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Tech Infusion


Shelly Palmer

This week on the Futurists we catch up with Fox/CNBC tech commentator Shelly Palmer as we dive into the implications of ever pervasive technology in our lives. Shelly, has been following consumer trends for 2 decades and is a mainstay at events like CES, but he says AI is a different sort of beast. We dive into how technology will augment and change our lives moving forward.

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[Music] this week on the futurists Shelly Palmer if this doesn't have your
undivided attention and thrill you in ways you've never been thrilled in your
life and scare the living out of you in ways you have never been scared
you simply don't know enough you have more to
[Music] learn
well hi and welcome back to yet another episode of the futurists where we talk to the people who are making and
inventing and shaping and planning and envisioning the future I'm Rob Turk and this is my coost got dreaming Bret King
dream the future now we can have computer dream for us so Brett you're back from your travels you're back from
NASA you're back you're wearing your NASA shirt look at you I am NASA Fanboy
proudly this week we have somebody I have been so thrilled about getting on the show for such a long time actually
uh we we were wanting to do this show back around CES which is the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
that's one of the biggest trade shows in the world and it's where all the companies that make consumer Tech get together to show off the latest and the
greatest and sometimes they show stuff that we'll never see the light of day and the very best person in the world to
take you on a tour of that is Shelley Palmer Shelley welcome to the show we're so thrilled to have you on the futurists
oh thanks great to be here it's fair turn about too cuz you've been us before so that's
true right on that's it log rolling on the podcasts here in
progress sh you know what I wanted to ask you about CEs I know it was a couple months ago but um what should we be
paying attention to now tell me like of all the stuff that's out there because now we've got chips and everything and
everything's getting connected and we're everything's getting smart and we got faster networks and no more
connectivity there are a million ideas but you know lots of stuff is interesting not everything's important
what do you think is important my key takeaway from CES other than being thrilled to be back there
because you know in person with live human beings you know going get a beer with some people and going to some cocktail parties and just getting a hug
you know from the people that you missed for three years it was I mean it was something magical about that just I
can't IM I can't even believe that I am saying out loud that I was loving being in Las Vegas because at a certain point
in your life you spent exactly one too many nights in that town yeah no I hadn't it was great to be back if if I
am honest about CEs now that I've said all the good stuff the thing that
impressed me the most was what was missing from CES this year and I sat
through I don't know how many demonstrations of people showing me augmented reality virtual reality mixed
reality big screens flexible screens screens of ways to consume or immerse
yourself in Media that are at the very Cutting Edge of what technology can give you
telematics in the cars fully glass cockpits etc etc etc there wasn't a
person at the show who understood that unless you had near realtime control of
data from the cloud data from the local area network the wide area network that might be around you uh data coming from
the local device the sponsors single View with a customer or CRM system which
would be in a different cloud and you could operate on those in near real time to surface um a message or content to
the right person who's in the right place at the right time then what you have is basically a um you have a phone
that has a dial tone but nobody to call it was it was so palpable that everyone
was touting this gear it's like look at all our gear it's like how do you make this actionable where is the
infrastructure that allows the data to be turned into action so that I can give
the person wearing your thing looking at your thing immersed in your thing the experience without because I live in a
corporate world having to sit with a client and go through an 18month waterfall project plan where by the time
you get to the other end of it the technolog changed three times we're living in exponentially um Progressive times and
so none of the old ways that you would be able to make those tools
work can so I felt like everybody was talking about just the gear and pay no
homage in fact no respect for what would need to happen in order for you to surface this IM this immersive
experience that everybody clearly wants and there look there are as many different Visions
Rob as you can imagine like everyone's got from video gaming on one side how
will you make a game immersive how will you make going to a restaurant immersive how you go what's in retail what's
happening in a medical environment can you use it for train like everyone's got brilliant ideas about how to do it but
nobody had any infrastructure and I it was so palpably missing hey so how do I
what is the front end look like what front end well what's the what do the apis look like yeah or or what's the the
cloud configuration of the connectivity Cricket I mean you can see sorry you can
see apple is is struggling um with this with their their you know new developer
headset that should be released any day theoretically but it's as you say it's not just um even your ux architecture
you know NextGen App Store things like that it's just the Computing um The Edge Computing um platform that you need to
run this and you know we we are we're making Fair progress on the cloud generally um you know in the States but
if you look this is where players like Huawei and China with their Edge computer play I think are really
stepping ahead on on this stuff you know particularly with their Smart City uh implementation stuff in shenzen and
things like that absolutely right and you know look qualcomm's got a bunch of edge stuff um Nvidia is getting a lot of
love right now because of their gpus but but look the story of The Edge
is and then local devices is probably not getting the kind of attention it should get and it certainly uh was was
boldly from the things that I saw but you know what's funny about that is just a month and a half later uh in Barcelona
is another one of the world's biggest trade shows which is the Mobile World Congress yeah and this is where all the
um you know all the people who dress in their colorful gray suits uh from the telephone companies they all gather
together in one of the most exciting cities in the world to one of the most boring events which is the
infrastructure show right it's the mobile network show uh so this is about all the connectivity that's missing at
CES and man it is deflationary to go from one where you get the Euphoria of all
the gear at CES and Vegas and all that and then you go to Barcelona and it's like these incredibly boring people uh
talking about infrastructure both pieces are necessary but they're kind of like the yin and yang of each other and um
where you get this thrill of consumer facing uh at CES um you get the uh I
guess you get the Dead Hand of these enormous monopolies or duopolies uh yeah when you go to the world the World
Congress uh you just see how um bureaucratic and how stifling uh the big
the big Telos really are they're making progress like like like Brett said but it's like glaciers right you kind of
grinding you know Rob cool stuff happens at Mobile World Congress John hoffin not such a good idea one of the things they
have at mobile world that they don't have at CES is they have like the secret entrances for dignitaries you know
princes and kings of municipalities show up with their entourages and it's like you know the Sultan of this and the king
