As one of the fastest growing web development companies in Troy, Michigan, we are always keeping up with new trends. This article is about Google’s launch of their new AI tool called Gemini, but it’s also about a skill that is becoming more and more vital to business owners every day.
Yesterday I was listening to an interview by Dr. Dyson–yes, the vacuum guy. He is a real guy and very smart. He was discussing the research on the prototypes of what we now know as the very expensive Dyson Vacuum Cleaners. In the interview, he was discussing one A/B test they conducted to see if the collection canister for the vacuum should be clear or opaque. He said that the clear collection canister was easily the most popular with the test groups. As he put it “Much like a German toilet, people like to see the dirt”.
“Wait, what?” I exclaimed loudly in my head. “What the heck is different about a German toilet? What?” Within seconds, I had googled “German toilet design” and had my answer (read on to find out if you dare!)
Here is the amazing thing. I have taught University classes for decades, and I have told this story many, many times to hundreds of students. I usually tell the story, then offer anyone to get extra credit if they email me before the next class session with the answer to the question “What is the difference between German and American toilets?” Take a guess how many students, in all my years of teaching, have taken me up on that offer? None. Not one. Zero. Zilch.
How to Stay Curious
How is that possible? I think because it is because of a lack of the skill that we in the web development field must constantly nurture, and one that is becoming more and more vital in the world. That skill is curiosity. I am blessed with an enormous amount of natural curiosity. I say blessed because I don’t have to work at it. Curiosity comes naturally to me. But how can you strengthen the skill of curiosity in yourself or your employees? Here are three quick ways:
- Model Curiosity
Be meta-cognitive with your staff. Tell them that you recently discovered something that made you curious. Then, think out loud with them and tell them how excited you were to pursue the answer to the question in your mind, what steps you took to get there and how excited you were when you found the answer!
- Start asking questions
Challenge yourself and start asking questions. I recently went to Puerto Rico for the first time. My wife and I were window shopping in Old Town San Juan, and there was a shop that had a sign announcing that they handmade Panama hats and custom fit them. My innate curiosity compelled me to go in and ask how the heck do you custom fit a Panama hat. I had a delightful conversation with a most enthusiastic hat maker that was one of the highlights of our day!
Kids are curious about everything. Put yourself in that mindset again. Time-Travel back to that time when you were a kid, and look at the world with wonder. Challenge yourself to get exposed to new information. For example, if you are in the healthcare field, watch a webinar on something totally different, like fashion design. Go into the webinar curious about learning something new, and curious about how that connects to your field.
Our field is web development. We aren’t shying away from all of the AI that seems to suddenly be everywhere these days. ChatGPT burst onto the scene earlier this year. I was still getting used to using ChatGPT when all of a sudden, Google announced this past May that they are about to launch their upcoming artificial intelligence (AI) system, named Gemini.
We are not ignoring this wonderful new technology. We know you can use AI to write a usable custom plugin for WordPress and many other fun and amazing things. We aren’t afraid of new tech. We are curious about it. Here are four things that we do know Gemini:
- It will be multimodal. This means that it will integrate text, images and other data types to create a more natural conversational experience.
- It will exceed the size of GPT-3 with over 175 billion parameters.
- Gemini is reported to have advanced capabilities like reasoning and problem-solving.
- It will fact check with Google Search, which should eliminate, or at least mitigate, AI hallucinations. In addition, it sounds like Gemini will use a different system for giving information that will allow it to give entire blocks of information at a time, rather than word-by-word generation, to improve factual consistency.
Gemini is in beta-testing right now, but expect it to explode into our lives in the near future, probably within the year. This will be a real game-changer, taking us one step closer to having AI as an integral part of our personal and professional lives.
It is exactly because of the ubiquitous nature of AI that we need to become more curious. What AI does not have is our human perspective. Everyone of us experiences the world differently. It is in this difference that we are unique and wonderful. We must continue to build up and trust our curiosity, to stay human and sui generis.
So, whether you are in web development, healthcare or any other kind of business, stay curious, stay interested and keep learning. Check out 212 Creative for any and all of your web development needs! If it’s been over 3 years since your website has had an update, give us a call for a free consultation on some ideas to keep your website contemporary and up-to-date.
By the way, do a Google Image search for German toilets. You will find that they are made with an “inspection shelf” that American commodes do not have. Stay curious!!!