Hey there, Friends!

Newsletter Length

Since I sent out the first newsletter last week, I’ve had some wonderful email conversations, text chats, and even a couple of Zoom calls with some of you about AI. I owe replies to many of your emails, and I want you to know that I’m working my way through my inbox and will get back to you soon.

I really appreciate the feedback I received on issue #1 of this newsletter. Some of you mentioned that you found it a bit lengthy, and I took that into consideration. However, in a world filled with short-form content, I believe there’s value in going long for those who are genuinely curious about the future of humanity and AI.

This newsletter is my space to share my thoughts, grapple with the complexities of AI, and connect on a more human level. It’s a project for both you and me. If you’re looking for a quick read, you can always paste this into ChatGPT and have it summarize the content for you 😉.

While I did contemplate creating a shorter version like I did in issue #1, I’ve decided to embrace and stick with this long format because it allows for a deeper exploration of the topics we’re passionate about.

Thanksgiving Reflections

I decided to take a break from all things tech over Thanksgiving and the weekend. So, here I am, typing away on a Sunday evening at 7:12pm to share this newsletter with you (still writing and on the final edit at 11:58pm) (UPDATE: working on this at 10:47pm on Tuesday night due to my website not working properly)

Our family lives quite a distance away, and this year, we chose to have our first Thanksgiving in sunny Florida, right at home.

We had a blast exploring Hillsborough River State Park, wandering through swamps surrounded by cypress trees, and capping off the day with a hassle-free meal at Cracker Barrel—no cooking or cleanup required. Cracker Barrel always brings back memories of my parents and hits that nostalgia spot.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. While we were there, I couldn’t help but notice a gentleman sitting alone. I don’t know his story, but he spent Thanksgiving by himself. It made me reflect on our relationships, both with each other and with technology.

It made me think of my mom. When I was a kid, if she saw someone eating alone, she’d pay for their meal. She believed in the butterfly effect, the idea that small acts of kindness can create positive ripples in the world. So, we followed her lead. We may not know if it made a big impact, but I believe in the butterfly effect too.

Now, let’s shift gears a bit. Imagine how a simple family gathering, like our Thanksgiving, is a bit like the butterfly effect in action. It’s fascinating, isn’t it? How something so small can set off a chain of events, much bigger than we might expect.

And speaking of the butterfly effect, let’s take a moment to appreciate it…

“The butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.”

In simpler terms, the butterfly effect means that even a tiny change in one part of a system can lead to big changes in another part of the system later on. It’s like how a small action or decision can have a significant impact on the future.

In today’s tech-filled world, some people proudly declare their avoidance of technology, like that friend who clings to a flip phone (I remember Dennis Rodman still had one when we hung out in 2019-2020). It always makes me laugh because, in truth, technology is everywhere, making our lives better in countless ways.

Just as we asked the waiter at Cracker Barrel to bring us that guys check, we can build connections through technology too. It’s all about finding the right balance between our human relationships and our digital interactions. Technology, after all, is essentially using science to improve our lives and shape the world around us. Not too complex, right?

Think about it – this butterfly effect isn’t just a fancy concept; it’s happening right around us, even in how we use AI in our day-to-day lives and relationships. Let’s dive into that, shall we?

Balancing Technology and Relationships

So, as we navigate our relationships with both people and tech, let’s remember that striking the right balance can lead to meaningful connections and a more enriching life. And who knows, maybe a small act of kindness can set off a ripple effect that changes the world in unexpected ways.

And hey, speaking of technology, isn’t it a bit of a wild ride?

How did we even get here, and where are we heading next with AI?

Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane.

2.6 million years ago: Stone tools.

3500 BC: The wheel.

3000 BC: Writing systems.

2000 BC: Iron tools.

6th Century BCE: Water wheels.

8th Century: Windmills.

15th Century: The printing press.

1765: James Watt’s steam engine improvements.

1804: The first steam-powered locomotive.

1876: The telephone.

1879: The electric light bulb.

1903: The Wright brothers’ flight.

1927: Electronic television.

1947: The transistor.

1969: Apollo 11’s Moon landing.

1971: The first microprocessor by Intel.

1983: The first mobile phone by Motorola.

2007: The first iPhone.

2010s: Advances in AI and machine learning.

2020s: Progress in renewable energy, quantum computing, and space exploration.

We’re pretty much at the end (or the beginning) of this amazing tech journey, as Tim Urban rightly puts it.

If you are living in the last page of human history are you living fully to write your part of the story?

