[00:00:00.000] – David Maples
The three classic types of conflict are man versus man, man versus himself, and man versus nature. But with the advent of Mary Shelley’s classic work, Frankenstein, in the early 1800s, she introduced the concept of man versus machine, and now that has filled tropes for the past 200 years. From John Henry fighting the steam drill only to lose his life when he had a heart attack, to the modern day tales of The Matrix and the growth of artificial intelligence, we see that what has happened in our science fiction has now come home to roost. And the question is, what will this conflict look like? Does it have to be a battle between humans and machines, or can we find a way to work together? Today, we’re going to talk about the positive ways you can use AI in your business and how to introduce it on The Buck Stops Here.
[00:01:05.980] – David Maples
Welcome back to episode two of our three-part series on AI and You. Now, this second episode is going to be the first time we’ve tried to make something a little more interactive, so to speak. This episode is best enjoyed if you’re in front of a computer because I’m going to ask you to do some things with the artificial intelligence software, or one of the artificial intelligence software platforms, so you can try out things. Because nothing I can say or do will convince you better of the seriousness and the gravity of what we’re going to talk about in this episode than you actually experiencing it for yourselves.
[00:01:43.360] – David Maples
Nothing I can say will prepare you for what the reality of it is. This episode is really designed and geared towards how can you use this in your business. I thought about calling this episode “Adapt or Die,” and that is dramatic. But the buck stops with you in your business. You are responsible for whether or not your company lives or fails. And this represents a shift in technology that we talked about in the first episode, but if you’re not willing to adapt to this, I’ve got some news for you, you’re not going to be around very long. And this is coming at you with the speed of a race car. It’s a rocket ship lifting off, and right now, we’re in that weird pause. If you ever looked at a rocket lift off the platform, there’s this weird spot where it seems to be suspended in air before it starts to accelerate, and that is the brief pause that your business exists in at this moment in time, and it is only going to accelerate from here. So, as we talked about in the last episode, this represents a massive, massive change in technology, and I can’t overstate that enough.
[00:02:57.000] – David Maples
So, this episode breaks down into three parts for it. First of all is you need to have your team, you need to introduce this technology to your team. And I want you to think about that before you start to experiment with it. Part two is the interactive part where I’m going to give you a couple of examples and exercises for you to go do, and I’m going to ask you to pause the podcast or pause the video while you’re doing that piece. And episode three is we’re going to talk about, okay, now how can I use this in my business? This is the episode that says, here’s the ways we can be more efficient or produce more things or do some things we haven’t been able to do before. This is about unlocking the power of this new technology. And the third part of this series is going to be like, okay, here’s the cautionary tales piece on this. And we’ll hit on a couple of those things about that. But that episode really is more about here are the cautionary things. Have you thought about these things in your business, etc.? So, let’s take it from the top.
[00:03:53.100] – David Maples
So, the first thing about this is that for many of you in the marketplace, you are dealing with a time in history where you have multiple generations in the marketplace more than ever before in human history. In some cases, you have Gen Z, you have the millennials, you have Gen Xers, you have the Boomers, and there’s even some of what’s called the Golden or Greatest generation still out there. So, you have a situation where you could have up to five different people in your workforce. And the funny thing about it is none of us know which of these cohorts of people… And, by the way, it’s a broad brush. I mean, supposedly Gen Xers who are on the millennial cusp are called Xennial. I mean, nobody knows, right? It’s one of these things. It’s like, what do you call these people, right? But the thing about it is they’ve all come from a different environment. So, people in the… Let’s just take the Boomers, for example. For those people, they might have experienced things such as when the dishwasher was introduced, and that sounds really odd. But that technology fundamentally reshaped things in the marketplace, and things have only accelerated from then.
[00:05:01.720] – David Maples
To some people, you might say that the Gen Z people, the very, very new people who are just out of college or entering college right now, will have the best time adapting to AI. But also remember, in their lifetimes, they have not really seen a shift in technology like this at all. Social media is just really a variation on a theme. TikTok may be popular now, but that’s no different than Friendster, Myspace, Facebook, Instagram. There’s a whole litany of these things, but they’re all just evolutions of what is the same platform from before. I mean, if you want to be honest with it, TikTok is like the godchild of YouTube and Instagram. It’s different, but it’s not that different. And so for people who are adapting to it, it’s just literally another variation. It’s new technology that’s been introduced in their lives. And for a lot of these Gen Z people, they’ve never seen a situation like this where it could completely reshape it. Some of these people are going to be exiting college, having spent four years learning a degree that will be obsolete in the next two years. That’s really, really a hard pill for someone who’s 21 or 22 to swallow because they just paid a lot of money for that degree, and now they’re being told it’s obsolete.
