AI is Here to Amplify, Not Replace You

AI prompts both utopian and dystopian visions of the future. But Pete Sena, founder of digital agency Digital Surgeons, occupies the pragmatic middle. Rather than automation displacing jobs, Sena shows AI’s power to enhance human productivity. By reframing systems as talent amplifiers versus replacements, entrepreneurs access upside while avoiding disruption.

Start By Documenting Expertise

Sena confirms today’s Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT sport expansive potential. Yet many entrepreneurs, when seeking help, ask how these tools can slash headcounts. Sena investigated further, realising clients primarily “wanted to get more output out of their best performers.”

The breakthrough came when Sena stopped hunting automation opportunities and started exploring amplification. He asks, “What would it look like if I could take the best people and make them faster, better, stronger?”

The first step is codifying internal expertise – the “golden goose” knowledge driving operations. Sena says, “If you’re a busy CEO...turn on voice notes on your phone and just start recording.” Transcribe recordings and funnel them into databases. This corpus seeds AI systems with business-specific data so they output branded material.

Fine-Tuning AI to Enhance Talent

With robust data as fuel, AI becomes a bespoke leverage tool. Sena details systems trained to mimic financial service writers, generating content they then polish. “Instead of a person spending eight hours writing an article...they’re spending two hours editing.” Productivity surges. Employees feel empowered creatively collaborating with technology rather than churning work.

Sena insists if someone believes AI can’t aid their work, “they just don't know how to use the tools.” Existing staff must direct AI, not be replaced by it. He repeats, “An AI is not coming for your job, but someone using an AI is.” Upskilling is essential.

Automation Versus Acceleration

Sena found clients fixating on automation, assuming it necessitated eliminating jobs. In questioning this logic, Sena realised automation was the wrong solution. The actual need was accelerating output from top staff already onboard.

This mindset shift liberated fresh opportunities. He stopped hunting ways technology could displace workers and began exploring how it could fuel growth. The result? Happier, more empowered teams.

Cultivating Magic Moments

Sena argues entrepreneurs must “automate whatever you can, but don't forget those human moments.” Certain interactions resist automation, presenting openings to build loyalty.

He shares how Chewy, the e-commerce pet supplies seller, confronted this. A regular customer suffered a pet loss Chewy's systems didn’t catch. Dog food shipped automatically, emotionally confronting the grieving owner. But in apologies, Chewy’s customer service director emerged, sending condolences and flowers acknowledging the pet by name. The customer promised Chewy her sole source for future pet needs due to personalised service after technology faltered.

Sena concludes although AI should handle rote tasks, “understand where people need that human touch most and where they don’t.” Algorithmic efficiencies buy time for human connections forming magical memories.

An Amplified Future

Entrepreneurs maximising strengths while deploying technology to accelerate weak points will thrive amidst disruption. As Sena observes, conductor fame eclipses even lead violinists. Vision persists over velocity.

Document what makes your business special. Pour distinctive wisdom into AI. Automate the mundane so talents create and connect. Build a Symphony, not solos. This is the amplified potential before us. Sena welcomes entrepreneurs to shape it.

Pete Sena
Pete Sena
Design-led entrepreneur