S3 Ep 044 What Thomas C Helfrich Thinks You Need to Know About AI

In this episode, Thomas gives a lot of information about how AI works, the need to keep humanity at the center of all we do, as well as the potential benefits and pitfalls.
S3 Ep 044 Thomas C Helfrich


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Show Notes

On today’s show, we’re super excited to welcome Thomas Helfrich to talk about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and, more specifically, ChatGPT, which is a hot topic right now.

Thomas gives a lot of information about how AI works, the need to keep humanity at the center of all we do, as well as the potential benefits and pitfalls. He gives everyone a lot to think about in this marvelous episode.

S3 Ep 044 Thomas C Helfrich

In this episode, you will hear: 

  • Defining AI for the average human. 
  • The changing nature of work as AI becomes more prevalent.
  • ChatGPT – greatest thing since sliced bread or the Skynet?
  • What is required for AI to truly train and work properly? 
  • AI versus general AI.
  • The need to have humans at the center of the equation. 
  • Potential benefits and potential harm of AI. 

Thomas Helfrich is the founder and CEO of Instantly Relevant, a company focused on creating marketing and lead generation specifically for passionate founders, ambitious entrepreneurs, and pioneering startups in growth mode. Thomas also hosts “Ai Nerd – AI WITH ATTITUDE” – a platform to inspire the creation of authentic content focused on Artificial Intelligence.

Connect with Thomas C Helfrich:

Website: https://www.instantlyrelevant.com/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/AiNerd/featured 

Email: [email protected] 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomashelfrich/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thelfrich 

AI Nerd: https://www.ainerd.com/ 

Connect with R Blank and Stephanie Warner: 

For more Healthier Tech Podcast episodes, and to download our Healthier Tech Quick Start Guide, visit https://www.healthiertech.co and follow https://instagram.com/healthiertech

Additional Links:


Thomas C Helfrich 0:00
When people become so dependent on and they stop using their own creativity, I think that’s, that’s the disaster right there if you’re just so dependent on the technology all the time, and you’re not leveraging the smart, like the quantum computer that does exist our brains, right? For me, I everything still needs to be human lens, there’s still the reason you do anything is is because there’s humans involved. And that might have served for everything in every industry, but it’s pretty much everything right. And so I think that’s when you forget about the human in the equation, then then you’re on the path to destruction, if you will.

Announcer 0:37
welcomed to the healthier tech podcast, the show about building a healthier relationship with modern technology. Now, here are your hosts, R blank, and Stephanie Warner.

R Blank 0:49
So on today’s show, really excited to welcome Thomas Helfrich to talk about AI and specifically, we get into chat GPT, which is pretty heavily covered topic right now. And I’m really happy to have an AI expert insight on it.

Stephanie Warner 1:06
Yeah, absolutely. I learned the lies I he gave a lot of things to think about. And it was really exciting to get a more seasoned approach to you know, how we think about AI. So I’m excited for everyone to hear it.

R Blank 1:21
Cool. Let’s get into it. Let’s do it. Today, we have Thomas Helfrich, the founder and CEO of instantly relevant a company focused on creating marketing and lead generation, specifically for passionate founders, ambitious entrepreneurs, and pioneering startups in growth mode. Thomas also hosts AI nerd AI with attitude, a platform to inspire the creation of authentic content focused on artificial intelligence. Welcome, Thomas to the healthier tech podcast.

Thomas C Helfrich 1:51
Well, thank you for having me. I appreciate the intro. Yeah, do appreciate it. Right that if I did, I need to go revisit my.

R Blank 2:03
So you had me on your podcast last year. And it was a really fun talk. And I was really happy to get the chance to invite you back over here. Not only to repay the favour, but to talk a bit about this thing that, you know, we hear about occasionally now called artificial intelligence, it seems like things I mean, obviously, you know, what we’re hearing about in the news now has been worked on for many, many years. But it does feel like there’s some sort of tipping point, at least in terms of the consumer facing side. So I think it’s a great time to have this conversation. So just to start us off, I mean, how would you define AI to an average person?