of that and it's like I don't know we don't have much that CS that's kind of cool the other thing
is it's not so much infrastructure versus a kit that a consumer would hold on to you know phones or screens or
whatever really it it's it's the entire set of behind
the scenes tools required to manipulate data and even at the infrastructure
shows that everybody assumes it's somebody else's gig oh that's Plumbing it'll get taken care of not Plumbing
data sovereignty for the consumer is the European Union's biggest thing it's totally different in the states where we
have I don't know catches catch can whatever got New York Shield law you got CCPA you got every like Jersey has
something tenis like everybody's got their own like privacy laws so you don't exactly know how to put together a comprehensive data structure in the
states and then in China all bets are off because you don't know what's going on is it the government that has everything is it quote private companies
if there is such a thing like so we're living in three worlds right you're living in the China data World which is
and you know they've got some pretty big arms and legs they they reach all over they've got Chinese infrastructure and
ports of uh you know shipping ports all over the planet got the United States
which to be fair is just if you watched some of our um well
let's just say if you watched some of our uh elected leaders go after TI to
the story about I knew that was coming does Tik Tok access the your home Wi-Fi
network yeah exactly okay that's like when Orin hatch said to Mark Zuckerberg
well if you don't charge money you know how does Facebook make money and and you Senator we run ads I mean like you just
it doesn't inst still confidence in China spent $8 trillion on the Belton Road they're 10 they're 10 years in on
the cbdc um you know in terms of AI level infrastructure we've had this debate on
this show many times um but um yeah it's pretty interesting to see what's coming
out of China so at the end of the day we are in a world where there are three
different data sets of data rules yeah gdpr which is pretty good I mean there
they seem to understand that you should take a three-hour lunch and I like any culture that says you should take a
three-hour lunch and you know you should work to live not live to work I kind of like that vibe that in America it's just
work 24 hours a till you fall down at your desk dead okay I get that so we got some data rules around that and then
China which is whatever it is that week and I'm not sure that I have a full handle on the understanding of how the
Chinese government might be using data to do whatever they're doing but what I do know guys is that if I was tasked
right now with creating a an an immersive experience
for us walk into a retail store walk down a venue like in New Orleans on Bourbon Street go to a a sporting event
and have something surfaced that makes me feel like a VIP and and gives me some
graphical experience or some immersive experience with audio and video I'd be
hard pressed to easily put that together could be done but it would all be oneoff
and if you remember the old days hey let's do a homepage takeover that was an 18 that was 18 months of waterfall style
meetings with I don't know how how many people in corporate how many people the Ad Agency how many people the medium
buying agency how many people the creative agency then the client had to sign off then you had to make sure that
the company you were working with oh will Yahoo let us do that to the front page of yah I mean like you remember
those days like that but you know in a way what you're doing is you're explaining uh the point I guess you're giving a response to what um what Brett
had just raised about Apple you know Apple's been I guess hinting threatening maybe uh uh suggesting that it's going
to drop some kind of awesome augmented reality maybe virtual reality headset um the rumors keep changing so you don't
really know it's a little bit like China in that way but we've been hearing about this for three years and the question has been where is the new Apple head and
Brett I think everything that everything we just heard from Shelly explains why Apple Apple's not in the habit of
selling products that don't work and Apple's not in the habit of creating bad experiences for people so if they look at the network and they look at the
cloud and they look at all the infrastructure and they go not yet because we haven't really deployed 5G in the United States you don't have millim
but they do need developers working on applications
happen already already in the works but we know this from the rumor mill in California right so there's tons of people working on Apple stuff and by all
counts it's amazing but I think they're not going to unleash it on the public until they know that people can hook it up to a proper 5G Network and get a
decent experience otherwise otherwise it's gonna be an Oculus you know like people buy people buy those uh The Meta
headsets and on average they're used twice a month it's a very expensive paper weight by the way guys what I did
learn at CES I always wondered what Darth Vader's bandier had in it and what
the Stormtroopers banders had in them yeah yeah and I always thought it was ammunition for the blasters and now I am
completely convinced they were batteries batteries for the head up for the heads up display right right
okay so Shelly those we talked about January that was CS we talked about February that was the Mobile World
Congress and then we get to a fairly momentous March 2023 the month that started was the
release of gp4 and then just a few days later uh Facebook dropped Lama you know
their their large language model slipped out somehow um and then we have just a
Cascade of crazy events like 1,000 AI apps were launched in March and then at
the end of the month we had this famous letter where you know a bunch of dignitaries self-appointed dignitaries
said to us wait wait wait we got to put the brakes on this moving too fast you know we did you sign the letter I did
okay well so so my my issue with the letter you know like talking with Gary
Marcus and and and people like this is that a six-month pause without us saying
all right what is the objective of you know um this pause in terms of let's get
some guard rails for the safe deployment of AI That's my issue is that a pause is
just 6 months we're back with the same problem I didn't sign it because I thought there would be even a 10-second
pause BR that's not why I signed it I signed that letter because I'm we've
been doing AI at the Palmer group since
2000 when it was statistical machine learning um when the first time we
automated a way to find r squared the first time we actually could figure out how to automate a fast foyer transform
the first time we could figure out how to regress a line of any kind and and get something valuable and get a
CI that was high enough and go wow okay can we make it learn that this is the right outcome and little early
reinforcement learning and or early neural networks this is not new to us it's been around a long time most
consumers think that November 30th 2022 was the beginning of AI it's nonsense it's been around for a long
time if this doesn't have your undivided attention and thrill you in ways you've
never been thrilled in your life and scare the living out of you in ways
you have never been scared you simply don't know enough understand yeah exctly
you simply don't know enough you have more to learn it changes everything it changes everything everything and when I
saw the letter I thought this is nonsense but you know what and it's real nonsense it's not no one's stopping
anything for literally a nanc that's not what's going to happen but we have to have the conversation about how this is
that's right smart people to sit in the room and say you know when this thing gets HTTP requests the capability to
make an HTTP request you don't know what's going to happen yeah for those of
you listening who don't understand what that would mean it would mean that a model would have the autonomous ability
