Video: AI Defined # 4 Unsupervised Learning

Hey there,

In this video I share the latest edition of the artificial intelligence defined series where I give definitions for common machine learning and artificial intelligence terms.

In video # 4 I define the 2nd type of machine learning: Unsupervised learning.

Check it out

Here

 

AI is Coming For Content Creation Jobs, Faster Than You Think!

“The Robots are Coming To Take Our Jobs!”

Fear of having jobs taken by robots (or immigrants, or people of color if we’re being honest) is a fear as old as jobs themselves.

A quick search for the root of this fear leads to results like this wikipedia entry for Technophobia which can trace it’s roots all the way back to a group of weavers destroying machines in 1675.

The fear of robots specifically goes at least “The Brazen Android” a story published in The Atlantic all the way back in 1891.

Whether it’s weavers, or Ford assembly line workers or now sportswriters the fear of robots taking our jobs is nothing new.

For the most part the fear of robots was limited to more manual tasks like assembling Ford F150s.

Companies like Braincorp have created automatic floor sweepers, while the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner has been cleaning homes with questionable effectiveness for over a decade.

Robotic Process Automation or RPA use machine learning to complete tedious paperwork tasks such as compiling documents for signatures or checking for compliance or legal privilege.

But for the most part those who created things (like content) believed that we would be safe from the robot job apocalypse.

Only it appears we were wrong.

First the content creating robots started by writing ads. If you’ve worked in online marketing over the last few years you’ve no doubt discovered programmatic Pay per click (PPC).

Programmatic PPC is an artificially intelligent system that allows you to automatically buy, place and optimize display advertising.

Or in other words the robot buys, places and optimizes the ad for you.

There goes a whole industry of PPC consultants.

Programmatic PPC
The Mist Comes For PPC consultants

In fact it’s been estimated that in 5 years all PPC ads will run, and optimize automatically after the initial setup without any human interface necessary at all.

Which is why Google is actively calling everyone who advertises with them to offer them help with their programmatic system.

I know, I’ve been on 3 of those calls and grilled them for information about their robots which I’ll share in an upcoming article.

Now content creators, bloggers, and video makers have another type of AI to content with as content creating algorithms have begun to slowly trickle onto the market.

The technology being used is

  • Natural language generation (NLG) similar to Natural language processing (NLP) this is the task of generating natural language from machine representation systems.
  • Intelligent narratives sometimes also called “data driven narratives” which are stories created from the collected data personalized for the audience.
  • Automated storytelling technology which is responsible for the first AI created screenplay Sunspring

And this technology is ALREADY being used.

3 companies already using A.I to create content:

  1. Quill. The most well known NLG software is Quill which was created by the Narrative Science company. Quill started as an experiment at Northwestern and currently produces over 1 million words a day as it creates reports, news stories and headlines for companies such as Groupon, and T.Row Price. 
  2. The Washington Post. It’s no surprise that a paper owned by the World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos would be on the frontlines of AI created content. The Washington Post has an in house AI content creation system called “Heligraf” which wrote over 850 stories in 2017 alone. Heliograf also composes social media posts, news updates and alerts. Notable events covered by Heliograf include the Rio olympics and local political races in the DMV area.
  3. The Associated Press. While many people associate the AP with the old world journalism of newsrooms, black coffee and unfiltered cigarettes, they are actually one of the most advanced companies when it comes to content creating AI. The AP uses Automated Insights to take care of it’s oft neglected by humans corporate earnings reports beat. But what really separates the AP from the rest of the pack when it comes to intelligent content creation is with Wordsmith “The World’s First Public Natural Language Generation Platform. Let’s explain because that is a mouthful. Wordsmith works with you to create a story. First you set up rules, a template and and the required datapoints. From there Wordsmith does the rest creating the story. Wordsmith generates over 1.5 Billion Pieces of Content A Year or about half as much as I do. Companies that use Wordsmith include Microsoft and Allstate.

If you like me make your living creating content those last few paragraphs sent a cold shiver down your spine.

But there’s still reason for optimism if you are a content creator!

