Conversations on Applied AI

Tim Bornholdt - How to Explore and Use Artificial Intelligence Products

May 07, 2024 Justin Grammens Season 4 Episode 9
Tim Bornholdt - How to Explore and Use Artificial Intelligence Products
Conversations on Applied AI
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Conversations on Applied AI
Tim Bornholdt - How to Explore and Use Artificial Intelligence Products
May 07, 2024 Season 4 Episode 9
Justin Grammens

The conversation this week is with Tim Bornholdt. Tim is an AI strategist where he looks to help organizations figure out how to deploy AI solutions that actually provide value, especially in the climate or healthcare space. Tim is an experienced podcast host himself, and public speaker. He gave a TEDx talk in 2023 where he encouraged people to not be intimidated by artificial intelligence. He's hosted 120 episodes of a podcast called Constant Variables and has spoken at places like the Applied AI Conference. Open Source North and Twin Cities Startup Week.

If you are interested in learning about how AI is being applied across multiple industries, be sure to join us at a future AppliedAI Monthly meetup and help support us so we can make future Emerging Technologies North non-profit events!

Resources and Topics Mentioned in this Episode


Your host,
Justin Grammens

Show Notes Transcript

The conversation this week is with Tim Bornholdt. Tim is an AI strategist where he looks to help organizations figure out how to deploy AI solutions that actually provide value, especially in the climate or healthcare space. Tim is an experienced podcast host himself, and public speaker. He gave a TEDx talk in 2023 where he encouraged people to not be intimidated by artificial intelligence. He's hosted 120 episodes of a podcast called Constant Variables and has spoken at places like the Applied AI Conference. Open Source North and Twin Cities Startup Week.

If you are interested in learning about how AI is being applied across multiple industries, be sure to join us at a future AppliedAI Monthly meetup and help support us so we can make future Emerging Technologies North non-profit events!

Resources and Topics Mentioned in this Episode


Your host,
Justin Grammens

[00:00:00] Tim Bornholdt: I get drawn to this novelty of like, what is this new thing and what can it do? And how can you, how can you explore it and use it to build interesting products? That's the spirit I get today with AI. I remember back in, around the same time, TensorFlow was becoming a really big product. And I remember downloading it.

And staring at it and being like, what is this? And I like all of the math involved with actually rolling out your own models. And back at the time, you really did need a degree in advanced degree in statistics and mathematics to be able to do this stuff, to, to be able to apply all of these, uh, these models to real world things.

And now a days where we've got chat GPT and we've got all of these. We've got all these tools available to us that now we don't necessarily need to be, like, down in the ones and zeros trying to figure this stuff out. It's like, now the, the levels of abstraction are high enough that we're able to take this really, really cool tech and apply it to so many problems, and that's That's the area that I really love playing in.

[00:01:01] AI Voice: Welcome to the Conversations on Applied AI podcast where Justin Grammens and the team at Emerging Technologies North talk with experts in the fields of artificial intelligence and deep learning. In each episode, we cut through the hype and dive into how these technologies are being applied to real world problems today.

We hope that you find this episode educational and applicable to your industry and connect with us to learn more about our organization at AppliedAI. mn. Enjoy!

[00:01:32] Justin Grammens: Welcome everyone to the Conversations on Applied AI Podcast. Today we're joined by Tim Bornholt. Tim has got quite an impressive story of accomplishments and background, and I'll try to do him justice in my introduction today.

So first, Tim says that, quote, his whole thing is helping others figure out how to use software to make the world a better place. I love that quote. Tim is an AI strategist where he looks to help organizations figure out how to deploy AI solutions that actually provide value, especially in the climate or healthcare space.

Thanks. Most of his career has been focused in software engineering and entrepreneurship and loves partnering with others to get new businesses started and on the path towards sustainability. And just a few companies that he's worked with. Is, uh, the Jed Mahonis Group, they're a mobile app development company.

TurnSignal, an app which provides tele legal services right when you're pulled over. Quickly, an on demand dental staffing platform. And VSI Labs, an advanced automotive technology research and insight firm. So as a software architect, he specializes in delivering custom software that solves complex problems.

As he says, he's been building websites since he was in the third grade, which means, uh, he's been a big nerd his whole life. And he's learned a few, uh, things about using tech to solve business problems. And I will say that Tim is an experienced podcast host himself, public speaker. He gave a TEDx talk in 2023 where he encouraged people to not be intimidated by artificial intelligence.

