Episode 2 – Artificial Intelligence

Show Notes:

Join me for a thought-provoking journey with cybersecurity and AI expert Chris Roberts to uncover the transformative power of artificial intelligence in our everyday lives. Together, we dissect the spectrum of AI development, from its humble beginnings as programmed decision systems to the nuanced, data-centric models like GPT that silently shape our existence. Chris isn’t just a tech genius; he’s also got a huge heart, using his expertise to blend music therapy with technology, offering solace for dementia patients.

Hear about how AI is revolutionizing not just our workspaces but our educational realms, promising a future of tailored learning experiences and a new horizon for productivity. We reflect on the potential of AI to outpace traditional methods, fostering innovation among its users. We ponder the societal perceptions that range from utopian to dystopian narratives and the ethical quandaries they present. His unique perspective bridges the gap between innovative digital solutions and deep-seated human empathy, making this conversation a harmonious blend of intellect and compassion.

Chris Roberts’ career spans various roles in IT giants like Microsoft and Dell, where he contributed to now-standard technologies. He holds degrees in Computer Science and Marketing, but his interests extend beyond his professional life. He collects vinyl records, writes, and enjoys aeronautics, art, and antiques. Currently, he focuses his passion on researching music therapy for dementia and establishing an art gallery for artists affected by Alzheimer’s. Additionally, he is awaiting the publication of his poetry collection. This blend of professional success, technical expertise, and dedication to humanitarian causes makes him a distinct figure in both the tech sector and the wider community.

In this episode:

  • Chris Roberts discusses AI’s evolution and social impact
  • AI and the unexpected places you’re already experiencing it
  • Routines and music therapy benefits
  • Privacy trade-offs and data control
  • Reclaiming personal data privacy
  • AI’s revolutionary potential in education
  • Enhancing learning with AI – how does your child learn best?
  • Comparing AI’s maturity to the early days of the internet
  • Cautionary tales of AI in professional contexts
  • AI’s role in personal development
  • The “You know you’re middle-aged when” game
  • Using AI responsibly and understanding its societal impact

ThirtyFiveSixtyFour is your weekly dose of inspiration for navigating the exciting, unpredictable, and undeniably transformative journey of midlife. Hosted by Karen Stones, founder of 13 Jacks Marketing Agency, avoids the tired cliches of crisis and stagnation. This podcast celebrates the power of play, discovery, and possibility that comes with this unique chapter in life. Join us every week as we delve into the real stories, challenges, and triumphs of midlife. We’ll explore fresh perspectives, practical tips, and inspiring experiences that will help you thrive, not just survive, during this pivotal time. Ready to rewrite your midlife narrative? Head over to www.thirtyfivesixtyfour.com and be a part of the adventure!

Resources:

IamChrisRoberts.com
Book: Age of Surveillance Capitalism
ChatGPT from OpenAI
Gemini AI from Google
Gemini AI Privacy Policy
Claude AI
thirtyfivesixtyfour.com

Show Transcript:

