Episode 35: Artificial Intelligence Improves Productivity and Creativity
Below you can view or listen to Episode 35 of The Personal Brain Trainer Podcast.
Executive Functioning and Google Apps
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- ChatGPT- https://chat.openai.com/chat
- Dall-E- https://openai.com/product/dall-e-2
- Jasper AI- https://tinyurl.com/jasperaitrial
- Synthesia- https://tinyurl.com/synthesiavideoai
- Tome- https://tomi.ai/
- Do not Pay- https://donotpay.com/
- Grammarly- https://app.grammarly.com/
- WordTune- https://www.wordtune.com/
- Revery- https://www.revery.ai/
- BulletMap Academy: https://bulletmapacademy.com/
- Learning Specialist Courses: https://www.learningspecialistcourses.com/
- Executive functions and Study Skills Course: https://tinyurl.com/n86mf2bx
- Good Sensory Learning: https://goodsensorylearning.com/
- Dyslexia at Work: www.dyslexiawork.com
- Go Dyslexia Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/go-dyslexia-podcast/id1104665925
- Good Sensory Learning: https://goodsensorylearning.com/
- Learning Specialist Courses: https://www.learningspecialistcourses.com/
- Dyslexia Explored: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dyslexia-explored/id1387645599
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- Good Sensory Learning (http://www.goodsensorylearning.com/)
- Learning Specialist Courses (http://www.learningspecialistcourses....)
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- Dyslexia at Work: www.dyslexiawork.com
Erica: Welcome to the personal brain trainer podcast. I'm Dr. Erica Warren.
Darius: And I'm Darius Namdaran and we're your hosts. Join us on an adventure to translate the scientific jargon and brain research into simple metaphors and explanations for everyday life. We explore executive function and learning strategies that help turbocharge the mind.
Erica: Come, learn to steer around the invisible barriers so that you can achieve your goals. This podcast is ideal for parents, educators, and learners of all ages. This podcast is brought to you by Goodsensorylearning.com, where you can find educational and occupational therapy lessons and remedial materials that bring delight to learning. Finally, you can find Dr. Warren's many courses at, LearningSpecialistCourses.com. Come check out our newest course on developing executive functions and study strategies.
Darius: This podcast is sponsored by DyslexiaProductivityCoaching.com, which helps you organize yourself creatively with a productivity system for Apple devices. Hey, Erica, how are you doing?
Erica: Great, Darius. How about you? Happy holidays.
Darius: Yes, happy holidays to you, too, and I hope you have a good new year. We get to take turns choosing topics each week for us to have our conversations about. And this week, I'd really like to talk about executive function and, um, artificial intelligence, or machine learning, to be precise. You fancy that?
Erica: Sounds like a great idea. I know that you and I have been talking a little bit about it behind the scenes.
Darius: Yeah, we've been talking behind the scenes about this topic for a year and a half or so. But something significance just happened over the last two weeks, a new piece of artificial intelligence has come out called Chat GPT. Have you heard of it?
Erica: Tell me a little bit about it.
Darius: So the whole concept of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which is all these algorithms and so on, that start to replicate different human processes, has been pretty abstract to people up until two weeks ago. Or let's say the middle of December, when a company called Open AI released their latest version of their software called Chat GPT. Okay? And it's a chat bot. So you basically text it. So you go online and you send a text prompt saying, hi, tell me a good recipe to make out of the things that are in my fridge right now. And you list the things that are in your fridge, like there's a pepper, and there's some old salami, and there's a bit of rice and so on. And it will instantly send you back a message saying, right, here are the list of ingredients I would suggest and proportions, and here's the process I would go through and cooking it. Add some chili powder, do this, and you get this recipe at the end. And it's not about recipes. It's about writing code. So a, uh, coding programmer can say, can you write a bit of HTML code for my website? That shows a little ball bouncing across, doing X, Y, and Z and it will write the code, you can copy and paste it into your website and it will do it. And then if it doesn't work, you copy and paste it back in and you say, by the way, my computer program says that didn't work. And there was an error such and such there. And it will go, all right, okay. And it'll go, uh, here's another version of that code. How does this work? And so it remembers what it did before, only in that thread, once you stop the session, it disappears, but it remembers what it did before, and it creates this conversation. So what's fascinating about it is that it isn't just a one hit wonder or tries to do it in one go. You can say, oh no, that's not quite what I wanted. And it goes, okay, is this what you wanted? And then it goes, yeah. I go, I like that, but could you do it in the sign of John Wayne, please? Could you write a recipe in the stein of John Wayne? And it goes okay. And it's like, I don't know. Hey guys, pick up that skillet and start putting that fire on and whatever. And it starts to respond to your request and adapt. And so I just really wanted to talk about this, especially in the realm of executive function. Because a lot of people are saying, oh my goodness, my role is at Threat. Because I spend a lot of time copywriting or a lot of time coding or a lot of time sending emails or whatever it is that you do that involves a process. Because a computer can learn a process. Now, executive function is something quite different. Executive function is the ability to set yourself a goal, achieve a target, adapt, find the right information, and so on, and get to a, uh, result, a destination, chart your course to its destination, or if you're conducting an orchestra, conduct it to deliver the emotion you wanted and the experience for the listeners, etc. So there's something really interesting and challenging occurring right now, m not in the next six months to the next year, but right now, this week, people's jobs are changing as a result of this. It's absolutely crazy what this can do. And this is just the beta. Okay? So it would be great to have a conversation about this with you.
