Feeling overwhelmed by all the AI hype? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably navigating a plethora of emotions; fear, nervousness, fomo, desperation, and a pinch of excitement thrown in for good measure.

When GPT first emerged on the scene along with a bunch of rival LLMs, my brain dived into some pretty dark places, thinking about not only the potential demise of my own business but also the radical disruption of every aspect of society as we know it. I could see a direct line to every single role getting overtaken by a machine. When you have a team that consists of developers, designers, writers, researchers, and testers, it's easy to imagine the time when these roles have been completely automated by AI bots.

Over a year later I feel slightly different. Yes, my mind still regularly drops down some grim rabbit holes (especially after public announcements from the major players about the latest AI developments), and yes I think AI is going to change the face of our work, our jobs, our industry, and our world in pretty much every way imaginable, BUT I do also think there’s potential that it will bring about some quite glorious opportunities along the way.

AI is moving fast—really fast

AI is advancing so quickly that it feels like a full-time job just to keep up with the latest developments. Signing up to a bunch of AI newsletters has meant that my inbox is bombarded by a new array of tools every day. It's hard to know which of them (if any) will still be around in even a year's time and are worth investing time to learn about.

The key to it all is adaptation. How do you drink from the firehose of AI in a way that still enables you to maintain your core business, but also allows you to adapt and evolve as a team to ensure you don’t get left behind?

If what they say is true — that ‘it's not AI that will be taking over our jobs, it's a human being using AI that will’, then the key is to upskill our teams so that they become the humans enhanced by AI.

So where to start? Especially when you’re trying to navigate a recession at the same time and keep the team as billable as possible. This sh*t ain't easy!

How AI is shaking up our industry

Along with most businesses, we use a core suite of tools to do a lot of our work. Whether we set out to use AI or not, it’s now been taken out of our hands. AI is embedded in almost all the tools we use by default now so it’s hard to avoid using it.

AI tools can suggest design layouts, colour schemes, and can even convert visual sketches into full code templates. It can write fresh code, enhance existing code, spot bugs, automate testing, and optimise performance. It can create and edit content, analyse keywords, iterate with different tones of voice, and even predict how well different content strategies will work.

There are also tools out there that you can simply type out your requirements and they’ll spit out a full website in response.

Many of these tools are nice in theory, but once you start trialing them it’s clear that they are a long way from being usable in practice. And certainly a long way from taking over our jobs! But we can’t get complacent, because with all the billions of venture capitalist money being pumped into AI globally, the more tools will keep emerging, continuing to get better and better. And this is going to happen much quicker than we anticipate…

The key is to be able to weed out the good ones from the bad so you can experiment and potentially harness them as part of your daily workflows.

With the recent announcements from OpenAI, Google, and (hot off the press) Apple, it already feels like we’ve taken another giant leap into the future.

Embracing AI in our business

Here’s five ways we can get on board with AI in our businesses without losing our minds:

1. Monitor the fire hose!

Create a Slack channel or internal repository where everyone can share cool AI ‘stuff’. Get people monitoring some of the many newsletters that are dedicated to the latest tools and technology around genAI.

2. Create opportunities to trial and learn new tooling.

Get someone from each discipline to be the AI champion amongst their team. They can assess, trial, and make recommendations for whether the team should embrace the new tooling or not.

3. Have an AI policy.

How should the team use it and feel safe? What information should they be able to put into it, or not?

4. Have sharing sessions.

Invite your team to join in regular sharing/learning sessions about what they’ve been seeing or playing with.

5. Play that future imagination exercise.

Let’s imagine what a future looks like where our business doesn’t exist anymore? What would be there in replace of it? What would our new unique value proposition look like? Once you’ve got a picture of that future state in your mind, then work backward and set some milestone checkpoints to ensure you’re making the changes to enable you to get there.

Most of all, don’t think of AI as an opportunity to improve your current way of working by 10–15%, but instead be open to the idea that it could throw your entire way of working out the window and potentially render a lot of your current work as completely unnecessary. For many people, this is going to mean letting go of years of discipline-specific expertise, and potentially letting go of part of their identity as an ‘expert’ in that field. It’s a massive leap to make, and my guess is that not everyone will be able to make it.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a handful of interesting links that I’ve listed below, and an ‘inspirational quote’ from this AI quote generator: https://inspirobot.me/ (yup, AI has got a fair way to go yet ;)

Hang on tight people, ‘cause we’re in for an interesting ride!

Some genuinely interesting links, plus an 'inspirational quote'

Project Astra

Google has just released a glimpse of its new ‘universal AI agent’. It’s worth watching their demo video if you want to get a feel for the capability on the horizon — it’s pretty mind-blowing: https://deepmind.google/technologies/gemini/project-astra/

Open AI

ChatGPT4o can do a whole raft of useful things including analysing data and automatically turning them into charts and graphs. https://openai.com/index/hello-gpt-4o/

Use it to help your kids with their maths! https://x.com/mckaywrigley/status/1790088880919818332

Or do real-time translation

AI art

It’s hard to describe the work that Nice Aunties do, other than to say it’s incredible. Scroll down and explore the wildness of their AI art: https://niceaunties.com/

AI-generated people

Watch Reid Hoffman, an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author, talking to his digital AI twin: https://youtu.be/rgD2gmwCS10?si=Cey3LDzLuCKnAkp6

Ben’s Bites

This is one of the newsletters that I subscribe to and think is worthwhile as one of your ‘firehose’ sources: https://www.bensbites.com/

AI-generated inspirational quote
An 'inspirational quote' generated by InspiroBot.

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