when it thought it needed to to go out to the internet and do something on your behalf based on what it believes and it
calculated its next best action to be it doesn't think it doesn't have context it
has no clue what it's doing but it has your credit card and a way to get to the
web I'm sorry someone needs to sit down and just talk that through for a second
whether or not you can stop it I don't you use your metaphor can't put the toothpaste back in the tube can't put
the genie back in the bottle you're not stopping progress and I would I'm the last human being that would ever advocate for that plus the fact there's
no such thing as good technology or bad technology that distinction is reserve for human beings there are good people
and bad people the tech is the tech but but folks do you not understand what
we're about to unleash uh uh jual harar who wrote the book sapiens y has a has a
line in one of his books and it might it might be this third book he called it
Consciousness decoupled uh intelligence decoupled from Consciousness yeah and
it's not exactly precisely metaphorically correct but it is but it's close yeah stunningly close yeah
intelligence you know look is your calculator intelligent I don't know if I can do the square root of
36824 right now without a calculator I I probably I mean it would take me a few
minutes to do it long hand um but my I wouldn't I would grab my calculator as my calculator smarter than I am when it
comes to pulling square roots of numbers that have more than a couple digits yes it's way smarter than I am okay but sh
let me offer this part of what you talked about Intelligence being decoupled from Consciousness and that's certainly interesting we'll never know
when these machines are actually conscious or not never but on the other hand there's another Factor here because
there is this sort of palpable feeling of resistance and in some cases I think people are fed up with the tech industry
and that's a matter of intelligence decoupled from morality so the people
who are driving this bus the people who are telling these AIS what to do the people who just went ahead and launched this they didn't ask for any permission
nobody asked for it nobody said oh gee I'd like to have a smart typewriter that can complete my sentences for me that just got dropped on us all the people
are running this have not demonstrated any deep grounding in Morality or any sense that they understand philosophy
even Google and Microsoft have both fired their ethical boards recently which what's that about right did you
see the video of s saan nadela where he says we are going to teach Google to
dance we're gonna make the world we're gonna make the world know that we made Google dance he seemed almost like a
James Bond villain it was the strangest see I mean he's a brilliant CEO no
question right now his company is rocking it right but that was a really weird Victory lap to take
I yes and I look there's a problem that I think some people who have been
following this for more than five minutes have probably heard the term it's called alignment or the alignment
problem I'm talk about that you guys are familiar with the term I'm for those of who don't know what the term is the the
problem with AI is that it is unclear how you create a model where the outputs
are going to be truly aligned with human interests like your interests as the
Creator and there's a whole bunch of reasons for this I I think and I don't know if you guys have covered this in
previous podcasts but it would be instructive for everyone listening to understand how this works just for a
second the uh pre-train Transformers been around for a while Google uh
initiated this research years back um in their Google translate group why did the
translate group do this well it's really simple uh 50% of the internet is written
in English 20 to z% of people on Earth speak English Google is one of the few companies on this planet that will get
bigger as internet usage increases so imagine this Google becomes accessible
to 30% more people than they can get to right now because it's in a language they understand Google profits and they
profit mightily they would need to do nothing else to grow but simply translate that part of the internet
which people do not understand and so they put Google translate front and center and it was a modern Marvel and
they started doing it with neural first with statistical machine learning back five 10 years ago and then they realized
that neural networks could be used to to accomplish some of this and ultimately bur and some of the other Transformer
tools evolv at Google and Google are your guys they're having a Kodak moment right now Kodak if you remember invented
digital photography but they were also the biggest sellers of paper and film in the world and that was a multi-billion
Dollar business and they didn't want they they had some business issues and they just crushed their digital camera business until they went out of business
because no one cared anymore so Google knows a lot about um pre-change
Transformers let me tell you who are listening a little bit about how they work the simplest and it's not a fully
accurate metaphor but it's going to do for this if I say Rob is always looking
for trouble and then I say trouble's always looking for Rob those sentences have exactly the same words in them
exactly the same but they do not mean the same thing in any way Rob is always looking for trouble and trouble's always
looking for Rob would be interpreted by any native English speaker as two completely different thoughts
now ai has no way of understanding prior to Transformers what the word word order
me and everyone who thinks Facebook is reading your stuff or Google's reading your stuff you clearly don't understand
how they work there are no Tools in our science that can read and understand the English language in any way not even
chat GPT it doesn't here's what it does it has read it's called the large
language model for a reason it has read a ton of data the Corpus is the entire
internet that they could get their hands on in gpt's case up to 2021 and it has
looked through a concept called self atttention at the order of words the word it's on looking back at the
previous three four some OD words and it is statistically scoring for lack of a
better way to describe it what words are supposed to follow what words yeah what are the mo after reading a trillion
words what's the most likely next word so it looks at statistics basic it looks
at your query it has no idea what you've asked it has no idea what the words mean any way but it knows that the' is the
most popular word in the English language and what precedes the' is not going to help it and it just keeps
working its way backwards till it gets a decent idea about what it thinks the
words it should write have to do with the words you have written it is a word calculator it basically is no smarter
than a cash register it's just a word calculator
so how do you align it ability to learn statistically what goes
where with your desired outcome if for example there is a ton of writing about
the Bible and the Bible tells a story about whatever it tells the story about
however you interpret it there are an ungodly number of translations of the Bible available there are different
flavors of the Bible available they all tell basically the same story you go ask chat GPT a question about the
Bible will that answer be aligned with the answer the creator of that model
intended there's no way to solve for that right and so that that's not an ethical
alignment that that was a very long discourse on alignment but I I love the way you brought it full circle Shelly
tell us what you do for a living because uh just before we started this you were chatting with me about how you've got
incoming queries a lot of people want to know what to do next what is this what does the Palmer group do so technically
we're a we're a tech strategy and solutions firm and in the old days you know before last week um we would be
known as a company that was specializing in digital transformation for big Tech big Brands and big media so you know if
