Augmented Imagination

I am inspired by Midjourney. If you haven’t heard yet – Midjourney is an AI image generator that requires humans to describe what they want to create. Within hours, you can create beautiful images. I have been playing with DALL-E for a few months and making all my blog post images with an AI. You’ve seen these for months on my blogs. But Midjourney is different because it is multiplayer. You make images in front of millions, who can take your image as a seed, and expand on it. It’s like visual improv with 2 million people. It’s a Twitter stream of beauty rather than outrage. The company is a team of 16 who have taken no funding yet – they don’t care what investors want. They want to explore augmented human goodness (read here). Recently, I was on a call with a friend, and I showed him the power of Midjourney by asking him what he’d like to create. We described and then tweaked the word prompts together. We made images, in seconds, one after the next, until we captured what we wanted to build together. We felt the joy of cooperative imagination. One element of Transformative Tech is human collaboration. For years, I’ve been looking for true “centaur” applications where human creativity is supported by AI. Midjourney is that, but better because we can do it together. As I’ve been studying human emotion, I’ve been stunned by the impact of language on our ability to feel and to understand. These types of AI require that we learn to describe “better” and “clearer.” I predict it will expand our language ability as we work with more of these types of AI. Expanded language ability expands human cognition. Coming right behind the image AIs are other AIs who code software, create film, and create music from human text prompts. We humans will need to get good at describing what we want and feel. It’s extraordinary and will expand us. I had a dream a few months ago, I tried to communicate it to the friend who I saw in my dream, and well – the words weren’t good enough. Then I put her photo in Midjourney as a seed and was able to show her how I saw her in a dream. This is the next wave of human and computer cooperation. It’s the next wave of human creative collaboration. Start playing now. Love, Nichol   (Photo Credit: Midjourney) P.S.S.  Here’s the rest of the series: Human Syncing and Group Flow Humanizing the Singularity Six Takeaways From My Day-to-day Work Overview: Deep Human – Warm Up Build while Being My Core Premise Growth Triangle The Choice The Growth 🔼 – The Metaverse — a Growth Triangle for Billions? Design Principles – The Metaverse as Human Potential Tech The Stack My Origin Story — And Why We Need Human Embodiment AND Technology The Metaverse (and the Future of Human Intelligence) A New Oath to Take? Defining Modern Neurorights Blockchain for Transformation? Collaborative Capacity How are Paradigm Shifts a Growth Tool?

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Human Syncing and Group Flow

I’ve been tracking Human Syncing for quite some time and believe understanding it will lead us to witnessing the biomarkers of group flow. IRL Synchronization There have been many studies on what happens to humans when they are together in spatial proximity IRL. From theaters — where an entire row can align when viewing a shared experience. To companies — where human micro-movements, respiration, and micro facial expressions can “dance” together when they have connection. Dr. Kazo Yano, Hitachi Fellow, spoke about his research on this at the TTC in 2020. To couples — aligning heart rates as pairs in close proximity over time. Specifically: “Biosignal synchronization of groups of people engaged in social interaction can be observed in heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and skin conductance (Palumbo et al., 2017), as well as in hemodynamic and oscillatory activity of the brain (Czeszumski et al., 2020). In hyperscanning studies, inter-brain synchrony typically refers to similarity in the temporal pattern of simultaneous measurements obtained from test subjects using neuroimaging methods, such as EEG, magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) (Czeszumski et al., 2020). “ (Source: Paper) Digital Synchronization However, due to my background in gaming and experience in online meditation, it made sense to me that this could also happen digitally at a distance. But pre-metaverse popularity, it was hard to find people studying this in a scientifically valid way. I mostly tracked down stories mostly of small groups of bio-hackers exploring the edge. Then this study appeared. “The brains of people playing online video games synchronize, even when there is a physical distance between the players.” – Neuroscience News “Based on the findings, inter-brain synchronization occurs during cooperative online gaming, and increased synchrony in the alpha and gamma frequency bands is connected with better performance. The connection between performance and gamma synchronization could be observed continuously over time.” “If we can build interactive digital experiences which activate fundamental mechanisms of empathy, it can lead to better social relationships, well-being, and productivity online,” says Project Manager Katri Saarikivi. What this means to me I believe we can leverage digital to enhance our physical connection and collaborative capacity, and back again as I described in The Deep Human Stack. I believe that human syncing will become an intentional goal between groups of friends or families. It’s still very early and a few studies are insufficient — but this is how human understanding is built over time. I think it’s an extraordinary time to be alive. Love, Nichol #farm (Photo Credit: Dall-E-2) P.S.S.  Here’s the rest of the series: Humanizing the Singularity Six Takeaways From My Day-to-day Work Overview: Deep Human – Warm Up Build while Being My Core Premise Growth Triangle The Choice The Growth 🔼 – The Metaverse — a Growth Triangle for Billions? Design Principles – The Metaverse as Human Potential Tech The Stack My Origin Story — And Why We Need Human Embodiment AND Technology The Metaverse (and the Future of Human Intelligence) A New Oath to Take? Defining Modern Neurorights Blockchain for Transformation? Collaborative Capacity How are Paradigm Shifts a Growth Tool?