[00:06:17.140] – David Maples
Imagine if you’d gone to trade school and become a plumber and electrician, and you turned out that electricity is no longer a thing anymore. I’m not saying that’s what’s happening, but you got to realize that this represents a huge shift. So, there’s a question, an open question out there with how are people going to adapt to it? I have talked to people in the Boomer generation, and I have been told flatly by three business owners in the past two weeks, in one of these meetings we talked about it, “I don’t want to learn this new technology.” Period. Stop. And I mean, for me, that’s a showstopper. It’s like, what does that mean? So, I think because you’re introducing something that’s radically different, in many instances from anything your people have ever seen before, you’re going to have to think very carefully about how you’re going to introduce it. And I think the most important thing for you is the buck stops with you. And if you aren’t willing to learn this technology, do not expect your employees to learn it and then bring it to you, because this will change how your company functions. And the people who are not signing the check, if their name isn’t on the masthead of the firm, do not expect them to bring this to you like they would TikTok.
[00:07:42.280] – David Maples
Because I know business owners right now who have said, I have young, Gen Z kids in my thing and they’ve grown up with TikTok, so I’m going to have them educate me on it. This is literally different than that. This is fundamentally different than that. It will change your business and change how you work things. It will change your workflows, it’ll change your queues. It will change the stuff you produce, and you’ll start incorporating a different piece of software. This is something you cannot abdicate responsibility to one of your subordinates in your company, period. You cannot. And if you do, you are not long for this world. So, I think the most important thing at the very beginning is you need to approach this with the gravity it needs, and don’t scare your people. I’m trying to scare you a little bit right now because I want you to understand that.
[00:08:25.230] – David Maples
And this is what brings us to part two of the episode. Yep, this is what I want you guys to do right now. I want you to open up a web browser, and I want you to go to chat.openai.com. Chat.openai.com. I’m doing that because that’s probably the most available one of all the platforms right now in the market. Now, what you’re going to have to do is you’re going to have to set up an account here. If you don’t want to do it, then you can turn off the episode right now. What I’m telling you to do is go to chat.openai.com right now and set up an account. You’re going to have to verify it, you will have to put in a cell phone number, so they can verify the account as you. Do that, and then I want you to log into the chat platform. And you’ll see a big screen there, and you can actually, in the box, you can just have a conversation with the chat bot, and I want you to ask it some questions. I want you to ask it – and I would prompt you to try to do this – ask it something like, what are the top five challenges facing someone in my industry today? Just type that in there, and you type in your industry. If you’re an accountant, say in accounting today. Or ask it a tricky problem like, what’s the hardest thing to acquire new customers?
[00:09:52.990] – David Maples
And by the way, I want you to look at that and then read it and see what it comes out as. And I’m going to tell you to take whatever the response there is and say now, and this is like in the same chat window, don’t close out of it or anything else, then tell it, based on that response, write me a summary article if I were explaining this to one of my employees. If you’ve done that, you probably saw this pretty quickly, actually. Now I want you to ask it to write you… Think about a job position you’ve had trouble hiring in the past, okay? Tell it to write you a brief job description for someone in your industry with this experience, and just give it something, and just tell it what those things need to be. Now that you’ve done that, how do you feel? You probably feel a little creeped out at this moment in time because it just generated in seconds what you would have spent 45 minutes writing up. Now, by the way, you will probably point out that that’s not my job description. And you’re totally right, it totally isn’t. But it wasn’t a bad way to get some information.
[00:11:02.030] – David Maples
Now, there’s a few things about these chat things that you need to understand. When Google unveiled Bard just recently, they lost $100 billion in market valuation in about five minutes because it said something that was incorrect. It said that the James Webb Space Telescope had photographed the first extra solar planet, which was done by the European Space Observatory, I think, in 2004. It was incorrect. It was incorrect. But you’ll probably look at this and say, hey, that’s not a bad first stab at this. If you’ve asked somebody in your company to go up and write you their first draft of a job description before, I think you’re going to find that first draft wouldn’t look so very different than what got generated here. And what I want you to realize right now is that everything has shifted. Everything is shifted right now at this moment in time. And by the way, if you think this is no big deal, then you’re probably not the person to listen to me right now. But that brings us to the No BS portion of this segment. The world is different right now than it was two minutes ago when I told you to go there and look at that.
