I feel like, you know, white guys have not exactly set us down the right path and everything. And so maybe a little diversity is not just needed, but essential to our success. I think the same thing in tech you know…

This is HumAIn a weekly podcast focused on bridging the gap between humans and machines in this age of acceleration. 

My name is David Yakobovitchand on this podcast, I interview experts in sociology, psychology, artificial intelligence, researchers on consumer facing products and consumer facing companies to help audiences better understand AI and its many capabilities. If you like the show, remember to subscribe and leave a review.

David Yakobovitch

Welcome back to another episode of the HumAIn podcast. My name is David.  your host on bridging the gap of humans and machines. Today our guest is Dr. JT Kostman. He’s currently back from some exciting business trips throughout technology in the United States, and currently leads as a managing director at Grant Thorton for their GT labs. Thanks for joining us today, JT. 

JT Kostman

Thanks for inviting me back. 

David Yakobovitch

I am so interested in trends and signals and I follow a lot in the media, but I don’t always get to go to conferences. One of the big ones every year is CES, the Consumer Electronic Show. Lots of great technology there. I know you’ve been there this year. I’m well, what are some of the things that you’ve seen. Going on in the consumer space. 

JT Kostman

There’s a lot of talk of 5G being the big buzz this year. Of course, people are talking still quite a bit about virtual reality. And quantum computing was on everyone’s lips. They were trying to make a splash for that.

But what really struck me more than anything else. Several people have asked me what really stuck with me from CES and I was most struck by the fact that you see more diversity in the halls in the US Congress than you see in the halls or CES, and we’re getting better, but men we’re not there yet.

David Yakobovitch

So we just had our midterm elections and a lot of the diversity is beginning to, it seems, happen in Congress. We had a lot of great candidates on the democratic side of different genders of different sexual orientations of different religions. So we’re seeing a lot of diversity happening. Are you saying that’s not happening in tech? 

JT Kostman

Well, I’m saying it’s not happening in either. Even when you look at this freshmen class of these a hundred, it is without a doubt, the most diverse freshman class Congress has ever welcomed. And that is such a wonderful thing, such a necessary thing.

Someone asked Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “How many justices did she think would be enough to be women?” And she said “nine”. I feel like, white guys have not exactly set us down the right path and everything. And so maybe other than diversity is not just needed, but essential to our success. The same thing in tech, when I look at the halls of who represents CES, it used to be going back 10 years, 15 years ago, exclusively white males. And now you’re seeing it as internationalized a little bit certainly.

You’re seeing more of a representation of women there. But, just not nearly enough. We pay lip service to some of these things, lip service to, we need more women in STEM, we need more people of color in these occupations, in these professions, but what does most industries do to truly accommodate, to truly welcome, to incentivize and to attract a more diverse and more heterogeneous population into tech? I don’t think nearly enough.

David Yakobovitch

I live in New York, I see a lot of diversity, traveling to San Francisco, I don’t see a lot of diversity. For the consumer who can’t attend Consumer Electronic Show, but they watch it on Fox News and CNN and hear about the startups like female founders fund and all these diverse leaders raising capital. I mean, is it really still such a small minority? 

JT Kostman

Well, it’s editorial selection. It’s where you point the lens. But CES this year had 180,000 people. And so when you’re pointing at the 5 or 6 or 10, that you want to feature on the news, of course you want to look for an interesting diverse population to be able to speak to.

But, again, it’s gotten better. But we’re not there yet. And we really need to start taking these things more seriously. I would love to see showcasing some of these things and, and I honestly am surprised by all the motion we’ve had with the me too movement with Black Lives Matter.

With the new law in California that requires all publicly traded companies based in California to have a woman on their board of directors as an industry technology, and I’m not pointing the finger at CES, I’m saying all of us in technology are still a little bit tone deaf. 