[00:00:00] Chris Roberts: I wouldn’t context this conversation and say like, oh, AI is bad. It’s going to take away jobs. I think with the right application it helps us. Just like the horse and buggy went away, just like steamships went away. It’s going to change society in ways that we both expect, but there’ll also be unintended consequences as well.
[00:00:26] Karen Stones: Welcome back to ThirtyFiveSixtyFour, a podcast for the middle. My name is Karen and I’ll be your show host today.
Before we jump into our really exciting topic, artificial intelligence, I’d love to ask you to rate and review this podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe as well so you don’t miss a thing coming up that we have planned for you. I have the pleasure of introducing you to Chris Roberts. Chris has worked at Microsoft, Dell, other leading technology companies, and has really been on the forefront of all things cybersecurity, zero trust, and now focusing on artificial intelligence. He’s a proud alum of the University of Maryland and Andrews University, where he studied computer science and marketing. Chris isn’t just a tech whizz beyond his professional life. He’s a jazz vinyl collector, a writer, and passionate about aeronautics, art, and antiques. Chris goes way beyond the tech world. He’s diving into social causes, exploring music therapy for dementia, and setting up an art gallery for artists affected by Alzheimer’s. Oh, wait, did we mention he’s dropping a poetry collection by the end of the year? Chris is not just a tech expert. He’s a unique blend of professional success, technical prowess, and a heart dedicated to making a difference in the world. A dear friend of mine, a true Renaissance man, Chris Roberts.
One of the things that I love best about you is your approachability to every tech subject. You can relate to someone like me who is not an engineer and not super nerdy, dorky, high techy. And you also can speak the speak when you need to. And I’m also really impressed here you are currently doing some, it looks like volunteer work for dementia and some organizations that are supporting research there actually working.
[00:02:43] Chris Roberts: On a method to use music theory and therapy to ease the symptoms of dementia. So one of the dramatic effects of when you start to lose your memory, for instance, is that you lose a connection to both, sometimes short term first, and then it can impact long term memory as well. So music tends to bind us to moments in our past, and if you’ve ever heard a favorite song that you’d like, it always cues a memory as to when that song was actually playing. So we use that same theory, so to speak, to help a dementia person calm the effects of things like sundowning, when they really start to lose touch with reality. And the music kind of pulls them back into who they are and memories that they are comfortable with.
[00:03:21] Karen Stones: Wow, that sounds really impressive. I also have a note here that you are currently working on a poetry book. We’ll get into that later, but let’s dive into our subject here, all about AI. Where did this all begin? What is computer intelligence? What is AI?
[00:03:45] Chris Roberts: So all those words mean different things to different people. So if you talk to professionals, AI is literally, it’s artificial intelligence, and then you’ll have other professionals that will break it down and they’ll call it algorithmic intelligence, for instance. So before the current swath of all the things we hear about in news about chat, GPT, for instance, I think Google has Gemini and Bard and these other tools. Before all that, it really was just program programs. You would do very sophisticated branch conditional programming, and you’d have what we call a decision system. So an organization, say a corporation, would feed a system a lot of data, and this conditional system, or branch conditional system would make and help you make decisions based on that information. And over time, it got more complex because of the number of parameters or the data points that were fed into the system. And now what we have in the modern systems that everyone’s talking about, why we’re so excited about AI today, is that when you hear that word, I think they say, they’ll say chat GPT. That’s the most popular one. And we have to understand that that actually means something. It wasn’t just a nickname they came up with. So the GPT is the important part. So the g means generative, that it generates something. The p means pre trained, and the t stands for transformer, so it’s generative, pre trained, transformer. So all GPTs do, and they’re all. So you hear the word GPT really means something else, which is a large language model. And what it means is it’s ingested a lot of information. So I dare say, for instance, Google has been indexing the Internet since they were founded back in the nineties. So think of all the petabytes of data. Petabytes is just a word, a meaning for a lot of digital information. So think of the sum total of human knowledge being at the fingertips now of a system that’s now trying to generate information based on what it’s learned from us. So all it is done is figured out exactly how we speak, how we communicate in every language, both in text, in audio, and visually and video, for instance, and then being able to say, well, I’ve seen these two things together before, and the last time these things were together, this was the result, or this was the next word, or this was the image or the sound that came out from that. And that’s the generative part of AI, and that’s where and how we’ve gotten to where we are today. And it’s permeated pretty much every part of our lives at this point.
[00:06:18] Karen Stones: Yeah, well, you hear a lot of people say, AI is weird. I don’t know how to use it. I would never use it. And here’s the thing is, it is ingrained in your life everywhere already. Can you tell us about some of the common places we might experience AI tech behind the scenes that we’re not even aware is happening?
[00:06:42] Chris Roberts: AI is an all inclusive term, and I want you to think of AI more like automation, making something repeatable and easy for a machine to do. So when you wake up in the morning, your alarm clock, or, you know, people of our age, we know what alarm clocks are. I used to have a clock, for instance. You want to say how old we are. I used to have a clock radio back in the day. The numbers would flip over and it was still so cool. But that was an automated device.
When you roll into the drive thru at Starbucks, from the time you roll in, for instance, the drive thru camera and microphone, for instance, has noise suppression built in. That noise suppression, that’s a form of automation, so they can actually hear you. Then the machines inside of Starbucks, they’re programmed for your beverage. You think a barista remembers how to make every drink on a Starbucks menu? No, that’s a program, for instance. So that’s automation.
[00:07:31] Karen Stones: What they don’t remember, we take that.
