If you have read my book, The GSD Factor, you know my grandfather General Joseph S. Bleymaier’s accomplishments with NASA and the Space Program. He would later become known as the “Father of the Titan III Missile” and be awarded some of our country’s highest honors due to his contributions to air research and development.
Back in September 1962, President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation, and he famously said, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” President Kennedy’s words are at the crux of the GSD Factor attribute of being imaginative.
There was a speech a year before this on May 25, 1961, in which President John F. Kennedy delivered a special message to Congress on Urgent National Needs. This address is considered to be the first moon speech, “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” He later reiterated, “I believe we should go to the moon.” This speech really spearheaded the support, commitment, and resources needed from the government and the nation.
My grandfather was responsible for the Atlas booster that, in February of 1962, would put the first American in Earth’s orbit. That astronaut was John Glenn in Friendship 7, and he would end up flying around Earth three times during that mission.
The mission and success of Friendship 7 were dramatized for the big screen in the 2017 movie, Hidden Figures, which follows the story of three female African-American mathematicians, Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. All of these trailblazing women embodied the GSD Factor attributes and are beautiful examples and inspirations to us all.
I want to focus on Dorothy Vaughan who was not only a human computer, but the first African-American woman to be promoted to supervising a group of human computers. Even while being treated unfairly for her work and contributions, Dorothy wanted to be sure that she was always dreaming big and staying current with all of the latest technology. During the early 1960s, not only were we trying to go to the moon but we were also introducing computers into our professional careers and workplaces. Dorothy witnessed the IBM 790 Data Processing System (DPS) being installed at NASA and knew that the goal would be to replace her and her fellow human computers. She decided in that moment to take it upon herself to ensure that she learned and adapted to this technology.
Dorthy taught herself and her team the Fortran programming language that allowed them to program and run the IBM 790 DPS. When these computers came out, people thought that they would immediately replace humans; they hadn’t yet understood that the computers needed to be programmed and run by humans. The technology certainly provided automation and time savings for humans, but human computer minds were still needed to ensure this new and innovative technology worked as it should.
I think we are facing the same challenge as Dorothy and her human computers when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is here to stay, and we are still learning each and every day its benefits and its downfalls. We are also learning where this automation is best applied, and more importantly where not to apply it. Many think AI will replace humans, but I would challenge that AI’s place is not to replace, but rather augment, enhance, and provide humans with automation opportunities where it makes sense, especially as we are trying to get more shit done.
In light of this current climate of AI, I’m pleased to announce this Declaration of Authenticity for GSD Factor LLC and GSD Factor Publishing LLC.
We have run numerous tests to see how we can use AI, including prompting it to transform one of our published podcast transcripts into a blog article, and the results were less than desirable. It lacked the human touch and voice we – and our readers – have come to expect from us. The type of content that we are producing needs that human voice, the unique lens that offers context, experience, and expertise in all our books, podcasts, blogs, and other resources.
As exciting as new technology is, including AI, we must not forget when to use humans and when to use technology, and when both can co-exist and collaborate. My team and I have always created human-generated content and we are committed to continually producing human-created content across all of our services and offerings.
Read our full AI Declaration here.