Erica: Yeah, you actually introduced me to this site and I've been playing with it myself, and it's pretty mind blowing.
Darius: What have you done?
Erica: What have I done? I was playing with it about writing an introduction to my book that I'm working on, on executive functioning games. I, uh, think, as you know, we both were playing with it to ask it if it could create any executive functioning games. And that was interesting. It generally played off of old games that already exist, but it was very interesting to see what it came up with. And there were some all of a sudden you start to think like, wait, it's being creative, but in fact it's not being creative. As you were saying, you are the functioning executive. If we reverse it, instead of it executive functioning, you are the functioning executive and you're steering the AI to an answer. That is what you want. But what it does do is it increases our productivity by 1000. So you could well, I used it on my website, I told it a little bit about one of my products and I said, write a, ah, summary of this product. Now, one thing it can't do is it can't tell you about the research.
Erica: So if I said write a summary about the research on executive functioning, it can't do that. It can give you a little summary of what it is. But at this point it doesn't have access to research. But it's just a matter of time before it does. And when it does, it will be able to do meta analysis, if you think about it, because a meta analysis is one of the most fascinating types of research. It's where you take all the research on the topic and you do research on the research to see what the real truth is. Because unfortunately, you can usually find whatever answer you want. So if I was looking up something about a particular product and whether it's a good product and is it statistically significant, does it really help students or does it really help individuals? Unfortunately, a lot of companies will pay people to do research and they kind of tweak the results a little bit. They might leave something out or they might exaggerate another thing a little bit more. So the research often isn't always something that you can trust, but, um, meta, uh, analysis really does filter through all the research on a particular topic and that could be wow, unbelievable. But you're right, in some ways it's going to take over some jobs. Students, how are teachers going to know whether the students wrote the essay or not?
Darius: Yeah, I mean, those are some sort of off the stuff that comes up. Do you know what? There's actually tools that can tell you whether it's written by an AI or not. Interesting.
Erica: So you'll have to put it through.
Darius: An AI to tell if it's an AI. Uh, so there's an AI system that is designed to tell whether or not it was created by Chat GPT or not. And it can tell. And Google has it now. And if you do it on your website, they will rank your website down or ban it because it's regarded as spam.
Erica: Oh, interesting. So I guess I have to be careful about doing that.
Erica: What I did is I did that and then I doctor it.
Erica: I use it as kind of a framework. One of the things that I really like about it is if you're trying to find what topics you might want to include in a chapter or perhaps some headings that you would like to explore on a web page. That's very helpful.
Darius: Yeah. And I think that is actually the area that it's really going to occupy within our own executive function process. Okay, so what happens is it becomes like a companion, uh, in your work, your creative journey. So I've noticed just by using it for two or three weeks, if you imagine your most sensible friend, sensible, linear thinking, well versed, educated, well rounded, well read friend, and you say to them, oh, it's my 42 year old's, uh, brother's birthday next week. He's really into kite surfing and water boats and boating and so on. What sort of ideas would you come up for his first birthday? And then your friend would come up with some of the sort of top ten standard approaches to it. And you go, gosh, that is a really good idea, to get that life boy thingy, or a GPS locator or something like that. And you go, that's a really good idea, but it might not be the actual thing you go for, because it leads you to the thing that is actually what you want to get. But it becomes a, uh, brainstorming type stimulus and it becomes more of a discussion, as it were. And I've noticed this when I'm using as another piece of AI, I'm totally into AI. I use it in all sorts of different ways. And one of the ways we've talked about is word tune, for example. So word tune, you can give it a sentence you've written and then you click and say, look, give me another eight versions of this sentence and reword it. And it will reword it in a different way, a slightly different way. And often it's like grammarly, but on speed. And you look at it and you go, oh, that's a really lovely way of phrasing that. And you click, yes. But if you give it a sentence and then it comes up with some confusing sentences, what it means is that your original sentence didn't make much sense. And so it's like showing it to a friend. And the friend goes, oh, uh, yeah, I got all of that, but I didn't get this. What's that all about? But you don't always have that friend with you, like your wife or partner or whoever that helps you proof read things or business colleague or whatever, or yourself. You overlook that and you think, of course it makes sense, I know what I mean. But when something gives you independently and comes up with gobbledygook, not quite gobbledygook, but you go, that doesn't make sense. Well, I've learned to say, well, I'm not going to blame it on the computer. Let's go back to the sentence and look at that more critically. And you go, all right, I get you. You're making some assumed knowledge or you're using a phrase that isn't quite right or whatever. And so it's really fascinating for the feedback you get that is so rapid in that sort of thinking and planning and acting process. It's that feedback loop that is so fascinating to me.