[00:07:34] Chris Roberts: For granted, for instance. So also think of the car you drove to Starbucks. So when you backed out of your driveway, what typically happens in a modern car, the backup camera comes on and it gives you guides as to where you should go and where you shouldn’t go. And if you get close to an object, sometimes the car will beep, for instance, or it may actually apply the brake if it’s a really, really well formed automobile. But we have so many pieces of automation built onto our lives. Siri is a form of artificial intelligence, for instance, as well as Alexa and Siri just woke up and as soon as I said that, and these things are baked into our lives, and these are the obvious artificial intelligence components in our daily lives. It gets even more complex when you think of travel. So the minute you get on any mass transit, any aircraft, for instance, an aircraft is fully automated. A lot of people understand this, but an airplane can take off and land itself. It doesn’t need pilots. Pilots are there. So we feel comfortable, because if there was nobody in the front of the plane, I think we would all jump out the first available door, especially with the 737, there’s always an extra door available for us to jump out.
[00:08:37] Karen Stones: I was going to say, oh, my goodness.
[00:08:40] Chris Roberts: So automation has been part of our lives for a very long time. We’ve just taken a lot of it for granted. I think the current incantations, so to speak, of AI, have made it more accessible. We can talk to it, for instance. So I literally could have a dialogue with things like chat GPT and others and just have a conversational. So conversational AI is very new, for instance. But the underpinnings of what it is that’s been around for a very long time and been part of our daily lives in ways we just didn’t take a think of.
[00:09:07] Karen Stones: Yeah, I felt like you heard a lot more about AI, especially, especially in the regular consumer market after chat GPT launched. And that was really the first time that I personally started using what I thought was AI. I’ve been using my Alexa and other devices for a long time. Funny enough, my kids even ask Alexa the answers to their homework. Yes, they do. That’s one of the funny things that happens. But I’ve also gotten reminders from them. Don’t forget my birthday, I want a bike. Yes, stuff like that. But I actually, I have chat GPT appear right next to me, and I almost use it every single day. One of the things that I find really common is people don’t know even how to start, start with something like chat GPT, why they should use it and how they should use it. So can you tell me a little bit about basics? Where do I go? Is it a program? Do I download it? And how would I even use it?
[00:10:19] Chris Roberts: The good thing about the way AI is formed today, and that is one, there’s, like I said, there’s the AI that’s baked into things we use every day. Our smartphones, our televisions, our cars, airplanes, the self checkout. How do you think that thing recognizes all those different things items are buying? Yeah, they have barcodes, but if you go to Amazon fresh, for instance, you can just walk out without scanning anything. So how does it do that? So there are cameras and sensors everywhere. So there’s AI baked into the things we just take for granted, but the consumer level AI, or even the business level AI, for instance, you can access via most of them through a website. So chat GPT, Google, those are available via website. They even have apps. So I think the one caution we should probably put in this conversation is that when you go to the App Store on your phone, so you’ll be tempted, whether it’s Android or Apple. So iOS or the Google Play Store, you will see so many different AI applications, for instance, people in chat GPT, all these different applications will show up. You want the ones on the actual publisher. So you want the Google app from Google, for instance, for Barter, Gemini, you want chat GPT from OpenAI, for instance. Most of the other applications are recalled front end applications. That is, they will intercept your prompt, which is the conversation you want to have with AI. They will form it, and then they will pass it off to the back end and then get that response back and feed it back to you. It sounds innocent, but it’s really like having a middleman in your conversation. It’s like if you picked up the phone to call your mom, do you want somebody telling your mom what you said, or do you just want to say it directly to your mom? And that’s how, that’s the analogy I would best use, and that is by using the apps from the actual producers, Google or OpenAI, for instance, or even Microsoft Bing, because they’ve integrated OpenAI in their platform. You have a direct access to the AI intelligence itself, for instance. And that’s important from a privacy standpoint, because what you share with AI, it may seem innocuous in the beginning. So it being like, hey, how do I make an omelet? And it’ll walk you through the process of doing that, for instance, or explain to me derivatives and economics, and why do we have them? 2008 financial crisis, for instance. What is a mortgage tranche? Who gets to ask all these complex questions? But then you start to say, wow, this thing’s really smart. It’s like, hey, you know what? Fix my relationship or help me talk to my kid about drugs, or, for instance. And then it gets really personal. So now you get to now use questions about what happens without information. That’s what we call training data. So the minute you start talking to an AI, it is using that conversation that you’re providing the words, the prompts, so to speak, as part of its training model, for instance. And the only way to get around that, for instance, is to one either opt out of that by getting a subscription. So I believe some of them have a professional or business tier and you can control exactly what data is saved for training or not being used for.
[00:13:15] Karen Stones: Interesting. So are these free? Are these free, Chris? Or you said there’s paid and free versions.
[00:13:22] Chris Roberts: That’s a good way. Yeah. So everything is free to a point. When something is free, whether it’s an AI chat bot, for instance, or a website, for instance, usually when it’s free, you’re the product. That means you’re being exploited for your data. Maybe exploit’s a strong word, but they’re mining your data or what? One professor at Harvard, I think it was Shoshana Zuboff, talked about in her book surveillance cap or the age of surveillance capitalism, is that when we’re on the Internet, we’re always emitting what we call digital exhaust. You don’t think about it, but every mouse click is a digital event, for instance, or in the Windows environment or your iOS device, it’s called in a, literally, it’s called an event and it’s captured and then the data associated with that, for instance, the location where you did it, for instance, sounds of where you are, if you’re using the phone, those sounds recorded in the background, all that digital exhaust that we don’t care about. But providers. So whether it’s meta, Amazon, Apple, whoever, they’re collecting information and they can monetize it or use it for training data, for instance, or as part of their business strategy, whatever that may be. And none of us like reading privacy policies, but it’s buried in there that they can use all this data the way they see fit, which is something to think about when you’re going to subscribe to a free service. So the pay tier alleviates some of that, because the pay tier, now you can select exactly. Okay, what should be saved, what do I want you to use as training data or not? For instance, and in the most extreme circumstances, you can use and run or have your own private chat GPT, or we call a private large language model. That’s not for everybody, but a lot of businesses or organizations. Let’s say you’re a doctor and you want to use artificial intelligence in your practice to help you with some diagnostics or charting or coding for your insurance company. You would create a private model for that in your office. And for that, yeah, you would definitely pay for the service or you would pay, you know, a professional to actually help you set that up.