So I'm, I'm super excited for us to sort of talk about that. He's hosted 120 episodes of a podcast called Constant Variables and has spoken at places like the Applied AI Conference. Open Source North and Twin Cities Startup Week. And in his free time, he enjoys going on walks. In fact, I've gone on a couple walks with Tim over the years.

So just reach out. We'll have his contact information, but it's a great time. And he also enjoys hanging out with his wife and kids, listening to new music. And I do want to plug his personal website as well. Really share some interesting thoughts and articles. And that's at timbornholt. com. So I'm sure I missed some other interesting facts about you, Tim.

But at least I hope I hit the highlights. Thank you for being on the program today.

[00:03:20] Tim Bornholdt: Thank you for having me, Justin. There's, there's nothing quite like an ego boost that comes with someone reading the biography that you prepared yourself beforehand, but it still feels good to hear it coming from someone else's mouth.

[00:03:30] Justin Grammens: Yeah, no, no, no, it's all good. It's all good. And it's all true. It's all true. I've had biographies that were not true. So this is all 100 percent true. Talked a little bit about, you know, your experience working in sort of kind of getting into this artificial intelligence. You've done, you know, a TEDx talk and background in, in software, but maybe you could sort of walk us through maybe, you know, post college, I guess.

How did you get to where you are today?

[00:03:51] Tim Bornholdt: Yeah, I feel like I've just kind of stumbled into the life that I've got at the moment. I've, I've done a lot of self reflecting over the last couple of months, especially as I'll probably get to. After college, I graduated with a degree in journalism because I failed so spectacularly out of engineering school that I figured the one class I wanted to take at the U was, was in journalism.

It required you to be a journalism major. So I had a job opportunity up in, in Duluth and figured it just really wasn't worth, you know, 22 grand a year to be famous. Freezing in Duluth and not actually doing what I was all that interested in, in doing professionally anyway. What about a great job? I just, just didn't really feel right.

So I turned down that offer and around the same time, my best friend from high school approached me and asked if I wanted to start a company with him. And that was the Jed Mahonis group. And you know, we were both fresh out of college, didn't even know really what we were getting ourselves into. You know, how hard can it be to run a business, right?

We didn't even know what kind of model we were going after. This was 2011 was when we were first starting this, which was the app store had been around for a couple of years. Clearly it wasn't going anywhere. And we decided people are going to want apps. So why don't we just say we build apps and see what happens.

And it turns out. That's called an agency. So we, we jumped right into agency life and I did that for about 10 years. And as you know, it's, it's kind of, you get a combination of all kinds of clients, startups, enterprise, really, it went back to our central thesis of whoever needed an app. That's, that's what we built.

[00:05:19] Justin Grammens: For sure. And you guys must've been doing something special though, because there are a lot of companies who were agencies at that time that kind of came out of the woodwork. So, you know, congrats to you. You guys must've had some sort of unique sauce, I guess, that you were able to bring to the table.

[00:05:32] Tim Bornholdt: I think it was really the, the combination of me and Rob was really fun.

You know, Rob really brought to the table, this, this super strong work ethic, which is one of my, I can admit one of my faults, sometimes it's hard to buckle down and really focus where Rob will just grind and grind. And in he's also whip smart. So the combination of me having the tenacity to figure out how to build these apps and him to help me follow through and get them done, I think that was really the, the secret sauce.

[00:05:58] Justin Grammens: Gotcha. Well, so I remember 2011 and I remember actually even before that, when the app store sort of came out, it was just like revolutionary, right? It was, you know, Apple had kind of created this entire ecosystem. They have the hardware, anybody in a garage could basically, for 99 bucks, could start company and start basically writing software and getting it into the hands of potentially millions of people.

How do you think, you know, AI is, do you think this whole revolution around artificial intelligence, do you think that's sort of following that same sort of trajectory today? Are there similarities that you possibly see?

[00:06:29] Tim Bornholdt: I think it feels the same to me in that it has a hundred percent captivated my attention.

I mean, when the iPhone was announced, I remember just being absolutely stunned by the keynote. If you weren't there at that time to see what cell phones were, where the Razr was the hotness, and then all of a sudden it's the iPhone, and it was just, Such a massive leap forward that you really don't see it very often.

