What's Happening?

Superficial AI: We All Look Right…and They… Go Left.



AI is not only ChatGPT and the rise of “the machines”

“What do you mean this is the end?” said the man after his colleague deplored the major threat that Artificial Intelligence poses to us all.

What if we have looked at this AI revolution a tad too negatively and with a steroidal amount of fear? My gut tells me this happens because history reveals that humans find it incredibly difficult not to fear what we don’t know or understand. I’m sure many of you have heard the tales about how epilepsy, by some, was seen as witchcraft and how a swift trip to the gallows for those “misfits” came thereafter. Terrible, I know. But this is an excellent example of how ignorance can create fear and how we sometimes respond to fear. Fight or flight, or freeze I believe. But seriously, imagine how different science, medicine, life, people, and history could have looked if people had rebuked this terrible habit and replaced it with curiosity and open-mindedness instead of dread and paranoia. Fight or flight, freeze, or FLOW!

Obsessions around AI have probably made you, as it has me on occasion, question my future and even my existence to a degree. Don’t feel bad, it’s most likely the same for everyone who keeps an eye on the happenings of our current world. There’s a lot of hype around the large language models (LLMs) and hardware needed to power them, particularly in the markets, and, in the case of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Nvidia, and rightfully so. Big things are indeed happening. While remarkable, these are not the actual MAGIC; these are what I would call the most advertised, and they are simply the sometimes-exciting-and-scary-heart palpitations at the start of the race. What they are not is the elation at the end of the race when a record is broken, and the crowd erupts because they can understand what has happened and what has been accomplished right before their eyes. Enter the real genie, enter the Usain Bolt of AI Technology, enter Palantir Technologies Inc.

Okay, I’ll chill out on the intensity and story-telling action. Palantir is one of the oldest AI companies out there, and it has one mantra: “Augment human intelligence, not replace it.” Go check it out for yourself, but don’t freak out when you have read up on it for a few hours and still don’t entirely “get it.” Remember epilepsy and the witches? Let’s get to work:

The answer lies in Palantir’s vision of augmentation and world-class innovation for improving human life. AI, like sugar, tobacco, psychiatric medication, gambling, and social media, has its threats, but we will leave that for someone else to propagate. I want to focus on how AI helps us when we work alongside it. Imagine a scenario where someone who was hired 5 days ago who has average intelligence, who doesn’t know how to code and can hardly speak English, is able to manage a workflow with software they have never seen or worked on before. Unbelievable? Wait, there’s more… Imagine software that allows you to see what has happened in your entire enterprise from top to bottom, over say a period of two years, that would usually take a data scientist 3-4 months and can do it in only three to four hours. Yes, I said hours. Even more unbelievable, right? This is precisely what the CEO of Palantir Technologies, Alex Karp, said when speaking at the AIPcon boot camp about what the company’s software can do. Both humorously and seriously saying “Most AI companies are great at doing slick PowerPoints and great steak dinners. We (Palantir) are bad at PowerPoints and even worse at steak dinners. We don’t do golf; we do software.”. When you see what this company is capable of: Data Aggregation and integration, Digital Twinning, Dynamic Scheduling, Edge AI, Marketplace, MetaConstellation, Pipeline Builder, Process Mining, Real-Time Alerting, and Streaming to name a few, you will believe what the man says.

 Pitch deck time

Imagine a pitch where the PowerPoint slideshow is presented to an individual who owns a YouTube channel with 200 recorded videos. The pitch goes something like this: “We would love to edit your videos, and we can guarantee that our team and our tech will increase views, click rate, subscriptions, and so on.” Sounds pretty decent.


A woman walks into the room to pitch to the very same YouTube Channel owner with this: “I have software that just re-edited your last 50 videos. It took me 3 hours, and your videos look 10 times better. We can do this for all your videos in only a few minutes, and it will cost you a fifth of the price you would pay using traditional editing services (who also use some sort of software by the way.) A no-brainer if you ask me.

What is my point? 

Simple. This is merely a “drop in the cloud” when technology is our friend.  Technology helps us progress and should be welcomed, rather than us clinging to that which makes and keeps us comfortable. We should not be looking at our world worrying about how AI will replace the work that we do but rather how AI can help us with the work we do, so that it can assist us in getting to where we are capable of going. Let’s not repeat the past by getting stuck in an ignorance trap. Get excited, and let’s unleash our creative genius so that we can start flowing with just another wonderful gift that we have given ourselves in technology, and what technology can then give us in return.