Issue #0

February 15, 2023
Free Edition
Hi. If you are seeing this, it means that you are a valued member of our community. Or you are reading Issue #0. Or you hacked the archives.
Whichever the case, bravo.

If you have comments about anything you'll find below, or you have material to suggest, or topics you'd like to see covered (don't you dare to pitch me your startup), just send an email.
I'll read all emails, ignore them, wait a few weeks, and then use the best stuff for a new issue of the newsletter, pretending the ideas are original and mine.

Another thing. Super important question:

Do you have one of those moms that inexplicably know everyone and gossip all day long so that one little secret you have shared with them in confidence at breakfast becomes a fact known by the whole town by noon?

If so, can you tell your mom that Synthetic Work is a secret?

If she talks about this newsletter or forwards it to the entire neighbourhood, it helps me a lot.
I thought it would be a good idea to use Issue #0 to give you an idea of the sections you might find in the newsletter.

Notice that not every section will be in every issue except What Caught My Attention This Week.


The amount of AI-related things that get announced, published, demoed, or launched every single week is dizzying. No person with a real job could keep up. Even AI wizards can’t keep up.

And these are complex things and some of them are years away from fruition. Why they matter and how they impact our jobs is all but obvious.

Some of these things might change our economy and society forever, while others are just exercises in the ancient art called “Look at me! I’m doing AI, too! I promise!”.

And so I’m here, in the middle of the ocean. With a strainer.

(generated with Stable Diffusion, not my face)

The easiest way to look smart on social media and gain a ton of followers? Post a lot of charts. And I mean, a lot. It doesn’t matter about what. It doesn’t even matter if they are accurate or completely made up.

You don’t believe that people would fall for it, but they do. Boy, they do.
So A Chart to Look Smart is a section dedicated to making me become popular.

The Way We Used to Work is a section dedicated to archive photos and videos of how people used to do things compared to now. When we think about how artificial intelligence is changing the nature of our jobs, these memories are useful to put things in perspective.

The Way We Work Now is a section dedicated to all the ways AI is changing how we do things and the new jobs it’s creating. This is the material that will be greatly expanded in the Splendid Edition of the newsletter.

How do you Feel? is a section dedicated to the psychological impact of artificial intelligence on people. You might think that this has no relevance to the changing nature of human labour, but it does. Oh if it does!

For any new technology to be successfully adopted in a work environment or by society, people must feel good about it (before, during, and after its use). No business rollout plan will ever be successful before taking this into account.

AI Joke of the Week is the most serious section of the newsletter and it should be read with a grave expression. It’s the true meter of the progress we are making towards artificial general intelligence.
If the joke generated by the AI is actually funny, then we are in trouble.

Where I invite somebody that actually has a clue. Even, tho, I’m not sure who would ever accept to be a guest of this thing.

Don’t. is a section dedicated to ill-conceived business ideas around emerging AI technologies. I’ll share them here, hopefully before somebody thinks about them, to discourage people from building the dumbest startup in the world, raising millions of dollars in spite of actually-good ideas.

Cool AI Demos by Top AI wizards is a public service announcement section where I’ll let you know when we’ll do the next AI demo, who will present it, and what it will be all about.

Remember that this glorious show will happen on Discord and it will be open only to readers with a paid membership.

In the Splendid Edition of Synthetic Work, we take a deeper look at how artificial intelligence is impacting the way we work across different industries: Education, Health Care, Finance, Legal, Manufacturing, Media & Entertainment, Retail, Tech, etc.

We also try to understand how mature AI is in solving business and societal problems for artists, doctors, game designers, government officials, lawyers, software developers, etc.

If it sounds interesting, consider a paid membership (or upgrading your existing membership):