“T Minus AI” and those annoying little tasks

“T Minus AI” and those annoying little tasks

I’ve been thinking a lot about AI lately. I was at the gym a few weeks ago and tuned-in to a podcast in which the bonus episode was an interview with Guy Kawasaki. I didn’t know who Guy Kawasaki was but learned that he’s one of those Silicon Valley entrepreneurs with the word ‘evangelist’ in his job title. The interview was interesting, especially when it got to the end and the show host asked the following question:

“What’s the one thing you’re most excited about today?”

I had no idea what he would say because, really, how does one answer such a question? It didn’t take long for him to name AI. Kawasaki then described his small project of organizing his Google contacts, explaining how using an AI application swiftly removed blank fields and unwanted characters. He compared the reluctance to adopt AI to preferring quill and papyrus over modern writing tools or transmitting messages by carrier pigeon.

Jokes aside, I’ve been actively wrestling with how to integrate AI into my personal workflow. I too want to quickly streamline tedious tasks, but the question remains: how, and which ones?

There’s a ton of books and content out there about AI right now, but I have yet to find one that offers very practical advice. To save you the time of digging through the internet, I’ll share one book, ‘T Minus AI: Humanity’s Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power.’

As the title suggests, the author adopts a somewhat apocalyptic perspective on AI, comparing it to an arms race—but with computers instead of weapons. While this is certainly important, Michael Kanaan emphasizes two crucial points that bridge AI’s theoretical aspects with its practical uses in daily life: 1. AI processes information significantly faster than humans. 2. AI applications provide our first glimpse of intelligence operating independently of consciousness.

With that in mind, consider this metaphor:

The internet is a library, but instead of books, it’s filled with web pages.

Google is your librarian, but instead of consulting a card catalogue, Google searches through indexes.

You are the researcher, but instead of a stack of books, you receive a ranked list of web pages based on keywords.

AI, too, is a librarian, but on another level. Instead of handing you a stack of books, or serving up a list of web pages AI finds all the content, reads all the content, evaluates all the content, and directly delivers the answer to your question.

Start recognizing those tedious tasks that take up an inordinate amount of your time. You can start with dinner. Ask AI “what should I make for dinner” and then “make me a grocery list for this menu”. Be specific. It can’t read your mind. Once you know what to ask, you’ll be shocked at how much time you used to spend on those annoying little tasks.