Inside Tech Comm with Zohra Mutabanna

S4E5 Navigating the Future of AI-Driven Writing with Kathleen Majorsky

June 01, 2023 Zohra Mutabanna Season 4 Episode 5
S4E5 Navigating the Future of AI-Driven Writing with Kathleen Majorsky
Inside Tech Comm with Zohra Mutabanna
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Inside Tech Comm with Zohra Mutabanna
S4E5 Navigating the Future of AI-Driven Writing with Kathleen Majorsky
Jun 01, 2023 Season 4 Episode 5
Zohra Mutabanna

The show notes for this episode were created with the help of Cohost AI from Buzzsprout.

Ever wondered how networking and vulnerability can open doors to incredible writing opportunities? Join me as I chat with the incredibly talented Kathleen Majorsky, a writer who has recently forayed into user-testing of AI tools which is both inspiring and eye-opening.

By confronting her fears and setting daily goals, Kathleen has been able to learn and engage in different types of AI writing tools. Companies take note - listening to users like Kathleen can lead to invaluable insights and improvements. Listen in to uncover the fascinating connection between AI tools, user feedback, and the future of writing.

As AI technology progresses, ethical considerations become paramount. Kathleen and I discuss the importance of transparency, guardrails, and responsible AI implementation. With her expertise in journalism and critical media literacy, we explore how we can all contribute to shaping a safer and more ethical AI future. Don't miss out on this riveting conversation about the intersection of writing, networking, and AI technology!

Guest Bio

Kathleen Majorsky is a talented multi-faceted writer with experience in writing everything from marketing content to technical communication training, and creative fiction. 

Right now, she is leaping into A.I. tool exploration as a self-proclaimed beginner. Her A.I. adventure inspires opinions about the tool's user experience, thoughts on how the tools could help her be a better writer, and what the world looks like with ethical and humane A.I. use. 

Currently, she is working with a number of freelance clients, but she remains open to a full-time writing role with a company that aligns with her values. 

Kathleen's portfolio link:

Kathleen's LinkedIn portfolio:


  • Intro and outro music - Az
  • Audio engineer - RJ Basilio
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The show notes for this episode were created with the help of Cohost AI from Buzzsprout.

Ever wondered how networking and vulnerability can open doors to incredible writing opportunities? Join me as I chat with the incredibly talented Kathleen Majorsky, a writer who has recently forayed into user-testing of AI tools which is both inspiring and eye-opening.

By confronting her fears and setting daily goals, Kathleen has been able to learn and engage in different types of AI writing tools. Companies take note - listening to users like Kathleen can lead to invaluable insights and improvements. Listen in to uncover the fascinating connection between AI tools, user feedback, and the future of writing.

As AI technology progresses, ethical considerations become paramount. Kathleen and I discuss the importance of transparency, guardrails, and responsible AI implementation. With her expertise in journalism and critical media literacy, we explore how we can all contribute to shaping a safer and more ethical AI future. Don't miss out on this riveting conversation about the intersection of writing, networking, and AI technology!

Guest Bio

Kathleen Majorsky is a talented multi-faceted writer with experience in writing everything from marketing content to technical communication training, and creative fiction. 

Right now, she is leaping into A.I. tool exploration as a self-proclaimed beginner. Her A.I. adventure inspires opinions about the tool's user experience, thoughts on how the tools could help her be a better writer, and what the world looks like with ethical and humane A.I. use. 

Currently, she is working with a number of freelance clients, but she remains open to a full-time writing role with a company that aligns with her values. 

Kathleen's portfolio link:

Kathleen's LinkedIn portfolio:


  • Intro and outro music - Az
  • Audio engineer - RJ Basilio

Speaker 1: Hello listeners, welcome to Inside TechComm with your host, Zohra Mutabanna. In season 4, I hope to bring to you different perspectives and interests that intersect with our field. Let's get started. Hello folks, welcome to another episode of Inside Techcomm with Zohra Mutabanna. Today on my show I have Kathleen Majorsky, who I have gotten to know in a very interesting way. but I'm so excited to have her here and listen to her story and her journey, and I promise you this is one that you do not want to miss. With that, Kathleen, please introduce yourself to us. 