Erica: Yeah, absolutely. And in fact, you can even take portions of what you get from the Open AI and put it through word tune. But there is, I do sense, a voice from Open AI. It's a very structured voice, like, it always ends. The last paragraph is in summary, to conclude. It's very formulaic, yes, but it really helps a lot with the organization of ideas.
Darius: Having said that, it's quite interesting. So, for example, with regard to the voice, I would ask it to write something like that, and I would then answer, yeah, that's good, but make it more informal, please. And then it will rewrite it. Uh, and it'll be a lot more informal. And then people go, yeah, that's good, but write it with some swear words and a little bit more aggression, like we're mates going out to the pub. And it doesn't it changes it. And you're like, oh, my goodness. So it's got this default, proper, prim, professional kind of but then if you ask it to be a different voice, it actually has the ability to change its voice. And so what often happens is there's a whole culture of prompts. What prompts do you give the AI? How do you prompt it? And you see it the most with visual AIS, like Dally. So Dally is, uh, where you type in a prompt, like, create a scene for me with a panda in a tree that's in Harry, uh, Potter type environment, and it's a magician in the style of Van Gogh or something like that. And so the way you prompt it changes the way it produces the image, and you respond back with changing a prompt, and then it goes, oh, that's what you want, and it changes. So actually, one of the key things in all of this is what question and what prompt do you give it?
Erica: Right, well, and it is funny when you give it all these prompts and ask it to create a story, and it actually does. It's very interesting. Now, you said dolly.
Erica: What is that? Is that another AI?
Darius: Yes. So there are different models of AI that have been trained on different material. So Open AI was created as a sort of counterbalance to Google and Amazon and others who were creating their own AIS. And it was created as a foundation, a charitable foundation. Uh, and Elon Musk boosted it and was part of the board. And so now he's left the board, and Microsoft has taken the place of him and others. So it's got a little bit more corporatized. And what they've done is they've probably got some of the most powerful, trained machine learning in the world. And so DALL•E has trained on images and Gpt-3 has trained on words. Okay.
Erica: Okay, I see. So DALL•E is about images.
Darius: So let me give you an example of some of the tools, the ways people are using. Uh, AI. There's an AI that can write anything, which is called Jasper AI. So you can give it copywriting, email writing, blog writing, report writing tasks, and it will write them for you. You've got Synesthesia, which creates, uh, a talking avatar. So it will create an image of you, a face of you, or an avatar of you. And you type in the words and it will move the face and the mouth and speak the words out like it's, uh, a real avatar. There's an AI lawyer called do not pay. So if you've got any difficulties with regard to legal transactions and so on, it will identify what the law is of your state. It will write a formal letter, it will write all sorts of stuff, it will chase people down. You can generate art with DALL•E, DALL•E2 Now, which you give it, a prompt saying, I want you to create an original piece of work in the style of such and such. You can, uh, repurpose social, uh, media posts with Repurpose. Uh, IO. You can write essays with Jenny AI. You can do 3D modeling with Tomb. You can do Notetaking with Fireflies, you can do your text to Speech with Merf. You can track time with Timely, and you can go to Chat GPT, which can pretty much do everything except the visual stuff. Right now, uh, there's just so much that is happening right now in the realm of AI.
Erica: It's so interesting when you think of how it's going to impact education. But in a way I kind of like it because it almost invites people to be creative. It is going to change their writing quite a bit. I think it could be very useful for people that have writing disabilities because it will manage the structure, the organization, the content, the, uh, interesting, the grammar, the punctuation. What it does is it kind of relieves you of all of those multitasking tasks and allows you to get to the sense of creativity. You know, I am really on the fence about whether I do think in a way it is cheating to use it. However, you could also argue that it's not, particularly if you're using it as a way of organizing ideas, because ultimately, yes, you are directing it. You're just not having to get bogged down in the details of writing. And of course, it's going to increase your productivity, how much you can write very quickly. But the bottom line is, if that is the wave of the future, we have to accommodate it and education has to adjust to it. Because if that's what the world is going to be, then we can't I think initially there's going to be this huge backlash in education, just like there was to moving online and online lessons and putting all of the calendars online. There was this big wave that hit business and education, didn't know what to do about it. And even a lot of my students are not allowed to go to a lot of websites. They kind of banned things and now they're slowly opening up all of these resources because they realize, well, this is our world and I think the same thing will happen. The wave will hit the world and education will put up its barriers and eventually it will take them down.
