By Graham Fink, CCO, Ogilvy & Mather China
When I was 12, I was fascinated by Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. Actually, Darwin never said that man evolved from monkeys. He simply said that we were related, and promoted the idea of natural selection. The survival of the fittest.
My parents were very open minded, but being Catholic they stuck to the party line on this one: How did we get here? Well God created us. We didn't descend from apes. We descended from Adam and Eve.
I remember having long arguments with our parish priest about all of this stuff when he came around for tea. Finally, my parents issued me a caution; I used to get so passionate about it that my dad was worried I might even convert the priest!
At 14, I got into astronomy. I even built by own telescope. We lived in the country, so the stars at night were beautiful and clear. I knew that the nearest galaxy to our Milky Way was M31 - the Andromeda galaxy. You can just about see it with the naked eye. At 2.2 million light years away, I marvelled at the fact that light, traveling at 186, 000 miles per second, still took 2.2 million years to get here. So, at the time I was looking at it, it was possible that it may not exist anymore. I was staring into the past.
Ever since then I’ve become obsessed with who we are and why we are here. What’s our purpose?
Well, I believe it’s to be the best we can be.
In other words, whatever it is you decide to do, although you may not be the best in the world at it, you can be the best that you can be.
We should keep pushing ourselves, shedding our skins and striving to be our very best.
So, back to the question, ‘can an analogue chicken lay a digital egg?’
When I wrote this title, I wanted to talk about the evolution of ideas.
There has never been such an exciting time to work in the field of creativity. Data and technology have aligned to help push our ideas into new areas.
But as I was doing my research, I came across an interesting, provocative statement from Sir David Attenborough. According to Sir David, the human species has stopped evolving.
That’s kinda scary, given that evolution is the key to survival. It made me think that we need to kick-start the evolution process.
Evolution is about adapting to your environment. But we humans have reached a stage where the opposite is happening: we are simply adapting our environment to suit us.
And technology is what allows us to do this.
So, are we relying too much on machines? Shouldn’t we be exercising our brains a lot more?
We need to step up.
Over the years, I’ve seen humans come up with some really big ideas. Ideas that bring out the goose-bumps and that make your heart take a leap. AI, for all its smartness, is not yet capable of creating stuff like this.
But what it is brilliant at is processing data and delivering technology that was unthinkable just a few years ago. Vital to the survival of an idea.
So if…. Humans can have these really big ideas (that only we are capable of) AND work with Ai (that is much smarter than us in many areas); we get into a really interesting territory.
I’m going to call it… AiVOLUTION.
This is where we can kickstart the evolution process again. Connecting with AI – both emotionally and literally.
Rather than running away from the inevitable or burying our heads in the sand, we should be embracing it.
There has never been a better time to be alive. In fact, we may soon be able to live forever. And just think of the ideas we could then produce.
And on the subject of ideas, let’s talk about eggs.
If you think of ideas as eggs, then the more eggs we have, the better.
Some won’t hatch. Some will hatch and die. But some will hatch and turn into something even better than us, and hopefully lay eggs of its own.
And it’s important to lay as many different type of eggs as possible, including the ones you’re not yet capable of laying.
How do you do that?
So, can a chicken lay a digital egg?
It has to. Or else it’s gonna become irrelevant and die.
And I don’t want to die.
Not sure I want to live forever. But I would like my ideas to.
I want to embrace this incredible future.
I want to keep on trying to do amazing work.
I want to keep on evolving.
I want to have ideas that will change the world and turn it into a better place?
Well, get laying.
Writer's Note: An extract from my talk at the Adobo - Festival Of Ideas in Manila 28-2-18. #adobofoi
Originally posted on LinkedIn.