Speaker 2: Hi there, Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to chat with you today. A little bit about me. Historically, I've always been a writer and I've just kind of plugged myself into very different kinds of writing over the course of my professional life. So marketing content writing, copywriting, ad copy, social ad copy. And recently, within the last year and this is how we connected I wanted to get more into tech communication writing. So my interest in that, I feel, and what I'm good at, is because of my background in journalism as well as in education. I used to be a high school English teacher and have a degree in education, a master's in education. I feel like I would be really good at the knowledge-based management kind of technical writing. So that's kind of my writing background. I've lived all over the country. I use a lot of the experiences. I've had to write personal, like creative writing. So writing is just everywhere in my life. I write creatively, I write fiction, I write professionally, So that's what I love and that's what I do, form a fashion every day. 

Speaker 1: That's awesome. I've been doing writing in one area. You seem to have touched upon different genres, different styles of writing, so they're a breadth of skills And I'm sure you would bring so much richness to any team you join because the perspectives that you can bring to those teams would be amazing. So I'm kind of a little envious of you there. Oh, thank you, yes. So, Kathleen, you know I'm going to just dive right in. 

Speaker 1: The way you and I met was, I believe you reached out to me last year, and the reason I bring this up is because we are all on this journey, looking for our next opportunity, right, and what I loved about you was the fact that you reached out and we connected and we are here today. I want to talk a little bit about that, and I think, for our writers who are starting this journey, or any professional that is starting this journey who may be nervous to reach out, I want them to hear from you. What was that like? What were your thoughts on reaching out to people on LinkedIn? How did you approach it? Just share a little bit about that. 

Speaker 2: So I've always been taught that to get anywhere in life it's going to be through relationships. So I've spent time cold applying for things and it just, it grows in frustration. And so I've learned along the way that the best way to build a community, build a network, is to just have that human connection, whether you know. Especially now it's even easier because we can do it virtually and you can talk to someone all over the world. And it's not easy. I haven't always been the best at networking With the skill 100%, and so it's taken a lot of courage, a lot of letting go of fear, somebody saying, no, I don't have time, you just kind of. If that happens, it's okay, don't take it personally, they don't know you, they're probably just really busy and that's okay. You could just go on to. 

Speaker 2: You know someone else you feel like you want to connect with, and eventually someone will say yes, and you know you just set up a chat and there's usually I try not to have any like I'll have a list of questions. You know I want to hear about someone's career journey, how they got into technical communication or what their writing life is like, but I try not to have any kind of agenda in any way in terms of like oh, I want you to get me a job. That's never my intention. I just want to hear your story, learn about you and, if I can glean anything from our conversation, awesome That's. You know, that's great. 

Speaker 2: But I also want to offer something to them as well. So I always ask if there's anything anyone in my own personal network I can introduce them to or connect them to or anything they want or need that I could provide for them. It's always going to be a two-way street, depending on the strength of the connection in that moment. I will follow up and keep in touch like much like with you. We kept in touch a little bit over the last year. Whenever there was a milestone on LinkedIn that popped up for you, I would comment on it and check out your podcast and all of that. So it does take a little bit of work and a little bit of effort, but it's a building that community and building that network. It's thought support. That's one of my core values as a human being on the planet. And I've really embraced that and that's how I've conducted my professional life, especially within the last year or so on LinkedIn. 

Speaker 1: Kathleen beautifully said. I agree with everything that you've said. Linkedin is such a great platform for that, for us to reach out. We have that community and everything you're building. You talk you use these words about building a community. It's a two-way street and what can you bring to the table and genuinely showing interest in the person that you're reaching out to? Those are the things I think help you grow your tribe. 

Speaker 1: So my fellow listeners if you're listening to this part of you know, even if you don't listen to the whole episode, I would recommend you do. But if there is one thing that you can take away is building your support, building your network, you have to invest in it. It's an investment, so please definitely take this advice with not with a grain of salt, but as a nugget that will come to your help in the long run. So, moving on, Kathleen, I have been following your posts, just like you've been following mine, and LinkedIn is busy, right, we are following so many people, but then there are some that stand out. And we are all doing posts, and I hope that somebody follows me or comments on my post. 

Speaker 1: But what you did with LinkedIn, I think, is something very, very unique. You started following, of course, this whole theme is about artificial intelligence, AI, and, with that being the case, your posts started catching my attention because you started talking about AI. In the beginning, I was like, okay, she's going to start looking at tools, but then you started following up on that and just building this narrative. That was hard for me to let go. I'm like, oh, I have to check. You know. You kind of had this hook going for me and I'm hooked, so that's very rare. Even I don't do that. Right, you have figured to gain that following, it doesn't have to be a big following. That's not the point. The point is that you're doing something unique in this space, so let's start talking about that. What is it that you're doing with your posts, and how big? 