Thomas C Helfrich 2:44
Jokingly, AI Artificial Intelligence is everything we can’t do in technology. But in reality, it is not Skynet. And the whole thing, it kind of goes there. But it’s it’s complex technologies that are doing things around machine learning data science and learning from that and at a machine level, to accelerate what we do today. In some of the I think the probably the latest ones come out, it’s, it’s been out for a while, but it’s chat GPT three, where you can just pretty much talk to it. That’s, you know, we’ve instantly relevant been doing this for a few years now with open AI, we’ve had the bait of access for a long time to that playground. And

R Blank 3:23
GPT is a project of open AI, right? Exactly,

Thomas C Helfrich 3:25
yeah, in the playground, you can just kind of interact with it. And what’s been cool about it is the mechanism of how they deliver where you can speak to it. And you can do things like Right, like, you know, an article, I’ll tell you about a funny one I wrote, There, they just see what we do. But I’ve seen an AI Mala get made from talking to it, and or apps. So it’s a really, it’s a it’s a good step forward for for AI, but generally by AI is just artificial intelligence. It’s just a lot of systems and technologies working together to do some things that humans couldn’t do at the speed it can do.

R Blank 3:54
Okay, and I want to get back to that, because you mentioned Chet GPT. And as you said, there’s a lot of coverage on that right now. But before we do, how did you actually become an AI and or the AI nerd?

Thomas C Helfrich 4:07
I bought ai under.com for like, a way I guess I gotta, I got to own it. I feel like there’s some truth to that. But there’s a, I’ve always had this, I’ve always been in the business technology zone from a consultative side. So using advanced or, you know, interesting technologies to automate to accelerate to, you know, digitise and AI is kind of in that trend in that journey, if you will, in the last 10 years or so, specifically around Intelligent Automation and AI innovation systems where you’re leveraging these technologies to in my opinion, accelerate a human by you know, the right technology and the right moment at the right time, you know, to to advance the person for not replace them. Because, ultimately, you know, some jobs are lost with these technologies, right, but tonnes more are going to be created.

R Blank 4:55
So really, is that the background that you think there’s the because you are I often read about AI being an example of how technology is going to displace labour, especially when you combine it with, you know, things like robotics, you think there’s going to be a constant flow of new new human employment, even as these jobs, it’s absolutely

Thomas C Helfrich 5:17
just it raises the level, I mean, the nature of some work will change, right. So just as if, you know, we still have horses, but when cars came along, there was needed things around horses taking care of them, right, that became a luxury item fuel, which is an interesting parallel to draw with creating content, which in the future, it will be when people just write it only without, it’ll probably have higher value than just AI ones. But what happens right is technology forms it, it gets rid of the the higher volume, repetitive types of jobs. And it’s, it replaces them with a whole bunch of higher value jobs, just with advances technology for it itself. So it definitely is going to create more jobs, because it just it’s because the power and with availability will do. It’ll just create more opportunities and more knowledge and new things. And that creates a whole new set of things to do.

R Blank 6:05
So where are we in, you know, getting back to G chat GPT, which I know is just one of these projects, it’s just one that garnered a tremendous amount of attention. But where are we sort of on this path to the singularity?

