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E45 - The New Frontier of AI-Enhanced Creativity in the Digital Era with Christopher Hogg
Episode 4529th March 2024 • Creatives With AI • Futurehand Media
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In this conversation, Professor Christopher Hogg discusses the impact of AI on education, creativity, and writing. He shares his experiences as an educator and how he incorporates AI into his teaching.

Christopher emphasises the importance of trust in technology and the challenges AI poses in the classroom. He also explores the concept of subtext and how AI can analyse and enhance it. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the role of wisdom in the age of AI.

Takeaways

  • AI has the potential to greatly impact education, creativity, and writing.
  • Trust in technology is a crucial factor in the adoption of AI in education.
  • AI can be used to analyse and enhance subtext in creative works.
  • Wisdom is essential in navigating the complexities of AI and its implications. Co-creation spaces should be created to encourage collaboration without overwhelming individuals.
  • Ethical questions should be asked when using technology to consider the potential consequences.
  • The impact of AI on jobs and the potential loss of creativity in companies should be considered.
  • The attention economy and information overload pose challenges in the digital age.
  • AI tools can boost self-confidence and enable individuals to tap into their creativity.

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Thanks for listening, and stay curious!

//david

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Transcripts

00:00 - David Brown (Host)

Christopher, welcome to the podcast.

00:01 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

Oh, my goodness, what great fun! Well, it's great fun to be here. I am live and direct. It is 10 o'clock in the morning, and we are in the city of Brighton. The only things that are going to interrupt our conversations are either batteries for this phone or seagulls, yeah, outside. So you can just know that this is happening, reality. This is not a deep fake of any description.

00:23 - David Brown (Host)

So we met at the independent podcast awards, didn't we?

00:27 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

Yeah, yes.

00:28 - David Brown (Host)

Yes, and you did. You win something yourself or were. You knew some people that won something.

00:35 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

I produced a podcast that was literally, it was called Clown Sex, and annoyingly, for the writer who played 17 different characters in this podcast, they won the the one, the price for best artwork. So, it has absolutely nothing to do with podcasts, and even though they were very happy to go on stage and receive the award, I'm sure they would have much, much more enjoyed, much enjoyed, actually winning something for the audio or the content. That was brilliant, and I do recommend clown sex. It is a rollercoaster ride of filth and only you know when to get off.

01:11 - David Brown (Host)

Excellent. Okay, Love it. And yeah, it was. It was a really good night, and I think that was the first. That was the inaugural independent podcast awards as well, wasn't it? So it's the very first one.

01:22 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

st fun of all of them. So, in:

01:43

nge award to win. And then in:

02:16

It's very expensive to make theatre. It's a bit like watercolour and would everybody's there like, hoping it isn't going to just be like watercolour in relation to the, in relationship to the rest of art.

02:25 - David Brown (Host)

but you know, fingers crossed it won't be no, I hope not, and so how is AI fitting into all of this stuff?

02:34 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

town square at some point in:

03:13 - David Brown (Host)

I can't hear it, it's OK.

03:15 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

Thanks very much indeed.

03:16 - David Brown (Host)

I'm trying to get a sense of what you think about. You know how is AI impacting? It could be writing, it can be education, it can be you know what's going on in the arts. I mean, obviously, this is a creative. You know we focus this show on creatives, and I find it. I think you have a really interesting perspective because you've done your own podcasting before. You've been very successful at it, but you were doing that before there was any AI really, and a lot of the podcasts that you know happen today are supported heavily by.

03:51

I mean, I use AI heavily in the podcast to do my show notes and to help, you know, write stuff and to come up with titles and all sorts of stuff, and I use it to. You know, there's, there's AI tools in my sound, you know, engineering tools and in my video production tools. You know all these things now have AI in them and it's I'm curious, you know, as a creator yourself, across, you know, I think, a couple of different disciplines. How do you see that? You know, do you see it as a? Do you use it at the? You know now, do you? Are you? If you do, what do you use it for and what do you think about that and you know kind of where do you think this is going to take us? And where do you what do you think the effects of that are going to be? Do you know what I mean?

04:42

That's that's kind of what I think that's what's interesting for people is to is to get your perspective, because, obviously, because you've you know, you've been in the industry for a long time and you and you're also working with you're an educator, and I think that's hugely interesting as well. In fact, I'm actually going to set up a whole separate podcast based on education with AI, because I think we need to have a totally separate conversation about education and because it affects students, it affects teachers, it affects parents. You know, it affects everyone, and we have to figure out how to live and teach in a world where you know you. I mean sorry, I know I'm talking a lot now, but you know we're in a world now where you've got a teacher gives an assignment to a student, who then goes off and gets AI to help them potentially, write the assignment. They hand that in, and then you've got a teacher who's using AI to help grade the assignment. So essentially, what you've got is you've got AI grading, ai content.