Speaker 2: To be Back in January. So I felt resistant to all of the AI hoopla as a writer, as someone who's been a lifelong writer, and I just kind of realized that AI is here to stay. It's going to keep getting more intense and better and the technology is going to get better. So it came across this AI for Writers Summit put on by the Marketing AI Institute, and this was at the end of March, and I said, all right, you know, it's time, it's time to check it, see what all this AI stuff is about and how I can incorporate it and not be afraid of it, because it's here, it's happening And I don't want to be left behind. So I attended the summit. It was a virtual summit, it was about four hours in the afternoon And one of the presentations that was given was about all of these AI tools and what I, what, and how it started was so I summarized my feelings and thoughts about what I witnessed in the summit. So that was kind of the first week. That was how it started. 

Speaker 2: And then, as I kept going and I said you know, this isn't going anywhere and I'm feeling very kind of like a baby cat just being born, like I felt like I was unstable and wobbly and I thought to myself the majority of my connections on LinkedIn are all writers too. We probably all have the same fears, the same kind of insecurities about whether is AI going to take my job away. And so I really wanted to position myself as a beginner because historically and as I get older, that's harder for me to be a beginner. I mean, I'm curious and a lifelong learner, but to be a beginner is to be vulnerable, especially, you know, as you advance in your career and become an expert. That's hard. So I said you know that's a fear of mine. So I'm going to tackle a couple of years by doing that. 

Speaker 2: And I wanted some structure to it. I'm a big person on structure and it just didn't feel right to just like randomly different posting times, different things every different day. So I created a structure around it and I was honest with how it started. So when I found out what kind of structure I wanted it to be I've created a post about that I said, all right, on Monday, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays I'm going to post a different video about a different school, and you know you can watch it. I made it a little bit longer. There are no, no less there. I try to keep it to about 30 minutes because that's a long time to view a video, but I think a lot of the content in there is important to kind of go in there and watch me in real time be a beginner at all of these different tools. And sometimes I hope it's a little funny. 

Speaker 2: I don't try to be funny but sometimes, like my initial reactions I think are really funny in how I'm going about these tools. So that's Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then Thursday I do a little wrap-up post of the three tools that I just did, and then Friday. I really think it's important too. It's fun to be excited about all of this. It's here and it's happening. But we can't talk about being excited about it without considering risk and safety issues and thinking about ethics around AI and what happens if this falls into dangerous hands. So on Fridays and they don't get as much play as my other posts, but that's okay, I'm still going to continue to do it. Maybe it's because it's a Friday, I don't know, but I write about some kind of AI risk and safety issue because that's important to me. I don't want to come across as an AI pollyanna and not address those kinds of things as well, And so it just kind of morphed from there And how I chose the tools that I'm looking at. 

Speaker 2: One of the presentations gave a list of about 17 tools that this person at he's one of the officers, the employees at the marketing AI Institute felt were worth checking out as writers, and so that's where I got the list of tools that I've been checking out. And I've saved a couple of posts by people I trust in this space who included a couple of more. So I've added those to the list and I have a number in my head as to when I'm probably going to stop. And my goal is., the last one is going to be ChatGPT. I haven't addressed that for a couple of reasons. I think it's, it's one of the more powerful tools. A lot of it gets a lot of play in the press. A lot of people talk, are talking about it. Obviously, they're the biggest player in the space in my opinion so far, and I really enjoy promoting some smaller entrepreneurs who are really trying to get into the space, and so that's why I'm doing these smaller, more niche tools right now. But I will address ChatGPT 

Speaker 1: Awesome. Before I forget what summit is this that you were talking about. 

Speaker 2: Well, it's called the AI for Writer Summit And again, the organization is called the Marketing AI Institute. It's based out of Cleveland. There's a woman, her name is Anne Hanley, the chief content officer for an organization called Marketing Props, and so she's super popular in the marketing world. She speaks on marketing and writing. She has two books about writing out in the world. I subscribed to her newsletter. She's actually one of the speakers at the summit And so I read her newsletter faithfully. It comes out every two weeks. And she had a section of her newsletter talking about her speaking at this summit. And she's been making some commentary about AI in her newsletter as we've gone on, and so I just clicked on the link and I saw it was free and virtual, and it just felt like the universe was sending this to me on purpose. 

Speaker 1: That's awesome because I have not heard about them, but probably because I don't I'm not in the marketing writing space, but I'm definitely going to check it out. So thanks for bringing us this great resource. You know, this is how I know as much as I've been on this journey for a long time. I'm always open to learning. As you were sharing your journey, Kathleen, I was like you know you're doing so many things, I guess, in my opinion, the right way. You are being vulnerable. 