Darius: Yeah. So I think executive function, where does this fit in?
Erica: Well, I think it'd be a real game changer for anybody with a, ah, learning disability that impacts writing.
Darius: Absolutely impact, uh, writing.
Erica: It's going to be profound.
Darius: I mean, I absolutely love grammarly. I really love word tune. If I'm stuck with the phrasing of something, it just um, unsticks me when you go, gosh, yes, that is the right way to say it. And you go, no, that isn't quite right, but we could maybe do it this way. And so between the two of you, as it were, you get to the right answer. And I think that is the essence of what's going to happen is I feel that these AIS that are beside me are like acting like assistant colleagues. They're well versed, they're intelligent, they're capable, but they're not particularly creative. They're maybe throwing lots of ideas and suggestions and maybe perfect grammar, et cetera. But you have this, uh, BS detector in your head. If you know something, well, like you could ask it and I've done this explain working memory to me and what its role is within executive function and it will go through an explanation of what working memory is and develop that little bit. And then I'd like you to go deeper into the area of how it affects notetaking. And so it will ask share some comments and ideas on that. But then there'll be moments where it kind of sounds right, but you know, that's not actually accurate, but it sounds right. But you only know it if you know the subject. If you didn't know the subject, it would seem completely plausible. So there is an aspect of machine learning that is a very good bullshitter. It's it's, you know, really professionally I'm imagining this sometimes young person who's very eloquent, very intelligent, and talking about all sorts of stuff they've read and you know, 80% of it, 90% of it's right, but then 10% of it's not quite right. But you don't know the difference because you've not studied the subject. But they're saying it with such confidence that you're like, well, yeah, I think given the benefit of the doubt but if you know the subject, you're like, hold on a minute, no. And that's something to be wary of. But that is one of the advantages being human is you start saying no, that we delete that. We delete that's not quite right. Change that a little bit, et cetera, and it becomes much more iterative and you've actually got the best of yourself out into it and but the key thing that will happen is give it five to ten years of that, and it would probably be as good at editing something like that down as you are.
Erica: Oh, it'll be better. Well, what's better? Is it's going to be exact?
Erica: It's going to have all the correct grammar. What I look forward to is when you can drop your essay in and we'll fix the grammar for you.
Darius: Literally, it's all straight away.
Erica: I guess it is, I guess it is. But still requires a lot of going through each item. But then you should, because sometimes it will change it to something that you didn't mean.
Darius: Yes, you have to still go through it because yesterday my dad's in hospital and, um, I have to do these updates to family and friends so frequently that I'm just exhausted at the end of the day to do a family update, et cetera. So I do a, ah, quick update to my sisters, and it's basically me speech to text with Siri. I went in, he did this, he was that, and this was happening, that was happening. It was just a rambling kind of update, but I just can't send that to family and friends. So I copied and pasted it into Chat GPT. Okay? And I said, Please write this as a family update, uh, about my father's recent fall. And then I put it in inverted commas, my ramblings, and it came up with a summary of what I'd said with bullet points and structure. And I was like, oh, my goodness, I just spent half an hour distilling it and restructuring and ordering it like that.
Erica: And then that's it. It's the structuring and the reorganizing. Uh, or it could do that from the very get go. You could say, can you give me an idea of what an outline should look like for this paper or for this book or for this chapter? And it definitely comes up with some, um it just gets you going. To me, I think one of the hallmarks of a lot of people with learning disabilities is word finding. They can't access they know the information or they know the word, but they can't access it in the moment. And what this does is it gives you all you need to access that information. So you could even use open AI to say, I'm sure you could say, I can't think of a word. Uh, it's something like this. Can you think of what it is? I bet it would actually come up with it.
Darius: Yeah, that's right.
Erica: Or you could ask for a list of vocabulary that has to do with a particular topic so that you could have all those words there as, like, just sitting on the table in front of you so that you could easily access it. Because it's very frustrating when you're a professional and you can't think of the name of something or of, um, the title of a book or an author or something like that. It makes you feel like a dummy. And you're embarrassed, you're terribly embarrassed and you're like, oh, what was that called? And then you start to lose your confidence. And things like this often happen when you're in a really important meeting and you're under a little bit of stress, because stress tends to trigger word finding issues because a little bit of stress is good, but a lot of stress produces too much cortisol, which blocks memory and blocks learning. So it's really interesting. You really could use it as a way of really quickly before a meeting to get a list of key words or key names so that you can look down and you've got it. But just even knowing that you have that word list in front of you is going to reduce your anxiety so that you probably won't have trouble accessing that information. But I really see that as a wonderful tool for anybody that struggles with word finding.