05:41 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

And so just flush it straight down the toilet. You know that's the way to go.

05:46 - David Brown (Host)

So. So I know there's a whole lot of stuff to unpack in there.

05:49 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

There is.

05:50 - David Brown (Host)

That's kind of you know, that's the what I want to try to get out of today.

05:55 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

ing. Obviously, I was born in:

06:07

worked on the internet since:

08:11

Creative social media is just essentially trying to explain to people how to communicate with the within the attention economy. And wow, is this going to make the attention economy even more, you know, a hurricane than it was before. We're not going to be able to know what's true, we're not going to be able to kind of make judgments, you know, and the whole of the history of the first 20 years of the internet. It's like, let's make this a trust, a place where people can trust each other, cause otherwise, no, there's no such thing as e-commerce because, you know, nobody would put a credit card within a mile of the internet. Yeah, so that level of trust is absolutely imperil and I think that people are reducing the amount of.

08:48

We used to trust technology quite a lot, but now we just think it's running way behind. You know the legislators and we are, you know we're removing our trust from technology very quickly. You hear that, you know, in the terms of people talking about banning social media, tiktok's going to get banned. I absolutely believe TikTok is going to get banned because, you know, america needs a scapegoat, and that's a pretty one that it can kill without. So, going back to AI and so, monday, creative social media. Obviously, when we can't trust social media, what we're going to do is we're going to place our trust in places where people can see each other. We'll place trust in our workplaces. We'll place trusted our institutions. We'll place trust in podcasts because you know what, interestingly, you know, podcasting is like intimacy at great scale, and so, consequently, you know, we trust what we hear with our ears more than we trust what we see with our eyes. I believe, but maybe I'm wrong.

09:44

Alright, so that's Monday's done, and then on Thursdays, I teach creativity, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. So what does that mean? It's just trying to create a, you know, a mindset of being able to bypass the gatekeepers that you either create in your mind or actually exist for young people, and so we kind of like I want the students to leave with the ability to kind of put their hand in a bag and kind of come up with an idea when they need to come up with an idea, and that's a kind of that's a kind of confidence and a belief that you can increase your creativity by doing it every single day and having a kind of practice. The entrepreneurship is, you know we get them to come up with business ideas and you know they have to follow that business for 22 weeks, they have to create a media plan and then they have to create content off the back of them. All of those things are being impacted by AI massively.

10:36

And I'll just carry on because to some extent it also causes friction between the lecturers, some of the more academic lecturers, and the ones that focus on the ones that kind of focus on theory. You know they see these AI written essays and you know, you know if they mark them, they give them a 50. You know, because they're alright and generally speaking, you can spot this stuff as written by AI because it's generally the students who have less confidence and you know they. You know they don't replace the S's with Z's or no, the Z's with S's.

11:08 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, that's a big one.

11:10 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

It is so that's, that's that so. And then on Fridays mostly, I teach screenwriting and again, having done lots of experimentation with the way that kind of obviously, that's one of the sweet spots for AI at the moment is filmmaking people, you know people are spending millions of pounds on the like virtual production walls.

11:30

You know, and that's already gone. They've already moved on. You know. It's now being replaced by, you know, creating worlds in unity and unreal and using AI to create virtual worlds. But what I'd like to do, and what I'd really love to share with your listeners, is just this framework for kind of going on an experiment with the people that they're teaching.

11:54

I don't know if this is going to be helpful, but let me just let you tell you about a class that I did just yesterday, and so one of the things that I really adore about AI creativity is its ability to create multiverses. So what do I mean by multiverses? I mean that you can just take a family picture, you can upload it into mid-journey, ask it to describe what it sees and create four versions of your family, and you can amend each of the prompts so you can make a sci-fi version of your family. You can make a southern gothic version of your family. You can mess about with reality, and there's a certain. If you bring in stuff from real life and put it into AI, it has a certain quality that is much more interesting to me than stuff that actually just comes from the soup and so we can.

12:45

We asked the students to kind of just play with you know ideas for that. What did we do then? Then I did something quite interesting, which is I think it's really fun to kind of imbue like a tool like chat, gpt, with a character. Yeah, because I'd read a lot of those studies that says you know that you know, the more polite you are to these tools, the better results you get back, and personally I believe that that's because by being polite, it puts you into a frame of mind that's more reflective and so the whole experience gets, gets better. You know it changes you. I try and teach the students that you know, whereas it can kind of eat them for lunch. From a creative perspective, the absolute sweet spot, I believe, is them to find this kind of co-creation space. You know intelligence. A you intelligence be AI.

