Language And The Future

It has been an interesting week of consulting conversations and workshops around the application of language and culture in the innovation process. Mainly the center of the conversation around how semiotics reveals our participation in the linguistic systems that shape our world.

As more companies become excited by the possibilities of new generative AI tools, we must consider how such tools are rooted in existing easily accessible corpuses. No fault of their own. They need to start somewhere. An explicit language corpus is available.

However, the real ability to suss out implicit signifiers and analyze the relationships between explicit and implicit signifiers is the role of humans. Humans can better leverage generative AI tools as augmentation of classification and the patterning of evolving meaning in culture.

Innovation and design foresight must be mandated to make the relationship between the explicit and implicit, the knowns and unknowns, in the world clearer.

It all starts to get really interesting when we begin to better understand how to use these tools to move us beyond our baked-in and residual idea of how the world should work. And our laziness in letting the machine do the easy work for us and ending there.

Design affordances open up when we understand the ways language holds us back or tricks us into repeating remixes of old ideas. The future of work is embedded in the design affordances that constitute its meaning. The existing tension between corporate quitting and corporate surveillance begs for a better articulation of how language is working to undermine the system we hope to sustain.