Why Content Creators shouldn’t panic: 

  1. Emotional Depth. If you look at the reviews for Sunspring the AI created screenplay you’ll see a lot of words like quirky and interesting. That’s because it’s still very difficult for AI to recognize the role that emotions play in making content interesting! Think of a show like “Parenthood” which is basically emotional porn. They crank the 70s music, a mother and son have a universally emotional moment and we all cry. AI has a LONG way to go until it is capable of writing shows like “Parenthood” or it’s evolutionary successor “This is us.”
  2. Context. In this Post I talk about how the biggest challenge for AI when it comes to language is context. Identifying things like sarcasm, and irony are still difficult for machines to do and are a BIG part of creating content that connects with your audience. Until computer programs can understand something as complicated as the “Aristocrats” joke comedians and other content creators will still be safe

3. Creativity. Last but certainly not least is creativity. Movies like Memento, or Pulp Fiction which bent the way narratives are used can’t be created by AI. AT least not yet. There will always be something to be said for the genius of human creativity that cannot be replicated.

I think about AI with regards to content creation like the famous quote about 500 monkeys at typewriters writing the best novel of all time. Or more accurately like this simpsons clips

While content creation robots are coming, all they are going to do is take the menial content creation jobs. They won’t be writing the World’s best novel or even the most popular blog posts.

If you’re a content creator who just churns out crap, then yes your time is probably coming to an end because the robots can churn out crap faster and cheaper.

But there has always been a market for good writing, entertaining videos and engaging speeches and I think there always will be.

 

7 Signs Your Content Sucks!

Every month over 59 million blogs are published on WordPress alone.

That means every day 1.97 MILLION blogs are written and published.

Nearly 2 million a day!

30 hours of video is published to Youtube every minute.

But if we can keep it all the way 100, while there is no lack of content, the VAST majority of content SUCKS!

It’s true.

It can be hard to face the reality that your content isn’t up to par.

But base rates are base rates and with so much content out there, the majority is not going to be good.

Here’s 7 ways to tell if your content sucks!

  1. It doesn’t get shared. This is one of the easiest metrics to measure. Quality content gets shared. I personally share 3-5 articles a day on my Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook accounts. If something resonates with people or they think it’s useful they will share it. If your content is being distributed properly and people aren’t sharing it, that’s a huge red flag that your content is the problem.
  2. It’s generic. Almost every search term out there has some EXTREMELY generic content on the first page of the search results. If when you google the subject of your blog post you find 5 other results on the exact same subject that’s a sign that your content sucks.
  3. It’s formulaic. I have to admit I can be guilty of this. Especially when I am writing introduction or beginner level posts. But if you write every post around the same formula whether it’s a personal revelation, list post, quotes post or whatever. You want to have different types of posts so that your audience doesn’t get bored.
  4. It doesn’t trigger the 3Bs. In his book “Trust Me, I’m Lying” Ryan Holiday talks about how content that goes viral threatens the 3Bs. Behavior, beliefs and belongings. When you’re creating content you want to be aware of how it affects and triggers those 3 Bs. In this post I’m trying to trigger your belief that your content is good enough. If you’re an online marketer that might also directly affect your belongings because bad content will negatively affect your business and income.

Check out my video on Ryan’s latest book here

5. It’s too short. I always say this and people always disagree but the numbers back me up. Don’t trust me, trust Neil Patel who did a deep dive into the data and proved that longform blog posts over 1500 words perform WAY better than these stupid short 500 word blurbs that have infected the content creation business because they are cheap and don’t require actual writers. If you do short form content not just me but Neil Patel guarantees your content is not performing as well as it could have.

6. You don’t get comments. Comments are a bit hit or miss in the era of the captcha but they are a brute force metric for seeing whether or not people are feeling what you write. If people are not commenting on your posts and asking questions in addition to just saying “Great Post” chances are that your content could be better.

7. It doesn’t drive sales. Last but not least good content leads to sales. So many marketing managers and professionals I talk to say they can’t quantify their content’s impact on the bottom line. That tells me that their content simply isn’t good enough. Great content is the best salesman there is. When people read or watch quality content they are going to contact you and ask about your products or services. Bad content, mediocre content and even good enough content don’t drive sales, great content does.