And then I waited in line day one, got the iPhone. And as soon as there were jailbreaks for it, I was jailbreaking it and trying to figure out how to, you know, what is this objective C? What are these square brackets? What is memory management? All that fun stuff. Fun stuff that you have to learn, oh man, to do this.

Oh, and you're flying blind, right? Because there wasn't an official SDK or anything from Apple, so it was really just borrowing other people's source code, and it was just this community of hacking that. I think it was a, a spirit that you hear, you know, the hackers of your, from the, the sixties, seventies, eighties, talking about what it felt like to really just have these raw tools at your hands and, Hey, I figured out this little trick.

Hey, I figured out this little patch. And that was the, the spirit where I came into building. IOS apps and, you know, after a while for me, it was like, I think I get drawn to this novelty of like, what is this new thing and what can it do and how can you explore it and use it to build interesting products?

That's the spirit I get today with AI. I remember back around the same time, TensorFlow was becoming a really big product and I remember downloading it. And staring at it and being like, what is this all of the math involved with actually rolling out your own models. And back at the time, you really did need a degree in advanced degree in statistics and mathematics to be able to do this stuff, to be able to apply all of these models to real world things.

And now a days where we've got chat GPT, and we've got all of these tools available to us that now we don't necessarily need to be, you know, Like down in the ones and zeros trying to figure this stuff out. It's like now the, the levels of abstraction are high enough that we're able to take this really, really cool tech and apply it to so many problems.

And that's the area that I really love playing in.

[00:08:39] Justin Grammens: Yeah. Well said, well said. No, that's awesome. I mean, you know, what I'm thinking of right now is, is you're right. When the app store. Sort of came out, there still was a barrier to entry, right? Somebody needed to figure out how to write Objective C, right?

And that, frankly, isolates or, you know, it makes a small segment of the population the only people that are actually going to pick that up and do that work, right? And what's really fascinating about, you know, AI and Yes, now we're standing on the shoulders of giants in a lot of ways is that people can start using these tools without actually having even a computer science degree, or even just really any degree, frankly, you know, my 10 year old and 12 year old can start playing around with this stuff and that's, that's super powerful.

[00:09:18] Tim Bornholdt: It's powerful and terrifying. Like, that's really where I've been thinking a lot lately is just that intersection of how do we square what this tool actually will mean to us as a society where, yeah. Yeah. Like that's been kind of our, our secret strength as engineers. And as programmers is people don't like to do the actual work of programming.

I don't like to do the actual work of programming, like bashing my head against a keyboard, working through debuggers, like all of the nonsense that goes into getting an app up is only like reserved for people that have that special sadistic quality about themselves, where they just love punishment, but now with GPTs.

It's like, you just need to be able to know how to speak to people, which still is admittedly not exactly a skill that everybody has, but it's way larger section of the population can walk to a GPT and say, I want a piece of software that does X, Y, and Z. And It gets you most of the way there, at least convincingly enough that it will help people solve problems.

And you know that these tools are only going to get better as they get further down the road. So that's the inspiring part is that the accessibility is there, but the terrifying part is all the value of the work that I've been doing for the last 12 years professionally is going to plummet real fast in my eyes.

[00:10:35] Justin Grammens: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I was looking at your website. I remember following you last fall where you were basically using chat GPT to, to write an app, right? Wasn't it?

[00:10:43] Tim Bornholdt: Yeah. Yeah. I've, I've had a couple of fits and starts with doing that and to varying degrees of success.

[00:10:49] Justin Grammens: Sure. Sure. Well, the thing that kind of caught my mind was literally today, there was a quote from the guy who's the CEO of NVIDIA.

Who, you know, people always come up with these things, but you know, he's like, oh yeah, and then in the next year, no one's going to need to know Java or C program, right? It's just going to be completely, you know, obsolete in some ways. Now, I don't believe that it's going to be completely obsolete. People are still going to need to be able to sort of make the plumbing connect to each other in some shape or form.

But I will tell you, I, you know, I'm going to be posting this as a blog post. I did create my own GPT, and the GPT part really wasn't too hard to do, but what was super interesting to me was, I actually, you know, used GitHub's Copilot to write all the code to find all the data that I wanted to bring into my GPT.

And I was able to do that. Very, very quickly, probably saved at least a couple hours worth of work going through that. So, what's your thought as you're, you know, looking at software, you're looking at large language models and code generation and stuff. Do you have a feel for where you think this is going to affect our industry as software engineers?

