Daily Inspiration: AI In Practice – “Don’t just talk about the future. BE the future!”


“Don’t just talk about the future. BE the future!” – Futurist Jim Carroll


I was the opening keynote speaker Monday for the annual conference of North American Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), held in Quebec City. It’s always a blast to get back on stage, and for the day, I had a fantastic one; here’s my ‘pre-keynote report.’

Events like this are always booked months in advance, and so while the brochure copy promised a keynote that would look at the opportunities for reinventing and growth despite economic uncertainty, it rapidly skewed to include heavy coverage of – what else – AI and its impact on insurance companies.

With that in mind, I thought to myself – what better way to emphasize the acceleration of AI technology than to bring an AI avatar onto the stage with me, for a bit of a discussion and for some leading questions? With that in mind, I give you ‘Briana,’ someone I generated through the weekend using an AI text-to-video generator, Reals. AI.

After all, you can’t talk about the future without bringing the future into the room with you, and I thought this would be a wonderful way to introduce to the crowd the key point around AI today – it is evolving at such speed that the inconceivable is suddenly real and the impossible becoming possible. Such as bringing an AI video avatar into the keynote.

As a result, Briana appeared multiple times throughout my keynote, serving to introduce the next section of my talk, as well as asking some key questions along the way. If you look carefully at the stage setup in my Daily Inspiration image today, you’ll see that she appears on the big screen overhead where the rest of my keynote slides appear throughout.

Of course, with the event being in Quebec City, I did add some bilingual content with an introduction by ‘Andre.’

Andre is making the point that the city was founded in 1604, making it the oldest, longest-established city in North America. Not being bilingual (although I was actually born in the province of Quebec), I used Google Translate to generate the text before feeding it to the Text-to-video generator.

Briana gave me a lead into my story about the Jetsons, which I use in many keynotes to emphasize the speed of change.

…which I use to set the tone for the ‘era of acceleration’.

and then to the topic on the agenda:

Since this was an audience of CEOs and senior executives, I thought it would be important to first address the issue of technological skepticism that might be in the room. After all, just last year, these folks were hearing that the metaverse, crypto, and blockchain were really important – and then, all of a sudden were not.

And then I was on to the topic of AI, first with a general overview of why 2023 has become the year in which so much seems to be happening all at once.

From there, I dove specifically into the impact of AI on the insurance industry:

This section was wild because I used a number of AI tools live, on stage, to emphasize the role of AI in the industry. This included using an AI tool that took a one-hour insurance video lesson and summarized it within seconds; another tool that summarized a complex insurance contract into a simple, readable overview; and another tool that lets you query a PDF of the same policy for key insight. There is no better way to make a trend real than to use the trend on the stage – and this helped me to emphasize the speed at which new industry-specific tools are evolving.

From there, it was crucial to address the issue of emerging risks. (This section by Briana, by the way, got a great laugh!)

and finally, a bit of action planning:

Here’s the full video, spliced together:

I must say the reaction that I had in the room to the use of an AI-generated video in this way – specifically customized to the organization and people in the room – drew an absolutely fantastic response, with a lot of folks asking me afterward how I did it, or noting how it really helped to emphasize the points I was making throughout my time on stage. It is certainly something that I will be doing again – and again – and again.

After all, you can’t talk about the future if you can’t BE the future.


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.