by a large group of influential people, other than the few people I “let in” like my wife Jamie, but not many others. I had no friends or mentors that I confided my true thoughts and feelings.

No confidants for my crazy ideas (even online). I kept everything inside, satisfied with fictional conversations with made-up contrarians. This focus on introspection without outside input allowed me to cultivate ideas without interruption. 

Please note that I feel much better now 😉

My Interest: Hard Science Fiction

I’ve been a consumer of science fiction since I was a young child. My brother and I used to listen to The Green Hills of Earth and The Illustrated Man as children. I’ve read over 500 scifi books, many of which were in a sub-genre of science fiction called “Hard Science Fiction” within long form space operas. 

Authors like Stephen Baxster, Peter F. Hamilton, Author C. Clarke, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Andy Weir, Iain Banks, and Alastair Reynolds have impacted my pysche on an almost viseral level… for example, Time Ships by Stephen Baxster literally destroyed my concept of time and how I perceive it. 

All that said, I’ve internalized my perception and expectation of technological development, including the use and impact of AI, a common theme in many of the books I read. 

Some authors see AI as a tool, where others view it as a civilization-destroying disease. Some assign as much humanity to AI as possible, creating almost hyper-human machines that think and feel on a level we can hardly comprehend (a view taken by Iain Banks’ Culture universe). Others keep AI dumb and useful, like the spaceship in Andy Weir’s book Project Hail Mary.

The point is that the development, use, and expansion of AI can take many, many different paths. I’ve consumed quite a few predictions and they have shaped my own.

My Intelligence: Creative-Leaning

Finally we come to my mention of “creative intelligence.” I preface the word “intelligence” because I don’t think I’m that bright.

I don’t think I’m “dumb” per se, but my intellect and talents don’t naturally extend to math or engineering (unlike my father). No, I’m more like my grandfather… an artist and dreamer with a capacity for vision. 

This means that I can understand technology  (thanks Dad) without an easy capacity or desire to create it myself. I’m a user and observer, putting me in a good place for prediction, idea dissemination, and my chosen profession of marketing.

That’s why I put many of my ideas in this series. I hope someone will take them and run like the wind. If you need help with them, I’m happy to oblige, and I wish you luck.