[00:12:15.130] – David Maples
If you don’t want to learn about AI, you are going to be forced to, period. If you are unwilling to learn about AI, then you need to take a hard look at your books right now and think about selling your business because it will never have more value in any marketplace than it probably has today. Because the future is going to be one where you either learn how to work with AI or one where you don’t. And this will change every industry on the planet. I don’t care what industry you’re in. Let’s say you think you’re completely insulated, like it’s a trade. Let’s say you’re a heating and air contractor. Well, they can’t replace me with machines. No, you’re right, they cannot. But your administrative assistant can probably write better job descriptions. There’s ways it will help you do accounting in the very near future. Things in the future are going to look very different. Artificial intelligence is going to be incorporated into every piece of software that you use. In the future, I’m going to go ahead and predict this, there’s a heating and air application being developed right now for you. And I don’t know what it is called, but I guarantee you someone out there is thinking about this.
[00:13:38.190] – David Maples
And if you’re not, you can credit me when you make your billion dollars. But that application right now is something that you will go into an interface like this and you will ask it, hey, I have this diagnostic problem with this. What is the proper way I should diagnose this and fix this? And it will pull from a database of information or material and provide you the top three solutions. And it may not work for you as a master plumber or master heating and air person or a master electrician or whatever, but it’s a really good way. Think of it as like adding a calculator into your back pocket, but one that can give you the top five answers of what it could be. Now, right now, there’s a lot of diagnostic technology and some of you in the trades right now already use some of it. But the fact of the matter is these machine learning things are pulling from these deep learning neural networks and they can give you examples based on the data. It’s going to change how medicine is done in the very near future if it’s not already being done so today.
[00:14:41.660] – David Maples
So, that ends my No BS portion, but remember, it is your job as captain of this ship to decide how you want the future to look, and that is up to you to do. Okay, so it’s not doom and gloom. Think about the opportunities this represents for you in your business. And right now, by the way, these are writing applications. They’re going to be ones that help with pictures and things like that. They’re working on those. And it may be five or 10 years before some of these things really become mainstream. But what I’m trying to tell you is that this really does change things. It’s going to change how you do accounting, how you do books, it’s going to change how you write about your company, talk about your company. There are people right now already using ChatGPT as a therapy type application, and I think there’s real dangers in that because you’ve got information problems. But here’s the thing, this should unlock a lot of potential for you as a business owner. You, as someone who knows every piece of everything that you do in your company, could use this to help with a lot of applications.
[00:15:52.190] – David Maples
You could think about ways that this could work better in your company, ways you can produce more with less headcount. And here’s the thing, with AI, your people will be expected to produce more, and that can make you more profitable. The other side of that is there probably will be an inevitable downward price pressure, depending on the marketplace. There will be a lot of low quality content produced by AI. The good content will win out, and that’s going to require smart individuals in your organization to think about what you’re writing, how you’re saying it, and how you’re doing these things. Here’s something else you need to realize, when you’re interviewing, it’s going to completely change how you interview and hire. Because right now, there’s a lot of job boards right now that should be very, very, very worried about their future. Because one of the things job boards have done for years to try to help you with hiring, is they scan through all the resumes and look at the keywords and whatever it is, they look for certain things, so you don’t have to talk to every person who comes through the door. And so there have been a lot of these bellwether things that help you find out who you’re hiring.
[00:17:02.350] – David Maples
And there’s people right now having their cover letters written by artificial intelligence. And what this means is that there’s a lot of people who probably could not write a good cover letter right now, and you need someone at your organization who can write one for whatever reason. You’ve got a reason you’re looking for that quality. But they’re going to be turning in assignments and cover letters written by artificial intelligence. And this will happen because it’s at a much, much higher level. I mean, right now, some of these people pay other people to help them write their resumes and things like that. That’s gone on for years. But that was only available to those with means, typically. Now you’re going to have people who do not have the skills and capabilities turning in that stuff, and it’s going to mean that your interviewing is going to have to change. It’s going to matter more now to talk to these people, and it’s going to really change how the job boards function or work. Now, eventually they may look for AI to detect if artificial intelligence were at these things, but that’s not happening yet. And the question is, it’ll be a cat and mouse game, how does that work?
