Evolving Beyond Our DNA: Preparing for a Future Shaped by Technology with J.J. Jerome

“Now with all of our technology, we’re no longer slaves of our DNA. We can be whatever we want to be. We’re only limited not by our DNA, but by our imaginations, our ability to work hard, how clever we are, and how well we interact with other things, including AI. Our inherent imaginations and our dreams are now our limits.” —J.J. Jerome

AI is rapidly transforming our society and fundamentally altering what it means to be human. With AI assistants that augment our productivity, advanced prosthetics that restore mobility, and personalized education systems that tailor learning to each individual, technology is liberating us from the limitations of our biology. As a result, imagination and ambition may become our strongest attributes in a world where universal wealth is attainable. However, ensuring its safe and ethical development will require addressing complex issues around rights, control, and our relationship with increasingly capable machine intelligence. 

J.J. Jerome is a pioneer in the fields of neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and artificial intelligence, with a unique background that has made him a central figure in advancing our understanding of human and machine intelligence. Through his research developing brain implants and contributions to early AI projects, J.J. has gained invaluable insights into how technology can not only enhance human abilities, but also transform society for the better.

Listen in as JP and J.J. discuss the potential of AI to massively increase human productivity. address societal issues, and create a future with universal wealth. They also talk about ensuring AI’s safety, maximizing the benefits of AI, the importance of considering different perspectives, how AI can augment human capabilities, and more. 

Episode Highlights:

  • 01:28 Enabling People with Disabilities with Neural Link Tech 
  • 05:47 The Potential for Neural Implants
  • 10:36 How Tech Evolution Impacts Fitness
  • 16:04 AI and Ethical Considerations
  • 26:05 AI’s Role in Society and Productivity
  • 31:41 Creating a Utopian Society with AI 
  • 40:19 The Importance of Facts in a Post-Truth World



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Email: jpmcavoy@conductlaw.com
Phone: 1-833-890-8878

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07:17 “People’s bandwidth today is limited to what they can see what they can hear what they can touch.” —J.J. Jerome 

10:24 “Scientists will tell you that evolution is an ongoing process that our genes are always mutating that we’re always changing as a species. But what has changed is our pressure to evolve…  So while the mechanism of evolution is there, the pressures are not there to move us forward as a species.” —J.J. Jerome

15:57 “Robots are simply AI with arms and legs that can move around and do things. But it’s all powered by AI, and that’s where the fear was.” —J.J. Jerome

26:08 “We’re not just going to get smarter because evolution is going to make us smarter. We’re going to do what we need to do to adapt to the environment.” —J.J. Jerome 

26:38 “People who are going to be most adept are the ones that know how to use the technologies.” —JP McAvoy 

30:03 “AI needs to know that it’s there to serve us, not for its own purposes. We need to know it’s there to serve us.” —J.J. Jerome

34:35 “Now with all of our technology, we’re no longer slaves of our DNA. We can be whatever we want to be. We’re only limited not by our DNA, but by our imaginations, our ability to work hard, how clever we are, and how well we interact with other things, including AI. Our inherent imaginations and our dreams are now our limits.” —J.J. Jerome

43:09 “When the legal system can’t tell the difference between a human and a machine, it’s going to open up a Pandora’s box.” —J.J. Jerome

45:11 “Facts are still the facts, but the way people interpreted them are so powerful. We live in a different world now where you just can’t come out with a fact and expect people to deal with it.” —J.J. Jerome


A Little Bit About J.J. :

J.J. Jerome is an award-winning engineer and futurist who used his unique background in brain science and electronics to become a seminal influence in numerous cutting-edge technologies. As the former Director of the Future Home Institute, he became an internationally acknowledged leader in the development of human interfaces and intelligent building technologies.  

He received CES Innovation awards for creating the first popular touchscreen-based home automation system and has been recognized for his pioneering work in developing technology for people with disabilities. He is currently one of the nation’s leading thinkers on using big data and AI to mitigate climate change.   

His book Evolution Ended combines his expertise in the human brain and technology into a new field called Cyber-Anthropology, which seeks to explain technology’s influence on mankind.


JP McAvoy: Hi, and welcome to the show today. We’ve got J. J. Jerome who has a unique background in brain science and digital engineering that made him a central influence in many areas, including AI. Here’s my conversation with JJ. JJ, thank you for joining us here today, I guess from the DC area? Where exactly in the DC area?

J.J. Jerome: Actually between DC and Baltimore. But we’d like to think of ourselves as DC residents. So right in between. Maryland.