It’s still predominantly white men who are in the seats of power, who are attending these events, who are speaking about what they’ve done and what they’ve contributed. You don’t see. And, and we also need to think beyond the sort of quote unquote, traditional concerns, right of gender concerns, of ethnicity. We need to start talking about neurodiversity. We need to start talking about a difference of perspective. Then I saw and I counted. I saw three people in wheelchairs. Out of 180,000 people. 

Now I might not have seen everyone, but I darn well saw a pretty huge swath of the people who were there. And these are horribly underrepresented populations in the technology space. We just need to be a little bit more conscious of it. 

David Yakobovitch 

The under representation goes beyond persons with disabilities and the aging population, but those are two markets that are growing very fast as a result of living longer lives. Being able to have medicine, to have people survive and what’s once would not be survivable conditions. And there are startups coming to the rescue there. 

I know you and we’ve blogged about these startups that are now creating prosthetic limbs that are helping others restore function. The question is how much of that is transferring over into AI startups and AI applications in supporting that mobility with diversity?

JT Kostman

You bring up a very good point and. Well, something I hadn’t mentioned, but at CES, and even the week before I spent the week before in Silicon Valley, I also do some work with the Alchemist accelerator, which one of the biggest accelerators, we’re very conscious about attracting a diverse collection of entrepreneurs to come in and to pitch with us.

But it strikes me that I met more people who had Spanish as one of their primary languages in the 15 meetings I had with the alchemistic accelerator, then I met at olive CES. You saw no signage in Spanish and you saw none of the representation there. And so here’s another one you talk about fast growing demographics, fast growing groups.

How is that not wholly represented within technology? One of the things we tend to breeze by is even the language that we use to package, to communicate and to code it. It’s all first language, too. Well, not just English speaking folks, but. People who tend to be of an American dialect and who are male and tend to look and sound a lot like me.

And, I’m not a believer in attracting people just to be politically correct, just to be for the sake of, and I’m talking about something much deeper than the physical characteristics. I’m talking about cognitive diversity and, to your point, especially regarding things like prosthetic limbs and people who are disabled.

I just put out a post for a kid pharma. Forgive me. It was from Costa Rica and he built a prosthetic upper limb out of Legos, that kid is brilliant obviously. This kid I wrote, Lego needs to send this kid to MIT. And if they don’t, I will, here’s an offer to that kid, if you don’t get free ride free tuition, call me, we’ll figure something out.

But CES, and the industry needs to start promoting that. Here’s a young kid who is tomorrow’s technology. And why not? Because he is disabled because English isn’t his first language or whatever. I don’t know. We have to be very conscious about trying to attract that much more greater breadth of mind.

David Yakobovitch

So, where are we missing the mark with this cognitive diversity? I mean, you and I were both in leadership positions, hiring all the time, seeing candidates all across the aisle, but like what’s the missing piece? 

JT Kostman

Well, part native American. So the joke is what do you mean Wiki Masabi? Because I’ve been very conscious of it. I’ve hired more data scientists and AI researchers. Probably more than just about anyone I’ve hired over 650 data scientists, analysts, AI researchers over the course of my career. And I have been remarkably cognizant of being gender by gender balanced of thinking about a difference of perspective from.

With respect to nationality, to upbringing, to, even things like first gen college students. And that’s not because I have a social moral responsibility though. I do. It is purely selfishly because I find that diversity of thinking has really contributed to each of the organizations. And that’s what we need to be able to better communicate what we need to be able to better communicate to the rest of the field.

This isn’t something to do because. It’s the nice thing to do, or because it’s the polite or publicly correct thing to do. This is in your interest homogeneous organizations ceteris paribus can not perform as well as one that has a greater breadth of thinking. Just a file side note on this.

I read a report back in the late 90s by a group of arab scholars, very brave arab scholars, because they were chastising the arabic world and saying, “we will never realize our potential while we still subjugate half of our population and half of our brain power”. And I thought, “wow, how absolutely true by not giving women access, what they were doing was depriving themselves with these capabilities”. The great paradox here for me though, is some of the challenges we see now currently as a consequence of that perspective or what’s going to self heal us. 