[00:15:18] Karen Stones: Wow. Well, I know a lot of folks are listening and they’re driving. They are not in front of their desktop or computer. So we will put some links in the show notes to some of Chris’s suggested either free or paid services. So it’s somewhere to start. That’s the hard part sometimes. Where do I start? So we’ll put a couple of those together for you. So it’s easier for you to navigate where to go and how to get these. It is freaky, all this stuff, as you mentioned, exhaust. You know, you think you turn on your privacy filters and, and, uh, you hide your activity. And the truth is, is if you’re using a cell phone and driving a modern car and operating as a normal human in the digital space, you are leaving a trail.
[00:16:12] Chris Roberts: It’s interesting that I remember when we were kids, there was a joke, or I would say the television conspiracy theory, that, oh, they can see us through our televisions. And now today, that’s actually true to a certain extent. So when you have a smart tv, for instance, they know what you’re watching and when you’re watching and how long you watch, for instance. So it’s important to understand that the devices we’re using always phone home. So phone home is a capability in most of today’s digital devices, where it talks with their corporate parent, whoever sold you that device. So if you got a PlayStation or an Xbox, for instance, or you have a smartphone, a smart television, or as we’ve seen now, smart appliances, so you have your fridge, for instance, that can look at the contents of your fridge and tell you when you’re running low in milk, when your milk is about to expire. All that convenience and all that automation comes with a price. Okay? And even though you’ve paid for these devices, I pay for an Internet connection, for instance, in my office and home, I still don’t control exactly who can save that information. I know my ISP saves my searches, it saves the traffic, and it uses it and monetizes it, for instance. So you’ve got to start thinking about exactly who has access and then what permissions around that. We call them guardrails. So in the context of AI, I would be more concerned about can harm come about by, let’s say, my children using AI, because they’re all going to use it like you said to use, ask their homework questions, for instance, what types of guardrails are in place. And as a parent, let’s say for me, for instance, as a parent, my kids are a little bit past the age of consent, so to speak. But I would definitely be looking at if I had a middle schooler, for instance, and they were looking at AI to help with an assignment or book report. For instance, I want to use the AI that’s the safest AI. And if I was going to rank safe AI’s, this is me. Based on my personal experience, chat GPT is at the bottom. It lets you do a lot of things. Quite frankly, if you give it the right prompt, what we call jailbreak prompt, for instance, it can do certain things, and even if unintended responses can come about next safest above from that, I would say is Gemini or Google bar that actually has some capabilities or more guardrails built into it. By far the most safest AI, if that’s a word that has the best guardrails, is one called Claude. Claude is from a company named Anthropic. Anthropic was founded by people who left OpenAI early on.
[00:18:34] Karen Stones: The makers of chat GPT, okay, started.
[00:18:36] Chris Roberts: Their own company with the express goal of building a safe AI, and that is their business model, and it’s based on that. So if there’s one that you want your kids to be using, I would recommend Claude. If you are concerned about guardrails and.
[00:18:52] Karen Stones: Safety, I want to tell you a couple of ways that people in my everyday life have been using chat GPT, or whatever AI they have installed on their computer or app. I have a friend whose father recently passed away, and one of the things that she needed to do was eulogize him. She didn’t know where to start. She was overwhelmed, obviously, with a lot of emotions and questions, and she took a list of where he was born, who his siblings were, what he did, and it was literally a bulleted list. And then she asked chat GPT to come up with a eulogy. It did, and she felt it sounded a little hollow. He was a fun guy, he was quite jovial. And so she said, inject tons of humor, and it did. And so she balanced the vibe, if you will, that she wanted to get out of this eulogy. And really within ten minutes, she had something that was, what she said was beautiful. I was shocked. I’ve seen people spend days writing those eulogies. I have another friend. He loves reading stories to his children when he goes to bed. And he now says, hey, little guy, what are three things that you want in your story tonight? I want dragons and frogs and robots. And he’ll plug those in to chat GPT and say, please create a story for my five year old that is under three minutes and has all of these elements, and it pumps it out, and it’s a huge, huge hit with his kids. Another really interesting way that I’ve seen people use chat. GPT a friend was having a birthday party for her daughter, and she plugged in her local city, some parks, and she created a treasure hunt with chat. GPT that was really cool. And it all rhymed with pink because it was for her daughter. So I’ve seen people use these personally and professionally, people plugging in their resumes. My resume hasn’t been updated for ten years. Give it a go. What do you think? I’ve used it personally, even in my agency work, when I know I have a good idea. But I want to see some other takes on the idea, maybe a title for a podcast, a, you know, notes for a blog. It really has opened up a lot of doors for me, but at the same time, we’re hearing a lot of doom and gloom. How do I put this? My job is going to be taken from AI. They’re going to get the new codes. Really, really crazy stuff. Tell me, is any of this things we should be thinking about? What are your thoughts here?
[00:21:52] Chris Roberts: The technology is very capable and powerful as you as you learn from the examples, from your friends. Even in those examples, the type of prompt you give the AI can be improved by just giving it more context and more intent around what you’d like from it. So, for instance, you said the eulogy, for instance, that’s a very personal example, for instance, and you’re right, the first pass, it’s going to sound cold, informal and something like, oh, I wouldn’t want to read that. But you say inject humor. You can go a step further and says, like, you know what? For me, if mine I was writing mine, for instance, I would say, here are the data points for Chris on inject humor in the style of Robin Williams. And wow, now you have a very different type of output from the AI, for instance, and or I could say in the style of Winston Churchill, for instance. So by injecting a personality, you change the way the response is going to be formatted, or you can be very dry. So like, you know, give me the response is the way, you know, a Wall street banker would read this to his audience.