Darius: Yeah, well, I wanted to explore it in relation to executive functioning itself because what's happening is that you have to steer the AI towards the ends that you want to meet. And that's what I think is fascinating here because it really is trying to serve you in achieving your end. And it's really easy to say, oh, creates a post on such and such and bang, bang, bang, it's done and fine, okay. And that's amazing.
Erica: But you also don't want to use it because it will hurt your website.
Darius: Yes. And so what I've been doing, for example, is I will ask it to create a bullet point list of something of ideas and then I will use that bullet point list to talk out and dictate it. And then I will take that dictated list and say, clean this up, and it will clean it up into a better structured piece of writing rather than dictation. And then I'll put it through a program that tests whether it's done by AI or not. Okay? So you can do this experiment, you can take that first piece of bullet point content and put it through the machine that tests whether it's AI or not. And it will say 75% AI, 3% human. That's what it would estimate probability. Okay? Mhm, if I gave it instead of the bullet point list, let's just back if I said write an explanation of the three aspects of executive function for me, a summary, and it would create a summary of executive function is the ability to get things done in your life, includes working memory, cognitive flexibility and anhibitory control. And these are the three areas and this is what they do. So in conclusion, working memory is essential for any work or any part of your life, and then you gave that to the test, it would say 97% AI, 3% human probability. If I then asked it, look, would you break that down into ten to 15 bullet points for me, please? Break it down to ten to 15 bullet points. I would then talk those same bullet points out, but in my own language, my own words. It would create a piece of text from the dictation. I then ask it to clean up that piece of text. It would then be 80% human and 20% AI, which would be about standard. It can't everything is somewhere between 80% human, you know, and 20% AI. It can't tell the difference because what AI tends to do is not use unusual vocabulary, whereas human beings do use unusually placed vocabulary. And so a lot of these tests are done on the predictability of the vocabulary it will use. And so when you resay it in your own language, but with the same train of thought and the strange structure, and then get it to clean that up again, then you can fool the system, as it were. But the point I'm making here is you didn't fool the system. You actually started to bring the human element in and the human thinking and the voice of myself and my own thoughts, et cetera. But it was steered, okay? And that is essentially what executive function is. Being the captain of your ship and steering that ship through the ups and downs of life and the challenges that life gives you and gets it to the port and the destination that it's meant to get to. Not to a destination, but the destination you wanted to get to. Whereas AI might say, Right, I got you safely to land. I didn't want to just land somewhere, I wanted to get to New York. You're like. Oh, right. Okay. And, um, so you have to direct it. And that's essentially what executive function is about. How do you capture information coming into your mind and filter out and find the important things working? Memory, how do you inhibitory control, how do you maintain your focus on your goal and objective and then cognitive flexibility, how do you adapt to the changing circumstances of people and the world round about you to get there as well? So all these three elements are working at once. Human beings can do that well. And that is, I think, the function of human beings that will be elevated more and more and more by AI, because it's the part that AI can't do, and it's the part that we can do if we've learned how to do it. Now, not everyone has learned how to do that well.
Erica: I think what it will really help us with is multitasking, because I think that what I would like to do is really do a little bit of a dive into each one of those areas, multitasking. Is really a working memory piece because you're having to hold and manipulate information unless something has become automatic. So when things are not automatic, if grammar is not automatic, if spelling is not automatic, if sentence structure is not automatic, your working memory is going to be completely overtaxed. And that's why most people struggle with writing, because the different components of the requirements of writing are not automatic. And it's very, very difficult to do two things at once when it's not automatic. So that, to me, is the number one issue of people that have writing issues. And this will take some of that load off, which I think is going to be really, really beautiful. And that's something that I always do with my students. So if their handwriting is labored, then I act as their secretary. I'll say, I'm your secretary today because we're going to release that cognitive load so we can work on some of the other aspects of writing. We're never going to become automatic at any of those things if we can't manage all of those balls, so to speak, in our working memory. So we have to learn how to juggle one ball. And then once that one ball becomes automatic, then we can juggle two balls. Once that becomes automatic, we can juggle three balls. But there is a limited number of balls that we can juggle within working memory. So I think it's going to really offer a really beautiful scaffolding for people that want to learn how to write, that are struggling with some of those components because it's going to allow them to accommodate themselves with a technology device instead of having, hey, Mum, can you scribe for me? Or dad, can you edit my essay? That it's going to offer some level of independence, which is really nice. And, you know, I think it's going to come down to an honor system too, of, uh, we don't want to be cutting corners to the point where we don't learn how to do it independently. What we do want to do is use it as a scaffolding so that we can become excellent writers.
