Sleepwalking with AI

As I sit here, reminiscing about the whirlwind of last week, I can’t help but smile at the peculiarities of a British summer.

Picture this: it’s 3:30 in the morning, and the sun is already peeking over the horizon, casting a soft glow over the landscape.

Fast forward to 8:39 in the evening, and the sun is just beginning to bid us goodbye.

It’s great to have these longer days, but it does have drawbacks.

You see, the combination of extended daylight hours and, last week. a ‘heatwave’ (a rare occurrence for this part of the world, more accustomed to rain than the scorching sun) has left us all in a state of perpetual fatigue (certainly for me at least).

It’s as if we’re all participating in a nationwide sleep deprivation experiment, and the results are, quite frankly, a bit alarming. An increase in car accidents it seemed for one… with both the M1 closed and sitting in a huge traffic jam on the M62 last week… I fear this could be having real-world consequences.

It’s a peculiar problem for which I see only 3 solutions….

  • Proper shutters for the windows (Blackout blinds are not enough)
  • Air conditioning
  • or alternatively… mandating an afternoon nap every day for a couple of hours

… obviously, the last one is sounding particularly attractive right now :)… however on a serious note, let’s make sure we all get proper rest before getting behind the wheel… especially over the summer… this may be unintended consequences, but is something we can also control and avoid, once we know about it… take care out there.

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25 x lots

Now, you might be wondering, what does all this have to do with the world of work… well, adaptation, resilience and flexibility.

During my travels last week, I had the opportunity to meet several companies, and this ‘AI’ theme, just keeps emerging.

It’s not just about automating processes anymore; it’s about taking automation to the next level. Already I am seeing process design, changing journeys to be 5x more efficient than before, and this is without AI.

With some of the new tools, and integration into these workflows, this could easily turn into 25x. This is with only a very small bit of imagination or development. Those really in the know will talk about figures much higher.

And, of course, this works best on those processes with are already digital…

Process digitalisation is almost starting to seem like the gatekeeper to access these higher efficiencies…

… it is interesting how technologies and ideas are always layered… built one on top of another (… a bit like the early ideas in geometry lead to more ideas and maths… but I digress!)… this is evolution I suppose.

Humanagotchis

And as we navigate this brave new world of AI and automation, it’s essential to remember that we are all interlinked and part of a larger ecosystem.

Our support mechanism is the Earth, nature and the environment. We need it to survive and disregard it at our peril.

And, just as we rely on the Earth for our survival, AI will also need a support mechanism. A support mechanism, for energy and maintenance materials. This is just the same as human society… except, in this case, the support mechanism may actually be us…!

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Now, I have always been jealous of my cat… all you can eat food, free healthcare, attention on tap, 15 hours sleeping… the only job requirement being making me laugh, looking cute and being incredibly fluffy…

However maybe this is our actual future in the world of future AI… we become pets, pets of the AI machine… it will certainly solve my summer tiredness problems!

But, as we ponder the future, it is important to remember that we are not just cogs in a machine, but part of this complex, interconnected ecosystem.

As engineers, leaders, or even pets, our role may change, but our value remains.

We are not just the creators of AI, but its caretakers, its guides, and perhaps, its companions in what could be a grand journey of discovery.

Have a good week everyone.


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