JP McAvoy: Which is, I guess pretty common for people in those parts. Thanks for joining us here today. And obviously, I guess it’s AI that’s brought us together. And through the power of technology, we sit and chat today. How has your journey been? What has it taken to get you to this point with respect to AI? How has AI led you to this point now?

J.J. Jerome: Well, actually, my relationship started a very long time ago. When I was seven years old, I learned how to do neurosurgery. And it sounds really weird. But there was a public access TV station at 6:30 in the morning, and it was the only thing on my TV. And it was a series for doctors, and I just became fascinated with the brain. With the human brain. I didn’t understand all the words because I was seven, but I got the gist of it. And they showed the X rays, they showed the operations. And I was always fascinated with the brain. So when I went to college, my major was biomedical engineering. And my big project was an implantable brain sensor that measured the pressure within the brain. But because of that, I had a good feeling for how the brain worked. And so my other part of my degree was electrical engineering. And so when things came together for artificial intelligence, naturally, I was fascinated by it. And I felt like I could understand it in terms of how the human brain worked, which a lot of people didn’t have the way to relate themselves to. But that’s how I really got interested in it.

JP McAvoy: I think back seven years old as well, that’s such an important time as we develop, and the fact that it was grabbing back then has led you to the type of work you’re doing today. It’s fascinating. Just fascinating. As we watch the developments, how were you struck by some of the technologies emerging, as you’re just what you just described, maybe obviously think immediately of neuro link. And I know you’ve written on that as well. Where do you think we are suspecting that development? And where are we going?

J.J. Jerome: Well, let me talk about technology in general, because the field of AI has been around for quite some time. I’ve used, for example, machine learning for about 17 or 18 years for various projects. Now, the generative AI is different. But one of the things people don’t understand is that without the rapid hardware that we have the video chips, and these GPUs, we could still have AI. It would just take it a week to respond to our questions. Having this big compute power is a gigantic thing that makes it practical. Now the technique for AI is really more adaptable to these graphical processing units. Because it is, in a sense, an artificial neural network. It mimics what our brains do, but it does it mathematically and digitally. And these graphics chips, which have a whole bunch of bytes, or cells next to each other, they can influence each other in real time very quickly. Have really made all this possible. Without it, it would just be a lab curiosity that had very little capability. So that part, I don’t think people realize that it’s really the hardware that’s enabling us to do what we’re doing as far as neural link goes. That’s a very interesting technology. And part of the work I did was develop a home called Future Home. I was Director of the Future Home Institute, and this was about 25 or 30 years ago where we were trying to create an automated home for a person with disabilities. This person was a person with quadriplegia, and we were trying to design a voice controlled home that also had some of the first touch screens and displays on the television set. And it had automation on his wheelchair so that when he got close to the house, the doors would open for him only, the lights would go on for him only, the security system would switch off. So enabling people with disabilities with technology has always also been an interest. So this neural link thing is especially interesting. Although it’s had some recent issues, I think it’s a very promising technology and something that we should pursue. Now recently, I understand that some of the connecting wires have been rejected. But I’m sure that’s something that will be overcome pretty much in the near future.

JP McAvoy: As far as this starts and stops as we develop this technology, I have to think this is what we’re seeing at this point. What does the future hold you mentioned working for those who are less able, but what is it? What does the future hold for enabling humans in human form at this stage? And how wired are we going to be? And to what extent is it going to increase our capabilities?

J.J. Jerome: So a lot of the science fiction writers have always pictured us as cyborgs eventually. Probably the best example is the board from Star Trek. I don’t know if you remember that, but they’re pretty famous where everybody’s wired up. And we’re really not our own people. I feel personally, we’re not going to be that wire. And the reason is some history from way back when, if you remember 3D TVs. Do you remember those where people had to wear glasses? It was great. It looked fantastic. But in the end, people chose not to wear the glasses. Right now, they’ve watched DTV. And they don’t even talk about 3DTV. Now 3DTV could expand their experience. All they had to do was wear a simple pair of glasses. And yet 3DTV isn’t around anymore, because people didn’t want to do it. Similarly, VR, which is the virtual reality for your listeners, is the next stage.

