“Move fast and chase things!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
My wife tells me that I am using the phrase ‘fast’ too much, but I’ve been doing it for 30 years so I’ll stick with it. Fast? My golf round this morning with 2 other fellows will come in at around 2:45, but when I’m out solo, my record of 2:10 for 18 holes (walking) was set last week.
But I digress.
The operating mindset for Silicon Valley has long been to ‘most fast and break things.’ That philosophy has defined much of the success of many a startup, but we’ve recently seen the wreckage with the results of the hype around crypto, Bitcoin, and Web 3.0. The same thing is now unfolding with Ai – everything is moving fast, and certainly, we are going to witness a lot of damage as they break things.
That’s why I prefer a variation of the phrase that I’ve defined, ‘move fast and chase things.‘ It implies that in an era of fast change, it’s a good idea to turn on your imagination machine and explore hard! My philosophy since generative Ai exploded onto the scene last summer was that I was going to take on a role in interpreting what it all means for my clients. Part of the art of doing that is by ‘chasing things‘ — moving fast to work with all the emerging tools and trends to gain a better understanding of what it all really means.
The result is that while I continue to do my regular research (news articles, scientific summaries, research reports), it also means working with various AI tools to see where I might integrate them into my own workflow. With that in mind, many of my day-to-day hours are spent working with, playing with, trying out, and assessing a variety of new AI tools.
I can say at this point that I am particularly excited about text-to-voice AI-based generators, which lets me, for example, take a previously produced video that I assembled last summer, and roll it into something like this with a voice track:
On a more serious note, I am finding text-to-voice to be a very powerful ally. The voice in this video is entirely synthesized, merely taking my typewritten words and turning them into audio.
Then there is the world of AI avatars – the era of personalized, AI-generated video personalities is upon us. To understand that track, I had an AI interview me a couple of weeks ago. It is still a bit sketchy, but give it a few months, and we are in an entirely new and different world.
Beyond these examples which have been shared on my site, there have been hundreds of other little mini-projects as I work with some of the tools that are emerging: contract and insurance document summaries, PDF interpretation tools (feed an AI a PDF and you get back a very good summary of its contents), and AI-based paraphrasing tools such as Quillbot.
The fact is, there is a lot of fascinating stuff emerging out there with a lot of promise and potential: for example, one of the most interesting is Elicit.org, an AI-based scientific research search engine. Tools like this do promise to revolutionize the concept of knowledge and search, and since they can be developed for small subsets of information, we are about to enter a new world of personalized search engines by industry, topic, and individual.
The simple fact of the matter though, is that there is almost TOO MUCH of this stuff.
Right now, generative AI has become a laboratory for the imagination of initiative, the concept creator for the curious, and an engine of experimentation. Every once in a while, I dare to creep into AiTopTools.Com to have a look at some of the newest arrivals and am simply overwhelmed by the number of unique ideas out there. One small screenshot in the ‘Productivity’ section displays an astonishing number of fascinating tools.
The most interesting thing is that most of these tools cost from $10 to $50 a month if you want to use their full feature set. Give it an average of $20 a month, and you could spend upwards of $190,000 a month simply to sign up for what’s out there today. Many of them won’t last, and but a few will rise to reality.
We live in fascinating times.
And so, move fast and chase things!