Speaker 1: It's not easy to be vulnerable online. You are positioning yourself as a beginner, but you're bringing a sense. You're putting your structure around it. It's telling a story about you to me. You are tackling your fears head-on as well, and you're pivoting right. So you've done all these different things. You've identified that you want to break into a different part or sort of you know, break into a different field or rather, within writing, a different type of writing. You're making yourself accountable by hey, i'm going to be doing this tomorrow. So that is your hook. That's how I'm hooked on your posts. I am looking forward to what is coming next, and, honestly, I love your humor. I have seen some of your videos not all of your videos. 

Speaker 1: But anytime I watch your video, I have like because it's so unscripted when you are walking us through right, and what I like about the fact is that you just take it in your stride and you're just talking organically about what you're thinking, speaking aloud. I'm thinking of so many things. You bring so many skills. You're demonstrating so many skills here by doing these little things. I know that you know you are looking for a great opportunity to you know, to step into this amazing next chapter of your life. And with everything that you are doing online, trust me, it is your power. Own it and do it. You're going to go places. My heart tells me that you're going to find something so amazing . And I hope it happens to you. I hope we can manifest that together. Right, the thing about Friday yes, so, the Friday thing. I follow that more closely. By the way, your posts about risk and safety and the ethical, the impact of AI, and we are going to talk about that, because I think that is a very critical part of the conversation that each one of us owes it to ourselves and to our future selves and for the next generation, as we kind of discover what AI means to us, to each of us. And how can we not just keep our jobs but move forward responsibly. Right? All of that whatever you're doing is all great stuff, and the reason I bring that up is because there are a lot of writers, people from any field, who are looking for their next break, and everything that you shared being vulnerable, trying to network, trying to reach out, trying to do things a different way. You're owning your own story and not being afraid of it. 

Speaker 1: This is what somebody who's been in this field for a long time I'm not a manager, but when I do sit in on any hiring decisions, wherever I've been, these are the things, the qualities that I look for in the younger generation that's entering the field, and I think this applies to any profession, not just writers. So any beginner that is out there trying to figure out hey, what do I do, what can I do differently? Kathleen, I think you're doing an amazing job with that, so congratulations. It's not easy, and I acknowledge that, and I appreciate what you do, Because I'm learning and I'm sure so many others are learning. Now let's move on to the next question. We talk about learning here. I know that the employees of these tools that you are researching are reaching out to you because they are learning from your journey. Let's talk about that. Sure. 

Speaker 2: It's been fun to engage with the folks who work at these tools, the companies that are producing these tools, and I want to make sure these people aren't paying me. I'm doing this of my own volition And I'm not getting any kickbacks or anything like that. It's just I post these things, I tag them in these posts because I want them to see them, obviously. 

Speaker 1: Excellent. 

Speaker 2: Because essentially what I'm doing, I'm doing user testing for them. 

Speaker 1: Exactly. 

Speaker 2: Free. I'm doing some user testing And I think if you're a good quality company, you're going to listen to the user 100%. You have to, otherwise people aren't going to pay $199 a month for your service. You need to listen to the user, so I'm providing the service for them. And so, yes, there have been a really interesting engagements with these folks, like one of the CEOs and founder of one of the tools reached out because I didn't have some complimentary things to say about that particular tool. 

Speaker 2: He kind of pushed back a little and said, hey, we're going to give you a VIP subscription for the next month if you want to get in there and really take a deeper dive, and so I thought that was really interesting. I had the VP of marketing of one of the tools reach out.  Hey, we want to. You know, is it OK if we use your content to demonstrate what users can do as a use case? and got followed by one of the CEOs and founders of another tool I worked on I highlighted last week, so it's been really interesting how the people who work in producing, or the people who are producing these tools, are reaching out and engaging in my content. 

Speaker 1: So looks like some good stuff has come out of this experience and, if I may say so, maybe you have a career in user testing, probably user research, right? 

Speaker 2: Absolutely Yeah, yeah. 

Speaker 1: You seem to be just hitting the ball out of the. What is it out of the park? The park, yes, yes, thank you, thank you. It's a hard job. It's not easy doing that. You know you have to. It's a certain mindset. As you are doing this, organically, unscripted, you're finding some good and bad. And if these big shots are reaching out to you, they're invested in what you're saying. And it's a very smart thing that you are tagging them. I would have not thought of that. That is also being kind of fearless a little bit. 