13:39

You know intelligence see that's the place that doesn't eat your lunch. That's the place where it really interesting things could happen. And so yesterday and I will let you speak in a moment yesterday I asked them to do some research using perplexity, which is obviously, as it brings in the actual sources, is as a much more university friendly piece of technology, and so you can cite those references and go deeper should you want to. What a piece of genius that is. So they had to create Dionysus, they had to find out all about Dionysus, and then what they had to do is that they had to then tell GPT to become Dionysus, and so they were then in a conversation with a God.

14:24

Okay, now, my, my point of view is this is that, as a writer, I'm constantly trying to get the students to try and plug into the collective electricity that's running through society's mind.

14:36

That's really that if you can just supply the words and the ideas and put them on a stage or on a screen, you are absolutely doing your job as a writer. You're helping society to ultimately to ask that that question which every generation asks is like how do we survive now? How do we live in this generation? You know and that's interesting the Greeks would always take their characters to the land of the dead and they would stand at the veil between the land of the living and they would say how do we live? What do we do, you know? And everything that you see on a stage is the land of the dead. Everything that you see on a screen is the land of the dead and everything that is in the world of the audience is the land of the living. And so I then asked them. Asked them to ask Dionysus for directions to the veil between the land of the living and the dead right and once they were there, they had to ask it questions about.

15:24

You know what was going through Britain's mind, what are the challenges that England's having, and you know how do we solve them. Oh people, oh, dead people and what.

15:35 - David Brown (Host)

I don't even know where to go with that. What did it? What were some of the? Did they get interesting responses?

15:40 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

yeah, obviously Brexit came up quite a lot, you know immigration yeah, you know all the all, the all, the tried and tested.

15:47

You know we know them all. But you can see what I'm trying to do here is I'm trying to get create this playful space right where you don't just have to be asking. You know the ghosts in the machine. You can get the ghosts to pretend to be whatever they, whatever you want it to be, to be more helpful to you. And I think we really do lack the vocabulary to talk about some of the feelings that we're having when we're kind of interrogating AI. I feel that you know we need words like half alive, half conscious, because you know that those feelings are uncanny of you know, sometimes the replies are astounding and I often ask the students to kind of just work out how do you know?

16:26

What is it making them feel? And so, obviously, after Dionysus, what did we get them to do? Then we got them to put in their scripts that they've been working on and that's a kind of like. That's like well, that's like in turn, you know, if AI is a fun, fair right, that's a pretty weird fun, fair right to put in your own work, yeah, and so what we then did is we then asked them to before they put it in.

16:53

They had to take one of the main characters, place them on their knees and write a prayer that they said at the end of their bed. Because if you can get a character's want, then you're a really deep way to kind of making a good piece of drama or film. And then and then what they had to do is they had to put in this they're seen and asks, ask GPT to analyze the subtext. What is the subject is that? It's the unsaid word in every scene, it's they, it's the, it's, it's the thing underneath that makes drama really really interesting. It's the thing that actors emote brilliantly that kind of like the inner conflict.

17:25

Yeah and wow, it blew their minds because it's so good if you just ask what's the subtext of the scene.

17:31 - David Brown (Host)

It's so good at picking that out it's so good and it's funny that you mentioned that, because I've talked about before what I found it really useful for is doing something similar, which is and top tip for anybody listening. I find it really useful when I'm running grant proposals or tender responses, particularly to public sector, because you're very, very limited on the nber of words you can use. Usually like the new style that they've been doing lately for the past couple years is you have 400 words only to answer a question about what's this project gonna do what's the project gonna be.

18:13

Who's like what's the project plan? And it's like you're supposed to attach a spreadsheet to it but you only get 400 words to smarize it. And what I found using GPT's for is we would write something and then put it in. But, exactly as you said, I'm like what's the message? And ask it what's the message? And it's the same thing. Right, so it's what? What is? Forget all the individual words. But what are we? What are we saying here? And we would, we would then make sure that the message that we were the subtext to it was Addressing the need that we knew that they had, because a lot of times it's not clear.

19:01

You know the, the government will put out a bid and it'll say look, we're going to give, you know, four million pounds to to 10 different councils to do this 5g bank and blah, blah, blah. And it's like right, okay, well, that seems pretty clear on the surface, but actually, what are their motivations? Why are they giving this money? What are they motivated to do and what do we need to do to tick their internal boxes? So we made an assption Of what we think that it's an election year, they've got extra budget left over, they're looking for good PR. They need a good story to run into the election.

