The power of human thought in an AI-driven era

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We have all been there, right? Where it seems as though the algorithm knows us better than we know ourselves. Where all the answers are a ChatGPT away… or are they? In a world where in many realms it seems artificial is trending, could we be losing sight of the value of real AI- Actual Intelligence?

No offense to Siri, we are big fans of her work, but it has to be said that this new reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI) has resulted in us undermining the power of our own thoughts and skills.

The importance of actual people with actual intelligence from years of actual studying or just actual natural talents and abilities cannot be overstated. The trouble is, we as people have almost developed an imposter syndrome of original thought. We don’t trust that we could know better than an algorithm or a search engine. Or perhaps we have become too lazy to try.

What the actual, is actual intelligence anyway?

Actual intelligence is not the absence nor the antonym to Artificial Intelligence, its more the degrees of application of it.

Think about it as, when smart people use smart tech, well smartly… that’s Actual Intelligence. The problem is, as with most things, it is easier said than done. Two factors come into play – where your talents and skills end and the machines’ begin and what the motivation is for doing what needs to be done.

Using an automatic lawn mower may be the right choice for someone who sees it as a chore, but this may be the wrong choice for someone who derives enjoyment from making their garden beautiful.

What motivates humans to do things?

  • Actual growth

As humans, we are motivated by the need for self-esteem. Where we choose to do difficult things and choose to master them. We didn’t choose our vocations to sit by and watch computers do the most difficult and interesting parts. We need to write emails and ads and essays as humans, to humans. If we don’t? If we all just ask a platform to write our CVs or do our homework, then not only our individuality is at risk but also our need to learn, improve and grow is as well.

We grow by sharing what we know and searching for what we don’t. If we don’t see a need for this growth because ChatGPT can do it for us, if life is a series of hacks and shortcuts, what lessons are we really learning? Do we care to learn at all?

AI does give us the opportunity to offload the tasks that we don’t want to do. Some people want to write. But some people see it as a chore. The same AI is useful for the one person, but not the other.

  • Actual connection

So, we know learning and personal growth are areas of concern when we AI gets too close to the sun.

Let’s circle back, as one does, to connection. Good ol Maslow highlighted the value of connection to us as humans as a core need state. The argument begs to be made that if we can’t create as humans, we can’t connect as humans.

If we no longer write our own love letters or even pick up lines, does AI become the 6th love language? Surely not. We thus need the actual intelligence levels to know we will always need to connect beyond our screens. Where our actual personalities still need to be able to do the heavy lifting. So why do we feel the need to sometimes avoid our actual selves on screen, when we (should) live primarily in a world off it?

  • Actual accountability:

“No but ChatGPT wrote that, I didn’t”. When we get machines to help us do our work, at what point does it become no longer ours?

You send an email (written by ChatGPT) and someone responds saying they were upset by it, can you claim you didn’t write it? Actual intelligence would suggest the moment you attach your name to something, you become accountable for it.

Sometimes the inverse is even true, we are prepared to trust and be accountable more for machines outputs then our own. Ever done simple addition on your calculator app because you just didn’t trust yourself? Again, Actual Intelligence is knowing the line between your strengths and a machine’s.

So, what should we actually do about it?

Look, it goes without saying that Artificial Intelligence has its role to play; it’s an impressive and important technological revolution.

Technology is hugely fundamental in our progression as human beings, creating a world where we can work smarter and not harder. Whether we chose our own intelligence or that of machines, the truth lies in the fact that is indeed a choice.

We chose to do something because we enjoy it, or we chose to let technology do it for us because we don’t. It’s a tale as old as time really. So maybe actual intelligence is actually just as simple as that.


Sam Clarke | Chief Executive Officer | Skynamo | mail me |  Taylea du Toit | Marketing Manager | Skynamo | mail me |



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