Top of Mind Thursday – January 26, 2023: How About a Little Chat?

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The latest big thing is ChatGPT–an AI-based tool that can write essays, compose poetry, and even pass graduate school exams.

The possibilities for this tool seem pretty amazing. It will write email for you. . . and write papers for your high school or college classes, too. It will create poetry. . . and author entire books, as well.

But what happens when the tool creates something that’s not correct–is it the tool’s fault, or the “author” who employed it and should have known better.

And who is the author of a piece generated by ChatGPT? When does this become plagiarism, and how do we spot it?

Just like any tool or technology, ChatGPT has its limitations. Automated customer service systems aren’t ready to replace humans, and self-driving cars are still not ready for prime time. While AI tools will likely bring a higher level of grammatical accuracy and improved readability to some projects, they’re unlikely to provide a level of creative genius any time soon.

While an AI bot might be able to model a play after Shakespeare or sculpture after Michelangelo, it’s unlikely they could create such a masterpiece from scratch.

Look around your business. Where can you use tools and technology to raise the bar, or remove obstacles to creativity? And how can you pave the path for real people to reach their creative potential?


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Top of Mind Thursday – January 19, 2023: Can You Believe This?

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Recently elected NY Congressman George Santos appears to have lied about his ethnic background, his education, and his work experience.

But that was only the beginning. Now, stories are coming out about how he may have committed check fraud in Brazil, scammed roommates and colleagues, and even absconded with money collected to pay for medical care for the service dog of a disabled veteran.

Certainly Santos (who also went by the names Anthony Devolder and Anthony Zabrovsky) is an accomplished con man who appears to have lying down to an art. Unfortunately, lying about your background or committing a series of crimes does not result in automatic expulsion from Congress. It’s unlikely the Speaker will push for his removal, given the precariously thin margin the Republicans hold in the House.

The bigger question is, with all of these allegations against Santos (some of which are fairly easy to prove), how did the man get elected in the first place? Where were all the people with all of this information before the November election?

We live in an age of disinformation, yet there’s enough substance to these allegations that it’s hard to imagine they would have all been dismissed out of hand by voters. Someone knew these things and chose not to say anything–or they didn’t try hard enough to bring these allegations to light when they could have made a difference.

If Santos was able to skate by the truth and get elected to Congress, it’s no surprise how may other scam artists out there are able to con people out of retirement funds, convince dating partners to send large sums of money, or create expensive products and services that don’t really work.

The question is who in your business circle may not be all they seem? Do you have employees or partners whose stories may seem a little too incredible? Have you contracted with suppliers who don’t seem to be able to deliver what they promised? Where else should you be scrutinizing what you’ve been told a little more closely?

The fact that Santos has gotten as far as he has is pretty shocking. Not digging into situations that we suspect aren’t as they seem is truly unbelievable.


Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

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Top of Mind Thursday – January 12, 2023: This Won’t Fly

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Yesterday, for the second time in a little over 2 weeks, air travel in the US ground to a halt.

This time, the problem was not weather-related, but due to the failure of FAA NOTAM software–an application that informs pilots of real-time restrictions and flight hazards. Without this software, every flight into and out of the US was grounded.

How did this happen? Someone inadvertently overwrote a key piece of code while conducting software maintenance–causing the entire system to fail.

These things happen all the time, but usually there’s a backup system, or some sort of redundancy that kicks in. Not the case here–perhaps because this particular system dates back to the 1940s and has yet to be modernized and updated. Instead, everything stopped.

It’s a bit frightening to think that a key piece of our transportation infrastructure could be brought down so easily. Imagine what might happen in the case of an actual cyberattack!

The FAA software in question is way overdue for replacement–as is the Southwest software that caused such a mess over the holidays. It’s logical to expect both of these organizations will now be prioritizing fixing these particular situations.

But how many other time bombs lay out there in other organizations and critical systems? Do we have to wait until another key system crashes to find out?

The only thing more expensive than modernizing critical infrastructure is what happens when you don’t.


Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

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Top of Mind Thursday – January 5, 2023: The Definition of Insanity

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As of this morning, the US House of Representatives has voted seven times to elect a Speaker for the new term. . . without any candidate getting the majority vote required to win.

Kevin McCarthy has clearly been the top candidate for this position since the Republicans regained control of the House in last November’s elections. Yet, he can’t come to terms with members of his own party who have publicly said they would not support his candidacy and have chosen to vote for a different candidate instead.

This is the first time in a century this has happened. It’s not clear how it will be resolved, because all parties appear to be firm in their positions: McCarthy won’t step away, the dissident Republicans won’t vote for him, and neither will the Democrats. Meanwhile, Congress is on hold till this is resolved.

Albert Einstein famously said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting different results.

While this may be a very public extreme example, in reality, we all face this problem in our day-to-day lives. Have you ever had a medical problem that wasn’t easily diagnosed, and required visits to multiple doctors–all of whom start by repeating the same diagnostic tests, again and again? How many times have you called customer support and been asked the same standard questions, time and time again, even though that didn’t resolve the issue?

This is the time of year when many people make resolutions about eating better, exercising more, or giving up harmful habits, like smoking. Yet, they take the same steps each January that didn’t work the previous year…and are frustrated to find themselves no better this year than last.

To move forward, you have to let go of what’s keeping you stuck. In many cases, it’s a belief that this should be the answer and therefore we’re going to try it again and again and again.

What tried-and-true and unsuccessful activities are you bringing forward into the new year? Time to jettison them. Anything else is just insane.


Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

Marketing Above the Noise.

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Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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