The cat’s whiskers- Content is a-changing

Being, yet another bank holiday and some great weather again, this weekend I felt the pressure to get outdoors… The garden office is now being opened (so if it rains next week it is all my fault of course).

However working outside, there were also a couple of observations this week.

  • Firstly, I realised if cats learn to open fridges, we’re in big trouble. My cat has clearly worked out that this is where the food is… and is taking a great interest, really great interest whenever I open the door… I suspect a plan is brewing… and half expect to stumble over MS project plans and engineering diagrams behind the sofa.
  • The tea and biscuit debate continues… Twix, and chocolate hobnobs have moved up with digestives still in the lead… with ginger snaps making a surprise entry… and sorry no dunking… I am off camping this weekend so it is highly likely Tunnocks Tea Cakes will also make an appearance… full report next week.
  • Work-wise, Emojis seem to be increasingly infiltrating LinkedIn posts… my suspicion is that this is the subtle hand of ChatGPT at work… it has a predilection for emojis and cannot seem not to help itself… it could also be that this is an indicator of increasing ChatGPT usage, which is also happening.
  • The volume of content marketing also continues to grow… it feels we are moving from a busy doing to a busy selling period. What has me a little concerned is, what with economic trouble in the background, this could be a signal for more troubled times ahead (ie if businesses are looking for customers but no one is buying)… one to watch and listen for.
  • As noted in my discussion with Kevin Still this week too, we realised we have less that 70 days to go until the FCA consumer duty goes live…this is not a lot of time and the topics of good metrics to evidence good outcomes keeps coming up… something to expand on next week.
  • Lastly around content. I have been reflecting on attention spans and long-form articles. Are our attention spans becoming shorter and patience with reading becomes thinner?… my data says I think so… So a new format this week and better summaries of articles, videos and news not being posted on Let me know what you think and whether this works in the comments below.

Have a good week everyone

Stories from last week

  • Sam Altman expressed concerns about AI regulations in the EU:
    During a side panel discussion hosted by the University College London, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, expressed his concerns about the European Union’s definition of “high-risk” systems in proposed AI regulations.
  • Ofgem announced a 17% reduction in the energy price cap:
    UK regulator Ofgem announced a significant 17% decrease in the energy price cap, which is expected to result in lower energy bills for millions of consumers.
  • Lenders agree to pay out up to £47 million in redress to borrowers in difficulty:
    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that nearly 100 lenders have agreed to provide redress, including reduced or temporary payment options and changes to loan terms, for borrowers facing financial difficulty.
  • Young investors prioritize long-term goals when dating over investing:
    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) conducted research revealing that young investors prioritize long-term goals when dating more than when making investment decisions.
  • British individuals are the biggest victims of card fraud in Europe:
    British individuals are identified as the most targeted victims of card fraud in Europe.
  • Inflation falls to 8.7% in the UK:
    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) provideed insight into the inflation figures for April.
  • Average income in the UK is £242 short each month:
    A campaign to ‘take on poverty’ and address the urgent needs of individuals impacted by low incomes and rising costs was launched last week.
  • OpenAI may consider leaving the EU due to AI regulations:
    Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, mentioned during the side panel discussion that OpenAI may consider leaving the EU if the proposed AI regulations classify their language models, such as ChatGPT and GPT-4, as high-risk systems. (although he has since rowed back from this position)
  • FCA is working with lenders to improve treatment of borrowers in financial difficulty:
    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is collaborating with lenders to enhance their approach to supporting borrowers facing financial difficulties and is seeking significant improvements in borrower treatment.
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Still time for tea?

Summer seemed to arrive this week. No more hiding indoors huddled over a screen. With warmer weather, it’s the opportunity to get outside.

So sitting outside this weekend, basking in the sun, my mind turned to the garden… Annoyance, that the Heron seemed to have snacked on all of the fish in my pond. Amusement as to why there appeared to be some items of washing on my roof; And then the big question, what would be the best biscuit for my cup of tea, with the latter being a source of some consultation, with both ‘formal’ and impromptu surveys over the week driving some considerable heated debate.

That’s rich

The big shock from this survey was that no one seemed to mention the poor old rich tea biscuit, a standard staple of my youth… It seems, these days, it is all about the Digestive instead.

In the taxonomy of biscuits, digestives, apparently hold the unique position as the gold standard against which all other biscuits can be measured. Hobnobs, chocolate coatings, and cream fillings are all a step up, before getting to the real controversy… the jaffa cake and of course tea cakes…. luxurious yes, but are they even biscuits!… but Rich Tea, not to be seen.

Let me know your favourites here….

Nearing the end, of the beginning

In other news, consumer duty is starting to come back on the agenda again, with more webinars and increased visibility.