Thomas C Helfrich 6:20
I think we’re quite nascent. Still, I think, this does the algorithms and things that are being used or, you know, from decades ago, and it’s just getting faster and more powerful. But I think the the intelligence pieces of artificial intelligence is the human still, I think the human lead piece of that, and how you interact with it is where the power really is. And that singularity is just socially employment, it’s going to happen, but I don’t think it’s going to happen in any of our lifetimes. I think that’s really out still. Yeah, I just think, you know, the AI is very good for narrow use cases, and deep use cases, it’s getting better and more broad, but humans are still at the front of that. I mean, it’s, you’ll, I think maybe like a cool area look out like in healthcare, right? I think in a few, maybe a decade or so, maybe more of me too, because it just it because it moves slow. I believe, like, you know, doctors today don’t use AI day to day in interactions for wellness or for prevention, they may be a little bit here and there. But I think if you fast forward a couple decades, it’ll be probably deemed negligent, if you’re not. So if you’re not using AI to look at scans or your your data or your metrics, if you will, of your body, then then that would be like, Hey, you should be because it’s gonna be required. So I think that’ll be a shift. And that’s, that’s a piece but even then there’s still humans lead. So singularity, I mean, there’s more more things going on, right? With like, contacts and ear ear implants and all this other stuff. And given given what you do, I’m sure you’d love to hear about implants of technology. I mean, you slap some, you know, new lenses on my eyes, and I got night vision, and I can focus in I might sign up for that one. That’d be kind of fun, right? Like to be able to prove your vision and that stuff happening. So I would about, I just don’t think we’re that close. Yeah,

R Blank 8:00
I’d like invisibility Can you get me in Visibility?

Thomas C Helfrich 8:03
You can you just gotta move to Panama and not use credit cards, or

R Blank 8:08
Oh, wielding a metaphor very powerfully. So you talk about these kinds of deep applications or repetitive applications. And that’s where we are right now. Can you give us some examples from from your, your client work at instantly relevant? Obviously, you don’t have to go into anything specific with specific clients, but like, what are the types of applications that you find are adding value for your clients now?

Thomas C Helfrich 8:33
Well, I mean, from a, from a, from a marketing standpoint, maybe not looking at the companies we’re serving their applications specifically or their services are, but what things we are doing that are really helping us even as in this interview, right, like, I had my note taker, join my video notetaker join. When we get done with this, you know, there’s there’s these you know, there’s things like Zapier that goes and connects it to Calendly that gets connected the MailChimp gets go to Pipedrive. See your CRM and your your mail is proud builder. And then, you know, we have this interview and I have a transcript of it, I can write an article off of it in minutes, right, I can actually upload to the JH yet, chat GPT three a jet cheese jet GPS,

R Blank 9:12
horrible name. It’s a real

Thomas C Helfrich 9:15
general predictive text, but it’s up.

R Blank 9:17
I know, it stands for something and I say

Thomas C Helfrich 9:20
it’s actually the DaVinci three model that they’re using. You can upload that and I can say, hey, you know, summarise the most three important points of this entire interview and I’ll do it for me and write it for us. And so from your social media pieces, so there’s all those simple things like even Grammarly, or like using some things on SEO and trying to write you know, better content. It’s all being used at the right moments through for any of our customers. But you know, the some of the biggest tech technologies aren’t even really AI it’s like Kalindi it’s, it’s, it’s just the Google suite of tools you can use that are still there. And when you combine it all together, you can really do a lot more fun. faster with less people.

R Blank 10:01
So is AI sort of what we call AI is that sort of just like a, just at a certain level of complexity, it’s AI and beneath it, it’s just kind of mechanical? Well, for true

Thomas C Helfrich 10:11
AI, I mean, it’s got it, you have to have a bunch of data, and pretty good data, you needed for it to be considered, it really needs to be learning, because it’s, it’s in self learning to some degree, or at least trains. And so it’s to do this, it has to, you know, you’re talking about incredible compute and other pieces. I think AI is kind of thrown a little loosely, where it might be using a component of some kind of machine learning or some ponent of some other AI, but true AI companies that that are doing the big stuff they’re getting more often, but I think it’s just in small snippets. But for AI to really work. To be fair, you need a narrow and deep use case. So solving, you know, reading cancer screens on a, you know, an x ray for this specific cancer, this, like it needs to be narrow and deep. So the thing so the technology can be trained. And that’s where some of these AI pieces get a little bit wishy washy when people are doing AI, it’s not quite that it’s analytics, maybe