[00:11:47] Tim Bornholdt: It's really hard to say because I think every generation and every major leap in technology has people that make this argument, right? Where, okay, well, the Model T was released and so horses are now completely irrelevant and nobody's ever going to need to ride a horse anymore. And that's the reality.

Largely true, right? Like, that's borne out over time, but we've been able to create new jobs that are all centered around cars, and now there's entire economies built around vehicle transportation, so it's hard to imagine exactly where this is going to go, but what's scary to me is how many of these changes and evolutions have been happening In like just 100 years and those generation, like when I started college, there wasn't even a thing as a mobile iOS developer.

The iPhone didn't even get announced until the middle of my freshman year. So these jobs can just continue to appear and surface. So I, it's hard to say like how things are going to go That's something around like a talk that I wanna try to put together is how we're going to cope with like all of these changes with AI and how we're going to, you know, harness it.

I really think that the weirdest problem to look at is there was a, an op-ed in the, I think it was the New York Times that was on Valentine's Day, where they were talking about how the AI and everything around AI is going to be really more focused on what it means for us as humans and how it impacts our humanity.

And there was a quote that I keep. Just going over again and again in my head by the president of Columbia University said jobs of the past value strength, jobs of the present value brains, and jobs of the future will value our heart. So, breaking that quote down a little bit, jobs of the past value strength.

Valuing strength would be your farmers, your builders, your masons, that sort of physical labor was where the big bucks were. Then in the, you know, 20th century, in the 19th century, it was really the jobs of, that valued our brains, you know, bankers, engineers, doctors, lawyers, those types of roles were the ones that were the highest paid, currently are the highest paid in society, but.

It's interesting with watching, like, what you can do with a GPT, what I was able to do building some software by myself. It's able, like, the parts now of our brain that we really need to focus on harnessing are those creative parts, the empathetic parts, the soft skills, so to speak, that we always talk about.

And I think, like, being able to leverage those and understand how to take the analytical parts of our brain and shove them into a GPT or into an AI and let it do that work. Part of it will free us up to do so much more. And that's the part that I just wonder where that is going to look as we start moving forward here.

[00:14:27] Justin Grammens: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I had a guy named David Espindola on, on the podcast here a couple episodes ago, and he actually wrote a book called Soulful and it's you in the future of artificial intelligence. And so any of our listeners, you should probably go back and take a listen to that because he hit on a number of these topics around.

You know, arguably the internet has sort of commoditized, you know, information. Anybody can get information at the touch of a finger. And then AI now has actually brought, you know, some might say intelligence or conversational experiences, I guess, to people through an agent. So the question then becomes is, is what are humans good at, right?

And. Sounds like when you start talking about heart, that's, that's basically what he talks a lot about is it's like, and the soul, I guess, right? The soul of humans is going to be something that I think artificial intelligence won't be able to tap.

[00:15:13] Tim Bornholdt: I would agree with that. And that, that's kind of the fun part, right?

Is learning like it makes us reflect on, I feel like I've been valued so much through my career for being able to. Keep these large systems in my brain and be able to understand how to piece, you know, this database component with this third party AI with all these different things and figure out how to glue them together.

Like I was the piece that did that, but these large language models and other forms of AI are so much better at it because they're able to not only synthesize my system, but they've synthesized thousands of similar systems and seeing what works and what doesn't and be able to draw different conclusions than I ever could as a human.

You know, It's just like those AI tools for doctors where a doctor can only read, you know, how many x rays in their life compared to how many can an AI read in a minute? It's, it's insane. Uh, and so of course, AI is going to be better at being able to diagnose certain aspects of x rays, but it's really like the combination of the two is the, is the powerful thing.

And it's like, how can we lean into. What we're really, really good at and be able to outsource the stuff that, you know, some people are really, really good at, but, but me myself, I'm not necessarily that great at, and it's nice to be able to have this tool now that I can lean on to do those unsavory parts of the job.

[00:16:30] Justin Grammens: Yeah. Yeah. I'll definitely have a link to your TEDx talk because it seems like as I watched it and as you're talking here, it seems like it sort of touches on some of those main themes. Maybe you want to lighten our audience, I guess, a little bit around. What was the focus of your talk?

[00:16:43] Tim Bornholdt: Yeah, I was really honored to be asked to give a TED talk.

