Prevent AI from taking over: There are multiple ways to conceptualize AI. While most of them can be correct at the same time, it is beneficial to think of AI as something different in each context. In the subject of automation, it is something that can make tasks easier; in the topic of grammar checking, it can be a grammar checker; in the topic of painting, it can be a painter, and so on. So, if it can be all the things, you want it to be, what is it then?
In essence, AI can be intelligent systems that can perceive, understand, learn, and perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence.
AI can take over in multiple ways. It can definitely take your job, which means that it will replace your value. It can take away your ability to engage in critical thinking. Not only that, but it can be used to maximize the time you spend consuming content. It can be used to fool you, manipulate you, and know you better than you know yourself.
I am writing this piece to think through this problem, and writing is the best way to do so. I will guide myself to retain my value, avoiding all the negative consequences of the AI age, and instead using it to maximize efficiency.
Here are the tactics I have come up with so far:
- Make AI Work for You by Outsourcing Tasks to It.
- Debate With AI Three Times a Week.
- 10 Minutes Every day to Hunt New AI Tools.
- Create Something Every Day.
- Cross Check AI.
- Look for Threats.
- Stop Algorithms From Making Your Decisions.
- Write to Think.
- Automate and Organize to Do the Work of 10.
Make AI Work for You by Outsourcing Tasks to It.
Did you know that the term “computer” was originally used to refer to people who performed calculations manually? So, instead of doing calculations yourself, you could hire a person and pay them to do it for you. Essentially, you would be purchasing time. Similarly, rather than preparing food yourself, you can simply pay someone to make it for you, thereby buying yourself more time to focus on other tasks.
AI systems have been automating jobs for quite some time now. Take the app Grammarly, for instance. While it may not be as smart as a human, it can definitely serve as a replacement for a human grammar checker that you could hire to proofread your written work.
Likewise, there are various free AI tools available that allow you to outsource your tasks, making you more efficient and saving you money. Here are some examples of tools and the jobs you can outsource to them:
- Logo designer: Looka.
- Photo editor (remove unwanted objects): Cleanup.Pictures
- Fact-checker using search engine: Perplexity.ai
- Narrator: ElevenLabs
- For the best in class (but free) AI productivity tools, bookmark THIS website (or just remember it). I’ll add more free AI tools to this website.
Compare it with the situation before: You didn’t have money to hire someone to check your grammar, so you had to review and correct it yourself, sentence by sentence. Now, you can simply copy the text and ask ChatGPT to check the grammar. Apply the same logic to all the tasks in your life that you can outsource or automate.
Debate With AI Three Times a Week.
With increased access to knowledge, we have begun consuming more bite-sized information, such as headlines and social media posts. This habit prevents us from delving deeply into the details, resulting in superficial thinking.
One tactic to counteract this is to reduce the amount of superficial information consumption and instead focus on consuming information in greater detail. This can involve reading opinion pieces fully and slowly, reading more books, and engaging with long-form podcasts. Another tactic is to engage in arguments with AI.
You can engage in dialogical thinking by imagining different characters, each presenting a claim to argue for. However, this technique requires more effort and time. Instead of solely arguing with yourself to delve deeply into complex issues and think critically, you can argue with others, including AI. Engaging in back-and-forth discussions and participating in the process of correction. By engaging with a smarter entity like AI, you are more likely to have a nuanced discussion and learn at a faster pace.
Additionally, this practice helps develop a healthy skepticism, causing you to think twice before being convinced by both robots and humans. This is particularly important in an age of information overload.
You can plan sessions for arguing with AI language models, treating it as a healthy debate. Gradually, take the discussion to deeper layers, testing your own beliefs using AI.
Take a stance against your beliefs and pose tough questions that you might be asked to defend your beliefs in the future. If the chatbot’s answer is solid, you will have stronger arguments to support your beliefs. If not, delve even deeper to gain a better understanding.
10 Minutes Every day to Hunt New AI Tools.
With time, generalists will be at an advantage. Some years ago, if you wanted to automate a task, such as setting a reminder to turn off the gas in 20 minutes, you would need to write a piece of code to accomplish that. Now, even my parents can easily set reminders without needing to understand the technical “how” behind it.