What would Janet Yellen say in my eulogy? And depending on those parameters, the AI would respond and tune the output to that information. Now, for us, in the context of our everyday jobs, and this is important for work life in every context, because teachers are concerned that kids aren’t going to learn, for instance, because of AI, which I would disagree with because when I was a kid and most of us before the Internet. Let’s say this, before the Internet and after that, before the Internet, we had libraries, we had encyclopedias, we always had access to information. Okay, plagiary. And those issues didn’t start with AI or the Internet. They’ve been around forever.
We also have to be cognizant of the fact that different tools can be used in the learning process. So, for instance, I learn by watching and reading. So sometimes I have Kindle books and I read and I’ll highlight things in a Kindle book. And for instance, and sometimes I’ll say, you know what? I will pass that to AI says, like, I want to talk about this. And then if I’m away from my computer in the car, for instance, I will use the conversational app for chat GPT. And I’ll ask very specific questions and I’ll say, well, can you correlate this? Well, give me some historical examples, but what about this? And you literally can have a very instructive conversation with a professor that has access to the sum, to let the sum total of human knowledge, for instance, which is incredible. Now put that in the classroom. And yeah, a teacher might feel threatened. It may feel a child is not learning. But think of having a professor that’s custom trained for your child based on your child’s level, the way they like to communicate, do they like to hear things audibly? Do they want to see pictures visually, for instance? How do they want to learn, for instance? And now I think we have an incredible opportunity to change the way education works in society, for instance, for the better. The same goes for our working professional lives. Instead of asking the question, will AI take my job? The better question, or the more important realization is that people that use AI may threaten your job because they’ll be smarter, faster, more productive, and have much more significant impact in their organization than someone who doesn’t use AI. So if I wanted to write a script for this podcast, for instance, or if I wanted to write anything of context that was like more than five or ten pages, I’m sitting down the old fashioned way, like, okay, fourscore and 20 years ago I started working on the Internet. That would take me forever. But if I gave an AI a series of prompts and context as to what I was trying to accomplish, the audience I’m going to speak to, for instance, and anyone else for that matter, that’s going to be in the audience, then I have the ability to tune the response for that particular output, and that changes everything. So I wouldn’t start, I wouldn’t context this conversation and say, like, oh, AI is bad. It’s going to take away jobs. I think with the right application, it helps us. Just like the horse and buggy went away, just like steamships went away. It’s going to change society in ways that we both expect, but there will also be unintended consequences as well.
[00:26:01] Karen Stones: Yeah, I was talking to a well respected executive at Microsoft about AI, and I said, where are we at on the spectrum of maturity? And he said, Karen, do you remember AOL? Of course I do. You remember AOL, Chris? We were on the chat and we had, you know, Karen.com. That was the full dial up, and that was the beginning of the Internet. He said, this is pre AOL where we are at right now. It sort of gave me the chills because it really is cutting edge stuff that is rapidly improving at a speed that we can’t even define. So I thought that was an interesting analogy. It helped me understand this is nowhere near mature. It is the beginning of the beginning of the beginning.
[00:27:01] Chris Roberts: You have people in two camps. You have the people that believe AI will be our savior. It’s going to make the world better. We’re going to sing Kumbaya. It’ll be a long boom of prosperity and happiness for everybody. And then you have the other side of the spectrum that, like, this is going to be a bunch of Terminators and Skynet, and they’re going to smash us. And Neo is going to have to come into the Matrix and save us all. So you have two sides of this coin, and I live in the middle somewhere. Everything that we create can be repurposed for extreme amounts of good and equal amounts of evil. We’ve seen that with every invention on the face of the earth. Okay, an AI will be no different. The question will be, how can we as a society, whether we are a democracy or any other entity, dictate exactly how AI will be used in our society? And what are we willing to accept? For instance, I’ll give you a case in point. There is a, a book by Isaac Osmo, who writes science fiction. One of his books, I believe, was iRobot. And in there, he talks about the decisions that a robot would make or an AI would make versus a human would make. So, for instance, if a bus is coming down the street and there was a toddler and an 80 year old person in the crosswalk, which would you save first? And that’s a very human question. And a human being, we would want to save both. We would try to grab both. Both. And AI would make a calculation based on, well, that kid has terminal leukemia and will be gone in two months, where this 80 year old person is a professor of physics at UC Berkeley, and he’s about to make a breakthrough in quantum mechanics, and they save the 80 year old person. We would disagree. And these are the things and questions that we’ll always have to answer because AI ethics is still a field that most people haven’t paid attention to. We’re too enamored with the cuteness of AI, and we haven’t really dug into what does it really mean for our society, for instance, because it is going to change a lot of things. And right now, it is AI at my fingertips. What happens when it’s just there and it’s nothing I can do about it? It’s in every machine. It’s in every device. It’s in every interaction. What then, for instance? I don’t know. And that is what we call the wild west of technology.
[00:29:16] Karen Stones: Sometimes, yeah. So there’s so many different sources of information about AI. Where do you start if you’re wanting to follow this technology as it matures, as you can use it to see how it’s being used in every day? Where are some resources that, that you look, and I know you’re techie, but where would I look if you could address both of those? I’m really curious.
[00:29:45] Chris Roberts: So, and a lot of this will, like you said, we’ll put in the show notes. But the most important thing is, if you want to understand something, you have to use something. So use AI. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t think it’s something that’s, you know, oh, that’s for another generation, or that’s beyond me for, that’s the wrong attitude. Try using it for basic things. So, for instance, I’ve used it to figure out how to make a barbecue sauce, for instance. I was like, well, why do I have to buy barbecue? How do you make barbecue sauce? And sure, there are recipes, but I can say, you know what? Give me a recipe for barbecue sauce, but add jerk flavoring from Jamaica into my barbecue sauce. And what does that do? What would I do to the flavor profile? And you can give it challenges that are innocuous but at the same time of interest to you. So I would say just use AI in your daily life in some form or fashion, and then start to understand exactly how you already use AI. So if you have a smartphone, you use Siri, or you say, okay, Google, for instance, you know, so get comfortable with that level. I know a lot of people who have these devices, who have never used the automated attendance that are part of these devices, for instance. So I would say always use the thing you’re trying to learn about, because by using you learn a lot more and then start to just be a consumer of information. So I love YouTube. YouTube has so many shorts on this topic. If you put in AI, you get too many, I would say, videos on AI about education or how would I learn with AI? How can you be a better teacher with AI? And there’s content around all these different subjects already, for instance, because everyone loves showing the world how smart they are, and I love YouTube for that because I get all information that way as well. There aren’t a lot of books on AI the way it exists today. There are lots of books on traditional machine learning, for instance, and older decision support systems. Yeah, there are books for those. They’re starting to have more books now about chatGPT and large language models, for instance. But I would say the best source is going to be YouTube for visual folks who are visual, for folks who want to read. You will have to do some good Google searches. I’ll put some good resources in the show notes too, as well. But a lot of times you will find that doing, you will learn more than just sit back and reading this thing like it’s a textbook. That’s not how you’re going to master this stuff. You’re going to have to use it.
[00:32:01] Karen Stones: You know, one of the things that you and I have chatted about, and I believe this was a story in the news about an attorney who was using chat, GPT. Can you go ahead and tell the audience that story? I think it’s really interesting.
[00:32:15] Chris Roberts: There are so many embarrassing stories about AI because you got to remember this thing. In the beginning, we said GPT sends for generative, pre trained transformer. Okay? So it generates based on what it knows. So there was a lawyer who was working a case who had chat GBT write a brief for his case, submitted it to the court, and it was well formed. It looked just like any other brief, just like you pull from lawyers use LexisNexis and services like that. The only problem was every case that the AI cited did not exist. It made it up. And this may come as a surprise to everybody, but AI is not perfect, it is not infallible, it is not all seeing. So when AI doesn’t know the answer to something, sometimes it will generate an answer. Unfortunately, if it’s the wrong answer, we call it a hallucination. So AI’s literally hallucinate. So it hallucinated these case law abstracts for this brief, for instance. And that’s why you have to be careful if you’re using AI for something that, where life and death decisions are involved, for instance, or you cannot say, hey, I need you to create an exam, final exam, for my AP physics class. Well, what if it gets it wrong on Newton’s theory of relativity, for instance, or it messes up the three thermodynamic laws or something with that effect, then you have a lot of egg on your face. So just keep in mind that you can ask AI to do things, but you have to fact check it, for instance, just like you have Snopes to check Internet conspiracy theories.
[00:33:47] Karen Stones: Oh, yes.
[00:33:48] Chris Roberts: You’ve got to fact check what your AI gives back to you before you hand it in. Use it at the office, for instance. And that’s a whole different can of worms as to different corporations and different organizations, what their policies are about using AI at work. And you may want to check on that before you start using AI to hand in that memo. See, that’s another. That’s another age thing. A memo.
[00:34:09] Karen Stones: Oh, yes, a memo.
[00:34:11] Chris Roberts: While you were out, these people called.
[00:34:16] Karen Stones: Yeah, yeah. Now, a memo would be a voice memo that you would put on your, you know, your phone or there. I know there’s some memo apps, but, yeah, there used to be paper that we used to do stuff with. That’s too funny. I. Another thing that you and I were talking about was how people can use this spiritually or with personal development, even something like improving their marriage or dating. What do you have to say about that?
[00:34:44] Chris Roberts: As you use AI, you start to get comfortable with it, and you’ll push the limits of it, for instance. So. And as I said before, depending on the guardrails that are on the AI model you’re using, whether you’re using chat or Gemini, for instance, or Claude, those are just three. There are dozens of these things out there. Those are just the most popular. But you can have and use it as a sounding board, for instance. So let’s say today’s Valentine’s Day, just ironically, we’re recording this on a Valentine’s Day, is that you can say, hey, you know what? Hey, chat. I forgot to give my spouse flowers today. What do you suggest I do to make it up to her? And they would come up with suggestions, you know, because face it, some people, when you get into. When you’re panicking in a situation, you really don’t think effectively. You can look at AI as your most logical companion. Like, think of it as a personal spark at your side. Always logical, always has the right answer to a certain extent.
[00:35:34] Karen Stones: For instance, yes.
[00:35:36] Chris Roberts: The same thing with, like, those big existential questions, for instance. You know, you can try it. I haven’t asked it yet. You can say, why am I here? That’s a dangerous question. But you can also ask things like, what is the correlation between the big Bang and, let’s say, creation? And you could have a dialogue, a spiritual conversation about that, for instance. Or you can ask us to explain what’s the difference between this faith and that faith. And I think a lot of times our ignorance as people, sometimes it’s willful ignorance, but a lot of it’s just innocent. We just don’t know. We now have an opportunity to just quickly ask questions about something we’ve seen or heard. Like when you’re watching the news and you don’t understand an issue, for instance, like, well, you know, well, what does it mean to have, you know, a grain embargo, for instance. What does it mean to have a cease fire? You know, what is, what was the start treaties, for instance, you can now ask intelligent questions quickly on the fly, and it will give you contextual responses to help you in the current situation, which is what I like, versus an encyclopedia or a Google search, is that it can make it contextual. Cause you can frame it and say, I am now at this embassy at a dinner talking to this person who is from Pakistan, helping understand Indo Pakistan relations in terms of nuclear theory. So it makes it real from that perspective. So it does change the way we can communicate. Never mind the fact that it can translate on the fly, too, as well.
[00:37:01] Karen Stones: Wow, I feel like there’s so much to unpack here. There are so many books you’ve mentioned and resources. Once again, all of those will be in the show notes, so you can access those when you can. Chris, I want to move on to something that we’re going to do in every podcast episode. It’s playing a little bit of fun, poking fun at us our age. And as you know, I do love middle age. I’m going to tell you over and over again, you couldn’t pay me to be 20 again. I. This time of life, is it? I was just reading a study that said happiness is strongest in folks who are 50 and 60. I couldn’t tell you that. The media is not saying that in their messages, but the research is telling us that. So one of the things that I want to do is, you know, your middle age when it’s going to be a little game and I want to see what you think of these. So number one, you know your middle age when you have to ask yourself, is it too early to go to bed now? What do you think?