Ok that’s going to wrap it up for me on this beautiful Friday as I am hoping to get out of the office and actually enjoy my day.

To re-cap the 7 signs that your content sucks are:

  1. It doesn’t get shared.
  2. It’s generic.
  3. It’s formulaic.
  4. It doesn’t trigger the 3Bs.
  5. It’s too short.
  6. You don’t get comments. .
  7. It doesn’t drive sales.

Now get out there and make content that doesn’t suck!

 

 

An Insight From My Insufferable Diet That Might Help Your Content Marketing

I really hate dieting.

A lot.

I once estimated that being on a diet drops my overall life happiness by 50% and I stand by that assertion.

The problem is that I also don’t want to be fat.

And I was getting fat.

I tipped the scale at 225lbs about 5 weeks ago which is the heaviest I have ever been.

So I decided to jump back on the Slow Carb Diet popularized by Tim Ferris which is basically the Atkins diet

You can eat as much as you want as long as you avoid all carbs and sugars not coming from veggies.

No fruit, no rice, no bread, nothing fun.

Which brings me to the first thing that always stumps me about the fact that the weight loss industry is a 64 Billion dollar a year industry.

Dieting and losing weight is simple but not easy.

No matter what diet you go on whether it’s low carb, low fat, keto, paleo or low carb to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume.

Calories in, calories out is math and math doesn’t lie.

Workout more and eat less you lose weight.

But that’s super unsexy so there is a whole industry out there to help you look for cheats and tricks and flim-flams to make losing weight easier.

One of the best “tricks” of marketing I’ve ever seen is what I like to call the fallacy of net carbs.

The Fallacy of Net carbs

Net carbs are not a thing.

They are an invention of marketing based on some VERY shaky science that says that if you eat carbs but also eat fiber and certain alcohols like glycerin you can avoid a spike in blood sugar so the carbs don’t count.

Take this Atkins bar for example. It contains 23 grams of carbs but also has 12 grams of fiber and 2 grams of glycerin so they market the bar as having 3 grams of net carbs.

But that’s not how carbs work!

Just because your blood sugar doesn’t spike doesn’t mean that your body is not absorbing the carbs.

If you’re using a low carb or keto diet where you are trying to get your body to run on fat instead of carbs one of these bars wrecks your entire day by supplying your body with carbs to burn instead of fat.

Plus these bars have 230 calories!

You have to eat less to lose weight no matter what diet you’re on.

There’s no way around it and the composition of the food only helps so much.

Earlier I linked to a Tim Ferris article about how you can “Lose 20 lbs of fat in 30 days without exercise.”

While that’s technically true, you can only do that if you have a lot of fat to lose in the first place.

At 225 lbs while exercising 3-4 days a week, even if I followed that diet exactly I probably wouldn’t be able to shed 10% of my body weight in 30 days without going to some extreme measures. But if another person who weighed 270 lbs started the same diet it’s not out of the question they could lose that much that fast but they would not be able to lose 20 lbs each and every month.

Calories in, calories out is the basic formula for losing weight but you still have to make adjustments in order to actually get the best results.

For me, I started off really badly on this diet because I was trying to cook healthy foods at home which lead to me doing a lot of snacking and overeating of “healthy food.”

One of the adjustments I have to make if I am serious about losing weight is not keeping any extra food I could snack on in the house because 3,000 calories of meat and cheese while technically on the diet is still not going to help me lose weight.

I also had to start counting calories. People hate calorie counting because it is annoying and also math. But for me I know I lose more weight when I try to eat between 1500-1800 calories a day and no more.

These two tweaks got me back on track and I am not only 10lbs or so from my goal weight of 200lbs losing about 3 lbs a week.

So how does this relate to content marketing?

Content Marketing has a bunch of formulas that can work from funnels to webinars, the problem most people run into is that you can’t just do things the exact same way someone else teaches it.

You’ll always need to make little tweaks, adjustments and course corrections EVEN if you have a winning formula.

And not making those tweaks and corrections is what dooms a lot of dieters and a lot of content marketing campaigns.

