Antonym: The Vinegar aber Besser Edition
Getting AI to write about AI, things Dieter Rams doesn't like and weird TV recommendations. The usual.
Thank you for opening this newsletter. We have a collection of useful and entertaining things for you this week. I hope you enjoy them…
Switch up creativity tip…
In the case of a musician who typically writes their own material, I’ll suggest, “Imagine that a favorite artist asked you to write a song for their next album. What would that song sound like?” By creating something you’d be excited to hear your favorite artist perform, it depersonalizes the process and can allow the writer to break free of themself. A quintessential song of female empowerment, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. King—and then, of course, Aretha Franklin—sang it. I was surprised to learn that Goffin wrote the lyrics and King the music.
— The Creative Act, Rick Rubin
Vinegar, aber Besser
Favourite unexpected surprise of the week is industrial design deity Dieter Rams pointing at things he doesn’t like in a design museum.
Slides and notes from a recent talk on AI
I gave a talk for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in London about AI & marketing in 2024. You can download the slides and notes here:
Notion now has AI chat inside it, and it is incredible
Notion, the note-taking and project organising database app, has added a straightforward AI chatbot for users. First use of it out of the gate was a full-on AI vertigo experience for me. On my way to give a speech at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, I added clear notes and references to my slides for the talk.
This is something I often don’t have time to do. It requires cognitive effort to write, not get distracted by new thoughts, and to double check things.
My Notion app contains a huge amount of my writing, prep for talks, workshop prep, transcripts from webinars and then all of my research: Kindle highlights are automatically synced there via Readwise, bookmarks and highlights of articles likewise. Years of notes and nuggets of knowledge. Being able to have a conversation with that database meant I simply asked what I meant by a phrase or concept on the slide and Notion quickly gave me a summary.
New kinds of prompts
Microsoft scientists published a paper this week with incredible implications:
Medprompt is a combination of “prompting strategies”, ways of asking ChatGPT questions. In tests this method beat specialist AI systems at diagnosing disease. It was also successful when applied to competency exams in electrical engineering, philosophy, accounting and law.
An academic paper about generative AI and medical diagnosis gives valuable clues about the likely impact of ChatGPT and similar systems on knowledge work, the professions and business.
AI capability – the tools and skills needed to use these systems – is accessible but quickly evolving and becoming more complex. To remain competitive organisations must invest now in baseline AI capability for as many workers as possible and innovation like Medprompt for their sector.
Source: Introduction to: “Superprompts”: a Brilliant Noise analysis paper. (Available by messaging me or email@example.com.)
Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut. The narrator is writing a book about the day the first atom bomb was dropped. Weird fun. Arch, stylish prose:
“All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.”
“He said science was going to discover the basic secret of life someday,” the bartender put in. He scratched his head and frowned. “Didn’t I read in the paper the other day where they’d finally found out what it was?” “I missed that,” I murmured.
Two topical recommendations this week:
Sniper: The White Raven (Prime). Contemporary propaganda from our proxy war in the Ukraine. Crammed with war movie cliché but also a damn fine sniper movie. not quite American Sniper, but then again what is…
Unwanted (NowTV/Sky). Contemporary reporting of the migrant crisis (based on the book Bilal) turned into high concept drama. Refugees fleeing Africa by boat across the Mediterranean are rescued by an Italian cruise ship. Realising that they face being returned to violence in Libya, they hijack the ship. It’s not perfect, but the scale and spectacle of the location and the ambition of the production carry you through in fine style. Loved it.
That’s all for this week. Thank you for reading and if you liked it… stick a share on it for me?