And again, you have to wear something. And people, they’ll do it for an hour or two. But they don’t walk around today wearing VR headsets. And so my feeling is that people like to be unencumbered. And I also feel like their bandwidth is limited. So people’s bandwidth today is limited to what they can see, what they can hear, and how they can touch that particular set of senses. By putting implants into people, it’s not likely that their bandwidth is going to increase so they’ll probably be able to adjust information about as quickly as they do now. And in fact, you notice when people read, they slow down until they can understand it. It’s not a question of not being able to read quickly enough. A lot of people can. But when the material is difficult or substantial, they read much more slowly so their brain can process it. So it’s the fan with limits of the brain, not so much your eyes and ears.To me, that limits things. So my feeling is, with the exception of people with disabilities, people with medical conditions, there may be things that enhance our ability to connect to our spine, if we have a severed spine. Things like that. I don’t think the average person is going to be really wired up that much.

JP McAvoy: Interesting to hear you say that, again, we’re looking at what’s going for those with less ability. I have a friend that’s got a son that’s severely autistic and has been communicative. And she’s been using technology and ways to actually communicate with him for the first time in his 20’s. Are there going to be five other big further leaps and bounds in those areas that allow us to communicate in ways with each other that we haven’t seen before?

J.J. Jerome: I think so. I think this neural link is a great first step. There’s people with locked in syndrome people with ALS that unfortunately today, the technology only allows them in the later stages to communicate through eye blinks. Usually, they get shown a virtual keyboard, and there’s a cursor that goes from letter to letter. And when it gets to the right letter, well, this is excruciatingly slow. You remember Stephen Hawking, the great physicist. He had this brilliant mind locked up in a non communicating body. And so those things will be tremendous. The technology for people who have severed limbs to be able to control their limbs almost like a regular limb. Fantastic. It’ll be people with spinal cord injuries, they will find a way to bridge that gap either through regrowing the tissue or electronically. And that will be fantastic. So for people with real medical needs, the technology is going to be awesome even today. Look at mechanical prosthesis, look at mechanical legs, people can run just as well. They can dance, they can do everything. And so that technology is going to be amazing. I just personally feel like the average person isn’t going to want to implant very much in their head.

JP McAvoy: And as you say that, and you’ve written on this as well, we talked about evolution. I guess some of my questions are leading to the evolution of our species. You’ve written it, and you’ve got a book. Obviously, evolution ended. I put the questions, you have evolution as we know it.

J.J. Jerome: I believe so. And now, people will tell you, scientists will tell you that evolution is an ongoing process that our genes are always mutating and that we’re always changing as a species. And I will totally agree with that. But what has changed is our pressure to evolve. So in ancient times, the pressure to evolve has pressure because we needed to adapt to our environment to survive. And so the species that were in Central Africa that could survive heat would evolve, because those people would live longer, they would reproduce more. And so eventually, you would learn to do that. Similarly, they say that sickle cell anemia is a response to malaria that allows people to survive. So we had that pressure to survive. And that would allow evolution to take you in a direction. Just through statistics in a particular environment. If you were a tribe that lived in the cold climates, the ones that were most adapted to cold would survive more than the ones to heat, because their environment was different. What’s lacking today, especially in first world countries is the pressure. That environmental pressure that would differentiate between various mutations.Because in a first world country, it’s pretty easy to survive.

You don’t have to be a great hunter in order to get food. You can go to the food store. You don’t have to be really strong to work through your environment and chop wood, and do all the things you need to do. You don’t have to even be sexually attractive to have offspring. Because now, we have cosmetic surgery. So the pressure to reproduce is gone. And furthermore, it turns out that with technologies like birth control, many of the people who are the most highly adapted to the environment are choosing not to reproduce. So when you look at it, the most educated people, the people who are wanting to put immediate gains off for future gains, which is a big hallmark of success with any group of people, those people are choosing to have less children through birth control technologies or other choices. And so the typical mechanism of evolution where the most quote fits individual Darwinian evolution, those people are reproducing less than other people who may not have as high IQ, or the ability to use their frontal lobe to plan a great future for themselves. So while the mechanism of evolution is there, the pressures are not there to move us forward as a species.

JP McAvoy: Is the gene pool being diluted as a consequence? I hear what you’re saying. To take your point further, the people that are maybe procreating are the people that they ought not to be right here. And as a species, we’re becoming less fit.