And I, and I think that it's one of those things where it feels like a, an evergreen statement piece, right? Like if I'm going to, give a TED talk, it needs to be something that's going to stand and maybe not the test of time, but at least into the foreseeable future. And so I was trying to think of like, the task was something to do with AI and where I eventually landed on was how can we get As many people as possible to start embracing these tools and leverage them in their own lives.

And the way that I wrapped up the talk is basically anytime I ever hear anyone from now on say I'm not a tech person, they're going to get the five to the eyes because it's not true. Technology is inherent, like it's just a tool, right? And humans are really, really good at using tools. That's what we've evolved to do for generations.

And so to say that you're not a tech person really means to say you're not a human. And I just, I don't think that's true. I think really it just comes down to how do you use these tools? Just like any other tool, you do need some practice and maybe you need to see, you know, how these tools can be applied to be useful for you.

It doesn't mean you're not a tech person. So that's kind of the goal of the talk is to spur people into saying, all right, I'll go to chat GPT or Gemini or wherever, and start playing with these things and see what they're good for. Or, you know, maybe even watch a YouTube video, take a course, whatever, just start playing with it.

Cause I think for me, that's been the highlight of the last year has been going to different people and different groups and showing them what they can do and walking through people with their own individual problems and say, okay. Let's take it to chat GPT, and then you can just see that light bulb go off.

It's like, Oh, if you can bottle that energy, that feeling where people realize how they can use this tool, it's like, Oh yes. All right. We got one of the good ones on our side. Let's do it.

[00:18:35] Justin Grammens: Yeah. And I'm thinking back to when you presented at Applied AI last year and you had a really awesome example, and I'm sure you can cite a couple more here as we sort of like talk through it.

Cause I'd love to hear more about ways that you're using chat GPT, but. You had an interesting example where I think you loaded in your health care benefits, right? And kind of, then you were able to ask it, which would be the best benefits that I should use. Saved you a lot of time and a lot of clarity, if I'm, if I'm recalling correctly, Tim, where, with regards to, you know, which plan should I use?

Did I have that right?

[00:19:02] Tim Bornholdt: A hundred percent. And this was, you know, this was 3. 5. So it couldn't even read the PDFs. I had to find a way to like kind of engineer my way into putting those plans into something that it could read. But yeah, the, the gist of it now, and you could do this today, you know, you, you set up a prompt that puts the chat GPT into a mode where it's a plan benefits administrator and you have it ask you questions about your family situation and any medical issues.

Scenarios you need to account for, and then you provide it with the plans. And then it asks you a series of questions to see which one you would like. And then sure enough, it picked the plan that I, this was still before I was really like, you can't just trust what it's going to say, right. But it did come to the same conclusions and it helped me understand my plan in a more holistic way than I ever could have.

If I, Was it like co insurance? Like, what is that? Yeah, I, it's like all these complicated medical terms when you're staring at them. You're like, I don't get what this is. I just need to be able to take my six year old to the doctor. Is that something that this plan will allow me to do?

[00:20:03] Justin Grammens: Yeah, I thought that was really, really awesome.

And you know, I think the crux of your thing was prompt engineering, right? Sort of how you should prompt these things. And you kind of flipped it around, right, instead of you telling it what you wanted it to do, you said, ask me some questions so I can give you the information that you need to solve the problem that Matt, I think that is a very unique way to take a look at these systems because I still find people that think it's a Google search, right?

They think that, you know, I need to interface with this thing and ask it questions. And certainly that is. to do it, it's going to give you an answer. But these are, these are different experience and you should be using it a slightly different way than a Google search. Would you agree?

[00:20:40] Tim Bornholdt: A hundred percent.

It feels like us nerds. I take on that as a badge of honor, right? I know that it wasn't really cool to be a nerd, you know, back in the nineties, the eighties, the seventies. But like, I think there's this kind of legacy that we've inherited where Like us nerds like to tinker and play around and hack with these things and you see value in them and it's like the best part of my day is being able to share what I've learned and see that spark go off in people and those big paradigm shifts they haven't been common traditionally but over the last 50 years it's like every year there's a huge new colossal thing that you need to learn as a technology and I think the biggest ones being just Transcribed Like, I think you remember like when the internet first came out, like the worldwide web, where, I mean, I can see the Firefox 1.

0 in your background. So it's like, you know what I'm talking about? It's just people getting to understand what is a web browser in general. And then it's like, okay, well now here's Google and here's how you use that. And there was a whole thing of like teaching people the little tricks with like site colon, whatever.