you look at the logo wall it's Fortune 500 companies and we we help people take Legacy systems and Legacy ideas and
figure out better more efficient ways to do them and and ways to interface with the modern world we have a a
concentration in technology media and marketing I come out of the TV business and so uh in my early life I spent
almost uh my fulltime writing music for television and directing television commercials and TV shows so we have in
fact at one point I was president of the emmies in New York so I have a pretty pretty you know deep background in
television and radio and so um we also put the very first ever tapeless
recording studio online in 1986 the first fully digital recording environments we did that because we
needed to invent it for productivity but so my tech background comes out of holding a soldering iron and actually
doing a lot of people don't realize this but the the the digital media Revolution
started with the music industry and particularly in post production and in New York I was there the 1980s you know
the first uh nonlinear editing happened it wasn't video first that took almost 10 years no it was a 19 West 36 Street
creative audio which was our studio that's where it started April what we like to do on the show is uh we like to
do a quick fly around right before we take a break and quick F around is a series of quick questions uh so that our
audience can get a little more acquainted with you and and how you're shaped and uh for this process Brett is
the one who administers the questions I'm gonna turn it over to Brett for the rapid fire
round here we go so what was the first science fiction you remember being exposed to Red Bradberry
very cool um what technology do you think has most changed Humanity the
thermos the thermos that's interesting sure when it's when it when you put hot
liquid in it stays hot when you put cold liquid in it stays cold how does it know that's pretty cool I'm kiding with
you the number one technology that's changed everything honestly is the computer but first it was a steam engine
and then it was the computer right so after fire in the 10,000 years years of humans that figured that out writing was
pretty good 5,000 years ago uh steam shovel allowed us to build the world we see around us and now computers are
where where steam shovels Amplified the quality of our muscles and the abilities of our muscles thousands of times
computational power like AI is amplifying the power of our minds tens of thousands of times these are these are sea changes in humanity yeah human
augmentation you know you can even talk about the uh the spectacles right yeah um name a futurist or an entrepreneur
that has influenced you Ray cwell he's good a lot of accelerating
returns I think in like right around 2000 he wrote but maybe 1999 he wrote a book where he talked about the law of
accelerating returns and it was my lived experience and I thought wow okay somebody's really thinking about the
world the way I'm thinking about the world Moore's law was interesting Marty Cooper C bless he just had a 50th
anniversary of the first cell phone call Cooper's law that the need to the
capacity of telecommunications networks increases every 30 months is actually more accurate than Moors law so kudos to
Marty Cooper and I don't know if those are futurists or just people who are in it with their finger on the pulse and
and they that's how we that's how we think of the term though it's the people who are building the future not just the people talking about it yeah the talkers
less interesting than the guys that are doing it right cool absolutely and um
what science fiction story is most representative of the future you hope for
if I am honest with you Star Trek the Original Series Jean uh roddenberry's
vision of a future where human Pursuits
of things that we intrinsically believe are human and by the way my my thinking is evolved on what it means to be human
from my naive Childhood Days of Gene roddenberry's world but seeing the super
diverse Bridge of the Enterprise and having them go out there and and try to
take the very best of what we believed the Golden Rule looked like and the prime directive which is
non-interference and the just the moral dilemmas that were posed it it was a show that if you let it it would cause
you to think a little bit of not so much about science fiction in the future but what it means to be human in the future
and I I was really really taken by that I saw Star Trek as uh in
insiration to for my career not um science fiction and I quick quick aside
I know we're going to take a break years ago 2006 I did a lecture at the media
lab at MIT and it was the year the Motorola starac had right out and the the
communicator right wir Bluetooth and I put a picture up um of the Star Trek
Communicator and the starac 1966 2006 I put oor's earpiece and the Bluetooth
single earpiece that they had at Motorola and that was her earpiece and I I then the next thing I did was I put up
a a picture of the bridge of the Star Trek Enterprise from the original series and I'm in a room filled with people at
the media lab and the the room we were in was that you know that whiteboard material that right whiteboard well all
the walls were whiteboard and and I asked the question I said what what do
we think what do we think was the wireless bandwidth required for everyone
with a tapable communicator to communicate like how what kind of
bandwidth what kind of computational power are we looking at on the Starship Enterprise and I expected it was
rhetorical I wasn't I didn't actually ask the question I asked it in a rhetorical way as I put the slide up
because the slide was I was about to talk about the Advent of 4G in 2006
where LTE is coming and the whole conversation was about what that would do to Consumer imp empowerment and how
people's behaviors were likely to change every person in the room this is
Scouts Honor got up went to the wall and started my speech was over they were all
calculating what what they thought the bandwidth and the throughput and the
computational capacity of the main computer on the Starship Enterprise would be and that reaffirmed what I
believed as a child when I watched Star Trek and I I only really saw it and in
reruns uh I was too young to watch it when it was on in prime time this was
not science fiction this was a BL this's a blueprint for things you might be able to do and I I think that's generally you
know why we ask these questions um you know coming up to the break is is you know we have had science fiction authors
on the show and so forth is is there a great lens into the future the one the
one possibility though is that often sci-fi is also a commentary on so you
know current social conditions but let's let's let's take a quick Break um we're with Shelly Palmer u tech technologist
futurist extraordinaire we will be right back after this
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show we're back with the futurists our esteemed guest this week is Shelley Palmer youve probably heard of Shelly
he's been a a mainstream figure at C uh on the on the TV and of course in media
generally shelle before the break you know we did start getting into um you
know the the AI uh progression and so forth The Fear Factor um you know you've
had a lot of people coming out asking for this pause in this letter that we talked about earlier um but in in in
real terms what do you fear about AI versus what are you excited about look
bad actors again those are people those are not
Technologies the problem is that nobody I don't care who you ask nobody
understands where this is going to go we don't understand how to align these tools in a narrow focused way with our
desired outcomes there's a wonderful little box called the useless machine it has one
switch and when you press the switch a little arm comes out from the machine and turns the machine off so the machine
is programmed to do one thing turn itself off and when you turn it on it says well thank you for that but I want
to be off you can't control a single algorithm like you can't make that machine go on because it's been
