Monday, September 18, 2023

40-ish dad on Generation AI

I've gotten more than a few questions about AI this year, and not to minimize its risks (which are substantial), I'll shift for a sec and focus on its pervasive impact - from a 40 something year old dad that's dealt with data and tech for a couple decades.  

If you're my age, think back to high school when the internet was just chatter. You knew of it, maybe used it, but not everyone had it. Those AOL/Netzero discs and dial-up screeches come to mind, right? It was around - but not a constant in daily life.

Over the years, you began to rely on the internet more and more. Then, suddenly, one day it was in your pocket.

Think about how your life completely shifted as this happened – your efficiency, interactions, influence, exposure to new things, ability to get to your Aunt Rosy's house from any location on the globe – virtually everything changed, for better or worse.

The key takeaway is having lived through a time without widespread internet, you can remember just how drastically things changed over a relatively short period of time.

Now a lot of us in our forties have kids who are reaching the age we were in high school. Our kids just can't understand a life without the internet; they've always had it.

These same kids are in a similar situation now with AI. They get its importance, but it's as new to them as the internet was to you in high school. It's just starting to weave its way into their routines - mainly for research papers, right? 😉.  

Those AI generated papers are the screeching modem sounds they'll remember.

Our kids (and us) will increasingly interact with different forms of AI, day by day, month by month. It will become a daily occurrence and, eventually, minute-to-minute in ways we can and can't predict now. 

Dependance may be a better word. Just like the internet did to our generation.  

For better or worse in our kids adult lives, most interactions, decisions, and content consumption will be influenced by, or generated by AI. 

Technologies like this only mature every couple decades, and they shape the next 50-100 just like the internet did for us.  

When my kids are my age they'll probably post something similar. Maybe they'll have something generate it, I don't know. But It's pretty certain to me they'll remember a time without AI. I trust they will.  

We did a good job remembering life without the internet, right?