Everything, Everywhere, All At Once

Feb 28, 2024
Kate Walton

Hello from Steyer!

Yesterday morning, at our weekly AI Chat, I told a true story:

That while I was away on vacation, I cracked my sternum on a boogie board. It hurt like hell, but since my breathing seemed fine, I decided to forgo a visit to urgent care. I didn’t want to waste even one evening of my precious holiday, and by then I’d read enough to know that the treatment for a bruised or broken sternum is typically ibuprofen and time—lots of both.


I also shared at the AI Chat that a doctor friend had later suggested I get a chest x-ray—just to be 100% sure my lungs were fine. How wonderful, then, to live in the age of AI: to be able to step into a diagnostic pod, insert a credit card, sign a digital waiver, and emerge after a quick body scan with a comprehensive report! Right?!

But of course that part of the story wasn’t true at all. It was just wishful thinking, a brief indulgence in the company of people with whom I’ve become comfortable imagining the future.

CarePods are reportedly coming soon, but for now most of us are still getting healthcare the old-fashioned way. In my case, I did end up going for a chest x-ray and eventually, I got what I needed: confirmation that my lungs were a-okay. But it was a long and convoluted process, involving an onsite nurse, an onsite radiology tech, and a remote radiologist. By hour six of waiting in a light mist of coughs and sneezes, I found myself muttering, The AI revolution can’t come soon enough.”

I tell this story because this is where I am on AI: all over the place. Excited for the medical breakthroughs. Wary of the job dislocation. Impressed by the tools. Torn over the copyright issues. Wowed by all the creativity. Nervous about all the misinformation.

About a year ago, I created a slide showing three camps: 1) those who believed in the enormous potential of AI; 2) those who viewed it as a mixed bag; and 3) those who saw it as an unprecedented threat. Now this seems altogether too neat, with “All of the Above” as arguably the only stance that makes any real sense.

It is this very morass that we dig into each Tuesday morning at 8am PT—and all are welcome to dig with us. To join these chats, please send me an email (kwalton@steyer.net) and I’ll make sure you get the link.


Photo credit: Maureen Doctoroff
Photo note: This is actually the bathroom (?!) at a restaurant in London called Sketch. In other words: this is not a photo of the magical healthcare pods I was dreaming of from my beige seat in urgent care—but in my mind’s eye, it could have been.