R Blank 11:07
you talk about this

Stephanie Warner 11:09
in the in the reference. So I’m excited about chat TPT, because it’s the place where I see for myself and my workflow, like I see the way how I can be much more streamlined, much more efficient, I can do more, like the things in my mind can get done, because I don’t have to be the person doing them. And you just brought up a really good point that the term AI does kind of get thrown around a lot. And but there’s that machine learning element. And I think, you know, so my question is using chat GPT as an example, how does you know? How does? How does it the machine learning diff does differentiate AI from like, you will be brought up Calendly brought up Google Drive and Docs and all those other types of programmes? Well, I mean,

Thomas C Helfrich 12:00
okay, so for somebody to be AI, it needs to have some machine learning and data, I mean, just the very basic, I’m oversimplifying it, just so anybody’s out there going, he’s wrong. I’m oversimplifying it for BT fees, but you need some type of machine learning and a lot of data and you need a use case that applies to people or to be trained to learn towards the idea, biggest classical thing, is this a softball? Or is this a basketball and you showed images, right, and then eventually, it knows, I can identify that these are softballs like, right? With, with calendars like that, there’s no real AI there. It’s not making any reference. Like it’s not doing things and learning. You know, they’re collecting a lot of data about you, which might be sold into an AI company to sell you things or back to add engines. But they’re not specifically do an AI, if you’re in chat, GPT you when you type, whatever you look, or you’re trying to do, that whole model is learning from what you’re doing interacting with it like so as everybody interacts with it, the model is going to get better because it’s learning what the feedback was. So that’s true AI, but probably one of the best, most tangible accept examples of a right now.

R Blank 13:01
So talking about this, there’s learning and machine learning being a defining characteristic of artificial intelligence. One of the things I often read about with AI, is that biases are being encoded into these systems, and that they learn, for instance, to differentiate based off of race or gender or other physical and non physical characteristics, in ways that we might say are unjust or unfair. Can you? Are you aware of the types of issues that I’m taught? Yeah, so what can what could do you think implementers could be doing differently to try to address these issues?

Thomas C Helfrich 13:45
It comes down explainability traceability of the decisions the technology is making. There’s a very cool company called rainbird.ai. That does AI inference engine. So it’s decision making with incredible power levels, like can you detect risk and fraud across an entire organisation leveraging these models? Or, you know, or assessing risk for, you know, I think they did the national health services during COVID. And they, I mean, it’s incredible power like it to the point of where even like, you could do phone conversations, right? And it would take and take this stuff and real time and make decisions on the conversation of what to give the agent to say, Hey, this is probably what they’re talking about. This is what they need, just based on the conversation that their models are explainable, they can show the path of why that was chosen by a percentage or by the probability or whatever it would be. And that’s where if you’re not had the ability to explain and show traceability of your data, and have the explainability of how that how decisions were recommended are made, then you have a challenge. What will happen sometimes right with the data is that you know, because humans are involved, there are biases, there are things that died that that are, you know, in there, and so when the they’re leveraging data that was already pre determined from let’s say, human interactions, then that’s when you get in Like if, if you have a mortgage, a group of more people getting mortgage on the property only give it to a certain race or demographic, and you’re using that to train a model, your model is going to find that data. And then that’s where they explain to me and that’s where you can identify though it’s one of the powerful things you can do is like, hey, we tend to over serve one mark and under serve another for no other reason that seems except for these two things, maybe causality is not causation. I can’t think right now, I stopped drinking coffee two weeks ago, and no AI told me that was gonna be as bad as it was. My point is, it’s in there. And that’s a, that’s a big piece. And there’s a lot of groups that are trying to really fight that from day. So if you know, it’s about healthier tech, this, you know, this is really important, right? Because having bias in medical or high in bias in your lending, or your credit pieces like this, or a number of other things to have acceptance to college, even, that affects people’s lives. And yet, there needs to be some type of fairness. Now, what’s fair in the West might not be the very same fairness in the Middle East or in South Africa or wherever else, right? It’s who determines that? So is this

