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THE LIST: Yeah, AI is cool but have you ever tried people?
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I have recently returned from a refreshing week in Manila, working with a cadre of writers on a new movie project. The development of said movie is entirely self-funded and yet I and my partner in this new endeavor chose to spend our limited personal means on flights, hotel rooms, taxis, food and drinks just to sit around in a room with three other writers spitballing ideas. Why? Because if we hadn’t, it wouldn’t have been refreshing it would have been exhausting; the quality of interaction would not have been nearly as rich; and the ideas would have been neither as voluminous nor as good.
Is this the ranting of a middle-aged white man longing for the pre-pandemic days of luxury business travel? I mean…yes, yes it is! But it is also the reasoning of a creator who knows in his bones that great brainstorms require vulnerability and vulnerability requires trust and trust comes from making time, sharing space and breaking bread. You can’t just open a Zoom call, bark “there’s no bad ideas in brainstorming guys”, and hope that everyone feels assured and engaged enough to contribute!
Of course, I might not have involved anyone apart from ChatGPT but I’m not so interested in a world where AI makes art and music and humans do the admin. That’s why this week’s edition of ‘The List’ is designed to be an antidote to all the tech fetishism on LinkedIn right now; a reminder of why people matter and how being more human might just become the ultimate differentiator.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: As AI Expands, Consumers Will Still Prefer Some Products Made With a Human Touch - Research suggests how companies can promote their products to tap into people’s desire for uniqueness.
This article seems to go hand-in-hand with this one:
Let’s collectively resist the urge to flood content platforms with AI junk, eh?
I’d like to clarify that I’m not anti-tech, I’m just pro-human and what they/we can achieve when we come together in the spirit of friendship and collaboration. For instance, last year musical prodigy Jacob Collier, one of the most creative humans on the planet, brought his tour to Singapore and managed to entice the famously reserved local audience to open their hearts, minds and mouths to produce this tear-jerking performance. Now, would that have happened if they were watching on Zoom?
Look at this…
Sometimes is seems easier to bypass people in favour of tech. People are messy, moody and complicated, they’re not always “on” but they are often sensitive or defensive. Or, maybe, we just need to communicate our preferences better? At performance marketing agency Impression everyone shares a user manual for themselves, which includes:
How they like to work
The best way to give them feedback
What they’re already great at and what they’re working on
How they might be acting if they’re stressed and the best way to check in on them
See how they put it into practice in the original LinkedIn post.
Listen to this…
James Marriott is one of the most erudite columnists currently writing but here he speaks to the ‘Engelsberg Ideas Podcast’ about what differentiates art from AI, which helped me clarify what are the right and wrong uses cases for this transformative technology.
If you have a business trip coming up try this experiment. Instead of tossing off texts to your loved one whilst on the move, take the time to sit down at your hotel desk and write them a heartfelt letter on hotel headed paper, then pass it to the concierge to post. When your significant other finally receives the missive, gauge their reaction then ask yourself how you can do the equivalent for your audience 🤔.
At the end of each edition of ‘The List’ we’ll share some of our own news which, this week, includes:
The launch of ‘Clarifying Customs Clearance’ a brand new YouTube series and social campaign we developed and produced with UPS to help small businesses understand the ins and outs of international shipping.
My screen acting debut in Mediacorp’s prequel to international award-winning drama ‘The Last Madame’. Watch ‘The Last Madame: Sisters of The Night’ free on MeWatch and see if you can spot me in the trailer here: https://fb.watch/lUPT8-9Iph/