Hello Human!

Have you ever thought about death when you were at a funeral? Funerals make us think about life’s big questions. Last week, I went to my grandmother’s funeral in Tennessee. It was a long 12+ hour drive with my three kids.

My grandmother, Bobby Sue Wright, may not have been my blood relative, but she was like a real grandmother to me. She lived an impressive 87 years and left behind a great legacy.

I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life. My mother passed away in 2014, and my father in 2020. Right now, my 80-year-old father-in-law is in the hospital and will be going home for hospice care. 

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about death over the past nine years, maybe too much.

When I turned 42 on July 12th, I realized I needed to take better care of my health. I had become overweight, and I wanted to make the most of the second half of my life. It’s been a transformative four months, and I even ran 6.10 miles tonight on my third run since recovering from COVID in September. It’s ok. You can clap. haha (I use Relive to track my runs like this here)

At my grandmother’s funeral, while thinking about death, I couldn’t help but think about fear. Not the fear of dying, but the fear of dying young. Many of us have this fear, and it makes us Google our symptoms when we feel unwell.

In my case, this fear led me to visit the doctor a few times for things I had found online. They advised me to stop self-diagnosing. I’ve never talked about this fear openly before.

Fear can both paralyze us and push us to take action.

During my trip to Tennessee, I had a passionate conversation with my brother and cousin about AI. My cousin was worried about companies using AI to replace jobs, especially for those who are less privileged.

This fear isn’t uncommon. Many people worry that AI could harm society, jobs, and the future of marginalized communities. I understand these concerns, as I’ve seen corporations prioritize profits over people.

But I’ve also realized that throughout history, change has been a constant.

During my grandmother’s funeral, the name “Wright” caught my attention. My grandpa Wright had a colorful romantic history, with a string of wives, girlfriends, and who knows what else. But fate brought him to meet my grandma in Dayton, Ohio, which happens to be the birthplace of the Wright Brothers, the pioneers of flight in 1903. 

It’s astonishing to consider that a mere 120 years ago, many doubted that flying would ever become a common mode of transportation.

Back in 1909, Scientific American said, “The flying machine has a great future – a great future for sports and recreation. But it has no future as a means of transportation.”

And in 1911, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, a French military strategist, said, “Aeroplanes are interesting scientific toys, but they are of no military value.”

Whether it’s the Wright Brothers’ first flight or today’s advancements in quantum computing and AI, change has always been part of our human journey. The Wright Brothers’ flight paved the way for our modern world, much like AI is changing our lives today.

On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the remarkable feat of creating the first powered airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer. It took them four years of hard work. That day in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, changed the way we travel.

Their innovation revolutionized how we live and work, just like AI is doing today.

AI can make our lives easier, from self-driving cars to virtual assistants like ChatGPT. With quantum computing, the possibilities are endless. (not sure what quantum computing is – explained here in 60 seconds and the latest from IBM here

The key is not to fear the future but to embrace its potential for our benefit.

If you’re worried about AI or the future, think twice before watching this video! Geoffrey Hinton, known as the “Godfather of AI,” talks to CNN’s Jake Tapper about his concerns regarding this new technology.

If you’re worried about how AI can be used in a manipulative manner, I recommend avoiding this video that discusses ChatGPT’s achievement of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Watching it might heighten your concerns.

Want to learn how to make videos like this? Watch this video from Ex-Google TechLead on how to make AI videos and Deepfakes with AnimateDiff, Stable Diffusion, ComfyUI, and the easy way.

During my trip to Tennessee last week, I visited the house where I grew up. It seemed much bigger when I was five. I told my kids stories about my childhood:

  • Climbing the barbed wire fence to fish in the pond behind our house.
  • Running from a charging bull and climbing a fence to safety.
  • Accidentally starting a fire with a sparkler and hiding it by the dog house.
  • Getting an old tire from the tire store, which my parents turned into a tire swing.

During our drive, we passed Flowers Baking Company, and I shared with my kids the story of my parents’ resilience.

They grew up in tough circumstances, in the “hood.” My mother was so poor that she lived in a small RV trailer in the woods beside the “hood”.

But they decided to change their lives. They moved to Tennessee for a fresh start, living in an old house without insulation and using a wood stove for heat. During the coldest nights, they stayed in the attic to stay warm and often ate potato, bread, and mustard sandwiches.

My father had to overcome drug addiction, and it was a tough journey. He started as a dishwasher and worked his way up to become a head chef at a ski resort.

My mother’s story is just as remarkable. She won a microwave in a raffle at Flowers Baking Company and applied for a job there while picking up the microwave. Despite facing numerous challenges, such as being a woman without a college education, not being a golfer, and not being part of the “good old boy club,” she persevered. Year after year, she was passed over for the VP of Sales position in favor of less qualified men who were part of the club.

Their journey was like building a plane while flying it, navigating through difficulties and aiming for success. Just like the Wright Brothers, they charted their course through life’s challenges.