R Blank 16:09
part of the challenge this, like an actively debated and actively kind of managed set of concerns? Or is it is it not getting enough

Thomas C Helfrich 16:19
spotlight? It’s probably not getting the spotlight, but it’s it is actively being concerned. But you know, people are, organisations are building these technologies as fast as they can to, you know, gainsharing just chase money, right. But I think some of the good applications where you want to go faster, maybe for more global political climate control, things like that, like right, like, you know, geopolitical things. That’s where you might really want to have some explain ability to say, when they’re with the GAO level, so like, is the data you’re using? Really? Can you explain it to say that, yes, there is climate change? Or is not like it? Like, can you? Can you really say that we do this do not do it just to influence a set of countries or a region of the world like, that kind of leveraging of AI is a bit scary. There’s things called up, you know, it’s like that you basically can just take over a whole topic with AI so AI can go out and disseminate so much information to influence a certain group. It’s narrative nibbled, manipulation is what it’s called. And you could do this. And there are companies that do this for three letter agencies in the US right like that. They when they need to kind of influence and propaganda, they leverage

R Blank 17:27
these two, I thought you said we were pretty far away from Skynet. It sounds like

Thomas C Helfrich 17:33
humans are still hitting the button on that one.

R Blank 17:35
Okay, so it’s as evil as Skynet. It’s just not as efficient. So getting, getting quickly back to chat GPT. I don’t know maybe Steph has more questions on this. But this will be my last one. I was reading again, another article about it, because it’s been covered so darn much, that the inventor of Gmail said it has the potential to put Google out of business within two years. And one is, you know, do you think that that even is possibly true? And to what what makes it such a important thing that’s gotten all of this attention,

Thomas C Helfrich 18:16
ease of use, I mean, the fact you can interact with it, and ask it all kinds of questions. Now that’s moving towards general AI. So there’s AI, which is very narrow and deep for use case. general AI is what we think is Skynet. Like they can do anything. You can ask anything. It’s Jarvis, right? It’s all that it’s the ease of use to just interact with it, like you’re chatting with a human. That’s why it’s getting so much thing. And then most people didn’t realise how cool it could be. And now it’s doing that. I don’t know, if we could put Google out of business, the fact that Microsoft put down several 10s of billions I think behind it now is, is helpful. But I think that’s a bit of positioning, if you will, in the market, from the people who own it

R Blank 18:56
is funny, think back.

Thomas C Helfrich 18:58
You’re good to go there for search, but Google owns a lot of the mechanics of search, they’re still gonna have to enter it in Google or ABC, I’m not sure which one we’re talking about there. But

R Blank 19:10
back when we were growing up, did you ever think you’d look you’d be living in the day where you’d be rootin for Microsoft as the underdog.

Thomas C Helfrich 19:17
I still, I was still kind of hoping they would not have sold that to them. As long as it’s in my PowerPoint and fine, right, my Excel.

Stephanie Warner 19:26
So, so you see amazing benefits of technology and businesses daily. Do you also see any downside where technology might hold business back?

Thomas C Helfrich 19:35
Yeah. When people become so dependent on and they stop using their own creativity? I think that’s that’s the disaster right there. If you’re just so dependent on the technology all the time, and you’re not leveraging the smart like the quantum computer that does exist our brains, right. And if we if you’ve stopped for me, I everything still needs to be human lens. There’s still the reason you do anything is is because there’s humans involved And that might have served for everything in every industry, but it’s pretty much everything right? So I think that’s when you forget about the human in the equation, then then you’re on the path to destruction, if you will.

Stephanie Warner 20:16
Well, it just it just complacency and like, so again, I love chatting, cheap GPT, but I still have to fact check what it says. And then I’m sure it will get to a place where that may not be as important, but I still have to do it.

R Blank 20:29
It’s still like humans too, though.

