Those that know me, and have spent time with me, understand that I enjoy people. Humans. Us. I enjoy listening to stories, sharing resemblances, and confirming my knowledge that we are talking about in those moments. It’s a joy for me, really, because I enjoy your sharing and having decided to spend some of your non-refundable minutes with me; that is precious and makes me appreciative and want to work hard while I’m in it. Even now as you read this, I’m grateful. 🙏🏽
Then why is it when I’m asked to speak about what I’m seeing and learning in the field of artificial intelligence, conversational AI, and now large language models (#LLM) and pre-trained transformer technologies (xPT), do I fret about openly talking about these topics. I agreed to speak at the Digital Insurance Connect 2023 conference, where I’ll get to share what I’m seeing for conversational automation, in a transparent, non-technical, zero-pitch way. Fun!
I am excited, and maybe that is just what it is. As I approach, and continue to prepare, I’m becoming more anxious to share my thoughts that have been inspired by one of my favorite executives, Steve Jobs, from a talk he did in 1981. In this YouTube interview, he said we (compute industry) were, “fashioning a 21st century bicycle which can amplify an inherent intellectual ability that man has and really take care of a lot of drudgery to free people to do much more creative work”. I was 10 at the time of this statement, and who knew 41 years later, it would be so prominent in my discussions with executives who are seeking guidance on how to dip their toes into, what I like to refer to as, “software bionics”. This is happening today.
Being that I’m a 70’s kid, my understanding of the intersection between humans and computers was manufactured from TV. Back in the day, I was a huge fan of the Six Million Dollar Man. In this mid-70s TV series, Steve Austin was an astronaut, who was seriously injured when his spaceship crashed. Handsome and athletic, Austin undergoes a government-sanctioned surgery, which rebuilds several of his body parts with machine parts, making him cyborg-like. When Steve recovers, his machine parts enable him to have superhuman strength and speed, as well as other powers. With these powers, Steve goes to work for the Office of Scientific Information, battling evil for the good of mankind. (Wikipedia) Then as a young man, I got to meet Data, from Star Trek’s, Starship Enterprise. “He is a synthetic life form with artificial intelligence, designed and built by Doctor Noonien Singh. Data is a self-aware, sapient, sentient and anatomically fully functional male android who serves as the second officer and chief operations officer aboard the Federation starship USS Enterprise-D and later the USS Enterprise-E. His positronic brain allows him impressive computational capabilities. He experienced ongoing difficulties during the early years of his life with understanding various aspects of human behavior and was unable to feel emotion or understand certain human idiosyncrasies, inspiring him to strive for his own humanity.” (Wikipedia) With these two characters properly rooted in my thinking that machine and human are predestined, gives me more and more belief that we are at a time when our new available compute power, is able to deliver us these kinds of “bionics”, like Steve and Data, except there is no need for physical body changes or tragedies to occur to constitute them.
As executives, we have a unique opportunity to affect positive change in the way we leverage technology to do meaningful things in our lives, workplaces, and for our teams. In the Digital Insurance Connect 2023 conference session, I’m thinking of what the audience might absorb from what I’ll be demonstrating for them (taking their words and producing digital actions, in 30 minutes or less). Will they know how to do these things already and I’ll “be late” to the game? Although I believe AI is hard to not know about today, I am most likely in an information bubble and am only seeing all the creative AI tool offers, while no one else is. Or vice versa, their social feeds and media ads are also sharing these tools, and they are trying them, making me “old news”. Or they have seen the tools but haven’t seen a clean utilization of them to produce business outcomes. I hope I’m like porridge and have just the right amount of sharing so that everyone is able to see they can live more of their personal or business life as a Steve Austin, or a Data, and feel comfortable bringing this new power of productivity to their offices, friends, and families.
We live in amazing technological times right now, and with the accessibility of deep computing power without deep technical know-how, makes me very excited about my session, “Amplifying Inherent Abilities with Conversational AI”. My hope is it will touch everyone and leave them with a sense of:
- How easy it’s become to produce with many forms of AI
- How should they be considering the ever increasing number of tools and AI players coming to market every day
- How generative and non-generative tools are being absorbed by businesses to finally get productivity gains that employees alone have been unable to give
- How their teams can literally absorb their words to generate the business outcomes they have so long believed were available but lack of resources, technical skill, and budgets often prevented them from delivering; those “exceptional experiences” for their customers
In my head, I believe we’ll see the power of AI in new applications over the next 3–5 years, and with more minds opened about how they can inject some SWBionics into their responsibilities, they can enable more for their people and business when using new advanced AI methods. I feel like it’s going to be an amazing time and I hope the insurance executives leave feeling empowered to encourage their team to access more of their inherent abilities with AI to accelerate their businesses in new ways, at lower costs, and newfound speed that leaves their paying customers more satisfied and well cared for.
1010111 1101001 1110011 1101000 100000 1101101 1100101 100000 1100111 1101111 1101111 1100100 100000 1101100 1110101 1100011 1101011 (binary), or “Wish me luck”!
Written by Ben Ortega