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Embracing AI: The New Frontier of Coaching and Human Experience

David Sherry
6 min read

How AI is transforming our skills, services, and future opportunities

AI's current Impact on my Daily Life

GPT4 is slowly becoming a part of my daily life.  

I'm now using it to synthesize thoughts, summarize, and add input to questions I have.

I try and keep it in mind for any question I might have or ask.

Not to give me the answer, but to give me ideas for potential answers.

My mental model for what AI is today, and the impact it will have keeps changing as I use it.

Right now, I think there are a few useful heuristics:

  1. GPT4 is essentially having the world of Google at your fingertips, but instead of the UX being to type something in and then personally browse articles, you can now "have a conversation" as the interface. GTP4 gives you the answer you might have found after a number of clicks from Googling.  And it does so in the format of dialogue or text.
  2. GPT4 goes beyond search and retreival, and does synthesis. Like a calculator but for words. You type up directions, notes, or outlines and it will synthesize them into organized prose.
  3. Imagine you now have 100 interns at your disposal, or 100 analysts, or writers. GPT4 now let's you have a team of 100 entry level workers. You still have to "manage" them, though. They just don't get tired or have preferences for what work they do.
  4. Beyond interns, you now have historical figures or experts at your disposal. Imagine you walk into a room, and sitting right in front of your are your 5 favorite authors, or musicians, or historical figures. What would you ask them? *Stay tuned for some more sci-fi predictions at the end.

Like all tools, it's good or bad or smart or stupid depending on how we use it.

AI's are becoming our assistants and our counterparts.

It's all about the questions we ask.

The limits of our abilities will be the quality of the questions we ask.

My general view is that while we keep coming up with new questions to ask, AI's will keep getting better at giving us new answers.

Most notably, the AI's cannot click around the web, buy stuff for us yet, or manipulate more than the chat box.

But this will change very soon and create even more reliance and dependence on them for getting our work done everyday.

Raising the Bar: The Democratization of 70% Skill

With AI's, everyone now has the level of competency as the average, or entry level worker in many different fields.

If you were terrible at taxes, accounting, spreadsheets, writing, diagnosing disease... well now you are much, much better at it. You are at least average, if not above average.

Just as I am personally terrible at doing longform math calculations, they are now trivial thanks to AI's.

Remember, however, that this process has been happening for a long time thanks to the internet. We use Google Maps, for example, without much fuss about no longer needing to learn how to use paper maps...

Keeping an edge: Best in the "world."

I have always desired and attempted to aim to be the top 5% or 1% in my line of work.

When you aim to be top 5% or 1% in your field, you stay at the cutting edge, continuously improve, and work with what's next for your field, not what is current or average.

This means that you don't give boilerplate service, but exceptional service.

I'd like to think that since AI's currently synthesize data from historical human inputs, it will remain a step behind those who are working at the edges or niches in their field.

Today, best in the "world" means best in A world, not THE world. Your edge at work is to utilize the AI to be the best you can for your customers, co-workers, or team.

Pushing to more unique, creative edges of your field.

Enhancing Business Models with AI

Thanks to AI, small businesses and individual practitioners can now provide a higher level of service without incurring additional costs.

Let's take one example: I would love to hire someone full time to take notes on my meetings, synthesize those notes, do research, and basically be an "analyst."

To hire this person is prohibitively expensive as this cost would be passed along to customers. Now, I can provide an increased level of service at the same cost. Now my customers get a larger surplus, rather than price.

This opens up new possibilities for expanding and scaling businesses.

The Future of Coaching and AI

Of course I've been thinking about how specialists, consultants, freelancers and coaches use AI.

Coaching and therapy deal with the internal state of their clients. Methods of coaching and therapy might vary from somatic practices to conversations, to breathwork, etc. all of the experience, all of the product happens "inside" the clients self.

Meaning, nothing a coach or therapist does happens externally. It happens biologically, emotionally, internally.

As such, our goal as coaches or therapists is to create internally meaningful experiences that change the clients condition to help them get more positive results in their life.

AIs, then, can be used to assist in this process, which is creating experiences of change that improve the clients condition.

This might take the form of...

  • Recording and analyzing sessions.
  • Integrating wearable data
  • Providing question paths, ideas for where to take a session
  • Analyzing progress
  • Mirroring, emotional regulation and feedback

I have no doubt that people will, and already are, using AI to talk to akin to a therapist or counselor.

As I said before, I think most people now, or very soon, will have access to the average counselor or therapist.  

However, the difference between average and mastery in this field, just like any other is a massive gap.

I'm happy that almost all people will have this new outlet, and believe that despite that outlet being available, there will always be those who are seeking the 10x better experience. That experience may improve even more in widening the gap thanks to the integration of the therapist and the AI.

Staying Human in the Age of AI

Ironically, in a world of AI, I think we are able to explore even more of what makes us human.

If AI's replace written tasks, we become free to pursue more questions of meaning, edges of creativity, or shared group experiences.

Intuitively I feel like we will see a pendulum swing back to more group, shared experiences. Gathering in person with others is still extremely powerful and something  I think many of us are missing, especially with the decline of in-person work, and for a moment, gatherings due to COVID.

Emotional intelligence too, I think benefits from the rise of AI.

We have incredibly complex emotional experiences that we have cut ourselves off from in the world of "knowledge work."

Knowledge for a long time has been presumed as simply a high IQ, with a strong focus on the brain. I think we'll open up more to appreciate and integrate the wisdom of our bodies.

This will be spectacular for human healing and consciousness growth. It will be a necessary step to bridge us from today's disorientation in the world to get to tomorrows stability.

Embracing AI Companionship and Conversation

I'm traveling to Italy next month, and I realized we hadn't booked any transportation yet. We also needed some ideas for things to do.

I used GPT4 to help plan optimal routes between cities, learn which websites to purchase tickets from, and got recommendations for a few tours.  

I have step-by-step instructions as well about getting between specific locations or finding the train station. Soon this addition will no doubt be included into Google maps.

As the interface moves from "text chat" to voice chat, with a realistic sounding voice, whole new worlds will open up.

I foresee myself spending equal if not more time with an AI companion than I do on social media.  

I thought to myself how I would like to learn to speak a bit of Italian. Why couldn't I learn from the AI while on a walk with my Airpods, as it teaches me Italian, corrects my intonations, and teaches me what phrases I should learn.

And as for learning history, why couldn't I speak with some historical Italian figures and learn about their lives, through asking them questions.  

Right now podcasting is a passive medium, I listen to two other people talk. But could it become an active medium? What if there were AI guests, AI interviewers, and I could jump into the conversation to ask my questions, as well?

This companionship as teacher, mentor, friend, assistant, will come very quickly and I think,people will use very naturally.

We live in a world where AI is no longer a distant concept, but a reality that's transforming how we live and work. As AI continues to advance, it's crucial for us to adapt and embrace its potential to improve our lives and businesses.

So, what are your thoughts on AI? How are you using it in your day-to-day life? What excites or concerns you about this rapidly evolving technology?