Staying Sane Amidst the AI Madness

Bonus issue :)

Everyone is talking about how to stay competitive during the AI revolution, but what about staying sane? Why does staying ahead of the curve matter if your mental health is diminished?

Thanks to AI, things will never be the same.

There are two ways to respond to this inevitability.

  1. Panic, fear, scarcity, reactive.

  2. Excited, curious, abundant, proactive.

At first, I chose #1. It was a shitty week.

Then I forced my mind open and let in #2.

Here’s why I think path #2 is feasible and how you can stay sane during the AI era.

Disappearing Jobs (putting things in perspective)

Yes, AI is going to replace a lot of jobs. But this has always happened.

The wagonmaker lost his job to car manufacturing.

The Milkman lost his job in the 50’s.

The video store clerk lost their job to streaming.

Jobs are fluid. They change with technology.

You may have seen in the news that big tech companies are laying of thousands.

Microsoft for instance laid off 10,000 workers, citing economic uncertainty and recession troubles. Immediately after the lay-offs, the technology firm announced that it plans to invest $10 billion in OpenAI, the creators of the viral application ChatGPT. So, clearly capital here is not the issue.

Together, four of the biggest tech giants – Meta, Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft – have cut 50,000 jobs. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, who took over as Twitter's new CEO at the end of last year, is rumored to have let go half of the staff.

But these aren’t directly due to AI.

This is mostly due to irresponsible hiring during the pandemic.

The World Economic Forum reported that AI machines will replace 85 million jobs by the year 2025. At the same time, AI will result in 97 million new employment being generated by 2025.

We don’t see that last part in the headlines as much because it won’t get as many clicks. #fearbasedcopy

The World Economic Forum also says that in 2025, analytical thinking, creativity and flexibility are among the top skills needed; with data and artificial intelligence, content creation and cloud computing the top emerging professions.

It can get a little scary when we start losing jobs to AI that we thought only humans were capable of doing. But this is just a part of our human evolution.

A lot of the jobs going to AI weren't all that important or fulfilling for humans anyway (compared to others). Thus freeing us up to build a new, more valuable skillset around creative thinking.

Along the way, there will be growing pains.

Here’s a list of jobs that are currently starting to disappear.

Takeaway: Don’t panic when you read “AI is stealing jobs." Media sources make money through clicks > clicks increase with sensationalist headlines.

This is a great reminder that jobs are fluid. They only exist when problems exist. Once that problem is solved by a robot, you’ll need to look for another job.

So, don’t pigeonhole yourself by doing work that robots can do, build a broader skillset around the way you think and create.

What does this mean for you?

Yes, AI will take jobs away from writers, artists, copywriters, and marketers. But not all of them, only the ones that create formulaic work that anyone can make.

Jay Acunzo says it best in this podcast episode.

“Don’t make content, make connections.”

Jay Acunzo

A bot can't make real connections. YOU can.

A bot can't share lived human experiences. YOU can.

The people that should be panicking are the people who sound like bots.

“The problem is not bots sounding like humans, it’s humans sounding like bots.”

Jay Acunzo

AI will get way better, faster than we think, but there are some things it will never be able to do.

So let’s all take a collective deep breath and focus on our work.

If you have a business, think about how you can us AI to improve your products and services.

How can we lean into our lived experiences with our marketing?

How can we share more stories?

Where does the YOU show up in your work?

How can our work create real human connections?


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Staying Sane (mental health)

Now that you’ve hopefully relaxed a bit, let’s explore a few important things you can do to stay organized, effective, and sane during this AI era.

There will be a tsunami of AI tools introduced to the market in the coming months followed by a monsoon of AI related news and information.

You’re going to need one hell of an umbrella.

Your first order of defense is this newsletter. I will do my very best to shield you from the storm and bring you only what’s immediately relevant and useful to your work.

Beyond that, you’ll want to move methodically with an open mind.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Stay curious and experiment with new tools from time to time. Embrace the potential of AI to automate tedious tasks and free up time for more creative endeavors.

  1. Stay organized. What works for me is having an AI folder on my browser so I can easily save tools that I like. The ones that don’t quite cut it get removed.

  1. Choose one main tool and get used to it. A lot of these tools require a few reps before you can see the real benefit. For example, ChatGPT is pretty reliable and solves a lot of problems. I’ve mostly used that, but have tinkered with others to see if they are better.

  2. Try to solve problems within your business and don’t expect perfect outputs from AI on the first attempt. AI will give you some pretty terrible answers from time to time (it’s still early after all). That doesn't mean the tool doesn’t work, it either means you found a limitation or your prompt was insufficient.

  3. Think of AI as a collaborator, not a competitor. It’s an extension of us, not an addition. It takes what already exists and organizes it to help us solve problems. Therefore, treat it like a member of your team who wants to solve the same problem. Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it’s just reorganized for efficiency.

  4. Slow down. The headlines will make you feel behind, but you’re not. They will evoke panic, but you’re playing the long game. Take it week by week. Focus on your priorities and then add some AI stuff in from time to time.

  5. Take breaks. Don’t go so far down the rabbit hole that you can’t find your way out. Do human stuff (play music, workout, meditate, go on walks, read fiction, make art, play etc). Kind of obvious, but maybe some people need this reminder.

The choice is now yours.

Which path will you take?

  1. Panic, fear, scarcity, reactive.

  1. Excited, curious, abundant, proactive.