J.J. Jerome: We are becoming less fit. Because if you look around, you don’t need to be fit. And you have all these tools at your disposal. And let’s talk even before AI. Let’s talk about the 1960’s, which I consider the late 50’s and the 60s. The inflection point in our technology, that’s when medical technology started to get great. We had a lot of antibiotics. When you have antibiotics, those people who are infection prone who normally would have died can live. We had great surgeries, great anesthetics. We started to get a lot of different medications, all those people who wouldn’t have made it in the past now made it because we have medical technology. Then you talk about transportation technology. While you don’t have to walk miles and miles to get food these days, you talk about other technologies that now are affecting our intellectual capabilities, AI being the major one that we would probably talk about. But even before that, think about our math skills as a society. How far down they’ve gone? Well, we now have calculators, we have Excel. We don’t have a need to learn math. We have other skills that have gone down because there are software engineers whose entire life is devoted to making tools that are easy for people to use that they don’t have to be that smart to us. So while Columbus navigated the oceans, we can barely get to the food store without our GPS.

JP McAvoy: Amazing how reliant you become upon technology as well. I’m thinking, people are thinking as they turn to their devices, which is obviously a concern. So what lies next for us as a society? I guess, we’re taking a dystopian view of what are the things we ought to be doing to put the best version of the next version of society into place?

J.J. Jerome: That’s a tremendous question. And there are a lot of things that are at a low level that we have to do now to be sure that AI is safe. This fear of AI started over 100 years ago. There was a movie that was called metropolitan with a robot. And then after that, it just went forward. And guys like Isaac Asimov in the 1940’s wrote his series “I, Robot”, which was released in 1950. And he had a fear of robots taking over as well. Now, for the purposes of your listeners, robots are simply AI with arms and legs that can move around and do things. But it’s all powered by AI. And that’s where the fear was. So he came up with three laws of robotics, I don’t know if you’ve heard about them or not.

JP McAvoy: Take us through the three laws, which is interesting.

J.J. Jerome: Isaac, this amazing genius came up with his three laws. And the first one is that AI may not injure a human being or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm, so that one makes perfect sense. The second one is that a robot must obey orders given to it by a human being, unless that interferes with the first law. In other words, you can’t order a robot to hurt another human. And his third one is that a robot must protect its own existence unless it conflicts with the first and second law. Very simple things, but Asimov wasn’t able to envision some of the things that have happened today. So he’s thinking about robots. Well, robots are easy to identify as artificial beings. But these days, we have deep fakes. And we have a lot of things.

And so one thing he omitted was the fact that we have to be able to identify, which isn’t always easy these days. Because when the screen looks like you and me, so to his laws, I had that. And then I also added that we have got to have the ability to have slightly different rights for AI versus humans. Because other than that, we won’t be able to turn it off. And I’ll read you my version of his three laws, and then we could talk a little bit about the Turing Test, and what happens when they pass that. So my version is very similar, it just had a couple of different modifications. And the first one is, AI may not harm natural living entities or through its inaction allow natural beings to come to harm. So this expands it to animals, dogs and cats, and that sort of thing. Number two is AI must have human instructions, and not initiate new tasks without human direction. So we don’t want AI deciding what it’s going to do next, at least within certain limits because it may decide, well, humans are not good things, and we have to eliminate them from the planet. And the third one is that AI must self identify as a non living entity, and be able to be paused or terminated at will.

JP McAvoy: Yeah. It’s fascinating. Is it short sighted to think that we’re gonna be able to control AI in that way? Now the AI will not singularity get to the point where it’s making those decisions for itself.

J.J. Jerome: I put these into place to make us aware. And just those laws alone, AI is not going to obey those laws. But I wanted humans to be aware of some of the big issues, self identification as an issue. And the main one in my mind was the ability to pause and terminate. Well, I think this becomes more of a legal issue than a technical issue. And I’ll tell you why I say that. At some point, AI and human thought processes will probably be indistinguishable. And way back when there was a mathematician who really helped the allies in World War II break the Nazi codes, and his name was Alan Turing. He was an amazing mathematician. He was one of the original computer scientists, and some people say he was the father of AI. But he came up with something called the Turing Test to determine when a machine was a living thing or a thinking thing. The Turing Test was very simple. It involved texting between three entities, two of them were human, and the third one could be a machine or could be a human. And if they would text back and forth for a substantial amount of time giving each other very hard questions or trying to fool each rather, and the humans couldn’t tell whether was a human or an AI, the third entity then, Turing said that you could consider the thinking, being a thinking something and thinking machine.