19:35

You know, looking at the dates and blah blah blah. So what we had to do was Was we wanted to make sure that, hey, the program I mean, we're going to deliver the program and the program is good. But we also had to make sure that the kind of subtext of that story was that we would be able to support those efforts with good PR and with case studies and with a demonstration of how that money was used for good value for the people and that sort of thing. And you're absolutely right, it's genius at doing that kind of thing.

20:08 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

It really is is I don't know how it does it. You know, and when I'm trying to teach about, about like just the foundational ideas, what AI is and how it understands words, and the analogy that I use is you know, when you look up at the night sky and see all the stars and you've got absolutely no idea what's happening on those stars and also the lights from you know hundreds of thousands of years ago, but our ancient ancestors would be able to look up at the stars and know where they were In the same way.

20:45

a computer does not understand the semantic meaning necessarily of those words, it just knows the combinations and from those combinations it can tell you what you need to know. It's a kind of navigation tool. So yeah, it's. I try and find metaphors come quite. You know theatrical metaphors and similes that try and kind of get some of these ideas across in a kind of more naturalistic way. I also think it's like you see so much this was a big in this in hype cycle.

21:15

You know it's coming down a little but it's still wild and and ultimately people Don't you know are worried about what's going to happen to education, but you know we forget that 300 years ago we send people around the world to navigate it and they probably only knew six books.

21:33 - David Brown (Host)

They were, you know, they were the.

21:34 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

Greek and Aristotle, and you know they were Plato, they were all of those texts. But you know it is possible to navigate the world with, with, with wisdom as opposed to necessarily knowledge. Where's the wisdom come from?

21:51 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, I haven't seen much wisdom lately, have to say something.

21:54 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

r would create a prompt for a:

22:54

I did one for entrepreneurship, for example. You know you're a time you're at start up. You've got to survive one year. How are you going to do it? And obviously, the, the. Can you tell me as well Execute, execute, execute, and I hope you're at the right times.

23:14 - David Brown (Host)

Well, yeah, that's, yeah, that's a whole nother story. We could, we could talk about that totally separately, but I had another company and it was just we. We were at exactly the wrong time and it was a great idea, but it was exactly the wrong time and, yeah, that was. That was annoying. Anyway, sorry, I digress.

23:32 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

So I hope I've given an example of how I just try to try to create the co creation space that doesn't eat you for lunch and also along the time. I also ask people ethical questions. So okay, you want you use this technology? You've just put 36,000 actors in London out of work. Is that something you want to do? Is that?

23:49

llion connected devices in by:

24:29 - David Brown (Host)

It's, we will, and I had a really interesting chat with the podcast actually that went out today was from a guy I know in Silicon Valley is names chase and he runs this company that does anyway, they can rate how reliable news articles are. But what I found really interesting in talking to him is because he lives in Silicon Valley, he has a slightly different perspective on it and he's fully drinking the Kool-Aid and you know his position was an I, I was slightly cheeky and I was trying to drive out of him a little bit and I think I was was successful, which the idea is just that, yeah, but it doesn't matter. Like you know, technology will solve everything and it doesn't matter if people are put out of work now, because later technology will figure out how to do something. And, yeah, there might be a few people that are inconvenienced in the short term and I'm like going, yeah, okay, like it's just, you know, it was that glossing over of it, and I've worked in tech for nearly 35 years and I've worked for startups and I understand the mentality of it, but this is a whole different kettle of fish, I think, and you know, nothing has come for. I've said this a lot of times and people called me up on it, but nothing's come for the smart people before right, like it's always been a physical thing, it's always been a you know an industrial revolution. It's been machines, yeah, and that sort of thing, but no one's.

26:04

You know all those people that did those jobs went into the Marketing and advertising and ant-tech and on these other you know kind of start-up businesses and all the digital companies and that's where the jobs have migrated over time. There is a whole lost Generation of people who had those skills, who don't have digital skills, who were out of work and that was it. I think they had no job and no one likes to talk about that and I Fear that we're gonna get to that same place. Moving forward, like thinking of screenplays. I was at an event about must have been about a year ago and Even then they were talking about. You know it used to take if somebody wanted to take a book and they bought the rights to a book and they wanted to write a Screenplay for it. It would take months to sit and and then take that book and Digest it and turn it into a screenplay of something that was decent. They're like we can put it into to chat GPT and say, write a screenplay, and it will do 80% of the work for us.

27:07 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

Mm-hmm.