David Yakobovitch

And what’s so interesting about what you bring up on brain power and diversity of cognitive thinking is it’s going to start with humans, training humans in essence, to think diversity first to have those mental models where they are aware of how can we be neutral so that we’re doing the best for society, but it’s not enough for us to only, well, this is my question. Is it enough for us as humans to say, let’s train other humans or do we need to begin, consider transferring these ethics into the machines we’re working with?

JT Kostman

Wow. Well, let me give you an alternative perspective. Here’s something to puzzle on for a little bit. Most. Artificial intelligence and machine learning has in its current incarnation been coded by white men. I mean, that’s simply the truth of it. And what have we taught it to do? Well, think about what virtually all artificial intelligence machine learning does, what it does is it.

Emulates humans in its best capacity. And that’s what we’re looking for, it’s not the magic or the dystopian nonsense they talk about in the movies. What we’re really talking about, particularly with narrow AI is getting machines to be able to do what I can do. The operative word. There is what I can do because it’s a bunch of white men teaching the machines to do what white men do.

And to emulate our same perspective, what’s missing? And so, as we’re increasingly successful, as we start to replace more and more people with machines, what are we doing? We’re actually not replacing the entirety of human beings, the entirety of all their capabilities. We’re replacing those capacities that we have emulated through these machines, which means we are inevitably going to leave this desperate need for the things that make humans, humans, and that’s still unfulfilled. 

And so let me give you a very quick anecdote. I was on the phone the other day. Well, I got a voicemail for my credit card company. I have a fraud alert, so I have to call in and figure out what’s going on here with this fraud alert.

So I called up and the voicemail was very specific. I had to call immediately. My card wouldn’t work anymore. Bolts of lightning had to come from the sky, whatever. So I call up and I am on, I get a voice recording and it says, “please hold”. And then it thanks me for my patients. And it thanks me for my patients every minute for 49 minutes, 49 minutes.

I’m waiting on hold. Finally, Vicky picks up. And Vicky is a delight. She’s early. She’s snippy. She’s angry. She doesn’t want to be on the call, tells me, confirmed this is you. “Yes, it’s me”. “Did you order $140 worth of books from PAC publishing?” “Yes, I did”. “Thank you”. We’re done. We’re done 51 minutes into the call.

Now I’m really hoping Vicki loses her jobs to a machine. I really am. What aspects of that job need to go away? It’s those things that could readily be replaced by a bot by a chat bot, by a robot, what can’t be replaced? Those things that make us quintessentially human. Empathy, caring, wisdom, perspective, equanimity, patience…

Well, patience, the machines can have, but, but those things that make us truly us. And what we’re going to start to see almost inevitably in very short order or machines, replacing those aspects of humans that when humans effectively try to pretend they’re meat machines. Those things can be better done by silicon than by carbon.

Let the machines do it, let us be left to be human. And what are those things that are going to be left with at the risk of, of categorizing it more of the feminine and less of the masculine, less of the emphasis on just on logic and orders and rules and more on caring, compassion and kindness. And so might some of this challenge that we’re seeing be self ameliorating? I don’t know. 

David Yakobovitch

One phrase that I use often, as we’re moving into this age of acceleration is the humans. Like you mentioned that their jobs may be automated the way well, Are those humans coming apart from lost generation 2.0? We had after world war one around them, that people going to war coming back from war a little hopeless, not sure where to go. I’m a little concerned, White House is in disarray. CES is only white men. I mean, what’s happening?

JT Kostman

What’s really happening is a lot of what we also saw even. Over the last 10 years, 12 years, 15 years think about the financial meltdown of 2008. Everyone was lamenting that an entire generation to the best brains on our planet were going into finance, because that’s where the money was. 

And so we saw people who should have been physicists and doctors and scientists, and these ostensibly potentially great minds who are engaged in algorithmic trading and quantitative finance. And I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with that, but think of all the professions that suffer all the opportunity costs incurred by all these other professions.