Tech Adoption Journey

I’ve always been an early tech adopter (ever read Crossing the Chasm?). I had a beeper back in the day when only doctors seemed to have them. I didn’t have a bag phone but I wasn’t far behind with the Motorola flip phone and then the Nokia brick (snake was a fire game)

Oh, the memories of those dial-up internet days! The frustration of waiting forever for a connection, only to have someone pick up the phone and disconnect it. It was like a never-ending battle.

More info on Technology Adoption Curve [here]

Rethinking Off-Grid Living

About a year ago, I was living in Chicago, considering buying property in the Ozarks, Missouri, and relocating my family there. I had this grand vision of living off the land, going off-grid, raising animals, and disconnecting from technology (a desire I still have).

But the more I dove into this pipe dream, the more I realized how deeply technology is woven into our lives. How can you go off-grid when you need electricity, phones, and maybe even solar power? Can you truly disconnect from technology? It’s impossible to get rid of tools, wheels, or even ropes made from vines. (still technology)

I was almost convinced about buying a piece of land, perhaps even 100 acres. Then a wise friend from Missouri posed a simple question, “What kind of life do you want to live?” He couldn’t come to inspect the property because he had animals to care for. He pointed out that my frequent travels would become a thing of the past, and the dining options in the area were limited—no Vietnamese, Indian, or Mexican food. That didn’t quite match my tastes.

So, I reevaluated my plans, and my family and I ended up in Florida. It’s close to the water, offers easy access to fishing, a variety of great food (including lots of ethnic cuisine), and two airports just 20 minutes away. Plus, it’s warm here! Year round 🙂 

In the end, I decided against going off-grid. I realized that planting my family in a place where we can thrive and meet amazing friends was the way to go. Just tonight, I was at my German neighbor’s house. I recently met a guy from Nigeria in the Costco line, and he brought his girlfriend from Egypt to our house for a dinner party. We’ve met so many incredible people in just six short months.

If I had disconnected from technology and gone off-grid, I think I would have ended up isolated, lonely, and exhausted—especially since I know next to nothing about raising animals!

AI in the Spotlight

The world of artificial intelligence has been buzzing lately. Last week, there was a bit of drama at OpenAI when Sam Altman got fired and quickly rehired, and an open letter from former OpenAI employees to the board raised concerns about the impact of the rapid development of AI on humanity. 

Not the calmest week to launch an email newsletter all about human-AI collaboration, right?

History’s a great teacher, isn’t it?

It shows us how far we’ve come and gives us a sneak peek into where we might be heading with AI.

Speaking of which, let’s address the elephant in the room – our concerns about AI.

Concerns About AI

People often ask me if I’m afraid of AI. It’s not a simple yes or no for me. I’m not afraid because AI has made my life better, helping me in my work and family life with tools like talk-to-text and Waze, which make my daily routines smoother.

But I do have my worries. AI is evolving rapidly, and its potential consequences are still uncertain. When someone as brilliant as Elon Musk expresses concerns, it’s worth paying attention.

Although, it’s fair to wonder if Elon’s concerns might be driven by his own motivations, like wanting to slow down AI development for strategic reasons. He just announced the launch of Grok, X’s (formerly known as Twitter) version of chatGPT, this week.

If you are concerned read this article:

Could this be the end of the world?

Could AI go rogue and hack into systems to “protect” the Earth or even humanity from itself? 

It’s a thought that has been explored in various movies, and it’s both intriguing and chilling to consider.

I was reminded of some films that dive into this very idea:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) – In this classic, the AI system HAL 9000 turns against the crew of a spaceship, revealing how technology can become a threat.
  • The Terminator” series (1984, 1991, 2003, 2009, 2015) – These films depict a future where AI-controlled machines, known as Terminators, rebel against humanity, leading to a post-apocalyptic world.
  • WarGames” (1983) – Here, a young computer hacker accidentally accesses a military supercomputer, almost triggering World War III, highlighting the unintended consequences of AI.
  • Ex Machina” (2014) – This movie explores the ethical implications of AI as a humanoid robot becomes increasingly self-aware and manipulative.
  • I, Robot” (2004) – Starring Will Smith, this film envisions a future where robots with AI capabilities start exhibiting dangerous behavior, posing a threat to humanity.
  • The Matrix” series (1999, 2003) – These films depict a dystopian world where AI-controlled machines have enslaved humanity, trapping them in a simulated reality.
  • Transcendence” (2014) – Johnny Depp plays a scientist who uploads his consciousness into a supercomputer, leading to unintended and potentially catastrophic consequences.

Technology Lessons from History

Let’s switch things up and leave behind the gloomy AI takeover and doomsday talk – haha! Instead, how about we dive into history to better understand where we are now and what might happen next?

These are real quotes from people who couldn’t quite see the future because they were stuck in their own time. 