programmed to turn itself off that's one instruction one so you want to tell me
is there a human being arrogant enough to think that that I can't write paradoxical instructions by accident
that would just cause all kinds of nonsense to happen so I what I fear is what I what I don't know and I think we
all fear what we don't know it's my my fears about AI are very different from the consumer fears I hear from my
clients or people at dinner parties they're all you know with the Hollywood Terminator stuff or Whopper from war
games or it's gonna kill us all like I'm so tired of hear that it's like oh God you know that that's nonsense but the
again as I said earlier the once you give it HTTP request capability that's
going to be a little tough there's some interesting there's an interesting concept AGI artificial general
intelligence yeah yeah we're hearing a lot about it now it's gonna just arise magically out of a large large language
model yeah maybe I'm not I think so I
mean we've had Ben gzel and and um Roman yonky on the show and so forth and and
you know they they are well away from you know in terms of large language
models being spontaneously able to generate AGI because there's you know if
you talk about AGI being able to teach an AI anything that you can teach a human then um you know we're not talking
about just language right you could have a convincing language model that convinces you it's a human and can talk
to you like a human it doesn't mean it can drive a self-driving car and it doesn't even it might not even be thinking it's just generating what it
thinks you're going to like you know so for the folks who are listening AGI is artificial general intelligence uh which
is a bit of a mythological construct since we can't Define intelligence to begin with right and in many cases
humans can't agree on what our definition of intelligence we keep coming up with new definitions of intelligence emotional intelligence
creative intelligence and so forth and so uh this is a little bit of a nebulous term nevertheless in the um artificial
intelligence industry it is a goal it is a goal to create autonomous thinking machine that has some level of sentence
uh the folks at open AI made it very clear the founders of Google made it very clear that this is a long-term goal
of theirs so there's been some AGI has been AGI has been the goal of humanity
right you know like if you look back to the steam machine man of the prry speak for your yourself man I don't know if
that's my goal that might be your goal no but I think if we talk about
automation this is what this is why when people debate whether AI is going to take jobs from humans I say what are you
talking about this has been the sole entire intent of manufacturing
artificial intelligence to make our life easier by removing labor from um you
know using machines this has always been the in okay is that happening your View
getting easier or harder with these things let's give ourselves a definition for a second just so we can have the
conversation so AI as we understand it right now is designed to perform speciic specific
tasks it will make you an image mid Journey it will do some textto text which is what chat GPT does these are
it'll do natural language processing some do speech recognition you talk to a
device and it understands the words it may not know what you meant but at least it can it can t take the words you say
the audio and turn it into text AGI uh artificial general intelligence
would would be for this conversation only a tool set or a model that could
learn anything that we could learn at a level we could learn it now we don't
know what that speed is but let's leave it there my personal belief this is one man talking is we don't need to get
anywhere near AGI for this to become a horrifically strange World here's how it
would work that's very true yeah here's how it would work I've got a bunch of narrow Focus tools I've got speech
recognition I've got in both directions I have speech to text and text to speech I've got graphics to text and text to
Graphics mid Journey six they're saying you'll put a picture in it's going to give you the prompt it's like just the
pro so there's W imagine all the narrow Focus tools in the world if you go over to hugging face you can see the all the
narrow Focus tools they have now all you need is a semi generalized AI model
whose job it is to Wrangle the narrow Focus models you and you've got near AGI it's
not AGI it's not close to AGI but it will be able to do things in an autonomous way that will mimic and maybe
not in a good way what AGI is supposed to be able to do and so to me it's like everybody saying well you know we're
maybe large language models are not the path to artificial general intelligence for it doesn't really matter it doesn't
matter I mean ai ai is going to be impacting employment patterns it's going
to impact our Behavior it's going to be doing all of those things well before we get to AGI and here's the thing people
are afraid of losing their jobs you know let me tell everybody listening how to
not be afraid of losing your job because it's really simple there's actually nothing simpler in the world you can do
than not lose your job to AI you become in the office the very best human AI
coworker team you thing you are good at and you use AI to
do what it does best quick quick example you're an art director you have a really good idea you're being tasked with the a
page of deliverables that include every IAB standard unit you got to do a double truck for the three print magazines left
in the world you have to do a 30 sheet billboard because they're going to buy some billboards with paper Billboards
you have to do a digital version of that the high enough resolution where it'll sit on a digital billboard you need to do some graphics for digital signage in
store because those are completely different formats too today you'd have junior art directors running all over
the department and you'd hand this off to them and they' do it with a tool set like we're talking about you'd press a
button and all the all of the versions would show up in seconds you teach it
yeah that's an advantage but but let me let me let me interrupt you because I want to really get this is where people start to lose uh lose it right because
that all sounds great you're right we can automate stuff and you're right you know somebody in an office can raise their hand and say I'm going to be the
AI expert for my company I'm going to be the best at AI bookkeeping and I'm going to be I'm going to be the chat prompt Whisperer yeah yes I'll be super
augmented because I'll know how to do prompt craft better than anyone else okay there's two Thoughts with that first off not everybody wants to change
their working methodology people have a workflow they're quite content with and I think this is part of the panic that you're seeing right now people are going
I didn't ask for this I didn't actually want to be augmented with this technology now I have to get on a treadmill and remember this the story of
this is the story of is by a technology compan it's voting it on you we didn't invite this in so Rob I call Total too
bad welcome to Evolution I'm sorry I this is my
lived experience I started my career as a composer producing producer writing music for television Mom and Dad met at
juliard they own music stores I grew up in a very musical household and I started writing music for a living I had
to learn how did I learn by mimicking my music teachers and my parents are my first music educator
and I learned and my father would say play it like this and he didn't mean kind of like this he meant like this
okay but that brings me to my second Point look the benevolent mentorship is gonna get lost as soon as we automate
this and there's no junior art directors who are running around doing all the art or there's no dad who's teaching you how to do the Music Farm club's gonna get a
little thin but here's my point my point is is that at a certain time in my life
I had spent the was it Malcolm Gladwell 20,000 hours of time you had to to be good at something well I spent 40,000