Similarly, in various aspects of life, you can get by without being an expert. While you should strive to make your thinking as deep as possible and avoid the trap of superficiality, there is also value in not needing to possess in-depth knowledge about everything. So, how can you capitalize on this situation? Here’s how:
Dedicate 10–30 minutes each day to explore new AI tools and become proficient in using them. The key to mastering AI is to improve your skills in giving instructions. To create a cartoon of a cyborg opening a fridge, for example, you don’t necessarily need to learn illustration; you need to give clear instructions. To enhance your instructing abilities, it is beneficial to have a basic understanding of various subjects, ranging from nutrition to marketing to beekeeping.
I also recommend that you start listening to a wider range of podcasts and reading diverse articles and news sources. Broadening your knowledge base will make you more proficient in giving accurate instructions.
Resource: Here are some of the best-in-class AI productivity tools available, and they are free.
Create Something Every Day.
This tactic is similar to the previous one, but I want to emphasize it because I believe people might get stuck at consumption. It’s essential to move beyond consumption and start creating. Playing with AI tools is fine, but taking the time to create something for others to consume is the next level.
Here are a few ideas for blogs, social media posts, or videos:
- Create interesting charts and graphs using data obtained from AI language models (after fact-checking).
- Design futuristic vehicle images accompanied by descriptions.
- Generate historical images based on data obtained from language models (using Midjourney).
- Compose AI-generated music using tools like Mubert.
- Develop meditation sessions using tools like ChatGPT and use AI-generated voices to recite them.
- Produce daily news content using chatbots and utilize AI voices for narration, while adding subtitles using tools such as VEED. Upload the videos to platforms like YouTube.
- Find new AI tools and review them. You can also compile them in one place where people can come to learn more.
By engaging in creative projects like these, you not only master using AI tools, but also contribute to the production of unique and valuable content for others to enjoy.
Cross Check AI.
With the rise of AI in education & fact checking, it’s important to be skeptical of the source. We should recognize that they compile information from various sources, which may be inconclusive or biased. To mitigate this, we can benefit from the competition between different AI systems.
By cross-checking information from multiple AI sources, such as asking Google Bard to verify factual information or advice provided by ChatGPT, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding.
Gathering insights from various perspectives allows us to make more informed decisions. In a recent interaction, I tasked GPT with generating attractive names for my article. After some conversation, I found a title I liked. To determine if it would be something people would click on, I asked Bard for its input. Leveraging its knowledge of Google trends, Bard was able to offer a suggestion.
To further enhance verification, there are numerous free AI tools available that can be utilized for cross-checking information, such as Perplexity.ai.
Look for Threats.
I definitely want to be one of the first people to know about new AI advancements. It’s exciting to see Google testing its medical AI chatbot, and it seems like text-to-video technology is becoming as common as text-to-image. AI in robotics is advancing even faster than I was initially told.
However, with every innovation, there are opportunities that arise. Many pursuits may become irrelevant unless, we can take advantage of this.
Let me give you an example: imagine a grammar checker who doesn’t learn to leverage ChatGPT. They might end up being replaced by it, while someone who embraces the technology can accomplish the work of 10 people. The key here is staying up to date with the latest AI advancements.
AI News is a great resource for your daily dose of reality check. To scare you, sure, but to eventually help you adapt the fastest.
Stop Algorithms From Making Your Decisions.
There is undoubtedly a rise in short-form content consumption. I recently witnessed my maybe 5-year-old cousin engrossed in YouTube shorts, as if the internet might vanish tomorrow. Once his phone was taken away, he had nothing to do.
I can only imagine the immense power algorithms will have when artificial intelligence is employed to determine our preferences. They will know our likes and dislikes better than we do (some apps already do, I know).
When we consume content, we are essentially outsourcing our thinking. We don’t actively engage in critical thinking while being exposed to new ideas. Instead, we let the creators do the thinking for us. However, genuine understanding and the ability to identify the intricacies of an argument can only emerge when there’s more revealed about an argument.
Unfortunately, mindlessly consumed quotes and shorts often lack emphasis on critical thinking. To counteract this, I make a conscious effort to read books instead of reading Instagram quotes and listen to podcasts over 17 second clips taken from a 5-hour conversation.
Here are some tactics I use to avoid excessive consumption of short-form content:
- Delete social media apps from your phone, or consider deactivating your TikTok/Instagram account. Limit yourself to consuming YouTube content only on your computer. In case of an “emergency,” you can always access YouTube via your preferred mobile browser.
- Utilize Youtube-shorts block extension on your YouTube account to restrict short-form content on your computer.