Speaker 2: That's amazing. 

Speaker 1: Hats off to you on that. 

Speaker 2: Why not? 

Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely, why not? That's a good question, why not? 

Speaker 2: I don't have anything to lose here. So it's not like I said, I don't have any monetary value in this game. It's just I feel like you know part of it is about really it's about my community of writers. Like the majority of the people on LinkedIn, I'm connected to writers. And I want, my hope is my vulnerability in this journey. They can see that and say, all right, maybe AI isn't as scary, maybe AI is more palatable than I thought, maybe it can help me be a better writer and not replace me at my job. You know what I mean. So I was just going to say that's my main motivation, and so I'm being authentic in everything that's happening on LinkedIn, and people can tell whether you're the creator of the tool or a fellow writer who has the same peers I do about AI. 

Speaker 1: So yeah. So segueing into my follow-up question here. You talk about how AI is here to stay and we better embrace it. You've tested quite a few tools. What does it look like to you? Is it going to replace us? What are your thoughts? Give us some insight into that. 

Speaker 2: Sure, I did a little count before we got on and I so far have tested about 10 tools. I think personally, at least immediately, I think we're safe as writers. I don't think AI is going to replace us just because, as I've been going through these tools and if you've watched any of my videos, I think there's always a hint of skepticism. Am I reacting to the cool features on some of these tools? Absolutely, but I'm also thinking this isn't how I would do it as a writer or this isn't the word choice I would do. I think, as writers, we know that, depending on which piece of the pie you call your writing career, writing is subjective. An AI tool can spit out something to get you started, but really deep down, you're like yeah, it's not 100 percent perfect, it's not always the best, in my opinion. If you watch some of my videos, you can see and I'm like I don't think I would say it that way I don't necessarily agree with what they're saying here or the information is wrong. I think there's very much a human element that still needs to be applied. I think AI can definitely make some of the more mundane tasks that, as writers, we take on easier and we can get them done quicker to get to the higher level, critical creative thinking. And, as when I get into ChatGPT, maybe the sum of that is with that tool in particular we'll start doing that. 

Speaker 2: But if you think about it, the training of the large language models is being like data. There's bias in data. And I spoke about bias in objectivity in my Friday post this week, and you have to account for that. There's human bias and there's going to be AI bias, and so we have to figure that out together. And it's not. I don't think we'll ever reach kind of a perfection with AI because the people like it's data is biased. Humans are biased here, like inputting the data, and so you're never gonna. It's like the snowball effect and you're never gonna reach 100% perfection. So I think there's definitely room for both "us and them". 

Speaker 1: Us and them yes, yes.  It cannot be us versus them. it has to be us and them together, Absolutely. I remember, so I follow most of your posts, and one of the videos that I watched which stayed with me was you were just going through this tool and you wrote something, and then it gave a readability score of 90 for you, 90 or 92. And then you gave these bullets for the AI to generate its own content and it gave itself some 80 or something, and that, I think, caught you by surprise, right Well? 

Speaker 2: It did because in the suggestions that it gave my writing, it wasn't taking, the AI didn't improve and take the suggestions it itself gave me as a writer. So I was like wait a minute. 

Speaker 1: That was very smart of you to catch that. That's why I say right, user research, user testing. You did an amazing job with that, and I wouldn't have thought about it either. We trust AI. I've been using ChatGPT extensively for a lot of things, but I have not used the tool that you were testing, and when it gave its own script or whatever it spit out a readability score of 80, the fact that it's not applying its own rules to its own content, that kind of made me pause a little bit. 

Speaker 1: And it's interesting that we are scared of AI, but as we start using it, we fall more and more in love with it. I'm speaking for myself here, and. But then there is this other side, the dark side, where it's not testing its own rules. It's not following its own rules probably, right, we haven't thought about it. And bias, of course. Bias, objectivity, all these things are. It's learning from the data that we feed to it, right? It's not at that point where it can create its own content. It is feeding off of what is being fed to it. And be it any tool. So to be mindful of that fact is very, very important. So that was something that I definitely did. I walked away with something to be mindful of, so thank you for that actually. 

Speaker 2: For sure, and that in the technology could advance to a point where it is creating its own content. But just as we create our own content, we still need to be fact-checked, and we still need to be edited. So you can't completely, 100% accept whatever it's giving you, just like people don't accept 100% what we produce, right? 

Speaker 1: So you got to keep that in mind, it's because it's a machine. 