hours Malcolm I'm sorry I don't know who could spend 20,000 but I played a lot of instruments cuz we owned a music store
and there were a lot of instruments and I picked every one of them up I could pick up and I would shed on it and guess
what the equivalent of of me born now gets to press a button and get something
to happen and somebody my my six-month old Grand the youngest of my four granddaughters when she turns call it
seven years old if she can describe it it it will happen for her yeah now the
democratization of creativity that this brings and I will fight anyone to the death on this subject I was literally
taught this is how John Crain plays Giant Steps this is how David Sor plays churchy blues music this is how Michael
Breer has conceived creative U chromatic Harmony in a way that is still in my
head from when I was 14 years old may he rest in peace and whenever I think of approaching a chord progression in
chromatic Harmony every rule of being Michael Breer is running through my head unconsciously because he's been in every
saxophone player's head since he started playing all that this this is what Star
Wars would look like if Spielberg produced it so at the end of the day now
this young child will be able to who loves music who has something to say who
wants to emote something who's got who's got real ideas about the kind of float
or the kind of of rhythms or the kind of dance music or the melodic thing that he or she wants and they just describe it
and out it comes that democratization trumps 100% of the now I don't know
100,000 hours I have into playing Rob I have a practice plan that I do every morning people probably don't think that
you know wow man you're 65 years old do you practice every day for an hour and a half you know how and there's a diary
that goes back 61 years I was four years old when my dad started writing my practice plan and then I of course took
it over what am I working on this week you're going to laugh I'm working on guide tones for this bizar eclectic
multi-tonal crazy insane piece of jazz music and my
goal is to be able to do that in 12 keys without thinking about it and it's follows no progression a human being
would ever do and I'm like wow this is tough I'm going to do this this week this is really a pain in the butt it's
not dionic it's not chromatic it's some weird ass micro okay good I'm going to do this this week for me you're saying
that you're committed to lifelong learning and I get it like you're giving us very ample evidence of that which I fully respect and you know me I'm I
share that I share that process a lot of people don't a lot of people are very content to go to work and do their job
come home watch Netflix you know make some food they don't want to be jostled
out of their very comfortable Niche that they've got what I what I think both of you guys are saying is like tough luck
it's here well you've got ites and you've got people who yeah I know I know but let's not replay the Lite story
because we hear that all the time that's not what this is this is can I just can I make a point though Rob hang let me just let me just carry a thought through
don't only because because there's it's sort of like this the lament that we're hearing and it's in every newspaper
every magazine you look at right now the lament that we are hearing is not the lament of like the worker in the factory
or the day labor or the person who does the mundane task or even the bookkeeper or the back office person it is the the
lament of the high priest the attorneys the coders the graphic designers these are the people who
learned a particular language a particular skill of expression and now they're finding out that that skill just got commoditized not over years in a
month it's like wow you were great at what you did back in 2022 and here it is 2023 and guess what the world no longer
sees value in writing a long-winded legal brief the world no longer sees value in coding a web page suddenly
that's something that a kid can do just by talking to a machine or even holding up a picture to GP T Ford saying make
this website so that is the lament it's that wow stuff that I spent my entire career learning and becoming expert in
let's say I'm an attorney or a coder or a copywriter for Ad Agency overnight that's been rendered invaluable or sorry
devalued completely okay deal with that one respond go tear it apart so this one
this one's easy this one is really
easy the number one driver of economic success uccess is productivity end of
story there are many definitions of success but if we are to Define economic success then the number one the key
driver of economic success is productivity you may not have liked email you might not like PowerPoint you
may not like Excel there's a lot of things you don't like but you use them every day the Microsoft Office is required for knowledge workers do you
have in fact we called them productivity tools do we have someone in the office who makes your PowerPoints for you
you've been very lucky that you can have a wage slave who would do that now the wage slave gets replaced by automation
the way the cotton gin helped you process cotton so automation's not new
we are always looking for greater productivity every production job no matter what it is if you are to produce
something a set of financials a point of view on an ad bu a piece of music a
piece of video no matter what you are producing a loaf of bread you are
governed not by what the market will pay for it but what it costs you to make
because those who are more productive and have wider margins make more money market sets the price end of story every
day if you're super famous you can be aggressive in your uh less aggressive in your pricing but if you're a journeyman
which most people are and we're talking about most people the price is set by
market you can't charge twice what your competitor charges and be a middl managed Mafia member at a big corpor
ation now you are going to have to learn some new tools and if you resist learning those tools you may be content
and I'm sorry that your world has turned upside down I've lived this several times this is and by the way it's
happening in an exponential pace which is going to piss you off I think that's the difference isn't it the difference
is the speed now because even when the internet came along people were like yeah it's not going to really affect me
for the next five years I don't need a website yeah I don't need a website you know why do I need to I'm never going to
be on Facebook yeah exactly right and here we are you know but now as Rob pointed out this is happening in months
and people don't have the time to get comfortable with it and adapt and as you say the market doesn't care the market
does not care if we can get some productivity gains by removing some humans out of the workforce the market
will celebrate it investors will flock to it that's the core problem we have
right now if we want to have controlled evolution of artificial
intelligence you have to turn the market forces off and that's not going to happen I mean Rob just just not to put to find a point on this when I got on
the music business table Stakes you had to be able to sight sing
anything put in front of you they put a piece of Pap music paper on the stand and you're with four or five people you may or may not know and there were four
clicks to start and you started singing and if you and you had one take for the engineer to get the levels and the next
take was the take and then you were done it paid extremely well that was table Stakes same thing with every musician
walked into the room if you were called in to play keyboard for something I was called in to play whatever I was called in to play it was expected table Stakes
that I would sit down and read it off the paper as if I had been practicing it my whole life now I ran a music
production company for a very long time and and sometime in the late
90s um we got a soloist in who's I will not name very famous soloist client
spent a lot of money 150 Grand to bring this pop star in and they wanted to use their background singers and I wrote the