 

9 Things 500,000 hands of Poker Taught Me About Business, Decision Making and Life.

“Now Ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘Cause ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep. ”

Kenny Rogers “The Gambler”

I don’t remember exactly when I caught the poker bug but as with most things I get into, it was way past the peak of when it was popular.

This was after Black Friday when the government shut down all the legal poker websites so I started playing on a Caribbean site called Carbon Poker.

I ended up playing at least 3 hours of poker a day online for about 2 years. For awhile I was playing 8-12 hours a day on weekends. I never made thousands of dollars and at my best I was probably a little better than a consistent break even poker player online and a guy who could win a couple hundred bucks from the tourists out here on the strip pretty consistently.

I recently was deleting things off of my computer and deleted my old carbon poker account which had about 500,000 hands of poker logged in my tracking software so it got me to thinking about what I learned about poker and decision making during my brief foray into the poker world.

Here’s 9 things I learned about business and decision making from playing poker:

  1. Luck is a MUCH bigger factor than anyone wants to believe. This is the biggest lesson I learned from poker and it is super important. Luck is usually the biggest factor in any success story and no one likes to talk about it because it makes us feel like we are less in control of our lives. Obviously you need to work hard, and make the right decisions but oftentimes the difference between the Ipod and the Zune is luck. 
  2. You have to evaluate decisions regardless of results. The right decision does not always yield the intended result. This doesn’t mean that it wasn’t the right decision. It’s the right decision to make a continuation bet after the flop if you raised when you entered the hand, no matter what your cards are. Likewise you can make the right decisions on a product, do everything correctly on the launch and the product can still flop. That’s why you have to evaluate decisions in postmortums, based on the information you had at the time. Poker is a game of trying to make the right decision with incomplete information.  
  3. There’s a ton of math in poker and math scares americans. The biggest challenge for me when it came to learning poker from various books and online courses was the math. There’s a ton of math in poker. Expected value calculations, calculations for hand ranges based on the number of decks and cards dealt, the odds that the opponent is holding what he/she is projecting is in their hand. You have to do a lot of math and do it pretty fast to be a great poker player. Even when using software that does a lot of the math for you. Another thing you’ll learn is that most American poker players not only don’t know the math but are too scared to even make a basic attempt to understand it. One of the only things I had going for me as a poker player was I put in the time doing the math. That alone was enough to beat most tourists in low limit games. 
  4. Study the data, not your memory. Another interesting phenomenon around poker players and gamblers in general is that they remember results much differently than what the data said. You’d run into a lot of guys who swore they were break even poker players who my tracking software said lost hundreds of dollars per hour. You have to study the data not your imagination. Men lie, women life, data doesn’t. 
  5. Tilt is real and not just in Poker. Tilt is a poker word for when a player gets emotional and throws away all common sense chasing after pots they have no business being in. The otherwise pretty bad movie Molly’s Game has a good example of tilt when the otherwise tight winning player is bluffed by a known loser and then tries to beat him on every hand leading to his ruin. Tilt is real, and it happens in business and in relationships more than people realize. An executive is on tilt when he responds to a bad advertising campaign by pouring more money into it. A woman is on tilt when she has a fight with her boyfriend goes out with her friends to flirt and ends up cheating. Emotions affect decision making and it’s important to understand how you get triggered and avoid making important decisions when you are on tilt.

6. Life is regression to the mean. The game of poker ebbs and flows. Sometimes you sit down and get dealt a pair of kings twice in 10 hands. Othertimes you have to fold 30 times in a row. But overall everything tends to regress to the mean. If you’re a bad player even if you win big one night over time you will give it back as your performance returns more to what it should be. This is how life works as well. People chase the idea of consistent performance but life regresses to the mean. You’re always going to have good months and bad months. But at the end of the day as the great street philosopher turned Beyonce’s husband Sean Carter once rapped “You are who you were when you got here.”

7. People overweigh recent information. This is often called The Recency Bias in the world of finance. People pay WAY too much attention to things that happened recently and tend to overweight those factors in their decision making. You can do a quick poker experiment to see recency bias in play. The next time you win a big pot or force everyone to fold pre-flop with a big raise, immediately raise again on the next hand and 75% of the table will drop out right away because they assume you must have something again since you won the last pot. Even though this goes against both the math of poker and common sense. People do the same thing when picking financial advisors (picking the guy who had a great year last year), and with the Hot Hand Fallacy in basketball. Base rates are base rates no matter what just happened.

