The rise of AI and the fall of focus







March 7, 2023

How to survive in a world where content creation costs nothing and artificial intelligence personalizes all that information so it's irresistible?

The internet lowered the cost of distribution—publishing an article, sending an email—to zero. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is doing the same for creation—making texts, images, videos, and perhaps even apps and websites.

"The atomic activity of any company can be boiled down to:

1. Create stuff
2. Acquire customer to buy stuff
3. Distribute that stuff

The internet broke the third category of distribution, and AI is going to break the first one. Innovations like GPT-3, DALL-E, and other AI tools will dramatically decrease the cost of producing goods with a digital component.”

- Evan Armstrong in When Content Creation Goes to Zero

This shift has three consequences that will make our current world seem like a stay in a Zen monastery:

  1. More content coming at you because production costs are so low.
  1. More marketing from more companies; it’s the only way left to differentiate from competitors.
  1. More advanced personalization makes ads and content irresistible because AI can tailor messaging to your exact needs.

Curators, filters, and focus will save the day

Given how distracted and overwhelmed most of us are now, it's difficult to imagine a world of information overload on AI steroids. I'll give it a try, nevertheless. 😊

Three trends I expect:

  1. All-powerful curators and gatekeepers. Influencers, brands, portals, aggregators, and other trusted sources will become even more important. Most people can't handle the amount of information coming at them and will increasingly rely on others to tell them what to watch, read, and use.
  1. Focus-boosting products and smart filters. People can't win the battle with willpower, so there will be a growing need for distraction blockers and focus-enhancing apps, like our macOS app Lifeline. Tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Google must also address the challenge. They'll start with more intelligent filters in Mail, Outlook, and Gmail to tame the deluge of messages and eventually add more operating system-level features. Ironically, AI will enable many of those solutions ("fight fire with fire").
  1. Concentration as an invaluable skill. Cal Newport’s words from Deep Work will become even more relevant: “The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.”

Three tips for thriving in a world of AI vs. focus

Here are three practices from my free book, Find Your Focus, that will become even more critical in the future:

  1. Destroy - Get rid of distractions. You’ll have to be strategic and intentional about blocking noise from your life so you can focus. (Chapter 3)
  1. Recharge - Give yourself breaks. Without planning moments to disconnect and recharge, AI-amplified rabbit holes will glue you to your screen until you collapse. (Chapter 7)
  1. Eliminate - Make progress by deleting. You need to become a master essentialist who can say “no” instead of “yes” to the influx of projects, events, and opportunities. (Chapter 9)
A screenshot of the Find Your Focus landing page

You can read Find Your Focus in less than an hour and master ultimate concentration within 10 days—you’ll be prepared for the AI-powered distraction flood that’s coming.

👉️ Get Find Your Focus here

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