You might be wondering how all of this connects to AI. It’s about adapting to change.

Just as my parents made brave choices to transform their lives, we must make deliberate decisions to adapt as we navigate the changing world of AI.

AI has the potential to transform many facets of our lives, including addressing concerns about job displacement. While it can automate specific tasks, it also creates fresh opportunities, especially in rapidly growing fields like robotics and AI development. 

For those concerned about job security, exploring coding and robotics could be a promising path forward.

We need to recognize both the challenges and possibilities that AI brings.

Adaptation is the key to progress. We can’t avoid the changes that AI and technology bring, but we can prepare ourselves.

There are plenty of free AI courses available to help us thrive in this changing landscape. I’ve included a few below for your reference. Some by Google, Harvard, and others.

Knowledge is our guide through these unfamiliar times.

We have more information than ever before, so what will you do with it?

Free AI Courses

Increase productivity using AI by Zapier teaches you how to craft powerful prompts, pairing automation with AI, building an AI chatbot www.learn.zapier.com/increase-productivity-using-ai

The Elements of AI is a series of free online courses created by MinnaLearn and the University of Helsinki. The courses combine theory with practical exercises and can be completed at your own pace. www.elementsofai.com

Here are 5 free AI classes you can take online from top tech firms, universities like:
University of Pennsylvania
Google: Google AI for Everyone
University of California—Davis: Big Data
Artificial Intelligence, and Ethics: AI for Business
Harvard University: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python
IBM: AI Foundations for Everyone

Get access to these 5 free AI classes here

Get a university education for free, right from your home. Think about how your ancestors would have used this chance.

❤️ My Favorite Things This Week

✍️ Quote of the Week 

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

― Buckminster Fuller

Click here to see how long I have been focused on being human first.

🛠️ AI Tool: Gemini by Google 

There are tons of ChatGPT-like tools out there worth exploring. Below, I’ll share a top 10 list – and remember, there are hundreds, maybe thousands more, with new ones popping up all the time. 

Before we jump into the list of the top 10 ChatGPT competitors, I want to highlight why you should be looking at Google’s Gemini. It’s really making waves in the AI world! 

Yesterday was a huge day for AI, showing just how fast things are moving in this field. You’re probably reading this newsletter to keep up with all these exciting developments, right?

Google Gemini is like a super-smart robot friend created by Google. It’s similar to ChatGPT, but it has its own cool features. Imagine a world where there are loads of these smart robot friends, each with their own special skills. Google Gemini is one of the stars in this world. Here’s why it’s awesome and worth checking out:

Super Smart: Google has used all its brainpower to make Gemini really smart. It’s like having a genius at your fingertips.

Easy to Use: You don’t need to be a tech wizard to use Gemini. It’s super user-friendly, so anyone can chat with it easily.

Good for Everything: Whether you’re a student, a business person, or just curious, Gemini can help you out in lots of different ways.

Always Getting Better: Just like how your phone gets updates, Gemini keeps getting smarter and learning new tricks.

Works with Google Stuff: If you already use Google for things like email or looking up stuff online, Gemini fits right in and works together with these tools.

Made Just for You: Gemini can be tweaked to suit what you need, whether it’s for work, fun, or learning.

Talks Many Languages: It’s like a mini language expert, understanding and chatting in different languages.

Keeps Secrets Safe: Google knows a lot about keeping information safe, so you can trust Gemini with your chats.

Helpful Support: If you get stuck or have questions, there’s a bunch of people ready to help you out.

Ready for the Future: As the world changes and new cool stuff comes out, Gemini will keep up and bring you the latest and greatest.

So, Google Gemini is like having a really smart and helpful buddy who’s always there to chat, help you out, and make life a bit easier and more fun. It’s definitely worth giving it a try to see what cool things it can do!

Watch this video to understand how Gemeni interacts with real-world objects. It could revolutionize many things.

At Forge Institute, we’re trying out Duet AI for Google Workspace. Google has lots of data and money, so I think they’ll be the leaders in making new AI stuff like Gemini and Duet.

More info Duet AI for Google Workspace here

Let’s check out the top 10 ChatGPT competitors! 

Each one offers something special, with cool features and unique twists. Whether you’re into tech, business, or just curious about AI, there’s something interesting here for everyone. Let’s go!

