Brewing Up Change

Published by Dan on

The unexpected collision of coffee and AI

We like rituals. The comfort of doing the same thing in the same way repeatedly is a balm in our hurly burly days.

One of my treasured rituals is my morning coffee. I weigh the beans, then grind them then brew. It’s a comforting way I begin a day.

As with any ritual, though, any deviation from the norm is jarring. Last week, an unusual amount of ground coffee left in the grind chamber of my trusty Capresso burr grinder shocked me. After 15 years, my old friend had started to show its age.

Normally this would have sent me down the Amazon review-reading rabbit trail. I didn’t have time for that, so I figured I’d try a different tack. 

Picture of burr grinder sitting on countertop. Model name obscured after 15 years of almost daily use.

I had just watched OpenAI’s demo video announcing its release of GPT-4o and marveled at the voice interaction. But because OpenAI’s servers were overloaded, I couldn’t try it myself. 

Standing in my kitchen with a specific use case in mind, I tried another voice chat with GPT-4o.

The interaction felt incredibly intuitive, responsive, and not without hiccups. In the picture of the grinder I shared in the chat, the label was too faint for GPT-4o to identify the specific model. Once I shared a screenshot of my Amazon purchase history, we were off to the races having a wee chin wag diagnosing what I’d seen and weighing the merits of new grinders.

But I didn’t need to type or scroll. Instead, I unloaded the dishwasher while listening to GPT-4o read its responses then wait for me to answer. With a couple of water glasses in my hand, I could have an idea, interrupt GPT-4o, redirect it, and take the conversation in a new direction.

The interaction felt intuitive and responsive. To my mind, it lowers the bar for engaging with artificial intelligence. Talking with GPT-4o was far more natural than struggling to engineer a prompt.

While voice assistants aren’t new – Siri, Alexa, etc. – the off-the-cuff conversation I had with GPT-4o felt like a tectonic shift. Sometimes when I look at a sea of data in a spreadsheet or while analyzing a report, I can sense a pivot, a change, a significance. Watching the GPT-4o demo then having this kitchen conversation, I felt that shift.

The world changes every day in miniscule, imperceptible ways. This didn’t feel like that. GPT-4o is a big leap forward.

Although the firehose of AI news, models, and options is overwhelming, and it’s hard to know what to care about, if you haven’t used AI, now is the time to start.

I’d be happy to help you begin. Connect with me now, and we can figure it out together.