27:08 - David Brown (Host)

And it's like we. It then becomes an editing job, you know, and you know we can then go back and put in the bits that we want, but the heavy lifting is done in like half an hour and they're like it's just that the sheer scale of it. Now there's still two, three, four, six months worth of going back and maybe editing that and whatever. But it it changes the, it changes the, the field doesn't it? Because now people who, who aren't screenwriters, who maybe never had that experience or that skill, can just go and chuck a bucket and go. Well, if I wanted to write a screenplay about this, this is a good place to start.

27:47 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

I love I. Yeah, I hear what you're saying and it makes me think that we're in an age of what I would call Contactless capitalism. You know where, if you can just remove as much friction between you and whatever thing you're doing, then that's a great thing. You know you tap on when you go to the shop. You know you go to your self-service till and you know contactless. You then tap with your card contactless. It's even called Contactless.

28:13

Yeah, what I think is that you know we're gonna be having scripts and you're just gonna write the word contactless as in, like there is something absolutely missing, and I think it's them. What what's missing is friction, the friction of Struggle, the friction of kind of, you know, just trying to wrestle with something with an eight-legged octopus to kind of get it, and so two things. You also remind me of the one you know you talked about grant applications. I was speaking to somebody at the arts council recently and they said that the vole of arts applications has gone up since GPT. Obviously, yeah, and they're really good applications, and loads of loads of courses are also as your final bit of marking. You're gonna do an arts council application and it's get to the point where it's like the things that they choose. It's just luck.

28:58

It's absolutely got to the point where it's like they've got so many that it's just almost becoming impossible to make those kind of decisions.

29:06 - David Brown (Host)

Didn't? Haven't publishers experience the same thing like book publishers and that sort of thing is like they've had a massive influx of you know, obviously AI written content and just you know, I can't remember the stat. I Did read it somewhere. I'll try and find it for this, for the show notes, and I apologize, like I don't have it off the top of my head, but it was like an 800% increase in the nber of book submissions that they'd had before, before generative AI came out. It's something ridiculous and Essentially they're like we can't even we can't even sort through it to find the real stuff, because it's it's now just clouded everything that we're trying to do.

29:47 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. I'm trying to get something published at the moment and it's. It should be a struggle, because you know you want to read good things that have kind of gone through that, that session of that friction to try and make themselves as good as they possibly Can be. Yeah, you're absolutely right, but Again, I wonder what you know if this it, if there's too much information, we become very, very picky about how we allocate our attention. You know People started talking about the attention economy back in the 70s. You know we attention is a finite resource and we only have so much of it. And so, yeah, it's, it's interesting I was.

30:26 - David Brown (Host)

I was at an event yesterday put on by the economist, and Somebody said something really interesting in one of the presentations that I didn't know and I found really interesting and I Think it's relevant to kind of to what we're talking about. They said that the companies who see if you had a manufacturing company like an automotive company, for example, and they went, oh, we've got all these, you know robotics that we can put in and it makes the company much more efficient and it saves us money and all of that, and they're like fine, it does that. But what they found is from doing that, they lost the creativity in the company, because the creativity was coming from the people working on the on the manufacturing line, who had ideas about how to do stuff better, whereas the robots just do the task.

31:20

Oh, I guess if the robot is efficient at doing the task, then there's no thought about. You know, the robots don't understand how the other robots deal with each other and so they just do the task and it's perfect In theory. From an economic standpoint it's perfect, but from a business and a business strategic in a growth perspective it's not as good because you don't have those ideas and you don't have that innovation Bubbling to the surface from the people going this is terrible, we need to fix this and and or. You know, this part doesn't fit exactly right every time and it's really difficult or whatever it is.

32:01

And I wonder if we're gonna see the same thing in the creative industries. I mean, creative people are creative, right, like that's never gonna stop. But I Just wonder if we're gonna see the same sort of thing or as with when AI starts to be used more and more, even as a tool that, without that struggle that you're talking about and without sort of you know, putting the effort out, are we gonna lose some of the real creativity? Or maybe the people on the side who Maybe before didn't realize that they were creative and they only kind of worked it out through struggling If they don't have to struggle, maybe they'll never get there.

32:41 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

I think so many things pop in my. That's such a brilliant insight, I think so. I mean, I don't know if you ever do you do ironing. I you know Sunday night up on Lord of the Rings and do some ironing.

32:50

But I think when you do something boring or repetitive, or on a shop floor or on a factory, your brain goes into a kind of default mode and in that default mode very interesting things are happening.

