Approach AI to get ahead of the wave

I admit, that often these days, I feel like an alien. A female GenX-AI-Adopter-Alien.


In private and professional conversations alike, most of the time I am the only one passionate and (basically) knowledgable about this thing, that's most probably going to alter our business world.


When I mentioned ChatGPT recently, one friend said: 'Oh, we have not installed this one yet' (not sure whether she saw it as a kind of cable service or system software), another one stated: 'I am not into all these things, I am also not on Social Media' (she's mid fifty and a knowledge worker 😳), and even my son, working as an IT Dev, is not aware of a full fledge policy and strategy regarding AI in his company.


In my bubble and beyond I overall identify three major attitudes (beyond my own, characterized by curiosity, enthusiasm, and positive skepticism 😜)

  • ☹️ Rejection. "too old for that", "scary", "end of humanity", "in my job not important". Being a naysayer is of course okay, but might lead to isolation and frustration, we know this from most transformation processes.
  • 🤔 Interested but wondering. "I wanted to try it for a while, but don't know how to start", "recently tested ChatGPT once but the outcome was disappointing", "will have an e-learning about it in our company". I also met this kind of guys in the audience of AI keynotes. They take pictures of all the slides and I wonder whether this will help to get closer to understanding and embracing the topic.
  • 🤓 Know-it-all. "the ChatGPT hype will soon be over", "shamefully careless people using Cloud LLM, from a legal perspective", and on a party last summer I really met someone stating: "I know one of the guys who developed the algorithms behind it". Of course! We should hope for not too many of those views in leadership positions, as an open and learning mindset will help a lot to master the transition ahead.


Martin Cooper and the first Motorola mobile phone
First Motorola mobile phone. Photo: WELT

This remembers me of the early nineties when I was working in the PR department of a German entertainment company (anyone remembering Stella Musical?) and one of the external consultants showed up with a mobile telephone - well, it rather looked like a car battery, but it allowed to have conversations away from fix lines. We stood in awe, envy, but doubted the prevalence of this technology ever. We all know where we are today.

Probably concern, doubt and reluctance are natural primary reactions to all technological revolutions because it challenges our 'slow thinking'. If a technology serves a human need, it will get adopted, one way or the other.



AI adoption on corporate level is a different thing. Somer larger, mostly global organizations have been fast.

I know from a corporate customer who already last summer developed and deployed an enterprise GPT (including participatively finding a 'speaking' name for it) and I also see communication teams using AI-created (and marked as such, of course) visuals on SocialMedia.


Microsoft is implementing AI features in their full product range (I don't call it Copilot, as understanding the labeling here is still complicated...).

And with an estimated 1.3 billion devices worldwide running on Windows and millions of Microsoft business users, more people will have access to AI earlier or later.

What doesn't mean, they exactly know what to do with it.

I think it is high time to get in touch as an individual and to initiate conversations and campaigns in companies, institutions, and communities. 

Interest is a matter of fact and usage is growing, at least in the US.


conversations about ai

Having been asked several times 'how to approach AI' I am happy to provide my 5 cents:

  • I find it useful to first distinct, between the 'maker, shaper, and user' levels. Knowledge about the maker level might seem neglectable but still helps to navigate the huge amount of chatbot labels and tools, and the shaper and user roles in this emerging technology are closely intertwined. And if it is only about shaping the rules for implementation and use cases.
  • ChatGPT does not equal AI. Some clarity about the framework - the definition of (generative) artificial intelligence, machine learning/deep learning, Large Language Models, and multimodality - is a crucial foundation for meaningful discussions on the topic.
  • LLMs are no search engines. Understanding the core purpose and functionality helps a lot to more joyfully explore the capabilities of the bots.
  • Yes, there are risks and threats associated with any technology. Grouping technology-inherent, behavioral, legal, and ethical risks according to personal or business use is as important as having an honest conversation about how to mitigate them. But dystopian views don't help, and once again, it's better to shape the future than just wait for it.

AI will (and already does) require guard rails and legal frameworks (like the European AI Act), but first and foremost it demands self-accountability - or knowledgeable guidance from those in decision-making positions - like we need(ed) it for the world of SocialMedia or smartphone usage. Who would be in the position to judge about net-good or net-bad?


I suggest trying things to stay ahead of the curve - like all of us parents entered Facebook more than a decade ago to see what our kids are doing there.

While playing around you might feel the appeal of AI as a conversation partner (also: Character.ai), the incredible time savings in writing with ChatGPT or Compose.ai, listening, reading, or dealing with spreadsheets.


To catch critical conversation partners attention I also sometimes show a few creative applications like animated avatars, text-to-script videos, or one-prompt-websites, because especially for fact-driven professionals the creative opportunities that come with AI, may lead to different ways of approaching tasks:

"It’s a matter of shifting your mindset from ‘what do I think of it?’ to ‘what else could I think of it?’" (IDEO)


Finally, it is a good idea not to blindly follow the hype, but to put on the sarcasm glasses once in a while - as Jon Stewart does in his hilarious Daily Show.

Interested to approach the field further with a custom team workshop or an egaging corporate campaign?

I invite you to schedule a call with me, I am looking forward to hear about your ideas!

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