I noticed that Beth and I have been married for 6 months today. That went fast. Life does. April 24, 2000, was my first day at Kronos, now UKG. Pair that with the 16 years I logged with NEC, and I sense I’m playing the last song of a 40-year set in technology. I’m still enjoying the gig. I have a diverse team that plans, manages, develops, maintains, and supports technologies that are used by over 200,000 customers, partners, and employees. When I say “diverse,” I mean diversity of skills, interests, work approaches, family dynamics, and human idiosyncrasies that challenge me more than any technology puzzle. While I’m still enjoying the daily grind (no, not coffee), I struggle with when to end the song and whether there will be an encore. I mean, there has to be, right? I can’t go from 40 years of loud, pulsating jams to silence – not counting my daily meditation.

Enter AI. Since late last year, I’ve been pushing my team and anyone else who will listen about Artificial Intelligence (AI), and specifically Generative AI. You’ve probably heard of it in the news, and ChatGPT has received most news coverage. This particular generation of AI are “Large Language Models.” Basically, that means these machines have ingested most of the content of the entire internet and are “trained” to respond to questions (“Prompts”) in a coherent, written narrative, not just a list of links that you then have to hunt and peck through to find what you’re looking for. Here’s an example of a recent prompt and the response from my favorite AL, Pi.

Me: “Please plan a romantic artsy long weekend starting Friday, April 5th, in Fitchburg, MA. Stops will be in Shelburne Falls, North Adams, and Stockbridge, with overnight stays near Williamstown and Lenox. Please recommend overnight accommodations and farm-to-table restaurants for breakfast and dinner.”

Pi: “Here’s an itinerary with recommended accommodations and farm-to-table restaurants for breakfast and dinner during your romantic, artsy long weekend:

Day 1 (Friday): Fitchburg to Shelburne Falls and Williamstown

  • Depart Fitchburg and drive to Shelburne Falls.
  • Explore the village and visit the Bridge of Flowers.
  • Drive to Williamstown and check into The Williams Inn.
  • Enjoy dinner at Coyote Flaco for homestyle Mexican eats, wine pairings & margaritas.

Day 2 (Saturday): Williamstown and North Adams

  • Start your day with breakfast at The Williams Inn, offering fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
  • Spend the day exploring Williamstown and its cultural attractions.
  • Drive to North Adams and visit MASS MoCA.
  • Enjoy dinner at Mezze Bistro & Bar at 6:30, featuring locally sourced New American cuisine.
  • Return to your accommodation in Williamstown.

Day 3 (Sunday): Williamstown to Stockbridge and Lenox

  • Breakfast at Tunnel City Coffee
  • Depart Williamstown and drive to Stockbridge.
  • Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum and explore the town.
  • Drive to Lenox and check into the Cornell Inn.
  • Enjoy dinner at Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar, serving sophisticated New American cuisine made with local ingredients.

Day 4 (Monday): Lenox and return to Fitchburg

  • Start your day with a gourmet farm-to-table breakfast at Cornell Inn.
  • Visit the Tanglewood Music Center and explore the town of Lenox.
  • Enjoy lunch at Cafe Triskele, offering locally sourced, organic meals.
  • Drive back to Fitchburg and conclude your long weekend getaway.

These recommendations offer a mix of comfortable accommodations and delicious farm-to-table dining options for a memorable and romantic artsy weekend in the Berkshires. Remember to book your accommodations and make restaurant reservations in advance to secure your spots. Enjoy your trip!”

Pi generated this response in about 10 seconds. It would have taken me at least a few hours to assemble the whole thing. I can do the same with meetings. Last week, I had a conflict and missed a meeting. I fed the transcript into our private (protects proprietary data) instance of Vertex (Google) and received a concise meeting summary in ten seconds. If you’ll be working for the foreseeable future, get on this. Now. Here’s a cool prompt library to give you some ideas.  Download AI apps to your phone and get to know them. You’ll quickly discover ways they can help you, professionally and/or personally.

I know there’s fear about the impact of this technology on people with job displacement, but a recent podcast quote I heard provided some perspective.

“It’s unlikely an AI will take your job. It’s more likely someone using AI better than you will take your job.”

Now, I need to figure out how to use these incredible tools for my encore.