chart out and they're like can we just get the lyrics please and just sing it to us why well none of us read
music to be in the room when I was their age
required a music education that no one needs even think about McCartney didn't read music when he started with the
beattles but he only played his own stuff we were in the business of playing
other people's stuff you were saying that that was table Stakes just just a few years earlier and suddenly it became
absolete over it didn't matter it's like can just communicate to these singers by singing to them and now you'll just type
it in as a as a prompt and soon it'll be something that you just say to your phone I Liv this and it was no fun
saying wow I got thousands of hours of performance skill training here in order to be able to just be in this room and
these guys are wson in here because of their unique talents and able to just they they get a pass so folks you don't
get a pass on this one everyone needs to learn you don't want to learn your choice consequences will be dire yeah
okay but you can understand why people would not like that right some people would say totally understand yeah but this but it doesn't matter okay let's
talk doesn't matter if you like it I'm empathetic I'm empathetic doesn't change it does because that's where the letter
comes from that's where pressure on Congress comes from people there's a backl here
right requires this requires bigger thinking um you know and it really comes
back to the nature of capitalism okay but when you say that just hear what you're saying this requires bigger
thinking who are you talking to you know when I grew up in the midwest in the 1980s uh the um the auto factories and
the tire factories and all the suppliers to the Auto industry were going out of business those jobs were going overseas we were offshoring it was quite easy for
me as a young kid to look at that and say like well that's a lousy career going to go in there all my friends are going to go work in an auto Factory go
work for Ford motor or Fisher body or something like that I chose not to do that right I chose to upskill as as
Kelly has has shared with us right it was very easy for me to say that at the time it's a little tougher though if you're a person who has been working on
that factory line for 25 years to just say or a truck driver who's been driving cross country for 20 years exctly and
now who it's happening to is the journalists it's happening to the attorneys to the people yes exactly
these people with really high skills who invested quite a lot of money in educational in education and for many years they've had a lot of prestige and
Power in their industry because they have those skills and I guess the point I'm making is this is happening for them
it's the experience they're having is it's happening overnight it really feels like it just started happen the last couple months so let's go back to the
point that that Shel made before the break which was about the law of accelerating returns U because at the
end of the show we like to look out in the future and I think right now we can say all of us think about the you know
the three of us spend all our time thinking about the future but are changing so fast and compounding so
quickly and this space is so complex and there's so many new emergent effects coming that we can't anticipate shelle I
have a question for you can you give us a vision of where this is going can you put on your your your forecasting lens
now and give us a picture of what we should expect 5 10 as you've said you've been watching technological development
your entire career so extrapolate it for us I have two minds one we just all
figure it out and the Earth keeps turning the sun comes up in the morning
goes down in the evening and we figure it out and things will
be heterogeneously different over time that's the
uh that's my hope if I could hope it'll just it'll inant TR maybe a little
faster than than normal maybe a little faster than we were used to experiencing
because of the law of accelerating returns but I go to limb here and say in the next 90 days something catastrophically
bad is going to happen with AI and they're gonna haul Sam elman's butt in front of Congress and try to figure that
out because the minute there's an HTTP request possible something stupid is gonna happen stock stock market
manipulation War gets started bomb goes off terrorist some something they'll attribute to AI I think that's going to
happen but my my dystopian future is isn't dystopian it's just
disturbing the West Coast Google meta Amazon eBay name your big tech company
Salesforce they play a different game than the rest of us play you've got data scientists making a million and a half
dollars a year that know more about how to manipulate data than anybody any hundred, people you'll talk to these are
Elite mathematicians with deep understanding of set theory deep understanding of linear algebra and
array math deep understanding of how to train and build the future that they want to live in whether rightly or
wrongly this group of people are playing a different game a very different game than the rest of us and as productivity
is the key driver of success what I can posit and hope against but don't know if
I'm wrong is that we're going to have an AI Elite not necessarily the open AIS of
the world or the mid journeys of the world or people were building the models people who understand
intrinsically how to use those models for their own gain and if you think there's wealth inequality now oh yeah AI
inequality is going to drive wealth inequality that is unprecedented in the history of humanity except maybe when
there were Chinese dynasties or there were pharaohs in Egypt or whatever you know when you had literally you enslaved
a country and they're building you pyramids okay I guess they had a lot of wealth by comparison to let's say the people building the pyramids but it
modern history when we think about what wealth is knowledge is power and and those who get a handle on this quick the
way that the West Coast got a handle on good oldfashioned data collection that's the most likely future
a handful of people are gonna like BL yeah you're gonna see the first
trillionaires yeah yeah and and I don't know what that does to the world guys it's I I I'm I'm becoming more
enlightened about the idea of universal basic income I'm becoming more
enlightened about but but Ubi bakes in that inequality that's part of the problem it solves the problem of you
know you can't get you can't get work and so you can't get paid once again it's a debate BR it's I'm not an
advocate one way or the other no no I I'm with cratic debate about what you do
right with four billion people do not have access to the body of knowledge of
mankind and the calcul a speed with which I can do something there's not
like they can go to school and figure out how they're going to you you're not going to Equal Opportunity Act or some kind you're not
going to legislate that equality because it's so far ahead of any policy that any
policy maker could ever conceive of from a Time perspective it'll take them a decade to catch up in a decade we will
have something like AGI or near AGI in the hands of a very few who are so
powerful because of it yeah that that it's not and that's the it's that's the
future that keeps me up by the way I it excites me in ways I've never been excited to come full circle it also
scares me in ways I've never been scared and I think to me that's what makes this this so exciting you know we've got we
started this um we have some courses at courses. shellyp palmer.com with this thing called medacademy and the first
one we did was crypto and nfts because I have a bestselling book on blockchain and then the next thing we did was metaverse and web 3 which was kind of
you know cool and it's a the definition for us in the metaverse is the this ability for users and creators to share
in the value they create and how you might you know create business models and and so the technology that might use
that well last week we we debuted generative AI for executives at courses.