Darius: Well, I'm not the best writer in the world with Dyslexia. I, uh, would say my sort of English style, if you were to grade it, is probably at a 16, uh, year old sort of voice level. Very conversational, very casual, very straightforward. It's not sophisticated, like my wife's and, um, maybe professional writing. And, um, what I found fascinating is you take grammarly, for example. We've just accepted grammar as a whole, as society over the last three years, for that is machine learning. Grammarly is an extension of spell check, which is a very basic form of machine learning. And you couldn't really call spell check machine learning. But if you take the example of spell check is every time it puts a red line under the word, it identifies, oh, that's wrong. And you go, how's wrong? And then you click and it corrects it and you go, oh, is that how it's spelled? And that repeats and that repeats and that repeats until if you're Dyslexic, you start to eventually kind of figure out when there is meant to be spelt there and when there is meant to be spelt there the other way, and so on. And you start I'm at the moment I'm learning calendar, right? So it just keeps correcting me.
Erica: Oh really?
Darius: If I got that wrong again, how have I got that? Oh, the e goes there. Why does the E go there? That's not right. Okay, but that's the rules. Fine, I'm going to learn this rule. So you get that feedback that trains you and the same, I find, is happening with word tune, for example, it gives me a few sentences to choose from and there's enough feedback to go, oh gosh, yes, that's a lovely turn of phrase, I'll do it like that. And then, okay, the first 20 or 40 or 50 times, you're just getting it to do it for you. But then you find, oh, I'm enjoying that turn of phrase. And you start incorporating and you're learning. And so actually, these tools are teaching you with rapid feedback, if you're getting feedback, because sometimes you just go, oh, sort it all out and I won't have a look at it. Again, you're not getting any feedback, it's fire and forget. But if you're getting that ongoing feedback, it's fascinating. And I think that's really helpful.
Erica: It's amazing for remediation because again, it is taking an overtaxed working memory and it's making it more manageable because again, you can't get better at writing if your handwriting is labored because you're concentrating on the letter formation. There's only so much we can focus on and so, uh, it really does enable us to hone in maybe on one area where we can develop that sense of automaticity. I often tell my students with spelling problems, I'm not worried about your spelling problems because once you start to type, it will correct your misspellings. What happens with students that misspell words is if they misspell a word the same way three or four times, they've encoded the misspelling. So they've learned their own misspelling. And uh, as soon as you start to use a spell checker that it doesn't even let you go to the next word without underlining it, then that sense of repetition will eventually overwrite their misspelling and they will learn it. So that's what this AI is going to do for writing. In many ways, I definitely find that word tune, a lot of my students use word tune and they're finding it that it's changing the writing. I've found that it's changed my writing as well, because it definitely gives you yeah, you're right. That repetition of, oh, here's a different way of changing the structure of a sentence. And oh, I like that. It feels good not to end with a preposition, for example.
Darius: Yeah. And what you see happening in writing, you're seeing happening in the Tesla, for example, I drive a Tesla, and, uh, it's got rudimentary form of self driving at the moment. Just autopilot, et cetera. You even notice, um, like, the way it drives on the road when it's on autopilot has started to change the way I drive on the road. So M, for example, when it's on autopilot, it will stay in the middle of the lane all the time, and it's going past a big truck or whatever. It'll stay in the middle of the lane. But you know what it's like when you're driving and you see a big truck, you kind of edge a little bit to the side and give yourself a little bit more space and so on. But it's like, no, straight down the middle. And I've also noticed, gosh, I really tend to drift to the right quite a bit in my lane position. Do you know what I mean? And so that subtle feedback, and it just corrects me back in. And I'm like, what are you doing? Oh, right. This is the center line. Okay, right. Uh, that's been 30 years where I've been slightly off the center line, and it's just a small, maybe three inches. But what's going to happen is that in the areas of drawing, in the areas of music, in the areas of writing, in the areas of driving, in the areas of movement, in the areas of building things, forming things, creating solutions to things, you'll be able to say to it, look, this thing on my cup broke. And you hold it up to your camera and you can say, could you just scan this and create, uh, the piece that would fit that and send it to my printer and print it out, or my local printer and prints it out. And I'll go and pick it up in 20 minutes. And you pick it up and you'll stick it on and it will be sorted. But what will happen is you go, I really like this mug. I like the rubber thing around the outside, but I have hand problems. My father might like this. Can you print some wrapping around it? He can easily hold it, please, but for this mug, please scan it. There you go. And you go, no, no, that's a bit too lumpy. Could you just scratch that down a wee bit? Oh, I see what you mean. Yeah, squidge it down. Um, yeah, that's what I want. Could you print that, please? And you print it and you'll get it. So it's just this world of this dialogue.