Stephanie Warner 20:33
I think I think there’s gonna be some healthy hesitation to over utilise. And then I think there’s going to be this over utilisation and then a correction of like, okay, well, we still need to know how to do we know, we still need to know that one plus one equals two. Because the calculator, the calculator could break. Or it could learn, it could inherently learn bias that we don’t want to inject into our content or whatever it is that we’re doing.

R Blank 21:03
Yeah, I’m also wondering about it, because I mean, you talk about these big datasets, and I understand why that’s so important for AI. But at some level, the human as you say, has to be involved. And I’m wondering if this fosters analysis paralysis, the the, the, this bias towards growing and consuming as much data as possible, or is that is that not not relevant, because the computers handling that part of it.

Thomas C Helfrich 21:27
I mean, you need as much data as possible period to get these days, because it’s because of the training of it. And that’s like, it goes back to explainability in the traceability of the data, and the decision it’s making, but you do need incredible amounts of data. That’s why the narrow and deep use cases are good, because they’re the data is very clean yet you have to have that, you know, mapped correctly and ontology have that all done well, so it can understand it. But as it gets more powerful, right, more unstructured data, more and more inputs that are from all sorts of, you know, IoT, or whatever else, right? That’s happening, but it just it still needs to be around what is it problem? Is it solving? And that’s why go back to the chat. GPT it’s GPT it’s why it’s so thick as you can ask it. You know, I have a funny story to write. I’ll read you out there out later

R Blank 22:13
about. Okay. Wow, duck. Yeah. Okay, cool. So I understand that you are writing a book. Yeah,

Thomas C Helfrich 22:22
I am. And I’m writing Are you able to show myself in zoom? Because I cannot write I try it? I’m like,

Stephanie Warner 22:29
Are you are you ready? Good is our favourite application we’ve mentioned a million times right to get

Thomas C Helfrich 22:35
no, I’m actually writing it, it’s called never been promoted. It’s actually I’ll have a podcast start here shortly hence, the, the studio setup here. But the it’ll be it’s really about it. I’ve never been promoted in ever. And I think there’s a lot of people like me who just have not been super happy. And a W two type of environment. It’s not that it’s bad. It’s just I just felt like I never got promoted in life, like I got the car and house and kids and wife and but you’re kind of like, there’s something missing. And what I feel is this is entrepreneur inside many of us, and you don’t know how to get it out, you don’t know how to do a side hustle, you don’t know how to leverage your your employment or your W two income to be happier in your work. And when you do that, you know, the idea is that you can you can kind of break free of what you think you’re you’re wasting your time. And when you think of your W two maybe as a revenue generator for your other job that you’re starting. Or you just get more happiness because you have passionate about something that fills a time. You know, the whole idea behind that those kind of taking a how to of how you do it, what you’re going to feel the rollercoaster of emotions you’re going to have and, and really help the the person kind of going through that think through what what they could do what they could do next. I mean, the idea is really to make so you don’t have to assign your worth to your career, your W two. And so you don’t have this especially, I mean, I’m sure women is too but I can only speak for men I know many men attach so much of their value to their jobs and their careers. But they’re just miserable because they don’t know what else they would do. You know there’s a million things they’d rather go do they just can’t think their way through it. So it’s about that it will not help you get promoted likely will get you let go if you follow it, which would be my path most of time your answer

R Blank 24:17
to Dale Carnegie How to Win status and reduce your income. Yeah.