33:00

You know it's, you know you're, you're modeling versions of yourself, you're having autobiographical thinking and you're kind of just your brain is just doing it in the background and it just pops up with with a, with a, with an idea that it's never had before.

33:11

And Obviously, social media is really challenged, that for people, because you know, people are never bored, or they don't have to be bored If they don't want to be bored, you know. And so there's that removal of that biographical thinking about what we want to do, who we're gonna be and how. You know what. You know, what have we got to offer the world? And so I think, yeah, that's an interesting space to keep looking at to see what the results will be. But certainly I think you're describing a kind of sinning out of the quality you know, and I think that it comes in the world of jobs again. I understand that, like the lots of you know, tools are now there to kind of generate hundreds of letters to various companies and People turn up to interview and they've got no idea what it's all about.

33:48 - David Brown (Host)

Yeah, and it's yeah, I don't know. I think on the flip side of what you're saying, I ride a motorcycle. So I have downtime mental downtime sort of because when you're on a bike and you're flying down the motorway at 70 or whatever, or you're on an A road, you can't think about anything else. You literally have to be zoned into what you're doing, because it's not like being in a car where you can put some music on and you can zone out a little bit, because even if something goes wrong, you're probably in it, you're pretty safe, like, if I screw up on the bike I'm dead, and so it focuses your attention to Thomas. I compare it to meditating, almost, but it's exactly what you're talking about, though it gives my brain time to work on stuff in the background, right, and thoughts do kind of come out from that, but a lot of times they're thoughts, and this is where I see the positive side.

34:47

I mean, social media has a lot of problems and but one of the positives is people say some people say some really interesting stuff, and I think I've seen things across, whether it's TikTok or Instagram or LinkedIn or like what. I don't really use Facebook, but a lot of the other platforms are. On YouTube, some people say some really insightful stuff and it's some of it really has given me the opportunity to reflect on myself in a different way just by thinking about what other people have said. And yeah, there's 98% of the content out there is total rubbish. I think people trying to be funny or they're trying to generate clicks or get money or whatever, but every once in a while you get a little nugget of something that's actually really insightful and I think that's the magic of it and maybe that's why people keep doing it, because every once in a while you get just enough to keep you going.

35:45 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

I don't know, no, no, no, let me. I mean, I can talk to that. That's so interesting. I think that the algorithms used to reward real people talking to real people. Whenever it saw that moment, you know, whenever it saw it, it was absolutely ah, you know, I'm going to. I'm going to up that because social media is the biggest party and it's a party that must never end, and as soon as the party is over, the people are gone.

36:08

But when TikTok came along and it was so successful at high jacking your attention and was so entertaining and all the formats of transformation that came out, then the algorithms began to change. It's like okay, so which of our users generating content has created a format that works, that's either funny, useful, beautiful or inspirational, and does it all within the first six seconds and then takes people on a little transformational journey and it just rewards that now. And so it's. It has become it's again. There's a sinning out, there's a loss there. You know, we will have to find. So what you were saying, which is very interesting, is the fact that when you do see one of those moments of hanity, that kind of nugget, that real person talking to a real person, you know it means something.

36:56 - David Brown (Host)

Do you think that's changing? Because I know on YouTube it's definitely changing and for the past few years all the biggest accounts did this thing called retention editing, which is a quite internal industry term that probably no one will know what it means. But the whole idea is exactly what you said it's get their attention as quickly as possible. We use lots of edits, use text use. You know very flash, you know quick edits across the thing to to maximize people's attention and get them stuck into the content. But it's also quite tiring when you look at it and you watch it for any length of time as well, because it's kind of fatiguing to your brain because there's so much going on. But what's happened over the past 12 to 18 months is YouTubers and stuff like that. I mean I have a YouTube channel that I do some stuff on and so I you know I kind of watch other YouTubers and you know it's all very naval gazing kind of stuff going on.

37:52

But what's been interesting is that the algorithm has started to promote it's surfacing different content. The algorithm doesn't push out content to anyone. It actually pulls content that people are, it thinks people will be interested in and and there's been a change into this more authentic. You know it's. They call it anti editing at this point, so it's. You know it's conversations like this, it's just people having a real conversation. It's not overly edited, you know. You might just have a one second intro or a two second intro and then and then it's just get straight into it and it's people talking to people.

38:28 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

Oh goodness, it's gone full circle. But maybe YouTube is leading the way on that, because I think the other ones are still stuck in TikTok in that kind of you know, funny, useful, beautiful, inspirational, and the data's there.