Claude 2: An AI chatbot by Anthropic, focused on natural conversation. Claude 2

HuggingChat: An open-source ChatGPT alternative created by HuggingFace, allowing users to choose from various language models. HuggingChat

Pi, Your Personal AI: A unique AI chatbot with a focus on mental health conversations. Pi, Your Personal AI

GitHub Copilot X: A tool for programmers to suggest and complete code in real-time, based on the GPT-4 model. GitHub Copilot X

OpenAI Playground: A web-based tool for experimenting with various language models and customization options. OpenAI Playground

Quora Poe: A platform for interacting with different AI chatbots, including GPT-4 and Claude+. Quora Poe

Google Bard: Google’s experimental AI conversational service, powered by LAMDA. Google Bard

Microsoft Bing Chat: An upgraded version of Bing, utilizing an improved version of ChatGPT. Microsoft Bing Chat 

Jasper.ai: A conversational AI platform for customer service, sales, and marketing tasks, using GPT-3.5. Jasper.ai

ChatSonic: A ChatGPT alternative with real-time content creation capabilities, integrated with Google Search. ChatSonic

📟 Physical Product: NUUD

A while back, I ventured up to see my pal Patrick in the lush green lands of Oregon.

You know, as you age, it’s like your deodorant decides to clock out for coffee breaks more often than not, especially when I’ve been doing my best impression of an Olympic athlete down here in sunny Florida with all the running, biking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

Well, Patrick, being the mystical sage that he is, introduced me to this mythical creature called NUUD deodorant. At first, I was like “What in the hippy dippy woo woo what in the…” have you given me? But, let me tell you, it’s like the Harry Potter of armpit armor! 

I mean, I use just a teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy, pea-sized dab of NUUD once or twice a week, and I haven’t had to visit the deodorant aisle in ages. I even had a wild adventure at Walmart recently, and this poor guy asked me what I was on the hunt for. I turned into a full-on “NUUD evangelist,” showering him with the blessings of NUUD as if I were a missionary of odor-fighting awesomeness. Haha! Online-only orders, folks! He wandered off, glued to his phone, leaving deodorant-less. I reckon I just upgraded the world, or at least its scent!

Interested in joining the NUUD revolution? Get a whopping 20% off here: TRY NUUD (+ free shipping worldwide).

🌟 Featured Human of The Week

Kevin Shepard from AccentFlow https://accentflow.com/

Kevin has been a fantastic source of feedback for this newsletter. 

He also clued me into BeeHiiv.com as a superior newsletter platform (which I plan to switch to next week – for now, I’m warming up my new domain so my emails do not go to spam with this by sending via Gmail) 

Enter Kevin…

In the current conversation about AI, there’s a lot of chatter about how it’s changing content creation. But AI has an equally powerful role to play in content consumption. It’s about making the vast ocean of information more navigable, ensuring that we can fish out the pearls efficiently and put them to work for us. 

If you’re like me, you get a lot of vital info and analysis via podcasts… but my podcast feed is a never-ending flood of so much more great content than I can possibly wrap my brain around, and it’s tough to know which episodes are worth the precious minutes of my day. So many of great podcasts become “podpasts”, as I have to swipe right on past them due to lack of consumption time in my day. 

At least until I discovered Snipd, with a clever use of AI that’s tailored for my busy life so I can access the wisdom without the wait. Snipd transforms the podcast experience by providing transcripts and summaries of my favorite shows; I think of it as CliffsNotes for audio. 

For each episode, you get chapters, Quick Takeaways in bullet points, and Deep Dives in paragraph summaries. It’s perfect for those moments when I’m deciding whether a particular podcast deserves a slot in my schedule. Now, I can quickly scan or listen to the 5-min summary to get the gist of an episode, and decide if it’s worth adding to my queue. 

Then when I’m actually listening and something grabs my attention — a profound idea or a practical tip — a tap on Snipd’s Snip function (or a triple-tap on the AirPods) is my go-to. The AI in the app grabs the before-and-after context of the moment, creating a ±2 minute clip that captures it in both audio and text. It’s effortless and efficient, and I don’t have to miss a beat of my day. It’s like having a highlighter for my ears, except I don’t have to pause my walk, pull the car over, or flick on the bedside lamp. 

But these gems aren’t locked up in the app — I can export these insights into a note-taking app like Readwise or Notion. This means my podcast gems are now part of my larger knowledge ecosystem, right next to highlights from articles and Kindle books. It’s the connection I’ve been missing, allowing me to capture and review these ideas whenever I want. 

Snipd isn’t just another podcast player; it’s a personal assistant that helps me curate and capture the insights that matter most. It respects my time and enriches my learning. In the economy of our daily lives, where every minute counts, Snipd is a smart investment for anyone looking to maximize the value of their time with podcasts… lest they all go in one ear and out the other. 

For those of us straddling the line between voracious learning and the daily grind, Snipd is proving to be the essential tool. It’s a nod to the fact that while our appetite for knowledge is limitless, our time is not. So here’s to making every podcast minute count with, and to an app that’s making it easier than ever to do just that. 

Snipd: AI-enhanced Podcast Player


$5.99/mo ($71.90 annually)

Get one month of Snipd Premium for free👇🏻

https://link.snipd.com/pAbF/8uupn8p7 (gift link from Kevin, NOT an affiliate link) 

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! 

💌 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!)

Here’s a final ChatGPT hack from Jodie Cook that might save you time.

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