Speaker 2: Just because it's a machine doesn't mean it's always accurate, always correct, yeah. 

Speaker 1: Yeah, definitely. I think that's very good advice for all of us that are going to use more and more of this tool. So, Kathleen, we've touched upon a lot of good questions here. All this research that you're doing, how has that informed your career so far? 

Speaker 2: Yeah, absolutely So. Engaging with AI was a fear of mine, and so this journey for me, has alleviated some of those fears that I'm going to be replaced, and whenever you can counter your fears and space them head-on, you make them smaller, they shrink up and they don't seem as bad as you thought, and so that's how I've come out on the other side of this AI journey. And I'm just like ah, AI, it's OK, we're going to be OK. Also, I think when you apply for something, for a job, or you list your skills or credentials on LinkedIn and it's kind of difficult to really bring to life the skills that you talk about in a resume or on LinkedIn, because people are reading those things, and for me, a lot of this journey demonstrates my creative, critical thinking in these videos, my flexibility, my curiosity, my lifelong learning interests And bringing those things to life. Like I can list those things on a resume or in my LinkedIn profile, but this is the first time I've been able to really bring those things to life and have a moment. I mean, I've demonstrated those in professional situations before, but this is happening in real time. And I can point to these things and say this is just a different way. I've applied those things that are listed on my resume. So that's and it validates for me that this journey is a positive thing, that I'm doing a good thing for not only my fellow writers on LinkedIn, but demonstrating these things instead of I'm showing, not telling. 

Speaker 1: Right, yes, yes, and I think this also probably becomes part of your portfolio that you can point to. Like you said, it demonstrates in real-time your curiosity and thinking out of the box as you go, because that is something we have to do in our day-to-day, where we are thinking on our feet. Many a time, there is no script and to be vulnerable, to be authentic, we talk about these things, but you're actually. It's a show and tell in real-time, which is, I think, in my opinion, it's fantastic to do. It's a great thing. 

Speaker 1: You are also helping writers like me, who have been on this journey for such a long time, to learn, to see how youngsters are thinking about it and what can we do together, rather than in my own silo, because the more we converse about it, the more we become smart. Right, we learn from each other, we lean in on each other, and then that's important because that is the human element that AI cannot do right. Right, and together we are stronger. Hopefully, right, I mean genuinely. I'm scared, too, that I could be replaced right. So when we do these conversations, we learn from each other, we just broaden our thinking. And, to me, well, and so writing in and of itself is a solitary act. 

Speaker 2: You leave a meeting about what you're supposed to do for the week. And you're essentially on your own island, even if you're in an office. 

Speaker 2: You know, it doesn't matter if you're working from home, remotely, in an office, it's a solitary act. And so by doing this and creating a community around writing, again, it reinforces what you just said. We're in this together, we're not alone. We don't have to be on these islands of us sitting at our desks writing and I know a lot of us love that, and I know I speak for myself when I say I'm an introvert to the core And that's why I love to write, because you know it does alleviate like, oh, I have to constantly be on in front of folks. But just realizing and not forgetting that we're all in this together and that we can support each other in this journey is just, I think. For me it's huge, yeah. 

Speaker 1: And I've been a writer, a technical writer, for a long time, almost coming up on two decades. I'm dating myself here, but that's fine, and what I have realized in my career is that we may think that we write alone, that we go off and write, but the field itself has evolved, and especially the more UX writing that I do, I lean in. I cannot do this alone. I have to engage with other writers. The frequency is far more than it used to be when I was writing long from writing. It's that it has evolved. So if anybody thinks that you're going to be writing off on your own as an introvert, I highly recommend that we. It's OK to be introverted and still be able to talk to people. You don't have to...

Speaker 2: Oh yeah. 

Speaker 1: Right And not to feel scared. I believe I'm probably ambivert. My kids tell me I'm not at all introverted, but I think I know myself a little bit to say that I am an introvert, but maybe not. Maybe I'm an ambivert, but with that mindset. The field has evolved a lot. And if we think that we can continue to be in our silos and still do things the way we did even before the pandemic or pre-AI, the field is evolving and we better move with it if we want to have secure careers, and secure futures and be here in the long run and not get outdated. 

Speaker 2: Right. 

Speaker 1: Yeah, so I think that's a good point that you bring up. It helps us to engage with each other and find out what are we thinking and how we can help each other. 100% Right, right, Risk and safety your Friday post. I want to talk a little bit about that. What have you found so far? What has your research told you so far? 

