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AI. When you see those two letters side by side…I’ll give you a hundred bucks if your first thought is Allison Iantosca!

I didn’t think so. I’m not even my first thought anymore. But it has been an interesting evolution since AI became more mainstream. Since I first saw those letters on a proposal our tech company had sent over and felt flattered they made it so personal.

Because, as it stands, I am quite the antithesis of artificial anything, constrained by a built-in puritan integrity that limits the boundaries of fun, experiment and, most certainly, early adoption. I am dithering about back here in the weeds wondering what happened to the simplicity of the world I once knew, thinking I had strapped on a sturdy enough leash to tame it. In truth, I am being dragged behind, spread eagle, stubbornly holding on with both hands.

If I am being honest, I suppose the whole of it makes me feel out of control. I worry. Clearly a necessity to adapt but I’m not sure where to start. So, I stand still and let it wash over me. That’s a strategy. Right? And it works. My phone opens with Face ID. My Google searches readily provide me with information I didn’t have two minutes before. I am writing this piece with all sorts of support from the built-in grammar police.

Enhancements to everyday experiences I didn’t even know I wanted. Perhaps that’s the thing. They DO just happen. I don’t mind them too much and they seem to make my life better. I just can’t help but wonder what else is lurking that I will barely notice as it slithers into my daily participation. Permission granted when I missed the ask in the first place. Some of you may be gasping at the naivete and lack of forward thinking. Don’t worry. You’ll win. Just naming my resistance.

But can you promise me we aren’t on a path to obliterate our humanity? Because it seems like all this screen time and all these apps aren’t providing a deep enough outlet for our emotional state. That what we feel, then, gets bottled up. With no here-and-there connection to another human who wants to take our coffee order or minimize our wait time, we erupt. Because we need to be seen and heard on a constant basis. To know we matter and belong.

I’m not saying we do this perfectly as a business. But I like that the construction industry requires human hands to execute our end product. I like that we still have to get together once a week with the design team and the client to measure success and emotional tolerance. I like how the trades are so richly steeped in wisdom and skill, that even if you Googled an electrical procedure you couldn’t actually execute it without years of experience. I like that our employees are here and local and come together every other week to drink the Kool Aid and discuss the needs.

At times, it has been a mystery to me how I ended up so deeply ensconced in this work, supporting craft and the clients seeking to buy it. But it kind of makes sense. I have found the bubble that will be the last to pop. The hold out. Product and skill that still necessitates flesh and bone, heart and soul…for now. Where AI can only augment the experience, create efficiency, and make the humans doing the work that much better.

All my best,