Thomas C Helfrich 24:24
I mean, I really like that that’s the idea that it’s you know, it’s still forming it and still in the middle of like just you know, just you’re trying to get like the intro and first chapters done but, but I’ve been it’s in my head for a long time of what the

R Blank 24:35
goal is. Yeah, I was gonna ask when if you had an ETA but it sounds sounds like maybe you’re

Thomas C Helfrich 24:42
beating me up weekly going, hey,

Stephanie Warner 24:44
hey, cool. It sounds inspirational. Sounds like a it’s I love the topic and anything that frees people’s mind to especially like figure out how to pursue a passion or realise that that you’re a little you’re more free than you think you are. And that’s what I took out of what you were the description you were giving,

Thomas C Helfrich 25:02
I think you told me you know, categorise it for the podcast too, which is entrepreneurial, motivational, inspirational. But the idea is like, right, like an entrepreneur, like people don’t realise this and I know you know those guys because you’re you are entrepreneurs. That you know, you wake up, you know, you’re ready to go, you couldn’t sleep because of fit the, you know, invoicing this man, I gotta go find customers, you know, get a cup of coffee, kids are out the door, you’re doing your thing. You’re, oh, wow, things are going great. A minute later, you’re like, gosh, Screw this, I’m gonna go apply for a job you apply. Next thing, you know, you’re playing games, oh, my god, I gotta get back in I get back in it. You’re working? Oh, my God, I need a nap, I take a nap, I get up, I have another coffee. And it’s 11am. And that’s day one. And then they’re gonna repeat that on the afternoon, the evening, and then every day after, and there’s no such thing as a Saturday or Sunday. And so it’s like, you’re gonna have an emotional roller coaster. I think knowing how to deal with that and balance your life out a bit. Will will be important.

R Blank 25:58
That’s super cool. That’s super cool. Is there? Is there something because, you know, obviously, we’re we’re laypeople. And when it comes to topics like AI, is there something that you would like us to ask you or that you think that we missed when it comes to just giving some kind of top level insight to what’s going on in AI right now?

Thomas C Helfrich 26:17
No, but I’ll flip a question to you from from the healthier tech. What is your take on AI and towards the health of humans in general?

R Blank 26:25
Yeah, so that one’s that one’s challenging. And we have another interview coming up. With someone actually talking more about the big data side than then the AI side, but still relevant to this, and its applications on on health care. And that is one that that I am looking forward to, and probably would have more intelligent answer for you at that point. But I’ll say I do believe in the ability of things like AI to aid in diagnostics. I also see a lot of potential harm, in terms of what you were talking about with the spread of misinformation. And just in general with and this isn’t specific to AI, this is about sort of everything in tech, my feeling is that with a few exceptions, we’re moving too fast that we value innovation, more than we value the risks, even as so many of the risks from the prior generations of tech have become more obvious. And and I feel that that is inevitably going to lead to forms of harm that we don’t see today. But of course, I mean, it’s gonna lead to tremendous value being created, because that’s what the speed of innovation fosters. And so it’s not, it’s not a simple kind of mannequin sort of black or white topic, I just wish everybody would slow the heck down a little bit. When it comes to the pace of innovation and technology. Just

Stephanie Warner 28:02
Just think about how watch things suit your life and make you feel better make you better and and, you know, which things are you utilising that maybe they don’t make you feel as good and I think AI there’s so many great applications. And there’s always a risk. And I there’s always you know, from my perspective, it’s, you know, we’re probably going to over utilise, and then do a course correction. And I think that’s what’s happening with technology in general. And it’s happened since day since we decided that the wheel that we need around we’ll you know, there’s there’s good and there’s bad and where did that

R Blank 28:36
come first or sliced bread? So when are we going to know? And you said it’s not going to be in our lifetimes. But when are we what would be that giveaway? That dead giveaway that everyone agrees we’ve hit the singularity? Like what what what’s the this characteristic that tells us that definitively?

