Tools as bicycles of the mind

At http://www.aflorithmic.ai we’re building infrastructure for creating audio experiences. Fundamentally, there’s a huge part of creativity involved there. And personally I believe the human creativity is almost limitless.

Previously I spent a lot of my career building tooling and infrastructure for data scientists and researchers. So while I’m not a super expert on Api design, I know a few things about building developer tools and thinking in terms of usability.

Einstein allegedly said something like “My pencil and I are smarter than I am”. So computers, and various technologies are only part of a long standing interaction between humans and tools. I’m fascinated by some of the literature on the effect of the light bulb on human cognition.

I’ve been recently looking at DALLE by Open AI and I think the same as Mark here. These tools will unlock a lot of human creativity. One challenge is the question of whether it ‘replaces’ human creativity. I’ve found in the past that a lot of creativity tools need prompts, there’s something about writers block, or as someone said “there is nothing scarier than a blank page”.

There are all sorts of questions, about what this will lead to. However, I expect it’ll be a different set of skills. I repeatedly think about tools as unlocking latent demand, and this is often what tooling excels at. It’s what I saw with PyMC3 and what I also think about Api.audio is unlocking.

And fundamentally, I think the Steve Jobs quote “a computer is a bicycle for the mind” is underappreciated. We see this with the rise of the Creator Economy, and I’m very excited about the dynamism that this enables both economically and also in terms of creativity.

I love speaking about stuff like this. If you’re curious to speak to me about this peadar[at]aflorithmic[dot]ai is my email 🙂

Sources:

A great book on industrial design which I found particularly eye opening is Designing for people

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