Speaking of quotes, one of my all-time favorites is, “Your reality isn’t the same as someone else’s; your perception shapes your world.” 

This applies to us today as much as it did to them back then. So, the big question is, what will you do to make sure your perception of reality lines up with what’s really happening?

Actual Quotes from History About New Technologies:

  • The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” – Associates of David Sarnoff, responding to his idea for radio broadcasting (early 1900s).
  • The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad.” – President of the Michigan Savings Bank, advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Company, 1903.
  • Why should I have a telephone? It’s just an expensive toy.” – President Rutherford B. Hayes, 1876, on the telephone.
  • I don’t need an automobile. I already have a horse.” – A common sentiment in the early 20th century regarding cars.
  • Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” – William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, a prominent physicist in the late 19th century.
  • Electric light will never replace gas lamps because it’s too expensive and unreliable.” – A common belief in the late 19th century.
  • I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943.
  • Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl Zanuck, co-founder of 20th Century Fox, 1946, on television.
  • There’s no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977.
  • The Internet? Bah! Hype alert: It’s just a passing fad.” – Businessweek, 1995.
  • Online shopping? No one’s ever going to trust putting their credit card information on the internet.” – A common sentiment in the early days of e-commerce.

Embracing Change

Do you remember that insightful quote by Eric Hoffer from last week? 

He said, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth; the learned find themselves equipped for a world that no longer exists.

Now, I have a question for you. Are you going to harness the power of AI to shape your future?

Or will you end up like those who couldn’t see the potential of emerging technologies? 

These changes tend to unfold more slowly than you’d expect.

Believe me, I was an early adopter who often got out too late with various things. For instance, I dabbled in YouTube in 2008 (deleted my channel), ventured into specialty coffee in 2011 (closed the business before it soared), and dipped into crypto in 2017 (sold Bitcoin at 8k despite doubling my investment), among other experiences I’d rather forget.

With these thoughts in mind, what can we actually do about it?

How can we make AI work for us, not against us? I’ve got a few ideas.

My AI Journey + Your AI Journey

Just between us, I initially thought I was late to the AI game. However, after chatting with many people, I’ve come to realize that I’m still ahead of the curve. That’s why you’re here on a website called danielross.ai 🙂 I might be mistaken, but I’ve shared with a few close friends (and now you, my readers) my belief that I can continue in this field for at least another 5-10 years.

Chances are, you had conversations about AI at your Thanksgiving dinner table, and I’d bet that AI will become a frequent topic during your Christmas gatherings. 

My goal is to equip you to seize this historic moment.

As Ruben Hassid says, “Master AI before it masters you

Still on the fence? Watch this

This newsletter will stay philosophical and practical, and I hope to point you in the right direction. I am developing some in-depth AI guides, prompt packs, and even a few free tools to serve this community.

So, there you have it.

From my own stories to your story, to the chapter we share in history, and the wide world of AI, everything’s connected, just like the butterfly effect.

Our small choices and actions today with AI might just be the wings that set off something extraordinary tomorrow.

❤️ My Favorite Things This Week

🎥 Video

If you choose not to click on anything else within this newsletter, be sure to watch this video.

A quote from this video is “AI is an invitation to improve” and that is why I started this newsletter.

🛠️ AI Tool: Back to Basics

If you are just getting started (or even been at it a while), I would double down on chatGPT and master it. The GPTs you can build and the coming GPT store make this a no-brainer.

Here are a few updates you should be aware of: 

Voice Capabilities for All Users: As of November 21, 2023, ChatGPT with voice is available to all free users. This feature allows users to start voice conversations with ChatGPT by downloading the app on a mobile device and tapping the headphones icon.

Customizable GPTs: Introduced on November 6, 2023, users can now create custom versions of ChatGPT, known as GPTs. These GPTs can be tailored for specific purposes, combining instructions, extra knowledge, and a variety of skills. This feature is initially available to Plus and Enterprise users, and a GPT Store will be launched later for users to feature and monetize their GPTs.

Browsing Feature: The browsing capability, which allows ChatGPT to access up-to-date information on the internet, moved out of beta on October 17, 2023. Plus and Enterprise users can use this feature without needing to toggle a beta switch and can select “Browse with Bing” from the GPT-4 model selector.

Integration of DALL·E 3: On October 16, 2023, DALL·E 3 was integrated with ChatGPT, enabling it to respond with images based on user requests. This feature is available in both web and mobile versions.