There are now less than 75 days left to go, and time is very very tight. This is especially the case if substantial changes need to be made.

In discussion with Frank Brown and Kevin Still, both experts in this space, it does feel like there is still much more that needs to be done generally in the industry.

For Collections in particular the challenges I have been hearing is around the evidencing of good customer outcomes (MI), together with cultural change. There is still mich to do.

I have added the interview with Frank, and a summary of the Consumer Duty in the links below.

AI – are you fed up with it yet?

The news and excitement around AI does not seem to be slowing down. It is quite tiring, the topic is no longer fresh, but every week there seems to be a new development.

I am starting to wonder if this is another turning point or inflection for us, in the same way, mobile phones, computers, the Internet, TVs, plumbing, cars and washing machines were… just from this week, some highlighted stories

  • There has been more discussion on the further increase of the number of tokens used within the models to make them more powerful
  • Open Source models are now also starting to come online too, this is no longer just ChatGPT, Bard and Bing Chat, but fragmenting with open source GPT too.
  • And, governments starting to pay attention, but to be honest struggling to pick up speed, with the EU (and Brazil) being furthest ahead on legislation.

In the media, there is still an awful lot of negativity. We are often fearful about what we do not understand.

This was the same, if you remember, for Cars, TV, the Internet and more recently Blockchain. I am still in the camp of viewing these AI- Large Language models as being huge time savers, allowing me to do more and freeing my time to concentrate, create new things and enjoy that biscuit.

We can either choose to adopt or not, in all of these cases… however, I am get the distinct feeling, much like the early days of the internet, of the lift being on the ground floor and going up.

If you get on, it can result in fantastic opportunities and fun… if you do not, life will continue as normal for a bit, but then there is potential to get left behind… (and if you are left behind the stairs are awfully hard work to catch up).

Something else to think about these days… a topic I will no doubt we will come back to again… have a good week everyone.

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AI emerging from the shadows – Friend or Foe?

Over the past week, I have found myself in repeated conversations about AI and large language models… it seems like interest in it continues to grow at pace, expanding beyond ChatGPT to other models and uses too.

The rate of development in this AI space, with new products coming to market attention, is just astounding – and far from being big tech only, open source models, able to run on PCs (soon phones?), are already being discussed – it does feel a genie has just been let out its the bottle.

I haven’t really felt this level of excitement for a while. Not maybe since the dawn of the internet or the mobile smartphone… there is a sense of massive opportunity, that new things are possible and a potential to make life better, mixed with the uncertainty of change.

It’s as if we’re standing on the precipice of a new era.

And, just like a universal Swiss Army Knife, does AI-LLM have the potential to be the fix all, providing solutions to many of the problems we face today? (modern day problems that is, rather than real problems… although maybe it can help with some of these too?)

Comedy – the last frontier?

Adoption is clearly on the rise – Notice more use of emojis on LinkedIn posts – ChatGPT; Smoother to the point headlines – ChatGPT; Waffling a bit in generalities – ChatGPT; Not making sense explaining a complex concept (and making a joke of it) – nope this is me!

Comedy aside… For those in creative spaces, this new technology is an incredible time-saver and let’s be frank about it… once you have started to use it, it is incredibly hard to stop.

Debates over use

All this fast adoption has also ignited lots of debate.

  • Should we call a halt to development and introduce more controls?
  • Is this the end of society as we know it?

Some concerns do seem valid… the thought of this type of AI interacting with itself, between models, creating its own prompts, and continuously improving is unsettling.

Likewise, that they have not yet been connected to large-scale systems in this form, for now, also seems a blessing.

However, we can no longer unsee what we have seen, and having seen its potential, my view is that it is now going to be incredibly hard to put away… it is really a little too late.

It is now out there, in the wild and we are going to have to adapt… As a result, there will be business implications and not all necessarily positive.

Changing business models

By way of example, over recent years many companies have poured immense time, effort and resources into the development of new tools and techniques for process improvement.

These, often bespoke, solutions and business models, as suddenly starting to seem clunky and expensive, when I can develop something similar, with the same output all for a fraction of the cost with my general ‘swiss army knife’ GPT approach.

Just in the same way that no one buys a digital camera or a flashlight anymore (we just use our smartphones) – it has the potential to fundamentally change the business, and societal, landscape.

Try to keep up

With such a pace of change, if you’re not using it now, or at least understanding how it’s used, there is the potential to fall behind.

It is fast becoming pervasive, is quite thrilling to observe, and helping in part to unleash new levels of creativity – in volume rather than quality at least!

It is all exciting to watch closely, to see where the journey leads us. Hopefully, it will end in a better place than before… which if you look at history of previous cycles (PC, internet, smartphone) I do have some optimism about..:)

Time to now head off for a quick game of Candy Crush… have a good week everyone.

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