And then you can just look within a site or like negative operands and things like that. All those little tricks that make people realize the power of the tool and then mobile phones come out and it's like, no, no, I know you've been trying to use the internet on your Razer phone, but this is like the internet on your phone.

Like it's mind blowing. So now we're at with chat GPT. It's like, you can't just jump in and use it with any other paradigm you've used before. Cause this is unlike anything we've ever had before. And it's finding those ways to interact with it where it's really. Treating it like it's another human sitting next to you.

And, but it's this human that just happens to have the entire compendium of human knowledge in its brain somewhere, somehow, and you just need to know how to tease out the right thing to get it to, to bring it out. And when you can build those mental models and other people's minds, then that's how they really start to see the benefit of this powerful thing we've got at our hands right now.

[00:22:32] Justin Grammens: Yeah, for sure. I mean, the possibilities are endless. You have other examples of ways that you've utilized it. I mean, some of it is with words. I'm super fascinated by like Dolly and, and, you know, like mid journey and some of the, some of the images and video now that can be generated. What are some cool things that you're seeing?

[00:22:49] Tim Bornholdt: Yeah. With Dolly, the thing, honestly, I've been using it for, and I feel like this is not revolutionary, but I have a seven year old and a four year old and they both love coloring. And they both love coloring things that don't exist. So it's super easy to take an idea that the kid has and go to Dolly and say, make line art of whatever.

And so I asked my kids like, what do you guys want to color a picture of? And my son said he wanted a picture of a mermaid doing the dishes, which I don't understand. But I said, okay. So sure enough, it came up with a picture of a mermaid loading a dishwasher. And in what world would that exist without Dolly, but it works perfect.

And so now my kids are, are constantly printing off pictures. I used one the other day, my daughter's second grade teacher was home sick and she wanted to make a, a get well card or a hope you're feeling better card. And so I took a picture of my daughter and then I found a picture of my daughter's teacher on the school website.

I fed them into the, to Dolly and said, make a picture of these two in the style of Pixar inside a class. Cause that's what my daughter wanted to have as the cover for it. And it looked great and it spit out and teacher loved it. And that's kind of the thing where I have never had that design finger, like drawing artistry bone.

I've never been able to cultivate that skill, but now with Dolly and those tools, it's like, I don't, I don't really even need to do that. I can just summon these images just kind of on demand. Yeah.

[00:24:19] Justin Grammens: Yeah, it's amazing. And, you know, I wonder then what does that mean to the future of the artist, right? I guess, you know, if you were to go back even, you know, not too long ago, maybe even a year, two years ago, you might actually have had to hire a graphic designer to do this type stuff, right?

So now you can crank it out. What do you think that means to the graphic designers of the future?

[00:24:37] Tim Bornholdt: I think it's, again, like art. is so subjective and art is one of those things where I don't think a computer is ever gonna obviate artists out of existence. Like, art is, is just one of those things that, like, yeah, it might destroy, like, a commercial application for artists.

Like, maybe, maybe it will. But I do feel like true creativity and, and true Artistry is, first of all, probably shouldn't be commoditized if we're, if we go down that path, but if you are trying to commoditize it, I think it will probably eliminate a lot of jobs in the short term of like stock photography as an example, but there's still going to be organizations that want that bespoke creative touch to art that you can only actually capture when you take a camera out into the field and, and capture it.

So I don't know. I it's, it's really hard to say, but that's kind of where I'm at at least kind of seeing this leaning.

[00:25:29] Justin Grammens: Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. I see like Adobe has this thing called Firefly, right, where it can basically, hey, add this to the image or take out the stuff from the image, right? And you can do some really, really crazy stuff, right?

And, you know, if you end up taking a picture and someone's around in the background, you can literally just erase them with a couple. A couple words, and I think back to like, sure, somebody would have to sit there and Photoshop and spend a lot of mundane time getting paid to do that, which is likely not what they want to do.

Right? Right. So touching up photos, if you can have an AI do that, I would think, yes, so that's sort of like mundane work that maybe somebody would get paid for. But I think as an artist and a photographer, that's just the grunt work that you probably don't want to do going forward. That's just my thinking about that is that how can we use this AI to basically take away the grunt work regardless of what your job is.