Erica: Everything is going to speed up, production will speed up. Everything's going to move faster, or going to be expected to move faster, which is very interesting. But I also want to talk about how it can impact inhibitory control, because we've talked about working memory.
Darius: Yes, let's do that.
Erica: Let's talk about inhibitory control. So what this can do is it can really survey we've used the metaphor of how horses often have blinkers on either side of their eyes that keep them focused. I think this is going to offer writing blinkers to keep you focused on your writing. Another piece of inhibitory control is metacognition cognition of your cognition. So being aware of your thoughts hey, okay, so the fact that you had it rewrite your thoughts, that is metacognition in a way, because now you're reorganizing your thoughts, right? And another piece of inhibitory control is emotional regulation. I don't know if it's going to necessarily help us with that, but perhaps it could sometime in the future if they create an AI for that, where it could detect our emotion and could give us feedback on how to be able to get back into our best self, saying, like, well, your tone is a little aggressive. It could be the mediator to relationship problems.
Darius: Well, if you think about wearables, like the Apple Watch, for example, it's constantly monitoring your heart rate. It's now monitoring your body temperature night and day, and it can tell whether you're feeling under, um, the weather or not by your body temperature. Like, we can take our temperature and it goes to 39 degrees, and you're in real trouble at, uh, centigrade, of course. And it can also detect, uh, a woman's menstrual cycle by her body temperature, et cetera. So talk about emotional regulation. It's telling when your menstrual cycle is, for example, and it will say, like, there's a high probability right now that you're in an estrogen period and so on, and this might not be a good day to make big decisions, etc. My daughters tell me about this all the time. I don't understand it. Um, I sound like I know what I'm talking about, but I don't. But I understand that there's a lot more rhythm involved throughout the month as to when are good times to do different things depending on your hormone cycle. But the point is that it's data driven and it's getting data, uh, from wearables, for example, and eye movements and so forth, if you're watching something. So it will end up being able to put two and two together, and you get to the point where it will say, hey, Darius, last time when you asked me about what to do when you're having a panic attack or whatever, 30 minutes before that, your heart was doing X, Y, and Z. Maybe this is the time to think about that. It's kind of like, you know how you get sniffer dogs that can sense when someone's going to have an epileptic fit? Have you heard of that?
Darius: So they can smell when a person is about to have an epileptic fit about five minutes before it's going to happen or three minutes before something.
Erica: Yeah. No, my dog did that with my father.
Erica: My dog knew the night before she wouldn't leave his side.
Erica: Yeah, that was the first one he had. He had brain cancer. Wow. Um, yeah, it's very interesting. So you're right. What this is going oh, wow. I love this idea that if it detects, for example, a student, she's got a test. I've got one student that has such severe test anxiety that she literally can't think when she goes into a test. So when it starts to realize when right. This AI, or maybe this watch realizes that her anxiety is starting to increase, that's the time to catch it. Once you're in an emotion, you're in it and it's hard to get out of it, but before you're fully in it is the time. So it could give a warning, saying, hey, it seems like you're starting to get a little anxious. Why don't we go ahead and do a meditation? Or why don't we do, um, I'm going to hypnotize you to be more relaxed. So there are some really cool reverie is a very cool app that you can use that hypnotized. They're very short hypnosis activities. And, uh, it can help you with anxiety, can help you with very specific things like quitting smoking, how to focus, how to get to sleep. And it puts you in a different mindset, but actually it's a form of hypnosis. Huberman Lab is also another fan of that particular app. But I'm exploring with that, actually, with that one student I just talked to you about to try to get her anxiety level down, but that's where the AI is going to be really useful because it's going to help us to detect emotional dysregulation before we can't get out of it.
Erica: Which is going to be really beautiful.
Darius: If you take the example of a trained epileptic, um, dog. Epilepsy, uh, dog. So you get them trained like blind dogs. You get epilepsy dogs. And the epilepsy dog will go up to the person who's about to have the epileptic fit and they will start pulling them and get them to lie down so that they still have the epileptic fit but they don't fall and bash their head or swallow. Get them to lie down and lie on their side. And then they get ready, and then they have the fit and it passes, and then they can get back to their life. So in a way that might not even be you try and stop the anxiety, but you put them into a position where it stops them doing something that might cause unnecessary damage or harm.
Erica: I don't know. I think I would rather use it as a way of stopping the anxiety.
Darius: Man absolutely.
Erica: Anxiety, if we can I think that would be, I think, for epilepsy. Yes. You can control it. So that's, uh, for sure. And I think there are those situations where our body goes through something that we have to prepare ourselves for, and then there are other times where we can really divert it away so that we really can be in our best self more often. And then finally, I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about cognitive flexibility, which is it definitely helps with cognitive flexibility because you could actually even say, what's another way of looking at this situation?
