When I was younger, I remember the huge piles of books my Dad would lug home from the Columbus Metropolitan Library. During those times, people would publish (and read) books to learn new skills – something that now seems archaic and dated in comparison to the Coursera’s in the world now.
I won’t ever forget the day he brought home DOS For Dummies, a book that rapidly expanded into a “For Dummies” series that could teach you, well, pretty much anything.
My Dad soaked in knowledge at a rapid pace. Not only did he like to read, he was an avid proponent of speed reading which increased your retention, while reducing the time spent reading. Win-win.
Now that I’m in my 30’s, I understand why he was so intent on learning. At least, I now recognize more of the reasons why a man like my Dad would spend so much time studying. He needed to study this way in order to remain relevant and innovative in his industry.
Similar to how birds feed their young, my Dad would digest huge sums of information before giving small portions of it back to his children. He’d often write us little emails with links to companies, products or articles he thought we would enjoy – and I never doubted or questioned whether or not he took the time to read them. He did.
My Dad prepared me really well for the world of technology, specifically, the era that followed the .com boom. That was a time when a lot of people entering into more mainstream integration of web technology into their daily lives, or business flow. Often, these individuals/organizations needed somebody to help guide them on their journey – which is something I’ve become proficient at doing in the span of my career.
“I take people from A to B on the internet.”
With the years I’ve spent in my occupation, I’ve been exposed to a tremendous amount of tools, platforms, people, technologies and methodologies that function like a minicomputer in the day-to-day operations of startup era businesses.
In a time like today, our world is experiencing a boom like it has never seen before with the introduction of AI tools. The potential for these tools is only as limitless as the operators who push the controls and create the formulas for the algorithms to work properly.
The future belongs largely to the people who take the time to learn, understand, respect and harness the power of AI.
I recently watched a horrifying series of videos on YouTube, where countless “Generation Z” individuals are interviewed in public settings. Their inability to answer even the most basic questions is a starting reflection of the state of our school systems.
For years, we’ve been ‘educated’ with a system that largely follows the structure of test-taking; memorize information so that you can get the correct answers on a multiple choice test. Pass. Fail.
There’s a huge change coming in the world that will rely on people to stop thinking in a linear, 1+1=2 sort of way, and push them to thinking in more expansive ways that are in alignment with the technologies we now see emerging.
AI isn’t a magic pill. If anything, it’s a new field of study that requires efforts exceeding a part-time job in order to truly become proficient at using. As more and more people adopt ‘basic’ AI integration in their lives – e.g. using ChatBotGPT to formulate sales pitch emails, more and more value will be placed on those who are further up the food chain with their understanding of AI.
These days, I spend several hours a day simply learning new technologies, platforms, commands and ways of creating. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve gone back to school for a self-guided experience that’s relevant to the world of today – and tomorrow.