Daily Inspiration: Forward Oriented Thinking – “The story of tomorrow is still being written. Will you be an author?


“The story of tomorrow is still being written. Will you be an author?” – Futurist Jim Carroll

Are you actively engaged with tomorrow/ It’s probably a good idea because you are going to have to live there soon!

Something pretty significant is happening all around us right now, although many aren’t sure exactly what. Today’s image was generated by an AI using Midourney – I had the idea for the quote in my head and used the system to generate something relevant.

But here’s the thing – I actually used an AI to write a prompt to feed to the other AI – things are becoming that weird! Huh? I went into a system called Poe, a unique little tool that is rather hard to describe, other than to suggest that it’s an AI that lets you interact or get ready for other AIs. In my case, I asked it for “an image based on the idea ‘the story of tomorrow is still being written. Will you be an author or just someone who reads it?'”

Poe came back with a rather a rather elaborate and complicated ‘prompt’ that I could then give to Midjourney to generate the image:

“color photo of a meeting room, a room filled with tension, the executives gathered around a polished wooden table, deep in thought and discussion, their faces showing determination, frustration, and anticipation, the room adorned with elegant paintings and bookshelves, natural light streaming in through large windows, the atmosphere filled with the scent of coffee and subtle anxiety, captured on a medium format film camera, using a Hasselblad 500CM, loaded with Kodak Portra 400 film, paired with a 80mm lens, shot with a shallow depth of field to focus on the executives, directed by Christopher Nolan, cinematography by Roger Deakins, photography by Annie Leibovitz, fashion design by Karl Lagerfeld –c 10 –ar 16:9 –s 750 –

And away I went:

I wasn’t quite happy with the results = it was too modern for what I was trying to convey, so I changed a few words in the prompt – “a high-tech room, white, with a lot of algorithms and data swirling in the sky” … and what I got back was magical.

I put a few more variations on the prompt until I got to today’s background image of a guy sitting at an open book in some sort of futuristic setting. He’s writing the story of tomorrow, and I am a part of it.

After the fact, I sat back and thought about the context of all this in the context of the quote that I came up with for today’s Inspiration. I’m now at the point where i automatically and easily turn to an AI tool as a regular part of my creative process. The machine has become a part of what I do; I am immersed in it, explore it, interact with it, and seek to understand it. A year ago, as all of these large-language-model tools were beginning to emerge around us, I had no idea that it would go this far, this quickly. I marvel at the speed with which a new and complex future is emerging around us; I am in awe of its scope; I am fearful of its’ impact. All of this doesn’t mean that it is going to go – what it does mean is that a very new and very different future is all around us at every moment.

One of my oft-used phrases – and you have heard it from me at many times, is this:

“Companies that do not yet exist will build products not yet conceived using materials not yet invested with methodologies not yet in existence.”

There’s a new variation on that thought:

“Tools that do not yet exist will let us undetake actions that we aren’t yet aware, based on using ideas we have yet to consider, with skills that we have yet to develop.”

Or something like that.

Next week I am in Boston with a group of senior executives for a number of major global organizations. My job for the day is to explain to them what’s really happening with AI and our future – and that’s a tall order because the story of its’ impact on our world is still being written.

We are all but character actors in the story as it unfolds, participating in a grand novel of sweeping change and transformation.

The story of tomorrow is still being written.

Will you be a part of it?




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.