Thomas C Helfrich 28:55
I think it’ll be 30 years after we know is there just like you know the what is it? The Blackbird flew flew for 20 some years before everyone knew that they had a stealth plane, you know, quantum computing or some form of it. But I think our brains are pretty much quantum because we can be Yes No, maybe on anything, right? Like that’s the I think you know that that will be in power for a long time for you know, that’s actually been a thing because all the encryption will be broken, everything will be out there and so you’re right about the speed but then the singularity comes at some point when it just becomes normal. You’re picking the sexier baby and I want this one to be six three and brown hair and the next one’s gonna be we’ll do this one day like that. There’s already things that are happening like the singularity hems like you know, because I think one of the biggest differentiators this might be able to philosophical but the in evolution right species come and go right they they do. Unfortunate I think what probably will happen if humans in this in this on a downer but money differentiator that those who will be able to afford advancements in technology and health and preventatives, where their lives will be longer, though, they’ll build more generational wealth to those who cannot afford it. And then they’ll have the technologies to be healthier, stronger, more resistant to disease, things like that and more access. And then you’ll you’ll, you’ll, then you’ll have a singularity people who are actually modified. And I that will, if it’s not happened already, in our country, may or may not we may not admit it, but it’s going to happen and others before ours, probably. But when that happens, then you’ve actually made a split of who’s the dominant kind of prolific species. And that’s a that’s that’s certainly a possibility. So the answer your question, if that happens, that’s when it’s happened.

R Blank 30:43
Wow. So you had the bleaker answer, a healthier tech perspective than I did? Well,

Thomas C Helfrich 30:48
I just I just think that’s like, that’s where we’re going like, we’re Yeah, you know,

R Blank 30:51
I totally see, I totally

Thomas C Helfrich 30:53
know I can get my cataract with fixed lenses. And like, it’s whatever else it’s, and it’s not, it’s a bad thing. Those are really good things. But it’s when it’s applied. For advanced for massive advantage,

R Blank 31:03
the more I can afford 10 million for my telomere treatments

Thomas C Helfrich 31:07
that are just like us in particular, like it’s a very wealthy, lots of wealth. And when the wealthy nation generally can afford more ticket, this does it. But then the flip side, I think, fall because you shouldn’t be hit by a meteor and or at least we all start nuking each other people in the Amazon rainforest are probably the ones you’d like, I’m not even sure there were people here, but

R Blank 31:28
what was their version of Atlantis?

Thomas C Helfrich 31:32
I guess we’ll just go back to doing exactly what we were doing.

R Blank 31:35
So this has been a great conversation, Thomas, where would you like our listeners to go to learn more about you and your work?

Thomas C Helfrich 31:43
I appreciate that you can go to instantly relevant.com. If you hit contact us or set up time, you’ll actually get time with me. I still offer my time for people who’d like to learn and just hear about what they’re doing in their companies and see what we could do for them. But I appreciate that. That’s relevant. Dunk home.

R Blank 31:59
Yeah. And if you go there, you’ll see a group of people who are absolutely rocking it in front of a laptop screen like it’s out of control.

Thomas C Helfrich 32:08
You just want to know what’s on that screen. But you can’t know unless you come and talk.

R Blank 32:14
Well, Thomas, this has been a wonderful conversation. I really appreciate you taking the time and coming on and allowing me to repay the favour by having you on the healthier tech podcast. I really appreciate you sharing your insight on on artificial intelligence.

Thomas C Helfrich 32:27
I appreciate it. Thank you for having me on. I do appreciate it. Thanks

Stephanie Warner 32:29
for coming in. It’s been a great conversation. And I will say I was quiet and it was a little there was a lot going on there and a lot to think about and but I appreciate I appreciate you giving me some more things to turn around in my brain and and yeah, it was a great conversation. Thank you.

Thomas C Helfrich 32:44
My pleasure. Thank you.

Announcer 32:46
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the healthier tech podcast. Remember to check the show notes for all the links and resources mentioned in the show. Please like and subscribe to the healthier tech podcast on Apple, Spotify or your podcast platform of choice. Get your free quickstart guide to building a healthy relationship with technology and our latest information at healthier tech.co

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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R Blank

R Blank

R Blank is the founder of Healthier Tech and the host of “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available iTunes, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms.

R has a long background in technology. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel.

In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering where he taught software engineering, as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz.

He has spoken at technology conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author of “AdvancED Flex Development” from Apress.

He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

Connect with R on LinkedIn.

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