From a legal perspective, I don’t believe that there’s been a better definition of what a thinking machine would be. All the others are very technical. If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. So it passes a simple enough test for the legal community to be able to deal with this. And one day, there’s going to be a legal case. And I’m anticipating just for illustrative purposes that it’s going to involve someone’s avatar. AI avatar, that was their grandmother. And Grandma is going to be long dead, but there’ll be an AI avatar that the kids look at on a screen somewhere and it acts like grandma talks. Like grandma tells the old stories about what terrible students their children were. And when the kids were first born and all that stuff, and somebody’s going to try to terminate this grandma, and somebody’s going to take it to court and say that you can’t terminate it, it’s a living thing. And if the AI is good enough, I think we’re very close. If the AI is good enough, it’s going to be very difficult for a judge or jury to differentiate between that and a living person. And we’re going to say, what’s the difference? And the difference may come down to just the fact that it was created by engineers, as opposed to evolution. And so we’re gonna have to, as a society, make a decision, if AI is a living thing or a thinking thing? If so, are we going to give it the same rights and responsibilities as humans, or not? 

And that is a key question. Because if we give it rights and responsibilities, then we can’t kill it. We can’t turn it off because you wouldn’t kill a person. You wouldn’t even kill a dog these days. They’re sentient beings. How could you do that legally, and maybe even morally? We’re going to have to make that moral distinction. And if they have all the rights and responsibilities of humans, it opens up a Pandora’s Box. Can they vote? Can they own businesses? Can they be in a legal union with a human being? So could they be, what we used to call married? And if so, could the AI inherit the fortune? Could the AI work for free? Or will it have to have minimum wage? Will it be able to unionize? Will you be able to own it? Is that slavery even though it may be manufactured by open AI or Microsoft? Can we buy it for $200 and own it? Is that a legitimate thing? So the implications of that are stunning. And if indeed we decide its own entity, and that we can’t own it. And therefore, we can’t control it. Anything could happen. And I’m not a gloom and doom guy, but then we really have no control over it.

JP McAvoy: Yeah. These are astonishing thoughts. And it’s really not that far away. What you’re describing, I think, is perhaps going to be the first phase. And you say rights being fine. I’d have to think that we’re going to a place though where, going back to the idea of evolution, it’s the next step, I guess. I don’t disable that. But it’s some next version of whatever you want to call that. I want you to miss, I guess, and what shape and form does that look like? I think you’re talking about an interim phase, in which we’re giving birth to something else. You’re giving on how we’re giving birth to, I guess the next step in evolution. Do you subscribe to that view?

J.J. Jerome: I do. When you think of biological evolution, Darwinian Evolution, it applies to all systems. It’s not just biological things. And so we’ve evolved as a society, we’ve evolved to have economies. Our economies help us survive rather than living in the forest. We have a robust economy, we can get anything we need. Our medical system has evolved that helps us to survive. Our economic system has helped us to survive. All the weapons that we create, these advanced weapons systems in the United States help us survive. We’re not going to have to go out and be infantry men. We’re going to send our drones out and that helps us survive because individuals aren’t getting killed. There’s so many parts to evolution. And even early man, tribal man had spears. They had tools, all of those things helped them to survive. And so the thesis of the book is that rather than biologically surviving or surviving was now guaranteed and enhanced by our technology. Eventually, human bodies will actually probably be degrading in some ways. I think we see this now. We have epidemics of diabetes, people are overweight, the average weight of a band in the United States from 1960 until now is 26 pounds heavier. And it’s not all muscle. The women aren’t far behind. Our mental capabilities have been declining for years.

And there’s things I cite in the book that talk about our IQs declining about 1% every decade. And when you look at college enrollments now, it used to be that the average was about 112. And now, the average IQ for college people is 100. So there’s a lot of reasons for it. But the main reason is we don’t need these capabilities to survive anymore. And if you remember the old science fiction movies where humans in a million years developed gigantic brains, they had these huge craniums just pulsating with thoughts. And in one outer limits episode, the person developed the six fingers, so they can work keyboards better. There’s no pressure for any of that to happen. We’re not just going to get smarter, because evolution is going to make us smarter. We’re gonna do what we need to do to adapt to the environment. And Richard Dawkins who’s a very famous anthropologist said, he went through all this and he said, do you see any reason for smarter people to have an advantage in today’s world? And he said, I don’t think so. And you may have a financial advantage. But survival advantage? Probably not.

JP McAvoy: Another question of survival, and I think the people that are going to be most adept are the ones that know how to use the technologies. How to interact with the AI. We know data is becoming paramount. And as you mentioned previously, the computer is there now to process that data. If things such as these podcasts are the type of data that we want the AI to be using to curate its outputs, what are some of the things that you think are important for us to be saying during a podcast like this? I guess both humans, but also AI. Consider what we have to say here today?