- Use a tool like Unhook to hide the YouTube homepage and only consume content from creators you have actively subscribed to, rather than allowing the algorithm to decide for you.
- Track your screen time on both your smartphone and computer to keep yourself aware of your usage. You can use browser extensions to monitor your browsing habits on your computer.
- Learn more about the neuroscience of dopamine and the factors that motivate us. Understanding how our brain responds to stimuli can help us find effective ways to stay motivated. Here are some techniques you can use, drawing from neuroscience, to maintain motivation.
Over time, you may find yourself appreciating long-form content more than ever before, and short-form content might leave you feeling unsatisfied. Tell yourself the truth and your emotions will guide you.
Write to Think.
I use writing as a means of thinking. It serves as the second most sophisticated way to engage in thought, following a long-written debate conducted in good faith (ones where you aren’t asked if you’re high before every reply).
AI is primarily employed for writing tasks. However, people often overlook the fact that it’s not just the end product that holds value; the process itself is more significant. You can write your thoughts without concerning yourself with anything other than expressing your ideas and thinking through stuff, and then ask ChatGPT to “correct grammar.”
This approach can result in an essay that enhances your thinking, while also providing a piece you can proudly share with others.
Additionally, you can explore the option of monetizing your writing by starting a blog and incorporating your work into it.
By recognizing the value of both the writing process and the assistance of AI tools, you can improve the quality of your writing and enhance your thinking. It’s a valuable practice that combines human thought with AI assistance, enabling the creation of impactful written content.
Automate and Organize to Do the Work of 10.
I’ve been coming across YouTube ads that highlight how one person can replace many in a working environment. The idea behind it is that with the assistance of AI, an individual can accomplish the workload of ten people. It’s true, and it exemplifies a broader concept: doing more in less time, which essentially defines productivity. I can share numerous resources on productivity, but I suggest starting with the basics before diving into more detailed strategies.
Organization and automation are your best allies in this endeavor. Just imagine having to search for your headphones every day, spending 3–5 minutes each time. Now think about adding other things you need to find, like your phone, water bottle, documents, a specific photo, or even your clothes.
This whole process could easily eat up more than 7 hours a week. That’s where the importance of streamlining comes in. If you frequently engage in certain tasks, minimize the resistance between you and those tasks. For instance, you can name your photos in a way that allows you to find them with a single search. Utilize a single app to store them, add location tags, and even employ AI-powered photo apps like Google Photos that can recognize objects and people in your photos, making them easily searchable. Keep your gadgets in one designated place, and organize your life accordingly.
Planning your day effectively, in a way that aligns with your future goals, is key.
Start by identifying five or more things you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years. Download a to-do list app and ensure that the tasks you set each day are in line with your future goals (whether you’ve explicitly stated them or not). Here are five ways you can plan your day. This article provides guidance on creating your own daily planning system by adopting any of the tactics mentioned.
This approach will save you a considerable amount of time and help you accomplish more by eliminating the time wasted on decision-making and searching for things. Organization & time management should be your first step in preventing AI from replacing you.
To take it a step further, I recommend exploring automation. Automating tasks you perform daily can save you valuable time. For example, by using Zapier, you can automatically create the same task in Google Calendar when you create one in your to-do list app.
Zapier offers multiple ways to automate tasks, and you can start with the free version, which provides 100 tasks per month. Here are a few more automation ideas:
- Save new email attachments to Dropbox
- Save new Instagram photos to Dropbox.
- Send new YouTube videos in a channel to a Facebook Page.
- Tweet new YouTube Videos.
- Share new Facebook Page posts on Pinterest.
By embracing automation tools like Zapier, you can further enhance your productivity and efficiency.
Here’s another simpler example: there’s a tool called Espanso, which functions as a text expander. It allows you to replace any keyword of your choice with a longer text, eliminating the need to type it repeatedly. For instance, I frequently request ChatGPT to “correct grammar:” before pasting my written content. With Espanso, I can set it up to replace a shortcut like “xcx” with “correct grammar”.
To prevent AI from taking over, we can each play a role in resisting its dominance. While it’s true that AI may replace many individuals, if this topic concerns you, consider integrating AI into your own abilities and becoming the person who can do the work of ten people.
While the rise of AI is inevitable, the future can be shaped by individuals who responsibly and ethically utilize its potential. By ensuring that those with good intentions lead the way, we can pave the path to a different future. Best of luck.
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