ChatGPT and the Human Soul


ChatGPT and the Human Soul

Much of what has been written about ChatGPT is: 

  1. a) how to use it for marketing or cheating, or 
  2. b) how  GenAI’s will change the world while violating copyrights

I’ve been thinking about how GenAIs will change us.

I predict that you’re going to have to become your truest self.

Here’s why.

If you’re old enough, you remember tech before Apple and dorm rooms before IKEA (I just dated myself ;-)). 

Tech and apps before Apple were for the most part clunky, and ugly, and felt designed to be complex.

As if difficulty were a justification for existence. 

And IKEA ushered in visually appealing inexpensive furniture — as long as you never moved it. 

In both cases, those two companies’ surge to category dominance raised the floor of human expectation by making design aesthetics more accessible. 

Good luck launching an ugly tech product today!  

GenAI is doing the same. 

My estimate is that by the end of next year, most of what you see or read on the internet will be written or imaged by a GenAI. 

Most social media posts, blogs, images, video, website copy, etc.

The images will be prettier, more specific, and the copy will be cleaner, with less grammatical mistakes.  

There will also be way more volume of content as now the cost throttle on high quality, elegant, content will be removed.

For example, the game Dark Mode cost $10 and 1 week to make.

Per Mattias Lungeman, an investor in Electric Noir Studios, this is a “mind-blowing 1/150000 of the average TV show budget.”

Or 800,000X less than a Horror Movie. 

Or > 5000X less than an indie game. 

So where does the human soul come into this?

Something curious happened the other day.

Koko, the mental health app, used ChatGPT to craft mental health text responses.

Most of the world focused on did the clients* know? Yes.

Or were there humans involved to ensure that responses were appropriate? Yes.

Or is it ethical? Depends.

For me, I noticed something else.

Even though the supervised responses were faster, more elegant, and “better” than those created solely by humans — the company discovered that they didn’t feel better. 

Koko’s clients preferred imperfect human responses to perfect machine-generated replies. 

This is the key.

While machines can create anything, only humans can witness humans.

We have a great deal of biology that is finely tuned to witness and be witnessed by humans online or offline. 

I also spend a great deal of time learning how people really change.

Growth is my hobby and I am a Conscious Leadership Group-trained Executive and Founder coach. 

From what I’ve observed, I don’t think we can “own” and integrate our growth and change without other humans.

Yogi in a cave? (easy!)

Yogi at Thanksgiving dinner, well that’s how you know if you’ve changed or not.  

Considering both tech and human potential, I think the arrival of the GenAI’s will force us to grow in ways we didn’t expect. 

The Great Same-i-Fication

The GenAI’s will improve the overall look, feel, speed, and cost of things. 

They will also usher in the Great Same-i-fication, where just like with Apple and IKEA, everything you watch or read begins to feel the same.

Already, MidJourney has a face that she loves.

It’s called Miss MidJourney, and unless you are a very attentive prompt builder, and work deliberately against it, she will put that face in your images.

I suspect that ChatGPT has a tone that they will prefer. 

And lazy prompt building or high volume generation will result in a great deal of “perfect” and “elegant” content — that will begin to feel the same.  

Right now, it’s very exciting and fresh, but once we all know that its machine generated it will begin to land less and less.

Expect more outrageous headlines as the algorithms try to find a way in, but slowly the same-i-fication will seep in, and you’ll take what you see with much less attention.

What will capture your attention, will be imperfectly perfect humans.  

People Peopling (more Love Island) and humans Deep Humaning (more soul).

Technology is like water.

Water is fully integrated with life.  It is neither bad nor good – it is both. 

In this new digital age, you must be a swimmer, able to swim in the ocean of technology.

Too much water. You drown. 

Too little water. You dehydrate and fall behind.

Surely, swimming with GenAI means becoming an expert PromptBuilder.

It also means that to stand out in any way, for any reason, you must discover who you really are.

Authenticity will matter more and more.  

Our senses will ferret out the difference between a tinny, irritating, high-pitched “personal brand” and a Deep Human.

My favorite book in the world is The Great Work of Your Life. 

The book posits that your dharma is to find what you are here to bring forth.

I have read it over and over, in good times and bad. 

I have read it while “successful” and “triumphant”–  and found inspiration.

And I have read it on my knees, crying and lost —  and found comfort.  

This book nudges you to consider this…

Why are you here? 

What does your soul desire to create?  

Who are you, you perfectly imperfect human?

And today, how strange it is, that  becoming your truest self will become the most reasonable response to GenAI.


P.S. This is written and edited by a human (WBH)

P.S.S. This image is what MidJourneythinks with  /imagine the Human Soul

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” — Gospel of Thomas

 *I prefer “clients” to “users” as I think “users” promotes bad behavior by objectifying the humans who utilize the things that we build.  Even if you have 10M of them – treat them like clients.   

P.S.S.  Here’s the rest of the series:

Comment (1)

  1. Mary Alber

    Once again, Nichol, you hit the nail squarely on the head!
    Our authenticity must/will come forth – or we succumb to dehumanizing self-destruction and lack of self-worth.
    Unfortunately, too many of our young are choosing the latter. And taking down other people in their frustration of not being heard, seen, or valued.
    I cried most of the way through Dear Evan Hanson.
    As a mother dealing with how to speak to and support her 20-something struggling children in an economy that devalues their gifts, talents, and interests.
    Who otherwise have all the support they could possibly need in the form of unconditional love from parents with means.
    From my recent experiences prototyping Thrive Labs with middle and high school kids, I would say the solution to AI takeover – especially in education – is two-fold:
    1- Do “Vintage Innovation” projects with kids (per the brilliant educator, John Spencer:

    2 – Unleash our youth in GRADE SCHOOL to be creators of our media, news (podcasts, videos), entertainment and VR/AR learning game experiences. They should be our TEACHERS!

    The creative, disruptive, humorous power of our youth must be unleashed if we are to save them – and us. My expert colleagues say 7 is the idea age to have them be on design thinking teams for new products, services, and community re-design(!)

    My new favorite movie, READY PLAYER ONE, conveys the power and genius of youth in a beautiful way.

    What do you think of the movie? Of unleashing our very young people to their full human potential – and SOUL?

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