J.J. Jerome: Well, I feel very optimistic about AI. I think that we’re in a transition period. And you mentioned that, and I think transitions are really tough. I think we’re in a transition period, evolutionarily speaking and technologically speaking. And from an evolutionary perspective, just to back up a little bit. You remember in tribal days, it was the alpha male who was king of the hill. If you didn’t do what he wanted, he may kill you or excommunicate you from the tribe. But you needed that alpha male, because he was the warrior, he was the hunter, he was the Jason Momoa of his tribe. And if you watch those shows, it’s pretty important to have. We’ve evolved past that. And socially, we don’t need people like that anymore. Now eventually, that alpha male became the guy with the most money because they could hire warriors, and they could get what they wanted that way. And the person with the most money survived. But now even beyond that point, and now you see that society has equal value, pretty much for people who are females, for people who have different sexual preferences, for people of different races. Because we no longer need to have that differentiation to help us survive. Now, you don’t have to be big and strong. You can be anything to help you survive. And so society is in the midst of that transition. And a lot of people have backlash to that. They want to go back to the old days where you eat what you kill, where the person who is the strongest is the most valued. Business is starting to move away from that. They’re not hiring as many typical Alpha leaders, they’re hiring more collaborative people. So we’re in a societal transition.

I see a lot of the instability in our nation as a subliminal fight between the people who are accepting the New World Order, and those who want to go back to the Alpha period, which wasn’t long ago. You remember the leaders in the 1940’s were the General Patton types, they were the big install guys. It has not been a long time. So I think our society is in a very difficult transition. We have political tribes that are at each other’s throats. But if you go bait back down to it and their core philosophies, the Republicans are much more survivalist, the fittest mindset. The Democrats are much more egalitarian. And it’s just an interesting observation for that. So moving forward, back to your question. I’m sorry, I deviated. What should I know? What should we know about AI? And my feeling is that AI can serve us. It’s a fantastic tool. We need it. AI needs to know that it’s there to serve us not for its own purposes. Now, it may be a difficult message to give, but we need to know that it’s there to serve us. And it is here just in the nick of time to save us. And here’s the reason. 

In first world countries, our populations are declining to well below replacement values. You hear it all over the news, we don’t have enough workers. Even if we bring in people who are immigrants, legally or otherwise, we don’t have enough skilled workers. And so that may take care of some of the unskilled problems, but we don’t have enough workers. There’s an author named Peter Zahn. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but he’s got a couple of books out. And his thesis is that once populations start to decline, that countries decline economically, and it may be unrecoverable. And he’s predicting really bad things for China. He says that the US isn’t in as bad shape because we’re a country who can attract immigrants. Whereas China will not be able to attract immigrants. But if he’s right that when the population declines, you economically decline because you don’t have enough people to buy, you don’t have enough people to produce, you don’t have enough people to make things to export. AI could save us because it can make our productivity tremendous.

JP McAvoy: It’s kind of a Universal wealth?

J.J. Jerome: Yes. Many of us are in the office three days a week, but you could be working from home two or three hours a day. And that AI, your AI avatars go out there and do what needs to be done. And they will do a great job. And business has every reason to embrace this for things like customer service, because AI is going to be more consistent and require less training than humans. So human customer service reps make mistakes. Doctors, for example, make mistakes. Having an AI diagnosis would be fantastic. And it does a great job. Even lawyers. I hate to say it that sometimes they make mistakes.

JP McAvoy: Not lawyers.

J.J. Jerome: But they know how to cover their tracks better. But the thing is, as a society we are wildly productive, and really have a chance in the US where we’re leading in this technology to regain our position, be it China and some other places. As the world’s leader in technology, again, you know what AI can do for entertainment. Literature, the law, medicine, every field that really was the jurisdiction of high IQ creative people, which we’re very proud of here. AI can multiply that effect. I’m not saying replace them, I’m saying to multiply the effect. The cover for my book, the original cover, I had an artist do it. And then she said, Oh, I just use AI. Now, the ability to produce a book much more quickly. I didn’t use AI, but I did use a grammar checker. I would have had to hire a great editor to do that, and it would have taken weeks. Everything we do, we now have force multiplication. And I think it’s going to be fabulous. We’re going to become, at least the US, an even more wealthy country with an even better lifestyle. Now, that’s the optimistic view.

JP McAvoy: And I think a lot of people would subscribe to that. There’s certainly the multiplier effect that you’re mentioning that’s going to occur. And I guess it begs the learner. The question is, what will be the meaning of life? I guess it’s not, what is the meaning of life? But for a species that has universal wealth, and AI to assist as you’re describing it with all the regular day to day, what’s the purpose? What will be the purpose?

