Futurist & AI Speaker, Matt O'Neill, next to an early food delivery robotAs we step into a future shaped by artificial intelligence, we’re beginning to see that our journey is not about competing with this technology but growing with it. AI isn’t here to take over but to help us do more and be more. It’s about improving our creativity, solving problems, and understanding each other –  things that make us human.

Changing How We Learn and Create
AI is already starting to change the way we learn and create. Imagine having an AI that could teach you one-on-one, explaining things in a way that makes sense just for you or discussing a book in depth. This isn’t just something for the future; it’s happening now, making learning personal and fitting it around our unique interests.

Creativity is getting a boost from AI, too. AI can now join in the creative process, giving feedback, offering ideas, and working together on art projects. This means more people can share their creative ideas, even if they haven’t had formal training. As I was finishing my second book, “Future Hackers,” I was up against the deadline. My publisher reminded me I had promised to include questions at the end of each chapter for readers to think about. To be honest, I was dreading it because it seemed like a gargantuan task. Luckily, ChatGPT was released around that time. I used this new tool for help, giving it my handwritten chapters and asking for a series of questions related to each one. A job I thought would take days only took a few hours. Working alongside it was incredibly helpful, making the process much easier and ultimately making the book better.

Our Roles Are Evolving
As AI takes on more tasks, our roles are changing. We’re becoming the ones who guide AI, asking the big questions and steering its creative power. This turns AI from just a tool into a partner, pushing the boundaries of what we can imagine and achieve together.  One example is how the DeepMind team created AlphaFold, an AI tool that can figure out the 3D shapes of proteins based on their building blocks, solving a tricky problem known as protein folding. This discovery is a big deal for medicine because it helps us understand diseases better and speeds up the creation of new medicines and vaccines. AlphaFold shows how working with AI can transform the way we do biological research and improve healthcare.

Ethical Thinking Is Key
I believe strongly that as we develop AI, we must do so thoughtfully, with a keen eye on how it affects society and making sure its benefits reach everyone. This means always thinking about the right way to use AI, addressing privacy, fairness, and making sure we don’t leave anyone behind.

I see a future where AI doesn’t just make us smarter and more creative but reflects our values and ethics. This partnership could help us tackle big issues, from mitigating climate change to improving healthcare for more people.

The EU AI Act sets tough rules for artificial intelligence, sorting AI systems by how risky they are to make sure they’re fair in important areas like jobs and schools. It requires clear explanations of how these AI systems make decisions and says that people must check on even the riskiest ones. This way, the Act helps stop unfair treatment and bias, making sure AI is used fairly and safely for everyone.

Getting Ready for What’s Next
Being curious and willing to learn is the best approach. Trying it out, seeing what it can do, and thinking about how to use it daily is the first step towards a future where it’s a normal part of our world. In my other business, ModComms, we managed to cut down our work a lot by using a tool called Vizard to edit social media clips for a client’s video podcast. This tool was amazing because it not only picked out video clips for us but also added our client’s brand to all the outputs, making our job faster and saving us a lot of time.

This journey is full of opportunities for world understanding, getting creative in new ways, and solving big problems by working together. Welcoming AI as a partner moves us towards a future that brings out the best in us, amplified by its amazing possibilities.

In embracing AI, we’re enhancing our human qualities, not giving them up. We’re preparing to enter an era of incredible growth and creativity, guided by our commitment to doing things safely and fairly. Together, AI and humanity are set to reach new heights.