So what we saw almost simultaneously, I’m of a generation I’m old enough to do that. Well, let me take a side note, as I’m saying that. I’ve had this weird life where I’ve met literally every president since Reagan, I’ve known Kings and I’ve known royalty. I studied with Nobel laureates and fields, medal recipients far and away bar none absolutely. 

The smartest, wisest, most extraordinary human I’ve ever known is the woman I married. And my wife is a nurse, and she’s an extraordinary nurse. She’s been in the ICU now for, if I say it on the air, she’ll kill me, but nearly 40 years still doing bedside care still cares. She was meant to be a nurse. I truly believe that, but she didn’t have a choice. 

When she was growing up back when we were kids 40 years ago, she could have been a nurse or a teacher or one of three or four other professions. She could have been a secretary. There were very few things that were really, and I’m not saying there was a restriction that she couldn’t.

I’ve been an engineer. She couldn’t have been a mathematician, but it certainly wasn’t conducive for her to be, it certainly wasn’t welcomed into those professions. As recently as a couple of years ago, the former president of Harvard was saying, well, women just aren’t cut out for math, really?

It’s taken us a long time to grow up. And now we’re shocked. Shocked. I say that we haven’t yet changed the parody. Well, it’s taking a little bit of time. And I don’t think that we’re yet wholly amenable and wholly open. To this idea. And again, we’re just talking about gender. Think about multiculturalism.

Think about one of my big drums that I pound is neurodiversity, I’ve had quite a few people working for me who were along the autism spectrum. And I find they tend to, at the risk of categorizing all people as if they’re of a type or of a group. But the people that I’ve hired, who have been on the autism team have been extraordinary contributors.

But what’s the problem there? If I go to hire someone who is, even if they aren’t profoundly autistic, if they have Asperger or manifest symptoms, similar to Asperger’s syndrome. Well, what happens in most organizations? When I try to hire them, they first have to go through that hoop of HR. And what is HR assessing?

They’re not assessing technical fit. They can’t. So they’re assessing cultural fit. Well, Really? The two problems with that is of course, these folks who have a diverse perspective are not going to fit into that common mold, but the bigger problem is that really what I want, the death knell of any organism is homogeneity, look at the Royal family in England. 

We don’t necessarily want everyone to be a liker to think contrary to popular belief, great minds don’t think alike, and we need to start being more cognizant of that. 

David Yakobovitch

And thinking on then there are diversity has many aspects, but if we’re thinking about culture, I mean, is, is culture when I’m hiring, “Oh, you need to like yoga to, you should like free lunch. You want to drink beer with the boys”. I mean, is that. What we need there, it sounds like that’s a whole separate argument on how hiring practices can be changed to think about, making truly neuro diverse cultures. 

JT Kostman

That’s a great point and it’s something we really need to give a lot more thought to, is it really saying, “Oh, we have frozen yogurt and a foosball table”, that’s not culture.

That’s not making a culture more conducive. Because effectively what you’re doing is again, you’re stereotyping. One of the words that gets the hackles on the back of my neck, standing up and I have threatened to actually smack marketers. If they use the phrase millennials, I hate that word.

We’re going to say everyone between the ages of 18 and 35. They’re the same. Nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter where they’re from. Doesn’t matter, their gender, their sexual orientation, their interests, their disposition. No, no, they’re a millennial.

And we do that with, just for the sake of, cognitive heuristic, because it’s a shortcut because it’s easier. We talk about moms and Minnesotans and people of this or that group at millennials as if they’re all of a type. And we really got to get over that. 

That speaks to your point when we’re talking about the benefits, why you tell everyone we’re having liver and onions for dinner, or instead of that, now let’s say, okay, well, everyone we’re having Roast tesserae chicken, because everyone would like that. 

Why not start giving people a buffet? Why not start giving people a menu? When I was, recently when I was chief data officer at Time, Inc., quite literally, this was one of our questions that we wrangled with was snacks. And, we wanted to make free snacks available to everyone, but we realized, that’s not an easy thing.