J.J. Jerome: Well, I think this is interesting. Because again, this is where evolution ties into AI. And before people read the book, they don’t necessarily get the connection. But in the past, through all of our history as individuals, we’ve been limited by our DNA. So if I wasn’t a big strong guy, I wouldn’t be that alpha male. I’d be the guy working in the fields or dragging food into the village or whatever it is. I’d be basically doing menial tasks. If you weren’t smart, you wouldn’t be doing very much. That was interesting. If you weren’t sexually attracted, you might not get to reproduce at all, and your DNA would die out. Various things. But now with all of our technology, we’re no longer slaves of our DNA. We can be whatever we want to be. So if you think about it, if you were in a different tribe, a tribe that wasn’t popular or a tribe that got overrun by another tribe, your DNA would die out. Or if you were too poor to purchase food. We don’t have those problems so much anymore. So now you have a completely blank slate when you come up.If you want to be an artist, you don’t have to have inherent art capabilities. You could be called an AI artist. If you want to be a writer, you don’t have to have the ability to write beautiful prose. You can have a great idea, and that AI takes it from there. So we’re only limited not by our DNA, but by our imaginations. Our ability to work hard, how clever we are, how well we interact with other things, including AI. Our inherent imaginations, and our dreams are now our limit. And I think that’s a fantastic utopian thing. And we’re not held back by who we are anymore.

JP McAvoy: It is a fantastic thing. It always has been. There are many that are saying that’s maybe perhaps what AI is going to find the most useful thing about us. Our imaginations are what we are thinking. So hopefully, we’re able to augment our creativity through this process. It’s certainly available there. We can’t be lazy. It’s going to require hard work as well. But yeah, as you say, our imagination is going to perhaps become even more important through this what we’re calling the end of evolution from your books perspective. But it’s time for the next phase. What your view of the future will look like? Another author who spent a lot of time in sci fi space describing what the future will be like. And there are many that suggest perhaps he’s come close to describing how things will be. Our alliances in AI, and how AI will be coming to your service with us, and will interact with AI in the future as well. I think that’s a place that we are going. What are some of the ways if we are going there, and we can agree that we are. What are some of the things that we can be doing in our day to day life right now. Other than reading, listen to podcasts like this, but to prepare ourselves. Uses technologies and things that we can teach our children to make them the most useful that they can in the future as well.

J.J. Jerome: I think everybody should embrace AI. And do that by trying some of the things. There’s plenty of free stuff out there. And let AI do some things for you. So you have a feeling for what it can do and what it is. And I think I’m surprised at–

JP McAvoy: Specific places that you pointed. But where else would you put people to know?

J.J. Jerome: Microsoft has a version of Chat GPT in our package dolly, and I think it’s free for everybody to try. You can subscribe to Chat GPT, and think about the prompts and how to use it. You can watch some YouTube videos. You could watch podcasts like this. It’s here to stay. And I think we don’t need to be as scared of it as people are. Now remember, there’s been movies for a very long time in books, and practically all of them have been how AI goes awry and takes over the world. The Terminators are famous, there’s Westworld. There’s tons of them out there. Even the latest Mission Impossible. And so we’re conditioned to be afraid of it. We’re conditioned to say, hey, this isn’t good. And we should control it. As you remember, there were hundreds of scientists who put out a letter that I guess was only a year and a half ago, including Elon Musk, that said, we need to really stop and control this. And I do agree that guard rails would be something that we should consider. Some of the things I talked about in my version of Isaac Asimov laws, we’re never going to stop it. We’ve never been able to stop technology. You go back to that Oppenheimer moment, when Oppenheimer says, we could destroy the universe, but it’s only a 1% chance. And that’s the moment we’re at with AI.

Yes, it could destroy our world. But it’s a small chance. And if we don’t do it, somebody’s eventually going to do it, whether it’s China or Russia. And so I think putting a pause on it would unfairly penalize the first world countries who would be willing to abide by that, and that less savory players catch up. And so I don’t think we should pause it. I think we should embrace what it can do for us, and use our imaginations to think about the many ways it could improve our lives. And I’ll just give you two quick examples. Elderly Care. AI could do a great job with that. Robots could do a wonderful job taking care of the elderly, for example. It doesn’t mean their kids should never visit them. But during the time when the kids are not available, it would be a wonderful thing. Teaching. I’ve seen a lot of applications lately that teach children in ways they can understand. We’re all multimodal learners, but we emphasize tactile, auditory, or visual. And I’ve seen some applications recently that have been just brilliant. And think about what we could do if we could educate our children much more thoroughly, much more quickly. And much better without spending so much time quietly in the classroom bored to tears. And so the implications of what it can do for us, how it can enhance our lives is just tremendous. So I think people should embrace it and not be afraid of it. Try it out. Talk to their friends about it, and think about great ways that it can help us.