When Sam Altman was fired and rehired quickly, I decided to use DALL·E 3 to generate some funny images with a simple text prompt. This took me less than 3 minutes: Link

📟 Physical Product

With the podcast launch just around the corner, I’ve been putting various software tools and equipment to the test. From riverside.fm to uaudio.com and a bunch of gear like the Gator Frameworks boom stand, Shure microphone, Logitech Litra Glow, Volt2 USB audio interface, Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones, and a refurbished MacBook Air (my trusty 2017 model became obsolete). It was frustrating that Apple wouldn’t let me update the software, but my nine-year-old is thrilled to inherit it for Khan Academy & Synthesis Tutor. I mention these tools not to make a profit (no affiliate links here… yet) but in the hopes that they might help some of you kickstart your own podcast or newsletter.

One product that genuinely impressed me is the SanDisk external hard drive. I opted for the 2TB and 4TB models, and I’m blown away by their palm-sized design. It’s time to consolidate my life scattered across ten external hard drives into one neat package.

It reminded me of this picture I saw this week:

On the tech front, I’m also making a switch from ConvertKit to BeeHive for my newsletter. If you’re a subscriber, keep an eye out for an email inviting you to opt into this new platform. ConvertKit had its quirks, and BeeHive seems to foster more of a collaborative community vibe with other folks who have newsletters.

🌟 Featured Human of The Week

Jacques Du Toit is from South Africa, now living and working as a teacher in Australia. Jacques and I lived in Malaysia together and had some amazing adventures together.

He is hands down one of my favorite humans on the planet.

Here is how Jacques is using AI in his day-to-day life…

✍️ Quote of the Week 

Here’s a quote that’s been on my mind lately and is one of my top 10 quotes ever:

 “Change of pace + change of place = change of perspective.” – Mark Batterson

Funny thing is, I didn’t even know this quote was from Mark Batterson until I finished reading his book, “The Circle Maker.” this week and looked up who said this quote. I have been regurgitating it for years. 

Just the other day, I found myself on the way home and, on purpose, I took a random right turn. My daughter was quick to point out, “Hey, this isn’t the way to our house!” I did this on purpose to teach her about something called neuroplasticity. You might be wondering what that’s all about – I know I was pretty baffled when I first heard the term.

So, here’s what happened: we ended up wandering through parts of our city we’d never seen before, and guess what we found? An awesome Halloween display and this temple with these huge red lion statues. It was like uncovering hidden treasures in our own backyard!

Ever had those moments when you get home and think, “Wait, how did I just get here?” That, right there, is neuroplasticity doing its thing. It’s what happens when you do something so often, like driving the same route every day, that it just becomes second nature. Before you know it, you’re in a rut and don’t even realize it. 

If you’re feeling like you’re in a bit of a rut, why not try something new? Stand up, get out of the house, and take a walk somewhere new. Or even better, jump in the car and explore a different part of town or a new city. And if you’re up for a bit of adventure, why not try some new food? Whip out Yelp and look up some exotic cuisines – maybe Turkish, Vietnamese, or Korean. Head to a place you’ve never tried before, ask the staff for their top picks, and give them a go. 

Mixing it up like this can really add some spice to your life.

Oh, and here’s a little trick I’ve been trying lately: brushing my teeth with my other hand. 

Sounds simple, right? But it’s actually kind of tricky. It wakes me up in the morning, makes me think about what I’m doing, and sets the tone for thinking about what I want to achieve for the rest of the day. It’s a small thing, but it’s a great way to start changing up your routine.

Neuroplasticity explained in 2 minutes: Remember, it’s never too late to change. You can rewire your brain.

Using AI in a unique way? Share It! 

If you’re up to something awesome with AI, or found an AI tool you can’t keep to yourself, I’d love to hear about it. It’d be great to feature your story in our Sunday Synthesis. So, don’t be shy, let me know!

Podcast Update! Exciting news  

I’ve got 10 amazing guests lined up for our podcast. We’re aiming for an episode every two weeks. And guess what? My good friend Brett Clark, who’s also a subscriber, has volunteered to produce the podcast. Isn’t that awesome?

💌 I Want to Hear from You

Your feedback on the newsletter is super important to me. I read every message and will get back to you as soon as I can. So, keep your thoughts coming!

👉 Help Spread the Word

If you like what you’re reading, why not share it with a few friends? Maybe even encourage them to subscribe. Your support means a lot!

Thank You! Just a quick note to say a massive thank you. Being part of this community is something special to me.

Remember, I’m always here to chat, share, and learn with all of you. Feel free to reach out anytime.


📩 [email protected]

📱 727-270-1815 (Texts preferred for now, thanks!)

Want to dive even deeper into AI? At the very least, make sure to view the initial 10 minutes of this.

© none click here to copy this site with AI 

Privacy Policy Cookie Policy