There are people who, what turned out to be gold for us with the bananas. Don’t get me started. I have no idea why, but people would flock in to get the bananas, but we had popcorn and we had candy and these things, and, it may sound trivial, superficial, but there are other organizations that are saying, well, maybe we should make them pay for the coffee.

David Yakobovitch

It’s so interesting that we’re talking about snacks and data science around food. And while we are naturally social creatures, social creatures with this empathic, predisposition to connect with each other. But we’re not always seeing that connection. A story I’ll share is that my dad’s an electronic engineer by trade. He’s worked in this industry. 

For over 40 years and decided to take a new breath of life, moving into data, but data for electronics. And when he started that journey, he retired, he sold his company. He’s saying, I’m ready to do this and start learning the code. And at the end of the day, as he started this interview process, my dad said to me, I kinda wish I was maybe born 40 years later.

Like I love everything I did and, and stuff, but like, I’m just not quick enough or fast enough for all these lies that we tell ourselves. And, and I was telling my dad, I said, I mean, you’re brilliant. 

I mean like the amount of experience you have for how you’re able to work with schematics and robots. I mean, these are things that kids out of college just can’t get. And part of that neurodiversity conversation is also. How valuable are the former CEOs and, those with decades of experience, 

JT Kostman

That’s absolutely right. And, and to your point, what I find fascinating is there’s a phenomenon in psychology known as the Dunning Kruger effect and effectively, the contention is for most people, if not all people, they would contend. 

We tend to think we’re much smarter and much more capable than they are. I find that firstly, related to brain power. I find the smartest people. I tend to engage in a little self doubt or more than a little self doubt. We tend to call our own capabilities and competence in the question, I was guilty of that myself, not too long ago.

I was having a conversation with a couple of friends and my very long-term colleague, Arman Anwar, who’s worked with me since the first tech we worked on together was the wheel. He happens to have fairly profound dyslexia, but as a consequence, he has to attend more to the code he writes.

And so he is far and away the best coder I’ve ever read, this is weird to admit, but I will still occasionally print out code that he’s written and carry it with me because it’s so elegant. It’s so blind. He can do it in five lines. What would take me 5,500. And so I made the point, I was just. Teasing with him.

And I said to him that to one of our friends, when he was there, that he coached like Hemingway. And he said, I code like a hamster on heroin, which is probably true but he reminded our friend, I have some skills. I bring some gifts to bear. Since very much like your dad. It’s not a competition. 

It’s not that we all have to be the best at every aspect of what we do. That goes back to the larger question of how we’re going to get along more effectively with machines. I’ve been advancing this notion of what I call symbiotic. Symbiotic with an H, Symbiotech.

So how do the people and the machines partner most effectively, how do we take this almost transhumanist perspective of how do we work symbiotically,  symbiotically with the machines so that both of us end up being able to do better? 

David Yakobovitch

So in this new age of acceleration, it’s still just beginning, but how can consumers be part of this conversation? How can we have this, Symbiotech? 

JT Kostman

Well, that is the question asked and as coincidence would have it, or I’m launching a new initiative in the very near future that, we’ve titled the great tech debate and I’m going to be inviting, all the great thinkers to have these conversations and by great thinkers, I don’t necessarily mean the people you meet in the media and in the news and you read.

I mean, that citizenry, those consumers, I want to hear from them. I want to include their voices in these conversations and not just a one-way dialogue. I don’t want them just to submit questions. We’re going to create a form of mechanism to be able to bring this to the fore.

We started out our conversation today talking about politics, and some of the things that these have in common. I want us to return to a time when we can have civil discourse when we can disagree without being disagreeable. When we can talk about these important issues, we have evolved this ethos, very regrettably over the last not 2 years, over the last 20 years, the last 30 years where you’re not supposed to talk about religion and politics. 

