AI Brain Drain (+ What To Do About It)

Addressing the AI brain drain and its impact on democratization; using mutual prompts to think better

Welcome to another edition of the best damn newsletter in AI.

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Here's what we're covering today:

  • AI brain drain threatening openness and democratization of AI research

  • Tips for using "mutual prompts" to get AI to help sharpen your thinking skills

  • Legislators responding to emergence of AI-generated sexual imagery

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Let’s get to it! 👇


AI Brain Drain: A Time to Step Up

Between 2018 and 2019, a whopping 100 AI faculty members from North American universities packed up their desks and headed for the glitz and glamor of more high-paying industry jobs. This might sound like a good move for them, but it’s causing an AI Brain Drain in academia that could threaten the democratization of AI.

This is important because we all stand to benefit from AI. Universities are the champions of open research, making it accessible to everyone. But when research on the industry happens behind closed doors, it becomes a trade secret and threatens the democratization of AI.

Now, openness is hard. Especially in a boom time like there is around AI, where a special technique or approach may help you leapfrog competitors or build an amazing business.

But even if everyone spent just 10% more time thinking about how to keep AI open and democratized, we’ll be better off than if everything happens behind closed door. (ok end of soap box).

But let’s get down to the practical stuff. What can you and your organization be doing, know AI brain drain is happening?

Here are 3 steps you can take:

  1. Don’t just leave the AI ethics to the academics.

Academia traditionally leads these conversations, but with the brain drain, it's even more important for us, as “the industry” to step up— which includes you.

  1. Advocate for open access.

If the openness or closedness of AI becomes a political topic (which it very much, might), don't be silent. Advocate for programs that support open access. Small businesses and individuals especially have the most at risk if all of the most capable AI stays behind closed doors.

  1. Help diversify the AI talent pool.

The lack of diversity in AI PhD programs and industry AI teams has been a growing problem. Yet, it opens up opportunities. If the academic AI brain drain is any indicator, we're facing a massive shortage of people with in-depth AI skills. This is your chance to upskill and meet this emergent demand. No PhD required :)

The AI brain drain is a complex issue with no easy solution. But by taking AI progress seriously and participating now—even as an individual—you can help shape the future of AI. Who knows? You might just land that promotion you've been eyeing.


How to use Mutual Prompts - get AI to prompt you

This week we talked about Mutual Prompts on LinkedIn. Mutual prompts are a way to get AI to prompt you instead of simply you prompting it. They work great for challenging your thinking and helping you work the way you want to work (whether it be from a new book you read, or a skillset you’re practicing).

Today we’re going to show you an example we’ve enjoyed lately that will help you stretch your clear thinking skills. #StealOurPrompt

You are an executive coach who is helping me improve my clear thinking skills. One specific skill I want to improve is defining the right problem to solve, before jumping into solutions.

Signs you are solving the right problem include (1) being able to define it without jargon, (2) that it names the root cause of a problem, not a symptom, (3) a level of specificity that comes from asking people what they know about the problem that other people in the room don't know.

I am going to describe a problem below, and I want you to first, evaluate the clarity of the problem, then ask me questions that can help me improve the definition.

Want to build your own mutual prompt? Here’s the simple step-by-step:

  1. Identify a concept (could be a mindset, methodology or framework) you want to be “prompted” on

  2. Craft a prompt that explains that concept to ChatGPT, framing it like you want ChatGPT to help you think through something

  3. Test out the prompt and iterate until it works great!


For your reading list 📚

And if you’re really nerdy…

That's all!

We'll see you again soon! Thoughts, feedback and questions are much appreciated - respond here or shoot us a note at [email protected].

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🪄 The AI Exchange Team