Speaker 2: Historically, because of my journalism and critical media literacy background, i'm very cautious about the sources, or not cautious, but aware of where I'm getting that information from, because the Internet is what it is right, and so there's lots of misinformation and lots of bias out there, a lot of doomsayer in the AI space, and I don't necessarily want to support 100% those folks, just like I don't want to be this AI Pollyanna. I'm kind of trying to find a middle ground And so I gravitate toward resources that are academic in nature, are peer-reviewed or being created and provided by government agencies that have the power to create ethical guardrails around AI, and my hope is in sharing these resources, and they're not like I said in one of my posts, they're not sexy resources, it's dry, it's a little boring to read, but I think it's super important that we consider all of these, these ethical risks and safety issues, not only the AI system creators, but also the businesses who want to be AI forward. And you need to have companies, need to start having AI task force within their organizations to really have dedicated people who are thinking about this And what it looks like as an organization and how it fits into your policies and procedures and how you can be transparent with your clients and your customers about how you're using it, and so I think it's going to take. It worries me because there's the speed effect, right? So AI technology and how it's being produced and advanced is happening so quickly, and the folks that are technically and historically responsible for creating guardrails and policies around such things are usually the academic folks and the government, and those are those entities are usually really slow to kind of catch up and get into it. So there's this kind of imbalance with those two things And that's my concern here. 

Speaker 2: So, as it continues to speed up, i think we just need to collectively help each other, keep asking those hard questions about the ethics and the you know, what if this happened? What if this stuff you know, and I'm sure it's already happening out there It's getting into dangerous hands. So what do we do with that? What happens? How can we protect each other? How can we protect humanity, our businesses, our personal lives, society at large, so we don't get harmed by it, any kind of piece of technology that helps humanity in a good way? It's a new level, a new devil, right? So this is super cool, but there, you know, you have to contend with the new devil at this level, and so we need to also be thinking about that as personally, professionally and society at large. 

Speaker 1: You bring a lot of maturity to this discussion, which is absolutely needed at this time, and the things that you mentioned task force policy and procedures being transparent. Some companies are doing that. I know that Microsoft is using AI to generate content And I was on the Microsoft website and there was there was transparency on there, which I really liked, because it said something along the lines of AI. The content was generated by AI but verified by humans, something along those lines. That transparency helped me know that, okay, this company is using AI, but then how is it being used And what is happening behind the scenes with this content? 

Speaker 1: It's not just being spit out at me, but the guardrails, the resources that you're looking at to do your research. It's cut and dry. I mean it is. It is going to be dry absolutely. And the interesting thing that you talk about that the progress and the research is not in sync right, the in terms of the ethical research, AI has sort of it's this bullet train And then academic research, which is kind of at a snail space. We may never catch up to it. So I'm thinking about all these big names in the industry, Elon Musk and everybody talking about hey, let's take a pause for six months so that we can catch up to what do we want our AI future to look like. 

Speaker 2: I think, with what you're bringing to the table, that may be needed Absolutely, i think so I think, especially in this moment, we still it hasn't gotten to a point yet where it's more bad than good in terms of how it's impacting society. This is the moment where we need to pause. We still can decide how our future looks like in terms of AI. I think it's important to take a moment here, especially right now, because we haven't No one really understood, when social media came out, the kind of unintended consequences And you know there's research that has been done about how it's impacted mental health and all of that And we still don't know how AI is going to impact people and society in the long term. You know, i was thinking about it. 

Speaker 2: Usually, laws and rules come up because something disastrous happens, something awful happens, and so they're forced to create rules and laws about this. 

Speaker 2: I don't think we should let that happen here. I don't want to see some kind of awful disasters thing happen as a result of using AI or incorporating AI in our society and culture. So this is that moment. This is the moment we can still decide what it looks like, how we want to use it, how we want it to show up in our world. I mean, i don't have those fat power to be like, hey, everybody, let's pause. 

Speaker 2: That's my opinion, but you know just kind of the sense I'm getting in terms of, like, let's learn from history for once. Like, let's look at how things evolved in the, you know, when social media first came onto the scene and how it's impacted, whether the people who are using it, like teenagers and young children, how they've been impacted, whether or not they realize they're being impacted. I think we can kind of look back enough now to see how it has been affected folks in our culture and our world. So we don't I don't want to get to that point with AI. Like let's pause right now and kind of figure out how we want to proceed in terms of effects, risk and safety and how we want it to impact and infiltrate our lives. 

