“A caterpillar gazing at the butterfly is supposed to have remarked. ‘Waal, you’ll never catch me in one of those durn things.’” — Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media
That’s what I hear whenever people tell me that they don’t like new technology, or don’t see the point in some new innovation.
To me, they’re caterpillars, staring up at the inevitability of the future, and exclaiming, in essence, that they’d rather become irrelevant than have to change.
But what they don’t get is that technological change is inevitable, but suffering as a result of it is optional.
If you see a technological wave coming, you can try to surf it. Or you can try to ignore it, and see what happens.
AI isn’t “on its way,” it’s here, now. It’s not “coming for jobs,” thousands of people around the world have already lost theirs to it.
It’s not going to “affect” marketing in some peripheral way, it’s going to upend it.
Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month, but soon and irrevocably.
So if you start seeing other caterpillars betake themselves to their cocoons to do some metamorphosizing, it’s worth finding out why and what they might know.
Because whatever’s going to happen will happen, and nobody’s going to ask us whether we want it to happen.
The only question is whether we’re ready for it.
And that’s a choice we get to make.