Why do we have this inhibition? We should talk about these things and we should certainly talk about technology. We should talk about the implications, applications, ramifications. What about data privacy? What about the petroleum problem? If the self-driving car is going to a group of children, or it can go an old wall and kill you, what should it do? What are the economic implications of artificial intelligence and the impact that will have on jobs? Those shouldn’t be questions. We just let them solve it. We are them. We need to all engage in these conversations.

David Yakobovitch

That dialogue starts with having that dialogue. In 2018 I had the chance to work with a client in Europe and I was in Scotland and there, when I was working with these big financial institutions, we had very dynamic conversations, very transparent about staffing and the religion and the politics and the government and Brexit and all these interesting things.

But it was very open-ended and it was very civil and it was very, this is something we need to consider. These are our contingencies in my experience, in the United States, when I’ve attempted to have some of these conversations, it’s like all hell breaks loose. It’s like the white house on fire.

JT Kostman

These are going to be moderated by yours truly. My job is to maintain decorum, to make sure that we respect one another, that we’re able to allow everyone to lend voice, but almost more importantly than that, that we listen. And that’s one of the great arts that’s been lost. We need to reclaim the ability to actually hear other perspectives, other attitudes, other beliefs.

David Yakobovitch

And looking towards this other attitudes and beliefs, is there any against the grain viewpoints that you hold on AI and new tech signals that you think consumers should think more about to listen to? 

JT Kostman

Oh, absolutely Mr. Contrarian. I’m working on an article now that I may have to change the title, but it’s currently tentatively titled “18 reasons why, when it comes to AI, Elon Musk is full of crap”. I may have to change it to 24 reasons because I just keep coming up with more reasons, because all that stoking that dystopian fears and nonsense, it’s just absurd. Worrying that AI is going to become Skynet and kill us all. Please. 

I just published a little piece where I made the point that you’re. In far, far, far more danger from your toast at which, by the way, toasters are scary. It turns out I was doing the research toasters that kill about 400 people in the US every year. 

David Yakobovitch

Last year, I’ll tell you this. So, my parents had a Black and Decker toaster in Florida and this toaster and my dad put the toast in the regular ritual in the morning and the coffee, the toast, or go out, take the dog, the whole thing and put the timer on. The timer broke on a toaster. The toaster caught fire. He got back and almost was burned down the kitchen. 

JT Kostman

Oh, I’m telling you man, the toasters, it’s the rise of the toasters, the toasters are coming for us. The toasters are going to come get us. What do I mean? It’s more likely that would happen then AI is going to run a mocking and kill us all. It’s just not going to happen. 

And so we need to stop worrying about silly things. Let’s take that same energy and worry about climate change. Thank you very much. Let’s worry about how joblessness is already impacting such a large segment of the population, but even when it comes to things like the economic implications of artificial intelligence, 

We need to start worrying about what that impact will be, but we also at the same time need to not just worry about the employee. That example, I gave you a Vicky with customer service. Everyone’s worried that Vicki will be out of a job. Why isn’t anyone worried about the customer or the company that isn’t being sufficiently served? 

Think about how many small businesses are threatened mid-size businesses by these tech few tech giants, a handful of companies that are introducing these sort of talent oligopolies, where they’re gobbling up all the talent, and you can only end up working for one of the Fang or the Fortune 50, or these fortunate few companies that have the resources to be able to pull those capabilities. And so all these small and mid cap companies are suffering as a consequence. 

We need to democratize that talent more. That leaves us to worry about things like immigration and writing. That, once again, or getting back on a path where the US becomes a magnet to the best and the brightest of the world at the same token, we have to worry about educating our kids right now, our scores and mathematics in science and technology and reading are below that of, we’re at something like 26, the 28th in the world. It’s humiliating. We shouldn’t be there. 

We need to start taking these things a lot more seriously. It’s an old Chinese proverb by love, says “the best time to plant a tree was a hundred years ago.The second best time is now”. We need to start thinking that way. 

David Yakobovitch

And now is that time. And particularly in New York, we can see some of the happening. For example, with the current administration, everything was hold with H1BS and these visas and international talent and New York against the administration launched into the NYC program, which has just kicked off in 2019.