38:41

That's. It's a lot of big brands have trouble with, with kind of this kind of entertainment thinking. They're very much stuck in like we are a big brand, we've got to be very trustworthy, we've got to stick to the message. We're going to just put loads of adverts out that kind of foster that message and you know, whereas all the platforms that they think they need to go where the attention is are, you know, funny, useful. They're entertainment thinking, and so how do you get a brand to get on board with entertainment thinking might not suit, might not be right for their brand.

39:10 - David Brown (Host)

Exactly, and I do you think so. Here's the question. So do you teach this sort of thing? Do you think that that's because? Because you and I are basically the same age?

39:20

I'm a little bit older than you, but we grew up in a time where whenever we saw content, it was broadcast quality, professional, you know, professionals, delivering very well spoken. Ads were, were, you know, professionally done all the time. There was no amateur content. It was all very professionally, very highly edited, very well done, and and so the people of our age who have been in those marketing roles and the PR roles and all that, the advertising roles and those sorts of things, that's the content we grew up seeing. So we, we don't take the amateur content as seriously as we do the the high production value content. Whereas society's changed and I think maybe that's what we're now seeing is we're seeing younger people coming into the profession and you know more and more of those people coming on and they grew up with mobile phones and seeing much more, you know, amateur content, where now anybody can record anything. I mean.

40:24

I have a 600 pound camera with a 200 pound lens on it and I can record something that you know 10 years ago, you would have needed a broadcast quality camera to get the quality that you can get out of a of a small DSLR. Now Do you? Think that's what do you think? Maybe that's what's feeding, that is that. It's just that it's generations moving through and moving out the other end.

40:49 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

I do, I agree with you, but also, I would add, technology. So I think it's to do with the size of the screen. If you, you know, big stories for big screens, little stories for little screens, and if you go to a cinema and they will take you through some darkened corridors on purpose to get you to shed the outside world, and then you sit and you hear music and there's, you know, there's a kind of huge scale and kind of a sublimeness, and June was really good at this, you know, creating this idea of sublime recently.

41:17

Yeah, I like that, and and so I think that if you're a grown up in generation looking at stories on a small screen, you don't necessarily have the skills to make stories for the big screen, but we grew up with bigger screens and so, yeah, I think it's a mixture of exactly what you said, as well as to do with some of the affordances of the technology.

41:36 - David Brown (Host)

So where do we go from here?

41:38 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

Well, that's a great question. It's a really really quick. I can only answer from where do I go from here? I think I will.

41:47

I think, as an educator, I, my job, is to try and make sure that the students that go through the university are paying really really good money for it, that they get the skills that they need to navigate the 21st century. What are those skills? And I think that there are actually, like you can list them. You know there's, like you know, information management skills, communication skills, collaboration skills, you know ethical skills, you know stuff to do with just cultural awareness, and so it's a blend of hard skills and soft skills that we try and put together in order to kind of make citizens that can cope with it and that have, you know, enough ethical awareness to realize that they want to. You know they don't want to add to the noise, they want to, kind of you know they want to turn information into knowledge. That's the students I kind of want to put into the world, that they can kind of simplify things. So, yeah, where do we go in the future? We try and simplify as much as we possibly can, if we can.

42:55 - David Brown (Host)

What about for you? It's a good question. I'm a glass half full kind of guy about most things and I really try and be positive about most of it, and I do think. I just think we're in a massive adjustment period and we've had to adjust to new tools, always in the past. Right, and this is just another tool, although it's not just any other tool.

43:20

What I'm worried about are the unintended consequences that we can't even see and we have no way of predicting. If we look back at we all use social media as the most recent example. Could we, when social media have come out in the very beginning, could we have sat at a room and come up with and said well, actually, here are some of the problems that we think are going to come from this in society? Could we have done that exercise in the beginning? I don't know. We have 20-20 hindsight and, of course, when we see the problems, we go well, yeah, you should have been able to see that in the beginning, but you can't, and that's not how it works.

44:03

And I worry about what are those unknown consequences that we just we can't even work out? Are we going to end up at a point where literally 30%, 40% of the jobs are going to be gone, I don't know. But then you factor that in with other stuff. For example, there's been so many stories about young adults and children not wanting to have kids and the population nbers are actually falling and that's such a problem. Well, actually, if you lose 40% of the jobs, but you lose 40% of the population, then actually you're at a net zero again. So there's other factors.

44:48

We haven't factored in a massive war. What happens when we have World War III? There's tensions all over the world right now that are getting worse and worse. You and I grew up during a period where there was a Cold War and we were nervous and kids had never experienced that, although they might start. And if something massive happens, then that changes all the geopolitical stuff and AI is going to be used in combat. I mean, I've had a podcast a year ago talking about how that might happen and it's going to have impacts across. And I don't think AI is going to destroy the world.