[00:26:14] Tim Bornholdt: Yeah, because that's the part that we're taking away from our jobs is like the coding, at least to me, is the grunt work, maybe, I mean, there are lots of developers out there that really enjoy, you know, how do we optimize these algorithms and how do we structure our code in such a way, but for me, I couldn't care less, I just want the code to be like maintainable in the future and applicable right now, those are my two overarching goals and so, If an AI can write code that looks good, passes the sniff test, passes our actual unit tests, and can get out there in the world, then great.

I didn't have to spend, you know, three hours writing a method to do something that doesn't need me to be doing it. You know, I can be freed up to go solve other business problems or do other higher level tasks that the AI, at least at this point, can't do.

[00:27:00] Justin Grammens: Yeah. As you were talking here, I just was remembering.

So I like to have. Photographs done with our family, you know, every year, pictures of my kids and my wife and myself. And we always go out and do them in some setting somewhere. And so what I'm thinking about is, is like, yeah, we could probably have an AI just take my face and her face and my two boys faces and build something, but it's the experience.

So we went out to Mall of America this past weekend, right? And we got there early before even the stores opened and we were able to take some really cool photos inside of Nickelodeon Universe. I always want to call it Camp Snoopy because that's what it was when it opened. And so we were able to take some pictures there, but you know, this is a woman who runs her own photography studio.

This is what she does for her living is basically take pictures of, you know, weddings and, you know, families and, you know, whatnot. Extremely skilled, very, very good, you know, gets the lighting right all the time, but I'm sure she's using AI, I'm sure she's using tools and stuff like that for her, but for me, as I think back, I'm like, yeah, we're still going to pay her to do this because it was the experience and just, it was actually a really enjoyable time.

So there's that whole side to it that I just don't think is going to be replaced.

[00:28:02] Tim Bornholdt: I do the exact same thing with my family every year and looking, I can, I'm in my bedroom right now and I can see the pictures from previous years past. And it's like, I remember the way that. Park smelled like I remember the way that my kid barely sat still for this photo and it's like those are the memories that those photos evoke are a lot different than a hero image on a product page for some blog article announcing a new widget you know like that kind of work probably it might spark joy for some artists but for most artists it's like I for sure I'm going to continue to go to ARF.

Photographer friend that does our photos every year. And maybe that they'll absolutely use AI to do their side to remove red eye or to make little slight adjustments here and there. But what I don't want to have is a future where I just take four headshots of, you know, me and my two kids and my wife, and then feed them into an AI and have it generate that photo for me.

Like that would just completely destroy the whole purpose of that.

[00:28:58] Justin Grammens: Agreed, agreed. But that's the fear with some people, right? Is that's the, you know, everything continues to move in that direction. And that. It's just going to be all about efficiency, and I don't have time to do this, so I'm just going to have the computers do everything for us.

Sounds like you and I maybe are still, you know, feeling like there's still, there's still going to be things that, and I guess experience is going back to this emotions that you're talking about. Those are the things that just can't be replaced, and And I think we're a long way off from that.

[00:29:24] Tim Bornholdt: I agree. And it's just like with, we're still not solved on all of the problems that the old technologies have unleashed on our society.

Like, not even just mobile phones. Like, the advent of radio had caused, like, widespread communication to go across to the masses. Like, that still is having ringing effects in our modern day society. And same with television. And clearly mobile phones, whether they're, you know, addictive or whether they're causing misinformation to spread the same with AI.

Like all of this stuff is there are continual problems that will need to be solved. But I, for one, am super grateful that we have all of these technologies and it's just incumbent on us to figure out how we can fit them into our lives the best.

[00:30:04] Justin Grammens: Well, one of the things I do like to ask people is, you know, as you've been on this journey, you know, what's, what's some advice you have for, for people?

I mean, number one, it sounds like just getting in and just starting to sort of play with it. Are there any, I mean, have you seen any online classes? Obviously, you know, we're talking about the Applied AI group, so we can definitely promote that. But I don't know if there is other things that you might say, I might say, I am Tim Bornholz and I'm just graduating from college, right?

And I think it's interesting that you mentioned that you failed out of engineering school, I guess. I think in the future, you won't even need the engineering. At least you'll need a different type of engineering, right? But I'm coming out of school with a journalism degree. Like, where are some places that I should be exploring or things that I should be trying?

Or what's some advice you might have for those people?