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Humanizing the Singularity

“You’re Humanizing the Singularity,” he said at last week’s Burning Man. I thought about it for a moment and then agreed, “Yes, I am. That’s a good way to say it.” That is my mission – to advocate that we build technology to serve our deep humanness. In 2015, when I started Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program, a small group of us talked about tech supporting deep human connection. I went on to build Transformative Tech.org and the others founded Emerge and developed novel ultrasound technology to enable touch at a distance. “I think you’re also feminizing the Singularity,” she added when I told her later that day. I considered it, “That’s true too. I suppose that I am.” In 2018, when Rui Ma and I started the Transformative Tech Academy, almost 50% of our founders were women. The next year it was over 50%. I had a few people ask me, “Is it because your tech is so touchy-feely?” I countered, “Women are always present when the stakes are high.” We didn’t run a female focused recruitment campaign. We created a space where people could focus on tech that really matters — and the women came to build — as did the men who valued the same humanity. I see our work as a community as creating balance with technology. We focus on tech for the inside world to balance tech for the outside world. We create tech for the mind to balance tech for the body. We’ll leverage biology to balance artificiality. Together, we balance, humanize, and bring the feminine into technology so it can reflect us all. To highlight this balance more, I’d love to make a list of the Top 50 women in Transformative Tech. Please reply with the female founders, scientists, investors that you are tracking. P.S.S.  Here’s the rest of the series: Six Takeaways From My Day-to-day Work Overview: Deep Human – Warm Up Build while Being My Core Premise Growth Triangle The Choice The Growth 🔼 – The Metaverse — a Growth Triangle for Billions? Design Principles – The Metaverse as Human Potential Tech The Stack My Origin Story — And Why We Need Human Embodiment AND Technology The Metaverse (and the Future of Human Intelligence) A New Oath to Take? Defining Modern Neurorights Blockchain for Transformation? Collaborative Capacity How are Paradigm Shifts a Growth Tool?

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Six Takeaways From My Day-to-day Work