[00:38:15] Chris Roberts: See, that depends. Okay.
[00:38:17] Karen Stones: Yep, yep, that depends.
[00:38:19] Chris Roberts: So, all right, so nobody misses sleep. Nobody wants to miss sleep. Okay. I love sleep. Just a minute. So I know you are old when you go to bed early and you have nothing early to get up for. So if you’ve got like for me, I like spin in the morning. So I’m getting up at 5530 to go to spin. Okay. I’m not going to go to bed past ten. I want to try to make sure I get at least seven, 8 hours before spin. Cause you’re going to burn in the morning and then you got to go a whole day after that. But if you have nothing going on the next day and you’re still going to bed at 910 o’clock or 830, come on, you’re old. Okay.
Better question is Karen is like, you know, you’re old if you want to have supper at 430 and you say, and you say the word supper.
[00:39:07] Karen Stones: Yeah. And you say supper. Well I have a, my line in the sand is 830. If you are in bed before 830, you might be hitting geezer status. So I always wait until 845.
I’m a morning person too, Chris, so I know we both are. Okay, here’s my other one for you. And I’m very curious. You know your middle age when you have a picture of a bird on your phone.
Bonus points. If you currently watch some sort of webcam that monitors a nest or a bird somewhere. Tell me about it. Am I right?
[00:39:54] Chris Roberts: Yes, you’re right. Because you really have to be a certain type of person to watch something that’s that stagnant. Cause if you ever seen like an eagle cam, they may be there and they may not. It’s like there’s not a lot of action going on on a bird cam, quite frankly.
[00:40:10] Karen Stones: Okay.
[00:40:10] Chris Roberts: No, show me a shark cam.
Show me something where something is, something brutal is about to happen. Okay. Show me a Niagara Falls cam because someone’s gonna go over in a barrel anytime. And I would love to watch that. Okay. That hasn’t happened in a while, but I would love to watch that again. Okay. Those are the good old days. But you’re right. If you sit watching static content, there’s something wrong. Like traffic cams. If you get up in the morning and like, let me watch a traffic cam and see what’s happening and just looking, instead of just putting in the ride in. Google, for instance, and heading out and let Google guide you. I know this is crazy. I was like. I had this argument with my kids sometimes. Why do you trust Google? And then, sure enough, Google. Darn that thing. It’s always right. It just knows exactly where traffic is. Never mind your shortcuts. So if you’re watching traffic cams at home before you leave, or worse, you know you’re old. When you’re turning on the radio, waiting for the traffic update, now you’re old. Okay.
[00:41:04] Karen Stones: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. There’s a station out here in LA, it’s called KNX 1070, and I think they did traffic on the tens.
[00:41:13] Chris Roberts: Oh, yeah, there’s always one. Traffic on the eights.
[00:41:16] Karen Stones: Yeah. Oh. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Well, you’re in DC. You have the circle of death, right?
[00:41:21] Chris Roberts: Yeah. We have a. We have a beltway here, literally, and we all avoid it. It’s. You know, it’s. I kind of. It’s like LA. You just don’t go on to five or ten at certain hours of the day here. We just stay away from that road. It’s like. It’s like the matrix reloaded. You don’t go on the freeway, you stay off the freeway. Okay. Bad things always happen, so.
[00:41:39] Karen Stones: Oh, my goodness. All right. Do you have any. You know, you are middle age or old when.
[00:41:44] Chris Roberts: For me, you know you’re old when. Most of your references are from black and white tv shows.
[00:41:50] Karen Stones: Oh, wow.
[00:41:52] Chris Roberts: That’s. If you’re whistling the tune from Andy Griffith or. Oh, my God. Or Dick Van Dyke or something like that. You’re pretty old. Okay.
[00:42:02] Karen Stones: Yeah. Do you think that’s elder status?
[00:42:05] Chris Roberts: Geezer status is if you from a black and white show, you’re borderline. If you’re still talking about, here’s a story of a lovely lady. The Brady Bunch. Come on. You know you’re approaching geezer status.
[00:42:17] Karen Stones: Okay, okay, okay. I do know that song. I didn’t want to subject everybody to my singing.
[00:42:24] Chris Roberts: I have no shame. Okay.
[00:42:26] Karen Stones: Oh, my goodness. Well, everyone, you can expect to hear from Chris on the regular, if you have a question, you’d like him to address a topic in particular. He is a technology expert, but as we mentioned, he has a ton of other interesting areas that he’s done. Deep dives in his life, jazz, poetry. In fact. Chris, is there a good way that our audience could get a hold of you if they wanted to get a hold of me?
[00:42:56] Chris Roberts: Like, physically, by the neck or something. What do you mean, Karen?
[00:42:59] Karen Stones: So, well, you know, follow you, reach out, they have a question. Do you have any projects going on? What’s going on over there?
[00:43:08] Chris Roberts: Sure, it’s always a work in progress, but the current site for me is simply iamchrisroberts.com. And that usually leads you somewhere where I’m hanging out that week.
[00:43:19] Karen Stones: Okay. And did you have chat GPT write that for you?
[00:43:23] Chris Roberts: No, no, it’s just a domain, but you can’t. So, for instance, so when I say where I’m hanging out that week, so most of the time if I’m working, it’ll take to my professional profile. If I’m on vacation, it may take you to my Instagram, for instance. If I am in the studio like I am right now, it may take you to a live link for the thing that I am recording or the thing I’m working in that medium I’m working right now. So it should I don’t believe a web presence should be a static presence. I think that’s how we used to think back in the early, early knots, for instance. A website was just a static thing.
[00:43:57] Karen Stones: Yes.
[00:43:57] Chris Roberts: And now they can be dynamic, for instance. So that is one thing you can definitely use AI for, is to create scripts to automate a website to do different things based on what’s in, say, your outlook or your Google calendar. But that’s for another day, Karen.
[00:44:12] Karen Stones: Yes, it is. So it’s iamchrisroberts.com dot?
[00:44:16] Chris Roberts: Yes.
[00:44:17] Karen Stones: Okay, great. Well, thank you for joining us today. Chris will be on again soon. We appreciate your time. Thank you.
And that brings us to the end of another episode. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did. Okay, so if you haven’t already, make sure to hit that subscribe button so you never miss another episode. If you’re loving what you hear. I would be incredibly grateful if you took just a moment to rate and review this show on your favorite podcast platform. It helps others discover us and it’s a great place to share your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas for future episodes. For even more exclusive content and detailed show notes, check out our website at thirtyfivesixtyfour.com. As always, a huge, huge thank you for spending time with me today during this episode. I appreciate that you tuned in. I’m going to leave you the same way I do every episode. Remember, it’s not too late, you’re not too old, and you’re definitely not dead. Okay, until next time, friends.

