Mind Readings: DEI Is The Secret AI Weapon

Mind Readings: DEI Is The Secret AI Weapon

In today’s episode, you’ll learn why your success with AI tools depends upon the diversity of your team. A more diverse team will create more original and effective prompts that lead to better results. You’ll benefit from the broader perspectives and experiences a diverse team brings. Let’s dive into how you can leverage diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for AI success!

Mind Readings: DEI Is The Secret AI Weapon

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Christopher Penn: In today’s episode, let’s talk about the secret weapon for generative AI for make being successful with the use of generative AI at a strategic level, not how do you write a prompt, but at a strategic level, how do you make this stuff work better? Three letters, dei.

Yes, dei, diversity, equity and inclusion.

These are initiatives that companies have started over the last decade or so, to increase diversity, equity and inclusion within companies.

And it’s all about how do we get more diverse people to work at our companies? How do we include those people more successfully, more evenly, more equally within the company? And how do we get better outcomes for everyone? And this is not anything like brand new.

I think there’s a report I want to say going back maybe a decade ago, from McKinsey, that showed that companies that embrace dei initiatives, and actively work to diversify their workforce at all levels of the organization, on average, see, I want to say it was like a 14% increase in productivity and or profitability over I forget what the study period was, but you can Google for McKinsey dei study, and you’ll be able to find it.

So what does this have to do with AI? And Christopher Penn: why is this not just a bunch of warm fuzzy stuff? Well, here’s why.

The results you get out of generative AI are contingent on what you prompted with, right? If you give any generative AI tool a bad or boring or generic or bland prompt, what do you get, you get bad and boring and generic stuff right out of it.

It’s it’s garbage in garbage out.

AI is a lot like sort of the mythical genie in a lamp from from fables, stuff where, you know, you’re the genie pops out of the lamp, maybe it’s in Robin Williams voice says, What do you want? And you tell it what you want.

And it gives it to you.

Even if it’s objectively what you’ve asked for is a really bad idea, right? It does what it’s told.

And of course, the cautionary tale in a lot of those stories is you ask for things that you want, instead of what you want.

Instead of what you need, and you get what you want.

And that’s bad.

AI is the same, right? If you want the best outputs from AI, you have to have the best inputs going into it.

If you ask AI to give you something in a bland and boring way, you will get exactly what you asked for, it will be suboptimal will not be unique, and interesting and appealing to different audiences.

Now, if your business serves only one kind of person, then yeah, maybe.

Christopher Penn: And you are also that person, like basically, you are the ideal customer, then yeah, maybe you don’t need as much help from generative AI in the first place, because you already know what you’re doing.

But if you want the best outputs in general, in generative AI, you’ve got to have the best inputs going into it.

diverse, original, unique ideas that come from diverse, original unique people create diverse, original unique prompts.

And that creates diverse, original and unique outputs stuff Christopher Penn: that nobody else has AI models, the ones that power software like chat GPT, for example, they’re nothing more than that really big probability libraries or statistical libraries.

They, they’re not sentient, they’re not self aware, they have no ability to step back and reflect on what they they’re doing, unless they’re asked to do so.

They are not autonomous.

They are just the genie in the lamp.

So if you have a model culture of people, one type of person just creating prompts from one point of view, one set of life experiences, oh, you know, people like me all have similar life experiences, you’re going to get a model culture of outcomes.

Let’s say, let’s say your team was all people like me, middle aged Korean men, then middle aged Korean men are all going to ask the tools very similar questions, right? We all have similar backgrounds in this fictional example.

And your results from AI will AI will be all biased towards that point of view.

Real simple example, I will write a prompt being someone who’s identifies as male, I’ll write a prompt different than someone who identifies as female, just plain and simple.

There’s a whole set of life experiences that go into being someone who identifies as female that I don’t have, and I never will have.

It’s just not.

It’s just not that’s a part of my worldview.

And so if I’m writing prompts, if I’m using generative AI, from a certain perspective, from my perspective of my life experiences, I’m, I am unaware of other people’s experiences in a way that only they can speak about, right? In the same way that for example, if you were, if you were talking about the martial arts in generally, in general, you might be able to come up with a bunch of academic or informational points of view or pieces of information.

But until you get punched in the face, you don’t know what it’s about.

And your ability to write prompts is going to be driven from not just information, but experience and emotion and intuition based on your life experiences.

So you would need you would want to have more people with more diverse backgrounds and more diverse experiences and more diverse points of view, if you want to get better prompts.

Because one of the things that gender of AI does really well, is it is a huge library of statistics.

And so if you’re, if your use of it is from a very limited point of view, a very limited set of language, there’s whole chunks of language that are just going unused.

And that could be the language that your customers would resonate with.

Maybe you have customers that you could have customers you don’t even know about because you’re not speaking the language.

highly diverse group of people with a radically different life experiences, they will get highly diverse, radically different outcomes out of generative AI.

Your success with generative AI depends on your success with dei, right, the more diverse the people making the prompts and using the tools, the more the more diverse outputs you’ll get.

And there are a lot of companies that have decided to, you know, dismantle their dei efforts and return to a monoculture of people of monoculture of experiences and points of view.

That’s every company is allowed to run how it wants, you know, as your regulatory prohibitive from it, but you’re reducing your ability to use these tools well, but you’re narrowing the language you could use that you’re capable of using.

And of course, you’re going to narrow the outcomes you get that will not appeal to other people when you’re using these tools.

Even something as simple as a customer service chatbot on your website.

If you have lots of different diverse people helping configure it and train it and tune it, you’re going to have more capability in that tool to anticipate bad outcomes.

Right? You might say, Hey, let’s do some red teaming on this chatbot.

Red teaming is trying to break it, you try to make it do things it’s not supposed to.

Do you know, what offends, say, a black trans woman? I don’t.

It’s not my life experience.

I don’t know.

I’ve never had those lived experiences.

And so I could Google it and come up with some generic stuff.

But I don’t have those lived experiences from that person’s point of view, to know like, hey, that bot just said something really, really offensive.

Right? If you’ve ever seen memes on Reddit and social media, that have a jargon in them, that’s funny to one group of people, if that group of people is in your potential purchasers, and you are saying things that you don’t know are unintentionally offensive.

That’s bad.

Right? If you’re, if your AI models are saying that’s really bad, because we’re all trying to use AI to scale, to do more, to have more conversations with people, because we as humans don’t scale nearly as well as machines do.

If you’ve got those biases, those problems in your software, and you don’t have a diverse team doing the red teaming on it, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.

So I would strongly encourage your company, your leadership, your folks to invest more in dei rather than less if you want to be successful with generative AI, invest more in dei.

That’s the episode for today.

Thanks for tuning in.

We’ll see you next time.

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