My “spidey senses are tingling” the same way I was excited about all things Internet-related in 1997 and again with the popularization of social media in 2006.

Generative AI, Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT all sound very confusing but this technology is going to revolutionize the way we live and work in the same way we can’t remember a life without the Internet or social media.

Right now, I bet AI seems a little scary and overwhelming, doesn’t it? Movies like “The Terminator”, and “Minority Report” which were filmed decades ago, now seem to be coming to life – and it’s a big disturbing.

There’s definitely cause to be alarmed. We are on the precipice of what’s next.

Just like we didn’t know how the Internet and social media would transform our lives – for good or bad –  news reports and documentaries are covering the warning signs. But remember, with great change comes great opportunity.

Generative AI is not just a tool; it’s a collaborator.

Imagine an AI that can help you brainstorm ideas, draft articles, or even create art. It’s like having some of the smartest minds in one room, helping you to collaborate and inspire you to be bigger and better.

ChatGPT and similar technologies are like having a virtual assistant, one that’s learning and evolving every day. This new technology will undoubtedly change some of the administrative tasks we do in our everyday lives, but it will also allow us to free up time to do what we humans do best!

Think about what life was life before the Internet. If you had to do any kind of research, you’d have to go to the library, go to the card catalogue, find the book and use the sources to write your paper.

How many students are using card catalogues and microfiches?

What about life before computers? Do you remember white out? Carbon copies? Computers have made our communication more efficient.

Will it replace jobs? Yes. (Trust me, I’m nervous too!)

But it will it also help us us find patterns in healthcare and rare diseases so we can find cures. It will help the next generation of teachers to inspire and motivate students while a an AI bot can mentor them to learn more and deepen their knowledge.

Sure, there are concerns. Every technological leap brings its set of challenges. Privacy, security, job displacement – these are legitimate issues that require thoughtful discussion and proactive solutions.

But let’s not forget, we’ve been here before.

The Internet and social media also raised fears, yet we adapted, we learned, and we harnessed these tools to open new frontiers.

In the end, AI won’t replacing us (not yet, anyway); it’s about AI empowering us.

Let’s find ways we can leverage this incredible technology to enhance our abilities, expand our creativity, and deepen our connections.

Just like the Internet and social media, AI is here to stay. And just like any pivotal moment in history, it’s the curious, the brave, and the innovative who will ride the wave of change to a brighter, more exciting future.

So, let’s embrace our “spidey senses,” stay informed, stay agile, and most importantly, stay human.

Now before you get started using tools like ChatGPT, a few words of “warning”:

1. Remember to always follow your organization’s privacy policies and social media policies.

2. Never upload any private information that you don’t want in the “public domain”. The information may not be public-facing, but it will go into a “group think” database somewhere.

3. Use critical thinking. These tools “hallucinate” and make up information if they don’t have it readily available. (This is where we humans still need to use our critical thinking skills!)

4. Often the content can be outdates. As of today (January 2024) it doesn’t always “scrape the web” to gather information (but it’s getting better all the time!)

5. The answers can be biased and may discriminate.

AI covers a WIDE range of platforms. In this example I’m using ChatGPT.

Let’s take a look at how you can use ChatGPT and Canva together to create hundreds of posts for your social media channels in seconds:

The journey into the AI era is just beginning, and it’s one we can shape with our choices, our voices, and our vision. Are you ready to be a part of what’s next?

Interested in taking your business to new heights? Contact me at leslie @ punchmedia.ca for a customized quote.

About Leslie Hughes

Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer, Principal of PUNCH!media and author of “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT” Leslie was called a "Social Media Guru" by CBC Radio and was featured on CTV’s “The Social” discussing how to manage your digital identity. Leslie has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009. PUNCH!media clients include Investment Planning Counsel, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO. PUNCH!media's goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so you convert higher-paying clients. www.punchmedia.ca