Erica: Like, I'm stuck. I'm trying to find a solution to X. Yes, this is a solution that I came up with. But can you think of another? Wow, that could be really cool.
Darius: I've got one for you here. Now you mentioned it, so I said to chat GPT explain executive function to a child with an analogy.
Erica: Um, what did you say?
Darius: And so it said here's the answer. I'll read it out to you verbatim. Okay, sure. Executive function is like the captain of a ship. Just like a captain makes decisions and plans for their ship, your executive function helps you make decisions and plans in your life. It helps you think about what you need to do, remember important information, and solve problems. It's an important part of your brain that helps you get things done and be successful.
Erica: That's, uh, funny, I've never used that metaphor before. You've skirted around that idea. But we've never officially used that metaphor.
Darius: I know.
Erica: Sorry to interrupt, but we did actually.
Darius: Use it in the metaphor of my trip from Ireland to Iona. Yes, we did. And then it says, for example, let's say you want to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your lunch. Your executive function would help you think about what you need to do. First, get the bread, peanut butter and jelly. Remember the steps to make the sandwich. Spread the peanut butter on one slice of bread, spread the jelly on the other slice of bread. Put them together and solve any problems that might come up. Like if you can't find the jelly.
Erica: Or you're out of jelly.
Darius: Yeah. And then it, uh, carries on. Executive function is like a really helpful friend that helps you make plans and get things done. It's an important part of your brain that helps you be organized and successful. Executive function is like a conductor of an orchestra, just like how a conductor helps to coordinate the different instruments in an orchestra to play a beautiful piece of music. Executive function helps to coordinate different parts of the brain to work together to help us think, make decisions, and solve problems. Erica, I think it read your blog.
Erica: Isn't that interesting? That can happen. That can actually happen. If you put something out on the Internet, it can actually paraphrase you.
Darius: That's right. And that is exactly what it's doing. It's gathering all the different people who have talked about executive function, different ideas and so on. Um, and it's collated them.
Erica: So interesting.
Darius: But the thing is, Erica, it won't come up with this phrase or structure ever again. This is a one off if you ask it to do it again, it will come up with something completely different.
Erica: Yeah, I've noticed that.
Darius: Yeah. And then it keeps going. There's another three. They're all great. Imagine that you have a big project to do for school. You might need to gather materials, make a plan, follow through on that plan to complete the project. Executive function helps you do all of those things by organizing your thoughts, focusing your attention, helping you to remember important details. That's beautiful. So it started off with imagine it's really talking to a child's imagination there like how a conductor needs to be able to pay attention to all of the different instruments and make sure they're working together. Executive function helps us to pay attention to what we're doing and make sure we're using all of our skills and abilities to achieve our goals. Imagine you're the captain of a sailboat. You have to make a lot of important decisions as you navigate through the water. You have to decide where to go, how to get there, and you have to make sure to stay on course. You also have to pay attention to your surroundings and avoid any hazards that might come your way. It just keeps going. It's beautiful. It's brilliant. It is.
Erica: You're actually giving everybody a real example of how you do.
Darius: Uh, final two. Executive function works in a similar way in our brains. It helps us make important decisions, pay attention to what we're doing, and stay on track. Just like a captain needs to have good executive function skills to successfully navigate a sailboat boat, we all need good executive function skills to be successful in our daily lives. For example, if you have a homework assignment due tomorrow, your executive function helps you remember to start working on it today, stay focused while you do it, and turn it in on time. It also helps you think about the steps you need to take to complete the assignment and make a plan to get it done. Just like a captain needs to make a plan to reach their destination, your executive function helps you make a plan to reach your goals. Mike drop.
Erica: Yeah, right. So good. So I think that's a great way for us to conclude our podcast on AI. We just have to pull the bottom jaw back up to our faith because, uh, it's going to change the world.
Darius: Keep an eye on it. Start building into your life now and start building it into your child's life in a productive way with prompts like, give me an analogy for and I think that's a powerful prompt. Give me an analogy, give me an example, give me some ideas. And so you're not trying to make it the final say on it, you're trying to get the best out of you because, uh, I created from those analogies, I then created an even better analogy about a captain sailing a boat and executive function uh, right.
Erica: Just use the ideas.
Darius: That's right.
Erica: Don't use the text, because ultimately, what is it doing? It's doing all the research for you. Well, not that it's really research, but it's accessing everything that's on the Internet and giving you a variety of options that you can then play with.
Darius: Yeah, great.
Erica: All right, well, this is a fun one, and I look forward to the next next time.
Darius: Erica see ya.
Erica: Bye. Thank you for joining our conversation here at the Personal Brain Trainer podcast. This is Dr. Erica Warren and,
Darius: Darius Namdaran Check out the show notes for links to resources mentioned in the podcast, and, uh, please leave us a review and share us on social media. Until next time. Bye.