In hindsight, I should have been a futurist.
There’s something exciting about always looking ahead, imagining how society will adapt to emerging technologies and trends, and predicting the impact they will have on work. And the absolute best part about being a futurist is that no one can ever tell you that you’re wrong. If something doesn’t pan out the way you predicted, you can simply shrug and say, “It just hasn’t happened… yet.” Or you can point to another variable and claim a sliding doors moment or even invoke the multiverse. So long as you predict one thing correctly at some point in your career, you have earned your place in the Visionary Hall of Fame. Well played, Nostradamus.
When it comes to new technology, and AI in particular, it seems that everyone is a futurist. We all seek to predict how AI will impact work, whether jobs will be lost or gained (or both), and how humanity will adjust its trajectory now that the AI genie is out of the bottle. Predictions exist on a wide spectrum, everything from “passing fad” to “Skynet is real,” and there is a subset of pundits who predict that AI will destroy the world, with creativity and art as its first victim. Before you dismiss the idea outright, consider the current WGA/SAG strike, where one of the key points of contention is the right to use likenesses of actors (created through AI) in perpetuity. Never underestimate the siren call of money over performance, and never underestimate the prescience of a Black Mirror episode.
AI-generated art is beautiful (and controversial), creating truly amazing images from mere prompts. After so many friends sharing LinkedIn success stories, I decided to jump on the AI bandwagon to enhance my headshot. Not only would I reflect my inner beauty, but I could evaluate the accuracy of experts touting this brave new world.
Here’s my original headshot. I asked AI to improve it.
This is what AI presented as an improved headshot.
As much as I appreciate the attempt, the headshot example is horrifying, ridiculously funny, and a perfect microcosm of both the possibilities and the limitations of today’s AI. It is constantly evolving as both the technology and our ability to leverage it continues to improve. I imagine this is as much user prompt error as AI output, so we both have work to do.
My cartoonish features aside, I for one plan to embrace my inner futurist and make bold predictions and see how they turn out. Even if they result in something bizarre, the results thus far suggest that humanity is on pretty solid footing.
With warm regards,
— Mark Stelzner
Founder/Managing Principal/Wide-Eyed Futurist in Training, IA
Typically, we use this space to share some of the more recent articles and posts written by the IA team, but this month, we wanted to do something a little different.
In case you missed it, Mark Stelzner was recently announced as the Conference Chair for HR Executive Magazine’s newest event, EPIC HR. This exciting new conference will challenge attendees to think beyond systems and focus on a wide variety of purely people-centric topics. If you are interested in speaking, there is still time to submit a topic!
Where you can find us
Sometimes it feels like we are everywhere all at once, so here’s a helpful guide to help you find us live!
- August 2023: Mark Stelzner and Kimberly Carroll recently sat down with the Modern Business Operations podcast to talk about transformation and how organizations can put themselves in the best position for success.
- September 13, 2023: Mark will join a panel of experts on a webinar hosted by HR Executive to discuss ways organizations can ensure annual enrollment isn’t the only time employees engage with their benefits. Register today!
- October 10-13, 2023: You know we love an HR Tech Conference – and IA will be there in force. We hope to see you there, and join our own Mark Stelzner and Kimberly Carroll for their fun and engaging mega session, What is your HR Tech ‘Credit score?’: Tech Debt and the Art of ROI. And Mary Faulkner will be hosting a round table, ChatHRT: Change Management, with lively discussion around what does, and doesn’t, work when navigating change in your organization.
- April 24-26, 2024: It’s never too early to start planning to attend EPIC HR! Be sure to sign up for the notification list if you’re interested in being one of the first to know when registration is open.
On our radar
Are you someone who adds years of experience to all your job descriptions? Well, turns out it really doesn’t matter as much as you think. Research shared by Inc. finds that experience is one of the worst predictors of success in a job. So why do we keep using it? Maybe comp structures have something to do with it?
Speaking of comp…Home Depot was recently hit with a significant settlement due to unpaid wages. This is your friendly reminder that if you control an employee’s time, you have to pay them – no matter when you ask them to clock out.
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