TLDR; scroll to the end for photos :)

Struggle is probably not what crosses your mind when you hear about someone traveling to Australia for an entire month in the dead of Chicago winter.

Don’t get me wrong, Australia was phenomenal. I took off work for 2 weeks, became a certified scuba diver, dove numerous of the 2000+ Great Barrier reefs, explored Yarra Valley wines and animals, and tried over 30 different coffee shops!

But I think it’d be foolish to write an article that shows only didgeridoos, meter-long clams, and koalas. With most things good in life come struggle, and who we are are defined by our struggles. As current author Mark Manson wrote, “when we deny our problems, we rob ourselves of the chance to solve them and generate happiness. Problems add a sense of meaning and importance to our lives”.

As I encountered downtime in Australia, I began prototyping technology that I feel strongly will transform how humans interact in the near future.

Turning Downtime Into Creativity

One of my personal goals is to supplant downtime with creativity, especially when in new places with new people. I spend a lot of time running workshops to harness creativity in a way that allow groups of people to contribute.

I have learned that when I address brand new ideas in technology, some people have difficulty maintaining a curious mind. When ideas are antithetical to how our world currently works, negative perspectives and dogmas can dampen enthusiasm. One could think of many examples of this beginning with the steam engine to the car to the iPhone. From the perspective of AI, people are often concerned with its takeover of the world, rather than ways it can improve and complement the human objective.

I've been thinking about the best way to implement conversational intelligence—the concept that our spoken words can be interpreted by AI—in industries such as healthcare and education. Conversational intelligence is an industry that has yet to be disrupted (there are relatively few companies) except in sales.

I'll release wireframes in the coming weeks of what we're working up, but here's a teaser of ways that AI could help allow technology to be a proactive tool rather than reactive:

Now Back to Down Unda

Nights are serene, and days are green. Stuck in the bliss of sights not to miss. Cup your coffee, keep it slow-paced. Wine and friends, savour the taste.
Beach vibe—gorge and oversubscribe. Boats, bats and runaways—let's scuba for days.