Issue #02: Thoughts on Tech and Things - June 1. 2023 — Jason Michael Perry


As the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of Mindgrub, I spend much time with our clients, helping them discover and implement what’s possible with technology. Sometimes this leads to developing new products, deep integrations with (ERP) Enterprise Resource Planning systems, mobile apps, a simple website, or a leading (DXP) Digital Experience Platform implementation. It’s a fun job – but the question I get all the time is how do I keep up to date with what’s happening. After all, tech comes at you fast.

This newsletter (and my blog) is my way of sharing what I find interesting in the world. You will get links to articles I read, maybe a little too much of my dry whit, as the newsletter title says: My Thoughts on Tech and Things. 

Thoughts on Tech and Things will go out weekly (and occasionally) bi-weekly on Thursdays. You can also find me on various social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

I hope you enjoy!

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This week’s big news on AI is the Statement of AI Risk, signed by AI researchers, scientists, and other notable figures. Here are all 22-letters of the statement:

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.” 

This recent petition comes after another called for a 6-month pause on the development of all AI. Both of these statements scream alarmism and the fear that AI will eliminate scores of jobs or bring us closer to the edge of the apocalypse. Skynet is coming, ya’ll!

It’s crazy to look at this all-powerful technology, imagine how much our world may change, and know that with all the knowledge in the world, it can’t spell Ketchup. Yet, we’re still in the infancy of AI and just beginning to learn what’s possible. The real question is not will AI drastically change our lives but how it will change our lives and what role we want it to play in our future.

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Many industries have seen immense disruption by technology, but the speed this disruption impacts us gets faster and faster. This year, the iPhone, released in 2007, turns JUST 16 years old. You’re not alone if you thought such game-changing technology had been part of your life for longer than that. Heck, the Internet reached a rate of 50% adoption in 2005.

With all this fear, regulation is bound to happen or at least get talked about. What’s unclear is what we’re regulating and whether we know the technology well enough to safeguard humanity from it.

I prefer to explore and find out all that is possible. The thing is, sometimes, if you mess around, you really do find out.

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Prince in the style of Andy Warhol by DALL-E 2

As humans, we have struggled for years to define what an original work product is. The creation of copyrights and the idea of a public domain all give us a framework to agree on what is genuinely original creation or development. However, everything we make is just an iteration of something from the past – very few thoughts are original. AI is making this concept of originality and creation much more complicated – and the lawsuits may take years before we decide what it means for a computer to create something new. I shared some of my thoughts in my most recent blog post.


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Mindgrub Case Study: United Way of Central Maryland came to Mindgrub with an exciting idea: Let’s create a unique digital giving guide that allows users to delve into the real-world impact of their donations. Since Mindgrub has a reputation for building experimental digital spaces, the idea of a tiny virtual town emerged, which was right up our (digital) alley. They wanted something different and immersive—so we got to work.

Adobe released a new version of Photoshop with generative fill. The demo blew my mind – but seeing the insane examples of what’s possible from real people has permanently blown my mind. It’s literally on my desk. This Twitter post is a perfect example of just how life-changing this feature really is.

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I’m a huge Apple fanboy, so all eyes turn to Cupertino for Apple’s (WWDC) World Wide Developer Conference. As always, rumors are ablaze, and everyone expects that Apple will leap head-first into a new space with the release of augmented reality or mixed reality headsets. Many have tried and tried to make this space work, and for all the billions invested, the Metaverse and virtual reality still continue to feel like fads. Will Apple introduce the killer app we’ve all been waiting for?

The other big question is how Apple will respond to the explosion of AR products. Google I/O and Microsoft Build focused almost exclusively on the launch of a ton of new AI features with deep integration in Windows and Google’s suite of products. At a minimum, developers like me assume Apple’s (IDE) Integrated Development Environment, Xcode, will get some form of AI assistant. Siri has consistently been panned as lacking compared to the competition – and insiders say Apple continues to struggle with AI and (LLMs) Large Language Models internally. Guess we will all find out Monday.

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Oh, and one last thing! Don’t forget to renew your domain names

More links to tech & things: