“ChatGPT does not have childhood trauma.”

In 2023, there was a major strike by Hollywood writers. Their strike stemmed from a combination of reasons including low wages, being replaced by AI, and lack of a stable pay structure and health benefits.

Among the many slogans that writers wrote and held up high during their strike was this one slogan that went viral. It read “ChatGPT does not have childhood trauma”. It was an intelligent way to convey the issues related to AI and its impact on creative work.

To put it simply, an AI model lacks childhood experiences that shape an individual’s thinking and personality. These experiences are what influence the art of writing, adding depth, emotional resonance, and nuance.

Therefore, the slogan playfully implies that AI writing lacks human touch including depth and an emotional connection.

With the advanced ability to mimic human communication at lightning speed, AI programs like ChatGPT had taken many industries by surprise. The White House had also summoned Big Tech to discuss the potential risks of using AI.

AI can generate content in a few seconds that humans take hours, days, months, and even years to complete. For instance, imagine getting a movie script written by ChatGPT. Yes, it can write an entire movie script, which means, we don’t need human writers anymore. In all honesty, would it not provide relief from the mental agony and energy a writer spends on crafting a story?

But until technology cracks the code of human and emotional depth, creating a movie script in a matter of seconds would not deliver the same human connection. So, the question stands – is AI a better replacement?

Fitting into the Process

Why do we as a society love to speed up a process, be it of any type?

·       Chop a tree for wood using a saw. Now we have tractor-mounted tree trimmers.

·       Too many carrots to cut with a knife? Let’s use a grater or an electric grinder.

·       Don’t want to waste time writing a letter? Use ChatGPT.

·       No need to hang the clothes for drying when you have a clothes machine dryer.

·       Why use a printed roadmap when you have GPS? Reach your destination without worry.

·       Why walk when a vehicle, a train, or a plane can get you anywhere faster?

Life has become process-automated. This is probably the reason why huge organizations are tempted to use generative AI to replace humans. It’s all about the process, the time saved, and more importantly, the money saved. Who wouldn’t want that?

However, is a process-oriented solution the answer, and is it that simple?

‘The pull of that next world ignored, she instead made her own gravity, the gravity of will, that would change the terrain of Bly Manor forever. And once again, she would sleep. She would wake. And she would walk.

As if woken from a nightmare, she would walk back to her home, feeling each time that it was a dream. Feeling that if she walked to her bedroom that perhaps the nightmare would abate… And she’d stare at that empty bed… and Viola (Lady Lloyd) would remember. And the remembering itself was injury anew. Her heart would shatter anew, burning in her bosom. Thus, she would sleep and she would forget. Having forgotten, she would wake. She would walk. How many nights, how many walks? She no longer could count… She did not even realize that a decade had passed.

She would sleep, and as happens when one dreams, she would forget. And having forgotten, she would wake. She would walk. She would sleep, forget, and forget, and forget. And while forgetting, an ailment, altogether monstrous. All things faded. Wake, walk, forget even more. Her name forgotten, her sister’s name forgotten, as her memories left her, so too, her face.’

Taken from the scenes of the Haunting of Bly Manor, Lady Lloyd’s (Viola’s) afterlife was narrated by a storyteller in this amazing series. If you notice, there is a certain repetition in the way Lady Lloyd did things after she had passed from this world. While she remained in the afterlife, her needs, desires, and dreams all seemed to fade over the years. All she remembered was the process of waking, walking, and sleeping.

Her actions were ingrained like muscle memory. She no longer remembered why she awoke and walked toward the bedroom in her manor. Upon not finding her infant daughter on that bed, she would remember her tragedy again. Sad, she would turn around, leave the manor, and walk back into the lake nearby, forgetting again the reason for her awakening in the afterlife rather than resting in peace.

Like Lady Lloyd in the afterlife, many living people fall into the same process-oriented routine, forgetting the reasons for their actions.

Even IBM’s Deep Blue was the first to defeat a world-class chess champion. Any automated software with the right input and machine learning experience can work more efficiently than humans. However, the magic that is created by the alignment of the head and heart is something a machine or AI cannot replicate.

This is where the 3H, which includes the ‘Head, Heart, and Hand’ plays a magical role when aligned harmoniously. A computer or any straightforward process cannot feel or evoke feelings. It can produce the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of a task, but the ‘why’ behind it all remains missing at large.

The ‘why’ gap is filled by the alignment of the head and the heart. When the head brings in the ‘how’ and ‘what’, the heart answers the ‘why’ part, and finally, the hand works magically under its influence. The action by the hand is an amalgamation of the head and the heart. Therefore, the writers on strike last year knew that creativity requires the heart, which was something that they had to remind the various entertainment platforms in the industry.

Another example is when you see two sculptures, meaning two works of art. Of the two, only one catches your attention while the other you overlook easily. Is it because the sculpture that catches your eye has been sculpted with emotion and thought? Has the artist put their head (what and how) and heart (why) into their work through their hands? Indeed, this is the case.

Therefore, it is so in a leadership journey too. The thoughts and emotions behind the work are lost. The only remains left are the actions.

A leader with a low Spiritual Quotient (SiQ) may not realize this but a leader with a high SiQ won’t let it come to this point.

For a leader with a low SiQ, it’s always about the numbers.

·       The volume of work done

·       The volume of output

·       Estimated time of the results

·       The quality of the results

Whereas, for a leader with a high SiQ, it’s more about the why and how behind the process that defines the outcome.

·       The volume of work put in (Head: What and How)

·       The Why (Heart) behind the work

·       The reasonable expectation of results (Understanding)

·       The quality of the results (Hand)

A leader with a high SiQ would recognize the input behind the output. This leader would invest in the team’s and individual employee’s growth. It would not simply be about the process but also about what goes into delivering the output.

In the case of the Writers who were on strike last year, had their input behind the work been recognized, the strike would not have taken place. However, when actions alone remain, the meaning of any goal reached, if at all, loses its value. Probably, this is what streamlining platforms seemed to have lost, the meaning behind the work of human writers.

In conclusion, for whatever one does, there has to be meaning in it, a thought, an emotion, and a purpose. Or else, the journey toward a goal may stop halfway as the reason to pursue it may cease to exist.

Mary Ann Evans was known by her pen name George Eliot. She was an English novelist, journalist, poet, translator, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She wrote a poem called Making Life Worthwhile. It talks about the human connection with all its depth that is enough to make life worth living. I will end my piece with this poem.

Every soul that touches yours –

Be it the slightest contact –

Get there from some good;

Some little grace; one kindly thought;

One aspiration yet unfelt;

One bit of courage

For the darkening sky;

One gleam of faith

To brave the thickening ills of life;

One glimpse of brighter skies –

To make this life worthwhile

And heaven a surer heritage.

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