8. If everyone is playing the ideal strategy the ideal strategy becomes inefficient. Online after Black Friday the poker economy got scrambled. No legal sites meant there were less low level players with deep pockets. This meant that when I joined Carbon poker most of the players were pros or semi-pros. This lead to running into a lot of people playing “The Right Way.” Which is to only enter the pot when you have a pair of Jacks or better. “Super tight” in poker parlance. Some players would play 40 tables at a time and only enter hands with a pair of kings or better. With so many people playing this ideal strategy, the strategy became inefficient because you could scoop up tons of blinds and small pots by being aggressive knowing that everyone else is playing tight. The same thing happens in business. Take for example my speciality of content marketing. Right now everyone is using the “ideal” content marketing strategy creating data driven posts or videos and distributing them through networks of blogs and social media. This means that right now the ideal strategy is inefficient and the people who are going to be getting great results from content marketing are the ones who find a different strategy to hack their way to success. This happens in every industry and is often called “disruption.”

9. Playing things tight is easier said than done. In the book “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse he writes ” I can think, I can wait and I can fast.” and I swear he wrote that about successful poker players. As I wrote in the last point the ideal poker strategy is to only play hands that have a high probability of taking down the pot. You really shouldn’t be using a wide range of hands and at most should be playing a distribution of about 18% of the deck. That sounds good in theory but in practice few people have the patience to only play that few cards. Even the pros. Whether it’s boredom, a longing for action or simply misreading a situation it’s easier to say you play tight than it is to actually do it. It’s easier to come up with a strategy, a goal or a diet than it is to actually stick to it and most of the time we end up cheating. But those who can stick to a strategy and wait often are much more successful when the big payoff comes.

That’s about all I got today for life lessons from the Poker table, as always feel free to add things you’ve learned from poker or any game that have helped you with life in the comments.

Best,

JL

How To Create 1 Hour Of Video Content In Just 15 Mins

How to plan 1 hr of awesome video content in just 15 minutes!

Coaching students LOVE video content!

Men and women want to feel like they have more knowledge about  than other typical guys and girls. Having this little bit of knowledge allows students to feel like they are on the inside even if they aren’t getting the success they want.

That feeling that they know more than the average guy or girl is what pays your bills as a  coach.

For those of you that sell products and video courses you may have noticed that simply having videos that are longer than 30 minutes helped you to get less refunds.

I specifically tried to make both the first and last video in every course have a length of at least 1 hour.

This helps the student avoid buyer’s remorse when they get access to a course and see that the first video is around an hour.  We all know most students will not get all the way through the course so their first impression is REALLY important. And if they see two hour long videos in a 5 video course they are going to assume that if they don’t finish it, they are to blame for their lack of results, not you.

But there’s a problem, it takes a LONG time to come up with all this content!

You’re busy coaching and marketing and running a business.

If you’ve ever found yourself taking 6, 12, even 18 months to create a new product you’re in luck because this post is going to change the way you create content by providing a simple and easy 6 step process for creating an hour worth of video in just 15 minutes.

6 Steps to Creating 1 hour of video:

Come up with a juicy topic

Adopt my 6 sections of structure

Label a paper or word document 1-20

Add in the 6 sections of structure

Fill in the talking points

Record!

 

Now let’s zoom in on each of those 6 steps

Step # 1: Come up with a juicy topic

The first step is deciding what you want to record a video about. Most of you already have an idea of what your list responds to.

Step # 2: Adopt my 6 sections of structure.

The biggest problem I see when it comes to coaches creating content is that they don’t have a structure for each video.

That means that every time they want to record a video they have to reinvent the wheel.

My 6 sections of structure(™ pending lol) ends all of that indecision by giving you 6 simple sections that you can use to build a video on any topic!

