Editorial by Alexander De Beir

Editorial – by Managing Director Alexander De Beir

I am real. Of flesh and blood.

In a world where chatbots seem to be becoming omnipresent, I felt it was important to "out myself as human" for a moment. Yes, this magazine is indeed written by real people sharing their expertise and experience.

I have no problem with artificial intelligence helping us perform difficult systems, complicated calculations or other boring tasks faster and more accurately, freeing up our time and energy to be more creative. As long as we do not, out of laziness, neglect our responsibility to look at our world with a critical eye, seek the advice of others, in short, become more demanding of ourselves, using the talents that nature has bestowed on us.

Emotions and values

To this day (and hopefully for the time to come!), emotions we experience and values we prioritise distinguish us from all the benefits technology offers us. Admittedly, with emotions, things can sometimes go wrong. A fierce statement that one regrets afterwards is what the chat bots are going to keep us from, by censoring terms considered incorrect as a precaution. The debate then becomes artificial and mainstream, risking the devaluation of human creativity or, in extreme cases, the undermining of the democratic system itself, as Professor Emeritus AI at KUL Leuven Luc Steels put it recently in De Standaard. https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20230203_97921962.

Above all, let us focus on what human, emotional intelligence best produces: values that can help us raise our humanity to a level higher.

And so let us also continue to advocate the confrontation, be it in a pacifist, respectful manner, of ideas and views.

A butterfly on the job

Opinions or insights that clash bring about new insights. With our temper, our feelings, empathy, imperfection, we as humans still create the unexpected, the unimaginable or unpredictable, where the A.I. would predict to the next word of this sentence.

“Adagio” (just heard on the radio in the car). Hey, dear ChatGPT, Bing or other Bard, you didn't see this word coming, did you? A song, a smell, a memory, ... our human brain consciously or unconsciously regularly encounters side routes we would like to take. The realization that with this, through a detail, we might one day be able to bring about major changes, answers to the poetic term "Butterfly Effect".

Dutch mental coach Ruud Meulenberg talks about the impact of the butterfly effect on stress and burnout in his books. https://ruudmeulenberg.nl/stress/butterfly-effect/

Through our existence, we influence certain systems. This awareness helps us feel less useless and makes us feel important in this world. This can also helps people with burnout deal with negative feelings such as stress. You don't have to go that deep, of course, to receive the redeeming butterfly effect with “open wings”.

Let us take a little height. Escape the gravity of our daily work, the repetitive, unfurl our wings and look, hear, feel differently, elsewhere for a moment. Undoubtedly, after just a few seconds, you will notice something you had never noticed. Then imagine for a moment that you would do this in a regularly changing environment. Then you would catch inspirations from unexpected quarters even more often. Life suddenly lightens up, our creativity now running at full speed. We also immediately feel more free, more comfortable. Everything suddenly seems easier (ad agio means easy, strange isn’t it?).

Let us be butterflies bringing a new wind around us. Regardless of whether we are just passers-by or want to be in a new place for a longer time. Enjoy the effect!

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