[00:30:41] Tim Bornholdt: I think if you haven't. yet developed your curiosity instincts like that's really the biggest piece of advice I'd give to anyone leaving college or at any walk in life at this point like you have to continually be curious you have to continually be learning and I learn new stuff every day because I follow all kinds of different people that and it's not even necessarily like of course you're going to find the people online that are the wannabe influencers that are doing all of the The whizbang things and it's not even that it's really just being plugged into other people that are using it in your space.

Like if you just graduated from journalism school, find other journalists that are using this stuff. Like they're not hard to find. And it's like when you find those little niches that help you explain how to fit these tools into whatever profession or hobby you're trying to improve on. That's really where I would.

Focus my efforts is just continually finding new people, getting curious, doing it, getting your hands dirty and playing with these things. Cause at least for me, that's where I get most of my joy these days is playing with new tools and finding new ways to make people's lives better with them.

[00:31:48] Justin Grammens: For sure, for sure.

What are some ways that people can reach you? Tim, where's the best place to connect with you?

[00:31:55] Tim Bornholdt: I'd say the best place is my website. Like you mentioned, it's timbornholt. com. The only social network I go on these days is LinkedIn, and I'm pretty active on there as well. So give me a follow or a reach out if you would.

And those are probably the two best places. There's also this really cool group called Recursive Awesome you might know about. I'm part of that as well. So if, if you're looking into some AI strategy consulting, that's the best place to find me professionally right now.

[00:32:20] Justin Grammens: Yeah, for sure. For sure. I was just always curious to see if there were any other things that you wanted to share about yourself or that I might've, you know, missed in my questions.

[00:32:28] Tim Bornholdt: No, I think, I think you nailed it. If anybody is also interested in that intersection of kind of where AI is going to, you know, impact our humanity, those are conversations that I absolutely love having. So if you have any books, authors, websites, resources to explore those concepts, get in touch with me because that's what I'm really into right now.

[00:32:50] Justin Grammens: Yeah, good. Is there anything you're reading in particular that you find interesting, either newsletters or books or anything like that? And even, even non AI is fine too. I don't know. If you're into a lot of reading.

[00:33:01] Tim Bornholdt: Yeah, the, I actually post a lot of the things that I'm into on my website. So looking through my, my blog or thoughts section there is, is a really good source.

I think it's, it's a really good source for myself at least, but there's one person I've been really interested in reading who is Dr. Gina Gorley. And she is a psychologist that is, it's mostly talking about this other aspect of my life where I'm Trying to figure out my values and everything. But she posts as part of this group called Every, and it's a newsletter that I think it's every.

to is the URL. And they have like a paid version of it. They have a free version of it, but they're some of the most brilliant pieces I've read about AI over the course of the last couple of years. So that's a resource that I'd really recommend if you're looking for some good thought leadership around kind of psychology and AI and all of those kinds of pieces,

[00:33:51] Justin Grammens: Nice.

Perfect. That's great. That's great. Yeah, I'll for sure put a link to that. You said it's a website?

[00:33:56] Tim Bornholdt: Yeah, it's kind of like a sub stacky medium sort of a thing.

[00:34:00] Justin Grammens: Gotcha. Yeah No, I'll put that in the liner notes here for this for this episode and as people come across it They can check it out and I'm always looking for other people to be on the podcast So, you know, you never know it's been so fun about this podcast is I talk to people And then it seems to just like, Hey, who do you know?

So the fact that you've mentioned that I, I might just shoot just a random LinkedIn request and say, Hey, would you like to be on the podcast? So it's always, I always meet new people through other interesting people like yourself. So I appreciate you bringing that up Tim. That's awesome.

[00:34:29] Tim Bornholdt: Well, that's how I got to 120 episodes of my podcast was just the flywheel effect.

And once you start putting this content out there, you start attracting all kinds of the, the right kinds of people that want to share messages and keep this conversation going. So I'm honored to be part of the legacy that you've had here on this podcast so far, and appreciate you having me on today, Justin.

[00:34:48] Justin Grammens: Sure. No problem, Tim. All right, well, I guess we'll wrap it up. Thank you so much again. I appreciate the time and yeah, we'll definitely keep in touch and happy back on in the future.

[00:34:58] AI Voice: You've listened to another episode of the Conversations on Applied AI podcast. We hope you are eager to learn more about applying artificial intelligence and deep learning within your organization.

You can visit us at AppliedAI. mn to keep up to date on our events and connect with our amazing community. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Justin at AppliedAI. mn if you are interested in participating in a future episode. Thank you for listening.