By Tuan Ho
August 30, 2023
Within the debate on whether ChatGPT reached 100 million users in five days or two months, the bigger picture often gets obscured. People seem more invested in the battle of facts than in understanding the implications, mirroring the obsession with AI profitability or the shift in the music scene after Ghostwriter977’s AI-Generated ‘Heart on My Sleeve’ featuring Drake & The Weekend. This focus distracts from real issues, like potential flaws in our methods of protecting intellectual property.
At the height of the pandemic just a few years ago, COVID-19’s threat to vulnerable populations consumed our anxieties. That anxiety has now receded at large, along with many initially urgent drives for diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. At discussions on Artificial Intelligence (AI), technical pundits often make the subject daunting for those struggling with the intricate details, an approach that might come across as overly elitist. Do we not remember the UN’s ominous warnings about unchecked climate change? We moved on from one thing to the next, like how we change clothes every day. Remember the flurry of interest around Ukraine, drawing comparable attention to Netflix’s much-hyped ‘Squid Game’? Obviously, this is an oversimplification and odd comparison, but the expectation again is for people to miss the point.
The global mindset often rides on the coattails of trending ideas, hesitant to think differently for fear of ridicule. This phenomenon resonates with the Chinese saying that translates to “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” — a critique of individual thinking. Standing out needs not only knowledge but also resilience to uphold it. Reflectively, venture capitalists hop between trending investments such as crypto, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), AI, semiconductors, and back, with new advancements like the seemingly magical semi-conductor material LK-99 briefly catching the spotlight.
Our challenges don’t revolve just around AI but also involve human egos and our aversion to grappling with complex issues that ultimately shift our worldview. Interactions with machines can feel less taxing than interpersonal exchanges. Nonetheless, we find ourselves in an era where mutual support is more critical than ever. The issue of disconnection existed long before COVID, but it’s only been amplified since, increasing the gap in education and knowledge as the new generation becomes more immersed in technology than human interaction.
We’re surrounded by systems that we have come to understand, ranging from machinery operations to corporate structures. However, we often overlook the development of vital skills (calling it “soft skills” in the workplace), such as giving and receiving compliments, empathy, and active listening. Critical thinking becomes more complex as our minds frequently lean on familiar paths, often favoring convenience and efficiency in innovations as they mirror the brain’s workings.
While we push ourselves in our quest to enhance the human condition, sometimes exceeding our limits, do we take time to appreciate small things like changing leaves or raindrops creating ripples? We must strive to bring diverse perspectives (especially viewpoints we disagree with) into our conversations and see our relationships as more than mere transactions. The problem with AI is not about the technology, it’s about the people behind it. We need “good” people. The ones who understand humanity. If we fail to do so, we must then question — what kind of world are we creating?
Born in Vietnam, Tuan Ho moved to Boston at 10 years old and quickly demonstrated his leadership potential, earning the Young Leader in Service recognition by Harvard’s Institute of Politics when he was just 15. Despite financial barriers, he displayed remarkable perseverance by writing 120 essays to secure 40 scholarships, amassing $500,000 in educational funds from esteemed institutions, including the Yawkey Foundation and NAAAP.
By 20, Tuan co-founded ScholarJet, reflecting his entrepreneurial spirit. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Northeastern University and an MBA from Quantic Institute of Business and Technologies. His commendable efforts earned him prestigious accolades like the Priscilla Chan Stride Fellowship, the Spark Impact Award, and features in BostInno’s 25 Under 25, and Forbes’ 30 Under 30 lists.
Tuan also lectures a graduate Engineering Innovation course at Northeastern University. Recently, he co-founded The Point AI, leading the organization as CEO. His journey, marked by resilience and determination, continues to inspire.
Tuan Ho is a Keynote in this year’s IPM Day 2023! Don’t miss an exciting Panel Discussion on AI in Project Management & Business. Register here!
Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.