Here are the 6 sections:

  • Introduction. The introduction congratulates people for purchasing the course in your first video and welcomes them back to the course and gives a short re-cap of what they learned in the last video after that. The introduction also allows you to layout an overview of what they have already learned in the course and what they are going to learn in this specific video.
  • Research and statistics. This is where you are going to back up your advice whether it’s through academic research, in field research, web data or teachings you’ve picked up from your spiritual advisors.
  • List. Each video you make with this template is going to contain a list. It’s up to you whether that list is a list of tactics and techniques, a 5 step process map like this post, or 5 reasons why men no longer call women. A list is a great way to keep viewers engaged and keep your video moving forward.
  • Tactics. I love tactics and so do students.! I personally like to create a second list of tactics so I can go through a few different scenarios such as how the tactics might changed when used in a nightclub as opposed to a coffee shop etc…
  • Exercises. Students LOVE exercises. Not only that but they present an easy way for the student to feel like they are working on the problem without them actually having to go out and talk to guys or girls which might make them super nervous or discouraged.  
  • Re-cap. In the introduction we told the viewer what they are going to learn in this video, in the re-cap we tell them what they learned and how awesome it is, remind them to do the exercises and give them a sneak preview of what they are going to learn in the next video!

This is a basic template, it can be customized to be more complex but this is a great start if you struggle putting together videos or get bogged down in creating decks or slides.

Step # 3: Number 1-20 on a piece paper or word doc.

This step is super important!

I use actual paper and pen because I am a luddite and can’t think as well when typing. I even outlined this post using a pen and paper.

But you can use a word document, google doc or spreadsheet. Whatever.

The key is to label the document 1-20.

This is important because each section represents 3 minutes of speaking time.

Don’t worry we’ll get into how to come up with 3 minutes of talking time for each section soon.

Step # 4: Add the 6 sections of structure to your list.

Before we start thinking up 3 minute talking points we are going to add the 6 sections of structure to our list.

It might look something like this

  1. Intro
  2. Research and data
  3. What the research means for
  4. List
  5. Pt 1 of list
  6. Pt 2 of list
  7. Pt 3 of list
  8. Pt 4 of list
  9. Tactics
  10. Tactic 1
  11. Tactic 2
  12. Tactic 3
  13. Exercise
  14. Re-cap

Using the 6 sections we have already filled up 14 of the talking points!

Step # 5: Fill in the talking points

Next problem, 3 minutes is a LONG time to talk about a single subject.

But we’re going to break that up by creating three one minute talking points for each empty section.

For example we might have a list that looks like this:

  1. Intro- Welcome them- Overview of the course- Who this course is for
  2. Research and data- Statistics on beer drinking and sex- research on decision making and logistics- study on compliance.

Each of those points is something you want to prepare one minute of speaking on.

I like to think of each talking point as 1 minute but that’s really just a guideline. Sometimes you’ll have a 5 minute talking point, or get off on a relevant tangent.

What happens if you can’t think of anything to fill the time?

Then you’ll want to use what journalists call the 5 Ws.

Who, what, where, when and why. I also like to use how.

When it comes to creating seduction content I like to think of each of those Ws as a different section which can have 3 talking points assigned to it.

For example ask:

Who do these tactics and techniques work on?

Then describe the different personality types of men or women who will respond to this material.

Step # 6: Record!

Last but certainly not least you’ll want to record.


This structure is super helpful if like me you create mostly screenshot “Camtasia” style videos because you can literally put your outline on the slides with pictures.

But even if you are recording yourself talking in to a camera you can place a word document or sticky note on the screen to guide yourself through the video without anyone seeing you glancing around.  

Ok, let’s recap!

In this post I shared with you how to create an hour worth of video topics for a video in about 15 minutes worth of planning.

We started off by talking about how students love content but it can be a pain in the ass to plan it all out, which leads to taking 9 months to create a new product and why longer videos are better (less refunds and bad reviews!).

Then I shared my 6 step process:

  1. Come up with a juicy topic
  2. Adopt my 6 sections of structure
  3. Label a paper or word document 1-20
  4. Add the 6 sections of structure to the list
  5. Fill in the talking points
  6. Record!

I also taught you how to break sections down into 1 minute talking points and a few tips and tricks for filling the time like the 5 Ws and an H.

Now you’re ready to start prepping and creating video courses this week!

Hope that helps,


JL