I thought you might be interested to hear about what I’m focused on day-to-day and the Key Take-Aways for each. I spend my days advising, coaching, and investing at the intersection of tech and human transformation. My mission is to amplify human intelligence, unlock our individual and collective potential, and usher in a brighter future for everyone through the power of exponential tech. I spend my time peering into the future and offering practical leadership advice for transforming products, individuals, teams, and companies. Key Take-Away 1: Exponential tech is here to stay. Understand how to leverage it to amplify your potential. Key Take-Away 2: Digital transformation requires human transformation. Understand how to capture both. Key Take-Away 3: Define and leverage the Metaverse without leaving your humanity behind. Key Take-Away 4: Learn how to shift from fear to curiosity during difficult times. Key Take-Away 5: Learn design considerations for products and yourself when building human potential technologies. Key Take-Away 6: Expand your definition of cognition. Learn to leverage sensory tech and flow to enhance your performance. My thinking falls into two main areas outlined below, seeing the future or creating the future: See the Future with Vision Becoming Deep Human in the Exponential Age: Technology, Trends, and the Human Factor. We are at a unique point in human history where our technologies can exponentially improve and disrupt our societies, especially in the foundation sectors of information, food, energy, transportation, and materials. At the same time, we are faced with more stress, disengagement, and anxiety than ever. On the surface, it appears that technology is a big part of the problem. But what if the opposite were true? Key Take-Away: Exponential tech is here to stay. Understand how to leverage it to amplify your potential. Endless Innovation: Leveraging Wellbeing to Create and Disrupt.  There has never been a more exciting time to be an innovator. The world has been turned upside down, and our needs and priorities have shifted. Now is the time to advance human wellbeing. Will you flourish or become disrupted by the change? I believe that wellness and wellbeing tech—tech that helps us get healthier, smarter, and happier—will be one of our most powerful tools. Creativity, originality, and authenticity are needed now more than ever. I believe that you must re-prioritize your health and happiness as a means to innovation. Key Take-Away: Digital transformation requires human transformation. Understand how to capture both. The Betterverse: Building a Human-Centered Metaverse. The coming of the metaverse, where we will play, work and eventually live much of our lives, inspires excitement and fear at the same time—and for good reason. Currently dominated by video games, the metaverse will ultimately revolutionize everything from education to retail, and the stakes are high for companies, brands, and society to get it right. The first task for leveraging any new technology is to understand it. I believe that the metaverse, as a tool of transformation, can become an amplifier of human intelligence Key Take-Away: Define and leverage the Metaverse without leaving your humanity behind. 2. Create the Future with Practical Leadership. Love and the Crucible: Leadership, Connection, and Curiosity in Challenging Times That the economy is slowing down is a fact, but how you choose to use this time, to shape your company and yourself, is a choice. Over the next two years, you can come from fear – and run yourself and your team from panic, adrenaline, and cortisol alone. Or you can learn growth practices that give you both the curiosity to innovate and the discipline to survive. Learn how to come from love – and grow, plan, layoff, merge, or pivot from a place that unlocks you and your team’s optimal path. Learn tools and discover technologies to help develop your inner executive athleticism and become the kind of leader you always dreamt you’d be. Crucibles break rocks and polish diamonds. Be a Diamond. Key Take-Away: Learn how to shift from fear to curiosity during difficult times. Leadership, Technology and Ethics in an Exponential World. Technology has the potential to help shift the mindsets of billions, but it comes with risks and challenges. At its best, human potential tech can help humans heal, grow and expand their minds, resulting in whole and healthy humans capable of building a bright future throughout the world. It can also savage privacy, drive anxiety generating hypervigilance, and reduce the ineffable to “data.” We have arrived at a pivotal moment in the development of technology. Recognizing that the tech we build is a reflection of ourselves, we must develop as people while we design. Outline a personal development plan to ensure that your personal capacity matches the power of your creations. Key Take-Away: Learn design considerations for products and yourself when building human potential technologies. Boosted: Amplifying Human Intelligence and Performance in the Exponential Age. Human cognition is much more than we’ve been taught. Our minds extend into our bodies, spaces and networks. The human senses allow our brains to perceive and communicate with the world in ways that are under-leveraged by existing technology. Embodied and extended cognition will help us to “catch-up” our minds and embedded pro-social behaviors to counteract, and then solve, our current existential crises. Understand how to create a team and an environment that ignites creativity while modulating stimulation for flow. Key Take-Away: Expand your definition of cognition. Learn to leverage sensory tech and flow to enhance your performance. What would you like to hear me talk about at the next TT membership event? Love, Nichol P.S.S.  Here’s the rest of the series: Overview: Deep Human – Warm Up Build while Being My Core Premise Growth Triangle The Choice The Growth 🔼 – The Metaverse — a Growth Triangle for Billions? Design Principles – The Metaverse as Human Potential Tech The Stack My Origin Story — And Why We Need Human Embodiment AND Technology The Metaverse (and the Future of Human Intelligence) A New Oath to Take? Defining Modern Neurorights Blockchain for Transformation? Collaborative […]

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How are Paradigm Shifts a Growth Tool?

In June, I wrote to you about Paradigm shifts and the role that they play in accelerating growth (here). Paradigm shifters allow you to see the world, your life, your problems in a new way. These tools are like a trampoline next to a fence line. Your vision is below the fence. You jump on the trampoline, and on each bounce, you see above the fence to the wideness of life beyond your constraint Whatever that may be. For a period, it changes you, then you come down and try to hold what you learned as best you can, for as long as you can. Personally, I’ve had some of my most profound paradigm shifts in nature. Going outside is my #1 Paradigm shift tool. Given this, it makes total sense to me that in Japan forest bathing is prescribed by doctors for depression. Here’s a few landscapes that have changed me and shifted me. After each of these experiences, I was flooded with new ideas: Horseback riding across the Mongolian Steppes and camping at night under a blanket of stars Witnessing the forever whiteness of Antarctica amidst the heartbreak of global warming Marveling at human creativity at Burning Man against a harsh desert backdrop What are your favorite Paradigm Shifting Tools? I’m on my way to a meditation and breathwork retreat this weekend, then heading outside to Burning Man next week. I’m excited to think new thoughts and share them with you after I return. See you on the other side. Love, Nichol P.S.S.  Here’s the rest of the series: Overview: Deep Human – Warm Up Build while Being My Core Premise Growth Triangle The Choice The Growth 🔼 – The Metaverse — a Growth Triangle for Billions? Design Principles – The Metaverse as Human Potential Tech The Stack My Origin Story — And Why We Need Human Embodiment AND Technology The Metaverse (and the Future of Human Intelligence) A New Oath to Take? Defining Modern Neurorights Blockchain for Transformation? Collaborative Capacity

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Augmented Imagination

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Humanizing the Singularity

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