#5: Instant Community, Zoom vs. In-person Conferences

Also: Actionworks plans for GPT-3

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🎟Welcome Rikke, Steve, Kate, Laura, Sanjay, David, Ross, Ximena, Chris, Brian, Rocio, Sharvin, Phyllis, Sanjay, Sharvin, Jenny, Lux, Russell, Sameer, Marisha, and MY DAD 🎟

Greetings, rulebreakers!

It was a busy week running sessions on Resilience (Middle Eastern youth), Pitching in Zoom (Indian startup accelerator cohort), a fireside chat with 3 Day Startup CEO Beverly Hamilton, and the Instant Community: Enter the 36 Strangers session.

In this newsletter:

  • Instant Community Building: Enter the 36 Strangers recap

  • New Writing: Human Connection in the Zoom Era

  • Actionworks AI plans for GPT-3

Enter the 36 Strangers Workshop Recap

Given the blurring of our online and offline lives, we need better ways of working and socializing virtually. I hear lots of people talking about the topic but very few people doing anything about it.

Well, last week had 40 people show up to do something about it.

“Instant Community: Enter the 36 Strangers” was a hybrid of professional development, social experiment, and personal growth workshop.

The feedback was strong, including this writeup from Jenny Kim.

It was a hit so we’ll do it again. If anyone wants the playbook to run a version of their own, give me a shout. My intent is to deliver team-building versions of this for corporates so if you know of any organizations open to this particular brand of experience, drop me a line.

Addendum: Shoutout to Ximena and Erika, who ran a Spanish-language version over the weekend! It was a big success; we’re going to collaborate on writing up the insights and takeaways.

New Writing: Human Connection in the Zoom Era

Zoom breakout rooms are a wildly underrated tool. I write about breakout rooms and the less obvious differences between online and in-person experiences in this article:


The Actionworks plan for OpenAI’s GPT-3

If you don’t know about GPT-3, here’s a primer:

  • Open AI, the company developing the algorithm GPT-3, is founded by Elon Musk and helmed by Sam Altman, who previously ran Y Combinator

  • GPT-3 is OpenAI’s hugely powerful (and hugely hyped) NLP AI language model. If you don’t know what that means, think of it as an algorithm that can generate extremely human-like, original text

  • GPT-3 is a big deal. If you don’t know about it, you will. Whether that is because the AI model radically shifts business and society, dramatically escalates AI safety concerns, or experiences a Segway-like flop, you’re going to hear about it

Its predecessor (GPT-2) was impressive in terms of its evolution from earlier text generators, and GPT-3 is an even bigger step forward. The algorithm is in beta right now, so we thought we’d share our thinking around what we want to do with it:

A metaphor: consider someone wanting to learn tennis. The best way to learn is to practice with a skilled partner. But partners can be hard to find: maybe you’re in an area where there are few tennis players. Maybe you’re only available at hours when other players are asleep. What can you do to keep learning? You hit the ball against the wall. Sure, it’s not as instructive as a live player, but you can still improve. The wall is a feedback mechanism, like learning through reading a book or practicing with flash cards. If you have better access to technology, you can use a ball machine that serves shots to you. A ball machine can be adjusted to emulate different skill, variety, speed. The ball machine makes the tennis coach’s job more scalable.

We want to build the ball machine of experiential learning. Our goal has been to develop an agent that can assist workshops, the thesis being that collective intelligence of people in a session aided by artificial intelligence could be incredibly effective for training, learning, and problem solving.

Full text here: https://actionworks.co/asking-openai-for-gpt-3-access/

Next Up

Definitely coming soon: Article: How to Express Appreciation Online: The Complete Guide to Gratitude Attacks

Possibly* coming soon:

  • Why should CEOs be the only ones to benefit from guidance from boards? Personal Board of Directors session for you and 3-6 of your friends

  • DIY Smartphone Video session revisited: A second edition for those who couldn’t attend + something new for the past attendees: a dedicated work session where you will ideate, film, and live debut a video for people you just met in a Zoom breakout room. All of this in under 60 minutes

  • Breakout Room Bios: 60 minute session where you bring your most recent professional or Linkedin bio, get feedback through rapid, collaborative Google Doc sessions, and leave the session with a new and improved version. Bonus: connections with high-quality people

* The more you reply and tell me which of the above you want, the greater the chance one of those particular sessions will happen :)

See you in gallery view,

Web: actionworks.co
Twitter: @cahouser
For professional grade virtual courses, workshops, and coaching, email cam@actionworks.co


Music Recommendations

The Beth’s “Jump Rope Gazers” is catchy indie pop gold from a cheeky, sad New Zealand siren [Spotify]

Slow Motion Bird Footage

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