shell.com 100,000 people signed up in 10 days
you're wondering if people are interested in this wow they're interested in this that's cool and so
that's not it's the name of the course it's not that shelle Palmer wrote it it's not that forget all that it's like
my blockchain book was a best seller not because I'm a genius author it's because I happen to put it out in the height of the blockchain craze the this got
everybody's attention because to your point Rob everyone is terrified and by the way it's Justified to be terrified
right now like if you're not scared you literally have not thought this through yeah now my my issue with all of
this and and I agree 100% with what you've said um my issue is that the the only way to
sort of control outcomes in some respect is to say um what what are the
constraints we want to put a put on AI and and that requires sort of ethical uh
programming or ethical regulations and that requires us reaching consensus on
ethics which I don't even know how we would do that how exactly when we talk
about alignment with AI That's about alignment with values the human values get alignment on values in We can't
agree on abortion in the United States right it's like yeah so how how are you going to codify ethics around this stuff
okay let's think about it this way so there's individuals listening but there's also we're we're over time too
so I'm conscious of Shell's time but all right there's there's individuals listening there's groups of people you
people are connected to the groups and then there's like kind of society at large and the World At Large and um and when we talk about these these Trends we
tend to sort of trombone between the individual experience which I've been referring to and then you go to like you
know kind of societal impact which is large but incomprehensible and there's not much we can do about it Shelley what
would you recommend to people who are listening that they should do right now like this month uh what should they what
actions should they take to begin to prepare themselves for this inevitable transformation it's going to touch everybody's
lives there are three levels that you can interact first you can wait for Microsoft to incorporate all of these
tools into Microsoft Office and just be a better user of Microsoft Office and that will get you to the to your
retirement 20e pin ain't going to do much else for you but it'll get you it'll get you out of the you'll be an AI
user and that's 1.2 billion users of Microsoft no no it's a lot of people yeah if if you're a little more
aggressive then there is an unimaginable amount of information available online
but go to go get a GPT a chat GPT account and on their Discord server
there is a prompt library and just read The Prompt library and understand how to add prompts to GPT to chat GPT and then
mid journey is going to have a website for version six but right now you need a Discord account you go to the Discord
server you go and you look at the prompts and their newbie channels and their general channels and they'll teach
you how to do it and make some images and just feel the power of this and let
your mind be open to to what could be there's a there's a thing called future
pedia which is a a giant database of everything and like Rob said earlier a
thousand apps came out in March um we do a newsletter at shellyp palmer.com every
day you're welcome to that we do have our course courses. shellyp palmer.com
um that that we do have a generative AI course that is a really good solid uh overview written in understandable words
but I would implore you in the middle Zone to get deep into just the use cases
and and I would approach it with an actual job in mind something that you're passionate about as a side hustle I
wouldn't just do it to do it like okay I've got the Girl Scout meeting on Thursday let what let me make a flyer
for the meeting or I'm got the PTA or I've got I'm baking cookies as my like do it as a project so that it has
meaning to you and that you understand how it solve problems for you because otherwise it's just like going to school and learning something that's irrelevant
and the third uh approach to this is to uh start start to get deep into what
this is and decide what part of the problem you want to solve and what I
mean by that as Brett made very clear and Rob just made very
clear whose worldview would you want to impose well we come from a society 50
years ago where there was the Golden Rule and an invariant sense of right and wrong and we have devolved and I'll say
that with uh pure sincerity into a society where there are just
winners and losers and the morality doesn't seem to matter you have to decide which you are are you someone who
has an invariant sense of right and wrong and I'm not talking about divine inspiration just like do unto others as
you'd have them do unto you kind of Golden Rule thing does this feel right does this feel wrong I got a family the
people I love trying to protect food on the table want everyone to be safe the most basic of basic maso's hierarchy of
needs as the basis for our morality and decide where you sit there and then make
some determinations about how you can help and the only way you can help is the following you can become educated so
that you are speaking from a place of knowledge not hearsay not somebody's YouTube video not Rob and Brett's
podcast with listening to Shelley Palmer talk nonsense get your own opinion about this you deserve to have your own
opinion about it it's got to come from a place of your learned lived experience that's thing one and then two you cannot
affect change from the outside you can't go on Twitter and affect change or Facebook a like ain't going to do it you
get on the phone with your elected official you get down to their office you find a staff or you Corner them and
say I know what this is I understand it do you and if they don't give you a satisfactory answer start to organize in
your community and change the leadership there is a time before Ai and there is a
time after AI we are now in the time after Ai and it is coming at a speed
that will absolutely not make sense to you and you're G to find yourself on the wrong end of that gun if you don't get
involved so you have three ways to do it learn to use it as part of the tools that you use every day and then it'll
impress you go a little deeper or go real deep those are your three choices
ignoring it not on the decision tree fantastic wow shell Palmer thank you so
much for the gift of your time it has been a tremendous pleasure to hear you to listen to you to engage to debate
with you and so on yeah for the folks who are listening shell has described in many ways as a technologist as an author
as an expert as a TV pundit all those things that's all true there is much that you can gain by going to shelle's
website shelp palmer.com there's tremendous amount of information there because at the core apart from all those wonderful things he shares a passion for
educating people it shares a passion for uh wanting to disseminate information and get people educated get them
informed and you can get all that on the shelle Palmer website please check it out his courses are great uh so I know
this I know about the cryptocurrency course which we didn't even get to talk about because that's also a booming field I'm so sorry we'll have to have
you back on the show thank you so very much we went super long but man was it great thanks for sharing your wisdom
with us today great to see you shout out to the uh the folks who
have been helping make the show and that is the whole team at provoke media Kevin hon our our producer Elizabeth sance and
the whole crew of provoke uh we want to thank our sponsor and also um my co-host Brett King who makes this show possible
with his expertise and if you like the show please do us a favor give us a five star review uh share it with a friend
that has been working show is booming right now so we're very very happy about the progress we're making and we appreciate everybody who's listening and
all the work you're doing to help us get the word out about this program so thank you all very much for that and we will
see you Brett in the [Music]
future well that's it for the futurists this week if you like the show we sure hope you did please subscribe and share
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