45:30

People will destroy the world because of the side effects or the knock on effects of what AI does Right.

45:36 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

It's true, I just yeah, I think you're right. Oh, I forgot what I was going to say.

45:42 - David Brown (Host)

That's quite a class. I ended up class F empty, there you did and how class?

45:47 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

That's what I'm concerned about.

45:49 - David Brown (Host)

That's my concern, but I do think that even now, I think people are using AI in a lot of instances and we're figuring out how to use it right, this is what you make me think about.

46:01 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

The person who did do some of this thinking was Marshall McLan, and he's got this thing called the media tetrad and it's his way of defining a truly advanced kind of step change in technology, and I do recommend for you and the listeners to kind of just Google it on YouTube or whatever.

46:19 - David Brown (Host)

I'll put a link in there.

46:21 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

And so it essentially says a new piece of technology will have very will have about four discernible effects. It will bring back a behavior from the past. Interestingly, it will make a present behavior redundant. It will also and this is the interesting one it will have negative consequences negative, they're called negative flip out consequences, which are a result of the success that cannot be, cannot be. You know, they can't be predicted. So we're looking at the negative flip out consequences of the great success that AI is going to be, which is, you know it doesn't feel, you know it already is it's amazing? So I think it's.

47:03

appen, but it doesn't. It was:

47:54 - David Brown (Host)

No, that's. That's interesting and I think I think on the creative side of it from and I can speak for me personally as an example, and I've mentioned this before it's I was never. When I was younger and a kid, I was never encouraged really to do anything creative. I was never, you know, I was never encouraged to do music or anything. So I was. I was one of those people who kind of bmed through life just thinking I wasn't creative because I was never encouraged. I think it's part of it.

48:27

But when, when we got to the point where I had some tools, some AI tools, that could help me do like the podcast, for example, then I was like, okay, it gave me enough confidence to be able to try something new that I'd never done before. It's on a on a more creative vein than my technical stuff that I'd always done right, and what's been the impact on me personally around self confidence and everything else? Like, I never expected that to come from just having conversations with people on podcast, but my self confidence has increased massively and I'm much happier and I'm much more comfortable with that side of myself now, just from, but that's all as a result of having just having some simple AI tools that meant that it just gave me that little bit of confidence to do something that I'd never done, and I wonder if we're going to see that there must be other people out there like that as well.

49:34 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

And.

49:34 - David Brown (Host)

I wonder if we're going to see a big push in, like even people who were like they. They feel like they'd like to do like art maybe drawing or photography but they're like I don't have the money or I don't have the skill. They're always making it some excuse I don't have the skills, I'm not confident enough to do it because I don't think it'll be very good. But they can start playing around with an AI tool and they have ideas about what sort of art they might want to make and they can start writing prompts and then the AI does it for them.

50:01

I see, and it allows them to tap into some creativity and some part of their person that they've never been able to tap into before, and maybe that's the one of the big positives that can come from it.

50:17 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

I'm such a fan of somebody called Robert Twigger. He's a great British eccentric writer you can get him on the show, wow but he wrote a book called Micro Skills, which is essentially, you know, saying that 90% of people will never be specialists. We're generalists. That's who we really are. No 10,000 hours. Thank you very much.

50:36

You know much more fun to have lots of little tiny skills like well, can you make the best omelette in the world, can you do a barrel roll in a canoe? You know those kind of things. And so I do think that AI does allow you to kind of leapfrog to that point where you think, oh, I can do this, and you're right. That's a very big insight. It's a really, really cool insight. I just wanted to say that my 11 o'clock meeting has just reminded me itself that it exists.

51:03 - David Brown (Host)

No, perfect, I was about to say we were running short on time anyway, so that's perfectly fine. Thank you very much. We'll leave it there for now. We should have a beer someday and have a chat, because I reckon we could just keep going for another couple of hours if we want to.

51:20 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

I've loved every minute of this and thank you for going to all the effort of creating a podcast and people feel free to get in contact with me. You know I'm a gun for hire Weddings by Mitzvahs Excellent. Ai meetings AI meetings AI meetings.

51:38 - David Brown (Host)

Well, we're having an event later in the year. You heard it here first. But one of the groups I'm in is having a big event, a three-day event, in October. So yeah, we may tap you up for that as well. But I'm quite just, you've got 11 o'clock, I will let you go. Thank you very much again for your time and it was wonderful chatting to you.

51:58 - Christopher Hogg (Guest)

I just had a ball. Thank you so much. Goodbye, cheers, bye-bye.

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