[00:18:07.340] – David Maples
Now, the good thing about it is there will be other technologies born out of this moment in time which may help you detect those things. There are ways you can have… You might be able to develop an application right now that would maybe look through all the documents for it, and you could give it stuff beyond what the job boards currently do. Maybe you can look for a certain type of thing. Maybe you can find out if there’s a certain assignment you can give these people using AI, and that may help your process. But you need to take a hard look at your process and say, okay, what do we do in our business today? How could I use AI to be more efficient, to be more profitable, to help us produce more work? How can I do it to help me have a good sounding board for what I’m trying to work at and do? How can I use it to research things about what I’m doing, trying to do? And what I’m trying to say is this is a gift for anybody out there who’s willing to put the time in and do it, and those of us who are going to win in the final outcome or still be in business, if you don’t necessarily need to win, still be in business 24, 36 months from now, are going to be those people who work with AI and those people do not.
[00:19:17.800] – David Maples
And the reason the buck stops with you is because you need to think about how you’re going to shape your business over the coming days and weeks to come. You’re going to really need to think about that. Think about AI right now, think about what positions in my company it could eliminate or re-shift. We’ve already thought about things that we can do in our organization that are going to make us better. We’ve thought about first drafts of job descriptions or something like that before we give it to a writing team. Maybe I ask it some questions and then I give them that. And I think this is really freeing for a lot of executives and CEOs, and that’s who this podcast is aimed at. This is a gift for anyone running a company because one of the challenges right now is that our teams, that when we give them stuff to do, sometimes they ask for written instructions.
[00:20:07.750] – David Maples
You could work with AI yourself and make yourself much more productive. Not necessarily your team. Your team is going to have to polish these things and put them at a level where they can go out and live a wild. But right now, you could probably utilize this and feed it your own material and find out if it can put together something that you currently are dictating for somebody else. There are currently applications out there. For example, if you’re not already using, and some of these things do things, a lot of transcription software, etc., you could be dictating your notes, and currently, you might have someone retyping those notes for you in your organization. Maybe not, but you could be dictating those notes and turning them into transcripts. That’s a very low-level thing, but you could be transcribing what you said in order to get it to somebody else in your organization. That’s just going to save them time of not having to listen to you for 10 minutes because they probably can read what you wrote a lot faster than they could listen to what you said. And so there are advantages on this.
[00:21:04.390] – David Maples
This is just an evolution of technology. And what I want to talk about here at the end of the podcast is something very, very important. There’s a folk hero in America named John Henry. He was an African American man, according to legend, in the 1870s who drilled spikes and helped run the railroad. So, they would drill these spikes into the ground and I guess help break rock aside so they could put pins in the ground, etc. I’m not sure exactly how it worked, but the fact is, John Henry used to be this mountain of a man. 7 feet tall, could outproduce any man in the railroad, etc. And drilling these spikes. He had these two 14-lb. hammers he would swing all day long. And a guy came up with a steam drill, and this steam drill was going to… And there was a challenge. John Henry said, I’ll accept that challenge. I’ll outproduce the steam drill. And at the end of the day, the steam drill had only drilled nine feet, and John Henry, when they found him dead with his hammers in his hand, had drilled spikes 14 feet deep. He’s a hero, a mountain of a man, a legend among humankind.
[00:22:19.400] – David Maples
The best of us outproduced the machine but died at the end. So, I guess the question there is the folk hero a hero because he outproduced the machine but died because of it, or is it a cautionary tale that maybe you should learn how to work with the machines to outproduce them in the end? So, your takeaways from this episode of the podcast are, one, think about how you’re going to introduce these things to your teams. Think deeply about that because this might scare some of them. As I said, several business owners told me they weren’t going to adopt this, didn’t want to learn it. They were tired. They told me that, didn’t want to learn this. So much has happened and people are. They’re exhausted. Remember, post-pandemic, people are tired. It’s like, is this a gift or a curse? So, think about that. Be very gentle about it when you approach it, I think, in your organization. But do understand that they’re going to have to adopt it. Do not abdicate your responsibility. The buck stops with you. You need to think about how you’re going to run this in your business or not.
[00:23:24.480] – David Maples
Number two, I want you to actually go play around with the machine. You started using it in this podcast briefly today. You need to do some more with that, okay? And the third piece of this is think about how this is going to change your industry. Think about how you can use this as a gift. Think about how it can make you more productive, and do more things and really unleash the power that this new technology can provide to you because there were opportunities in that. Again, this is David. Thanks for listening to The Buck Stops Here. There will be a third episode coming up very shortly and we’re going to talk about the traps and pitfalls that do come with any new technology and, in this particular case, AI. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe. You can find this podcast on any place that great podcasts are hosted, Spotify, Apple, or Google. Please give us five stars if you enjoyed this. Thank you for listening and have a great week.