Speaker 1: Absolutely. It's a scary thought to think that we wait for something disastrous to happen before we act. This is a great moment, and there are organizations trying to do that, or I would say whatever little bit I've read. I mean private organizations trying to ask for that moment. People are realizing that this can. even those whose jobs are not going to be replaced are talking about hey, let's take a pause here and let's be responsible with how we proceed, and I think we have to. we should be leaning in and coming together to figure out what that means. 

Speaker 1: We don't know what that means And like, even if you say that I don't have the power, I think you do have the power by what you're doing on LinkedIn right By talking about it, by bringing these fears up. somebody somewhere is listening and we cannot be quiet about it. What our impact is going to be, we don't know, but we cannot wait for that. We still have to voice our concerns. So this is awesome that you're taking this initiative to do what you do and talk about these things. I did want to request you to talk a little bit about what did you mean by pollyanna, because I think you use that in the context of you're not a pollyanna right For my folks who are listening from all these interesting countries that may not know what it means. 

Speaker 2: So in this context, that kind of idiom term, polyanna, means being super positive, kind of pie in the sky, super excited about something and not considering the other side of things, so just being, you know, like always celebrating AI, not pushing forward with it, promoting it, without thinking about well, this could be harmful Because the gym sayers out there who are like this is going to destroy us as human beings. And then there are the people who are just super excited And those are the polyannas who aren't thinking about the other side. I don't want to be on either side. I want to consider both and kind of come to my own conclusions. 

Speaker 1: See, I learned something. I'm good. This is my vulnerable moment. I had a fair idea. I didn't know, so, thank you, I learned something new today on my own show. I always do, actually, I always learn more than I'm asking for. I just have to make space to remember all this stuff. We have touched upon some amazing, pressing questions, in my opinion. Is there anything that you feel we may have left out and that you want to add? 

Speaker 2: I don't think so. I think we've covered a lot of good stuff today. I think maybe some advice or some coaching to those folks who are want to create content or want to start learning how to network, i would say just dive in, don't be afraid to look foolish, especially if the end result is going to help other people or open you up to opportunities, and that's kind of what I've learned through all of this. I think one of the fears also, along with being a beginner, for me was looking foolish, caring what other people think about this content that I'm producing, and because I feel like I'm helping folks, i had to let that go. I had to let my ego kind of go with all of it and just kind of dive in and be as it may. This is how I'm presenting myself in this moment. That's awesome. 

Speaker 2: One of the cool things about this also, in addition to the creator of these tools, that I have reached out. A lot of my writing connections a couple of them have reached out and have really interested in my perspective and what I've been doing, and so there are three other content creators that we've gathered to. We're going to start creating a AI-focused, technology-focused easing that the first issue is supposed to be out sometime in June And we just we've never met in person. We only kind of connected on LinkedIn and we're dividing and conquering It's for women, and we're talking about technology and how we've come to it AI, how we're integrating it into our. 

Speaker 2: We're all writers, and so it's going to be really cool. We're going to do some cool things with it. We all are coming at it from different perspectives. One's a content marketer, one gal is a journalist and one gal is she works in UX, she's a UX researcher. So we're all kind of have our own spins and slices on what's happening, and I think it's going to be pretty cool. I'm very excited about it. That's awesome And this is an opportunity, right, and so had I not shared all that I am sharing those folks, I would never know. So it's all very exciting and this kind of engaging and new opportunities as a result of all of this is just it's really fun. 

Speaker 1: Congratulations. That's a big achievement. To come together to build something new. That's awesome. That speaks to your, your strengths, so I'm looking forward to it. When it, when you're ready to go live with it, definitely please let me know and I will share it with my audience. I want to. I want all of us to participate in this discussion, and what you're doing is a leg up, and you know you talked about Hey, i don't have the influence. I think you do have some sort of influence here as you start to create this. you know you're expressing yourself to a newsletter and with more people, that it shows how you are starting to influence this discussion. Hey, ye to you, Kathleen. This has been an amazing, amazing conversation. I've had so much fun honestly talking to you and learning from what you do and where you're headed. I wish you all the very best. Catherine, you're going to go places. I know that you're doing awesome already. Thank you so much for being on my show. 

Speaker 2: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me. This is really fun. 

Speaker 1: I appreciate you. I appreciate you too. Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite app, such as Google, Apple, or Spotify, for the latest on my show, follow me on LinkedIn, or visit me at Catch you on another episode. 

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Learning and Engaging in User Testing
The Future of Writing With AI
Ethical Considerations in AI Implementation