ChatGPT, Yeah You Know Me

Or: how to turn your fear about the future into curation superpowers

I was about to take off for L.A. when I got a text from my CEO, Mike McCue. It was a haiku about curation. I loved it! Then he let me know it was written by an AI.

Like everyone lately, I’ve since become a lot more familiar with ChatGPT. It is impressive. It’s impossible to tell what’s been written by a human or a bot. The Atlantic says it’s the end of the student essay. Add all the pretty Lensa portraits filling up my Instagram feed, and it feels like the AI Overlords are finally here for things that we thought only humans could do well.

Because I’m interested in the role of human taste in a tech-driven world (and maybe have a fear or two about my own relevance 😅), I asked the AI to appease me by pointing out what we humans can still hold onto as uniquely ours. I typed in questions like “Is ChatGPT going to kill human creativity?” and “What can humans do that ChatGRT can’t?”

The answers that came back were clarifying and comforting, mostly because they included obvious things that aren’t going away anytime soon — things like feeling emotions, having experiences, and living in the physical world. We got this, humans! Our obsolescence just might have to wait another day.

OK. So now I know what the AI knows it can’t take from me. Now I want to double-down on those qualities to become a better, more differentiated and irreplaceable curator. In other words: What can ChatGPT teach me about the uniqueness of being human, and how can I apply those ideas to my thinking about the art of curation?

☑️ Give emotion a starring role

Sadness, anger, happiness, fear … no AI can experience any of these things. That’s a great reminder to give emotion a key role in a curatorial practice. To me, this means slowing down and really sitting with something. How does the art/playlist/story make me feel? When juxtaposed with other items, what is the new whole saying to me? Am I getting goosebumps or teary eyes or hearts for pupils? If so, that’s a good sign! Take that as a strong signal.

☑️ Context is key

Whenever I think about the difference between aggregation and curation, I think about context. Aggregation is a collection of items in one place without context. Curation, however, is built around an aesthetic or a POV, so it’s pretty important to convey its goals or big picture. Why did I pick the item? What’s interesting about it? What is its place in history? How does it advance the story I am trying to tell?

☑️ Relationships as a neural network

Machines will never know the joy of connecting with someone over a shared interest. I know I cherish my network of known — and unknown! — secret agents who have great taste who nourish me daily with recommendations that make my life better. Who can I surround myself with that will expand my horizons? What are they reading, watching and listening to right now? Who do they recommend that I follow? Am I following through on their recommendations and telling them how much I appreciate them?

☑️ Own my unique blueprint

This article about how AI can help you explore angles, approaches and weirdness that you might never have thought of on your own helped shift my thinking back into empowered mode. If we think of these AI outputs as starting rather than end points, the AI can actually unlock even more creativity. And that’s when we can make decisions that employ our special sauce: our personal preferences, beliefs and values. What are those things for me? How do they come through in my work? What other rabbit holes do they take me down? Am I chasing my own curiosity and not someone else’s? Can I celebrate my uniqueness?

Anyway, food for thought... Thanks, GPT!



Curation, creators and community @Flipboard , @burningman , @YouTube n' more || Maker of "The Art of Curation" podcast || My heartbeat has a bassline.

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Mia Quagliarello

Curation, creators and community @Flipboard , @burningman , @YouTube n' more || Maker of "The Art of Curation" podcast || My heartbeat has a bassline.