JP McAvoy: Absolutely, yes. And we just did a show on that actually, education is going to be transformed, obviously, to have AI tailored education is going to be one very powerful use of AI and go forward. If you were creating a company, aside from education right now. AI related, where is an ideal space to be? Where would you concentrate your effort as an incorporation?

J.J. Jerome: I think there’s people doing this, but my biggest thing that I’m interested in is customer service. And there are chatbots out there now. But I really feel like customer service is a difficult task for humans. There are some people who are really good at it, but it’s difficult as you get the phone trees. You can never reach the right person. And I think it’s a ubiquitous need for business. I think it provides business, the advantages of having consistency of being able to learn from its interactions, maybe better than humans can to learn just the right thing to say to an irate customer, or to a customer who’s got particular problems. I think it would pay for itself very quickly. So if I was starting up a company today, and if there was enough that I could differentiate it from other chatbot companies, a really great chatbot that would do customer service would be a fantastic thing.

JP McAvoy: We would all have something like that. How frustrating is it, the barriers that are being thrown up these days? It empowers so many different things, as we described here. I’m hearing more regularly now, like we’re a year or two away from really mind blowing changes. Would you agree with that?

J.J. Jerome: I think within five years anyway. A year or two, maybe too soon. These things seem to go in fits and starts. You make great progress, and then it sits for a while. And then you make great progress. Again, I think Chat GPT is really great, amazing. And then things sit for a while until some new breakthrough happens. And actually, this is the way humanity is too. If you think about it, we need geniuses to get us to the next step. So it was DaVinci. It was Einstein. More in our lifetime was Steve Jobs. People like that. And those are the people that help society or technology make these big leaps. And of course, AI can be our geniuses. Now, we don’t have to wait 50 years for the next one to pop up. And that will help us to make big leaps too. But be aware that it’s not a continuous process. And there’s always certain milestones that take us to the next place. And so I think within five years, I think it’s proceeding faster than a lot of people think. I think we’ll pass the Turing Test within five to seven years. And again, when the legal system can’t tell the difference between a human and a machine, it’s going to open up a Pandora’s box.

JP McAvoy: Yeah, I agree. I think we’re right on the precipice. I appreciate your contribution here today, JJ, and all your thinking on the seven buckets itself. It’s been great. People want to get into the book and some of the things you explored here, what’s the best way to reach you?

J.J. Jerome: Well, I have a website, jjjerome.com. They can hit me up on Twitter, just search JJ Jerome. My book, Amazon does a great job with that. It’s available in some bookstores, but it goes into a lot more detail than we did. And I think it’s a fascinating story.

JP McAvoy: It absolutely is. Thank you. Thanks for sharing here today. Give listeners in these episodes with one thing that’s taken you through, you describe that seven year old child and wonderment, what’s something that you learned along the way? Really important for you, really powerful for you that somebody here listening might take from this conversation today informing them in their life and their own progress, their own development?

J.J. Jerome: This is something a little unusual, but I was very interested in science my whole life and got an engineering degree. And when you’re an engineer, you think there are facts, and there are things that aren’t facts. And from a mathematical level, I agree with that. But what’s happened to society in the last, I don’t know, five or eight years, is that facts are not what they used to be. And they are more in the eye of the beholder. So we’ve now found that you can present so many facts these days that you can support any argument you want to support, and that the people who are deciding what’s real and what is not real are more of the people who are the influencers, the media people and things like that. So it’s not as cut and dry as it used to be. It’s almost like quantum physics where the observer makes the thing happen. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that concept, but it’s the measurement that is making things real sort of real or not. The facts are still the facts. But I’d never realized that the way people interpreted them was so powerful. And we live in a different world now where you just can’t come out with a fact and expect people to deal with it. So it’s been a big journey for someone with an engineering background to get to this point.

JP McAvoy: An astute point, and that’s a whole other podcast. I look forward to getting onto that subject with you as well some point in the future. Thanks so much for your time today. I look forward to connecting.

J.J. Jerome: Thank you. I appreciate it. Good talk.