Less AI, More EI

Even in our loud and noisy world, the seemingly sudden immersion of AI into our everyday lives has stood out.

In February two tech-savvy guys who make a living making sense of tech innovations for the rest of us, NYT’s Kevin Roose and teacher/visionary extraordinaire Seth Godin have weighed in as unsettled and cautionary. And 2 weeks ago Chat GPT founder Sam Altman warned Congress of the need to regulate.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) lets more things get done faster, consistently, and seamlessly. Freeing up ‘genuine’ brain power from the mundane or repetitive if you will.  Good solution, as long as lack of volume, speed and uniformity is the problem.

IMO one reason AI is so white-hot today is reflective of another great thinker.  Aristotle’s  “horror vacui” sounds even more telling to me than the translation we know today: that nature abhors a vacuum.  Specifically, lulls, or empty spaces are uncomfortable, and we rush to fill them.

Since last summer, code words describing the real estate market have morphed. First, it was shifting. Then challenging and unsettled became a downturn. Sellers, buyers, agents, and other RE pros-so jazzed up from the prior 2 years, are having a hard time adjusting. So the tech sales and marketing folks have stepped in. They’ve blanketed us with AI roll-outs and other missives to fill the void. Bless their hearts.

Am one of the least techy people I know. But in a field where hopes, fears, dreams, and relationships mix it up with big money,  I suggest speed and en masse precise repetition are just tools.  Being an AI savant is not the blanket answer to buyers’ and sellers’ distress, or to any of us being successful.

There’s a lot more to doing any job well than completing tasks. I’ve been in the people-homes-spaces-pretty stuff business my entire adult life. I  know for certain that every day we are tasked with the genuine and heroic challenge of delivering happiness.

In design and real estate, I believe Artificial Intelligence is a tool that the heart should guide. Emotional Intelligence is as necessary as a cell phone, and more important than any data. 3 years of pandemic living and a very reactive market pushed this to the background, but compassion and empathy will always be the metrics that count more.

So to my fellow deliverers of happiness…and to those impatient for change: Let’s all settle down, and take a deep breath or three. Even if the real estate and home-space-pretty stuff business smoothed out tomorrow, we must never forget this, and never discount the importance of Emotional Intelligence. Even to, ESPECIALLY TO ourselves.