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The Skill-Luck Equation in the Age of AI
Navigating a Paradoxical Landscape
Michael Mauboussin's book "The Success Equation" provides a fascinating insight into the delicate balance between skill and luck in determining success. The equation, "Outcome = Skill + Luck," suggests that while skill is undoubtedly crucial in achieving success, luck is also part of the equation.
The paradox of skill is an interesting concept that Mauboussin explores in his book. Essentially, as skill levels increase, the impact of luck becomes more significant. This phenomenon is observed in many areas, including sports, where the relative skill levels of players can greatly influence the importance of luck in determining the outcome of a game.
For example, in a cricket match between India and Ireland, the relative skill levels are vastly different, and India would be expected to win. The toss does not matter a lot in this game. However, when playing against a team like New Zealand, whose skill level is similar to that of India, the outcome becomes more uncertain, and luck plays a more significant role. Factors like the toss become more critical, as conditions can vary depending on the location of the match.
In simple terms, when everyone's really good, luck matters more than ever.
As the field of AI continues to evolve exponentially, it's hard not to wonder what the future holds for writers, editors, coders, and people in general. The emergence of stuff like GPT4 and MidJourney 5.1 has revolutionized the way we think about content creation, and it's raising some important questions about the future of the industry.
But before diving into that, let's take a step back and consider the Paradox of skill. As we learned, as skill levels increase, the impact of luck becomes more significant. And when it comes to AI and content creation, this becomes particularly relevant. Assume that
A Successful newsletter = Great article ideas + Great writing + Great marketing + Luck
With GPT, the quality of writing may have improved, say from a 3 out of 10 to a 6 out of 10. However, since everyone else using GPT has also experienced a similar improvement, the playing field has become more level.
So, what does this mean for the success of a newsletter? Well, it means that now the other components of a successful newsletter, such as great article ideas, great marketing, and luck become relatively more important, than what they were in the past.
In short, while the rise of AI may bring about significant changes in the content creation industry, it's important to keep the Paradox of skill in mind. As skill levels increase, the impact of luck and other differentiating factors become more important, and it's up to us to find ways to stay ahead of the curve.
That is not to say that the quality of writing does not matter anymore. Ofcourse it does. The bar for writing quality has been raised, and readers expect a higher standard than ever before. Additionally, there are still writing wizards who operate at a level that AI has not reached “yet”. While the playing field may have been leveled, the pursuit of excellence is still very much alive and well.
That’s all for now. By the way, those of you who are actively using GPT, you’ll may want to check out Perplexity.ai. It’s a pretty cool browser.