  • Mary Cook

    Mary Cook, also known as “MC” and “Mother Mary,” is heralded as one of the world’s few content whisperers. She is the creative force and Marcom Director at ThirtyFiveSixtyFour. Armed with a degree in English from UCLA, Mary is not just your average wordsmith—she’s a grammar nerd with a penchant for storytelling that captivates and resonates.

    Born into a big, close-knit family with seven siblings, Mary is committed to keeping family connections and gatherings alive with boisterous fun and games. Mary brings a lot of energy to everything she does. She’s as dedicated to her role as Marcom Director as she is to her role as favorite auntie to her 22 crazy, loving nieces and nephews.

    A life-long athlete, Mary’s passion for sports has transformed into a love for the adrenaline rush. When she’s not weaving words for our podcasts, you’ll find her carving waves on a jet ski or navigating desert trails in her RZR. Mary’s adventurous spirit is as diverse as her ability to craft compelling narratives for our audience.

    In a world that often craves attention, Mary thrives behind the scenes. Her meticulous attention to detail and commitment to excellence are the driving forces that elevate our Marcom strategy. As the wordsmith-in-chief, Mary ensures that every piece of communication reflects the essence of ThirtyFiveSixtyFour.

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About the Author

Mary Cook, also known as “MC” and “Mother Mary,” is heralded as one of the world’s few content whisperers. She is the creative force and Marcom Director at ThirtyFiveSixtyFour. Armed with a degree in English from UCLA, Mary is not just your average wordsmith—she’s a grammar nerd with a penchant for storytelling that captivates and resonates.

Born into a big, close-knit family with seven siblings, Mary is committed to keeping family connections and gatherings alive with boisterous fun and games. Mary brings a lot of energy to everything she does. She’s as dedicated to her role as Marcom Director as she is to her role as favorite auntie to her 22 crazy, loving nieces and nephews.

A life-long athlete, Mary’s passion for sports has transformed into a love for the adrenaline rush. When she’s not weaving words for our podcasts, you’ll find her carving waves on a jet ski or navigating desert trails in her RZR. Mary’s adventurous spirit is as diverse as her ability to craft compelling narratives for our audience.

In a world that often craves attention, Mary thrives behind the scenes. Her meticulous attention to detail and commitment to excellence are the driving forces that elevate our Marcom strategy. As the wordsmith-in-chief, Mary ensures that every piece of communication reflects the essence of ThirtyFiveSixtyFour.