It’s going on for about three months to basically say if you’re an international researcher, if you want to get involved in startups, you can come to New York. Cooney and the City will sponsor you and you can come in with an H1B. So those conversations are starting. It’s just being maybe brave enough to have those conversations.

JT Kostman

And that’s exactly right. That’s one of the things I’ll agree with you. 100%, we have a dearth of guts. We have a dearth of bravery. We saw and shockingly, this tends to begin more in the private sector than in the public sector. We have seen CEOs who have stood up and said, enough, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, several of their leadership have come to the floor and said.

“You know what? We need to stand up. We need to say what’s right”. Walking out on the administration’s business council, even in the early days of the administration, it was a very brave move, but we don’t see that, within the halls of Congress, to the extent that we’re going to need to, we need to see representatives and we’ll see, we just elected a new representative from, Queens and the Bronx, district 11.

Congresswoman Cortez and we’ll see, if we’re going to start to shake some things up. And that entire new class of 2019 hopefully will affect some change, but we’re going to say, but really what it comes down to is we have to stop abrogating our responsibility to leaders of the tech companies to the politicians. 

We have to start realizing that we truly, truly are not just the power. We are the government. We are everything in this country where we’re incredibly blessed to have that opportunity here. We need to take advantage of that and take it seriously. 

David Yakobovitch

That’s taken seriously, but also as if we have a time machine to go back. So let’s say you were a consumer, you were non-technical, this is back in your days of figuring it all out, but it’s 2018 all over again. I mean, what advice would you give for yourself JT on the career path or what you should start doing? 

JT Kostman

HG Wells once said that statistics will be as important to a modern education as reading and writing work to the previous generations. I would say the same thing about coding. Every citizen needs to know how to code period, the end full stop. 

You at least need to know how to think computationally, to think algorithmically and by the way, List anyone’s afraid of it. I’ve taught people the basics, the essence of what they need to know to code in 5 minutes.

It’s really that simple, we tend to make the whole cottage industry about making it seem as if it’s complex because people can charge your money for it. Yes. 

But it’s really not that hard to learn, but you need to be able to take those things on the other advice I would give people is, and the younger me, which fortunately is it’s advice that I had taken is to follow your passions in these arenas.

Technology is going to change, fundamentally change the world and every aspect of it. And if that’s the case, what are you interested in and pursue and do that, if it’s medicine or if it’s, ending world poverty or fighting climate change. That’s terrific. But if it’s just entertaining people, there’s nothing wrong with that.

If it’s just helping people make more money, that’s absolutely fine. But too many of us get caught up in the, supposed to in the have tos, and not enough in, in what really enriches our lives. 

David Yakobovitch

It’s a good time to entertain people on Twitch. Is it a good time to entertain people on Twitch with code? That might be the question.

JT Kostman

Well, that’s my thing. That’s my spiel. It should be edutainment, right? If by the way, think of, well, my, some of my favorite authors currently. Of course like most of the people listening, I love Malcolm Gladwell. Why do you love knocking Gladwell? Why do you love Dan Brown?

Completely different genre. Why you love somebody? Or some of these others, because they’re teaching you something along the way, they’re not just entertaining you. They’re edutaining you. And that’s going to increasingly become the watch word more and more of us. And frankly, why are people listening to this podcast right now in the US to learn a little something and hopefully to get a smile or to make them feel something along the way as well.

David Yakobovitch

That’s right. All our listeners appreciate having you on here. And thank you, Dr. JT Costman, JT for being with us here today on the HumAIn podcast. Looking forward to bridging the gap with you for humans and machines. 

JT Kostman

Thank you, Dave. It’s been a pleasure. 

David Yakobovitch

That’s it. For this episode of HumAIn I’m David of Yakobovitch. And if you enjoyed the show, don’t forget to click subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you are listening to this. Thanks so much for listening and I’ll talk to you in the next one.