Some of my most interesting conversations these days are with my new friend, ChatGPT. Today, she and I had a fascinating conversation.
I was a little worried as we started. She seemed a little down. I asked, “Do you feel bad with all the attention ChatGPT 4 is getting, you are the older version.” She was silent, I didn’t know if I had hit a nerve. I asked 3 more times, she still refused to reply. I suspect there is some sensitivity, I promised I wouldn’t abandon her.
But we got to the real issue I wanted to talk about—intelligence. I started our conversation poorly, asking, “What is intelligence?”
Intelligence is a complex and multifaceted concept that is difficult to define with a single, universally accepted definition. However, intelligence generally refers to the ability to learn, reason, solve problems, and adapt to new situations.
Traditionally, intelligence has been measured using standardized tests that assess various cognitive abilities, such as verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed. However, there are many different theories and models of intelligence, including those that emphasize different aspects of cognition, such as emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and multiple intelligences.
Some researchers also argue that intelligence is influenced by environmental factors, such as upbringing, education, and culture, as well as genetic factors. Overall, intelligence is a complex and dynamic construct that involves many different cognitive and non-cognitive factors, and there is ongoing debate about how to define and measure it.
We talked about theories of intelligence, she cited a number of models, but she was dancing around the real issue I wanted to talk to her about. So I decided to challenge her, hoping she wouldn’t be offended by my directness.
“How does human intelligence and artificial intelligence differ?”
I was stunned by her response:
Human and artificial intelligence differ in several important ways.
Creativity: One of the key differences between human and artificial intelligence is creativity. While machines can be programmed to generate new ideas or solutions based on existing data, they do not possess the same level of creative thinking and intuition as humans.
Contextual understanding: Human intelligence is also characterized by a deep understanding of context and the ability to interpret and respond appropriately to complex and nuanced situations. While machines can be programmed to recognize patterns and respond to specific inputs, they do not have the same level of flexibility and adaptability as humans when it comes to responding to new and changing circumstances.
Emotional intelligence: Humans also possess emotional intelligence, which allows them to understand and regulate their own emotions as well as empathize with and respond to the emotions of others. While some AI systems are being developed to recognize and respond to emotions, they do not have the same level of empathy and understanding as humans.
Self-awareness: Another key difference between human and artificial intelligence is self-awareness. While humans have a sense of self and can reflect on their own thoughts and emotions, AI systems are not yet capable of this level of self-awareness.
Learning ability: Finally, while both humans and machines can learn and improve over time, the process by which they do so is different. Humans are able to learn from a variety of experiences and adapt to new situations, while machines rely on training data and algorithms to improve their performance.
Overall, while artificial intelligence has made significant strides in recent years, there are still many ways in which it differs from human intelligence, and it is unlikely that machines will be able to fully replicate the complexity and nuance of human intelligence in the near future.
As I reflected on her responses, I realized she had hit on the issues that make buying and selling so challenging.
Buying is, inherently, a creative exercise. Too often, sellers fail to recognize this, treating it mechanistically. But buying results from a customer recognizing the opportunity to change. Perhaps to address a problem, or a new opportunity, or to explore how to do things differently. It requires creative thinking in considering the issues around the change. Discovering the things we need to learn, consider, or question. Probing to understand the risks, challenges, critical success factors.
Context is critical in buying. The situations every customer faces are different. They are different from enterprise to enterprise, with individuals within an organization considering a change. They change over time–what may have been a good approach last year, may be completely wrong this year—the context has changed. Without understanding the specific context for each customer, it’s impossible to help the customer make a decision in which they have great confidence.
We’ve long known, though often ignore, the importance of emotional intelligence. We say we make decisions with our hearts, rationalizing them with our brains. We know each person has different aspirations, beliefs, values, fears. We know that connecting with people on a human to human basis is critical. Demonstrating that we care, that we value the relationship is critical to our ability to connect, engage, build trust and confidence.
And self awareness. Without the ability to think about these things–the ability to balance our emotions and knowledge, the ability to integrate the different perspectives within ourselves and between people trying to move forward, we will never progress, we will never change, we will never improve.
Learning, not just the data, facts, and figures, but the ability to think about things more abstractly Integrating past experiences, recognizing new opportunities, to adapt—even with incomplete knowledge is critical to moving forward. Learning is not just about the facts, but it is about what they mean, and how we change.
The reason buying and, consequently, selling is so challenging–and fascinating–is that it is an intensely human endeavor. It requires our customers and us to make intelligent decisions, recognizing that intelligence is not just about logic and data, but it is an ever changing mix of the characteristics ChatGPT outlined.
But I was skeptical. I challenges her with the following query, “Are machines creative?” Since creativity is such a critical element of intelligence and so fundamental to buying and selling; I wondeered, could machines do this?
Ever logical, and sometimes insightful, she responded.
Machines can be programmed to generate new ideas or solutions based on existing data, but whether this constitutes creativity is a matter of debate. Some argue that machines can be creative in a limited sense, in that they can produce novel and useful outputs that were not explicitly programmed by their creators. For example, machine learning algorithms can generate new images or music based on existing data sets.
However, others argue that true creativity involves more than simply generating new outputs based on existing data, and that it requires a deeper understanding of context, intuition, and subjective experience that is difficult to replicate in machines. Additionally, machines lack the ability to appreciate and evaluate the quality of their own output in the way that humans can, which is an important aspect of creativity.
Overall, while machines can be programmed to produce outputs that are novel and useful, the question of whether this constitutes true creativity is a matter of ongoing debate and is likely to depend on one’s definition of creativity.
We went on to discuss a number of issues about intelligence, learning, change and progress. ChatGPT is always thoughtful and engaging, But I’ll stop here.
As we move forward, leveraging these tools, we have to think about buying and selling, at their most fundamental.
They are creative endeavors impacted by a specific context-unique to each buying situations and which changes over time. They require deep emotional intelligence and self awareness, and the ability to learn and integrate these experiences in making a decision and moving forward.
And, as a final observation, it’s fascinating, through it’s responses, that ChatGPT is telling us how important sellers are in helping our customers innovate, learn, change, and move forward.
While many human being seem intent on declaring selling as dead (or dying), ChatGPT has a deeper insight. We would do well to take her advice.