The Power of Authenticity: Why Being True to Yourself is More Valuable Than Originality

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

In a world that often values creativity and innovation, the idea of originality can feel like a requirement for success.

However, I view that true originality is a myth and that the only thing that truly matters is authenticity? That by embracing the things that speak directly to our soul and being true to ourselves, we can create something truly unique and valuable.

Authentic vs Original

The concept that nothing is truly original has been echoed by artists, musicians, and filmmakers for decades. Jean-Luc Godard, the French New Wave filmmaker, famously said, “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” This sentiment is at the core of the myth of originality and highlights the importance of authenticity in our creative endeavors.

From films and music to books, paintings, and photographs, the world is full of inspiration. We are often inspired by a cloud pattern or a night sky and paint the same. That is original. We are often inspired by a frame in a movie and recreate the same in our settings in a photograph. Very often as writers we are often inspired by great writers and phrases from a Tolstoy to Tagore to Thirukurral. Some stanzas from a Rumi or Marukami are so captivating one ends up writing pages and pages based on a few lines. So where does originality begin and where does it end.

I guess it’s not enough to just consume these pieces; we must also let them inform our creative process. Whether we’re writers, painters, or musicians, the pieces that resonate with us can serve as the foundation for our own work. The Universe is designed that way.

But what about the fear of being accused of plagiarism or theft? Yes, that line between inspiration and theft can be thin, but the key is to not be afraid to celebrate our influences. By acknowledging the sources of our inspiration and paying homage to the things that have shaped our creative journey, we’re not only being honest about our creative process but also honoring the artists and creators who have come before us.

But then it is not always practical or appropriate to add a ‘bibliography’ in a creative process. Let’s take the example of Albert Brennaman from the movie “Hitch.” Albert is trying to win the heart of a celebrity, Allegra Cole, but is struggling to come up with original ways to impress her. However, Hitch Hitchens, the professional “date doctor” played by Will Smith, coaches Albert to be true to himself and forget about trying to impress Allegra with grand gestures. Hitch encourages Albert to take Allegra to a place that holds special meaning to him, to share his passions and interests with her, and to simply let the connection between them grow organically. This scene highlights the importance of authenticity in relationships and the idea that being true to oneself is what truly matters. Now imagine, at every step, Albert tells Allegra ‘as suggested by Hitch, my date doctor’! It just destroys the creative process. So it is never going to be black or white.

For me, the myth of originality suggests that authenticity is what truly matters. By embracing the things that speak directly to our soul, being true to ourselves, and celebrating our influences, we can create something that is truly unique and authentic. So, the next time you feel stuck or uninspired, remember that the world is full of inspiration, and all you have to do is reach out and take it to a place that is truly your own.


Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and the rise of Genralist 2.0

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –


In the past, AI and machine learning were the tools of specialists. But today, they’re allowing generalists to take on more roles than ever before. Welcome to the age of Genralist 2.0!

Generalist vs. Specialist

The difference between a generalist and a specialist is simple: the former can work across multiple functions, while the latter specializes in one function. As you might expect, both are in demand, but for different reasons:

  • Generalists are in demand for their flexibility to work across different specialist functions. For example, if you’re a marketing manager who also has experience managing operations teams, you might find yourself doing just that at some point during your career – and that’s where your generalist abilities come into play.
  • Specialists are in demand because they have deeper knowledge of their specific field than other individuals with similar titles (e.g., “marketing manager”). This means that when an organization needs someone with specialized expertise (for example, someone who knows how to market cars), they’ll typically turn to those experts first before calling upon generalists like yourself

Generalists were in massive demand before the 2005s to manage the many specialist functions

Before the 2005s, generalists were in massive demand. Before the advent of AI- and ML-based systems, generalists needed to string together various specialists toward the larger organizational purpose.

In other words, they were literally the glue that held companies together.

Programmers started mass training of computers with specialist functions since 2005

In 2000, the demand for specialists to program computers was so immense that fewer and fewer people came into general management in the last two decades.

Specialists like Data Scientists, Machine Learning Engineers and Artificial Intelligence Programmers started mass training of computers with specialist functions since 2000. In fact, their roles were so vital that there were skills shortages in 2017 and we still have them today.

A surge in demand for specialists to automate their own roles

As demand for specialists increased, so did the need for more specialists to automate their own roles. In turn, this created demand for a whole new set of specialists. The cycle was self-perpetuating: with each iteration, the need for more and more AI experts grew exponentially.

The rise of generalists has helped make this phenomenon possible by providing exhaustive training programs that teach workers how to operate complex machinery without having any prior knowledge or training in engineering or computer science—and no college degree required!

Correspondingly Generalists were a fading function

In the early days of the internet, generalists were in demand. A generalist was a person who knew how to code and could do basic design work, and was also able to manage a project from start to finish. They were the glue that held together teams of specialists.

But as AI came along, it became easier for machines to do what used to take humans years or decades: write code, design interfaces and manage projects.

AI and ML start replacing specialist functions

The new era of generalist 2.0 has begun

The rise of machines that can automate the work of professionals is well underway, and this has important implications for those working in professions that rely on specialist skills. But it’s also worth remembering that these machines only exist because a human being created them — someone who was themselves a specialist in one area (computer science) and then used their knowledge to create tools which can do things they themselves cannot. In other words, machine learning is just another form of specialization — albeit one with benefits that are far more widespread than traditional forms of expertise could ever hope to achieve.

We all have our own specialties within our chosen fields, whether you’re an accountant or an astrophysicist or even if you’re just really good at folding origami animals! And we’ve been using technology for decades now: calculators have existed since 1774 when Charles de Périer invented what was essentially a slide rule; computers have been around since 1822 when Charles Babbage wrote his first design for a mechanical computer called “Difference Engine”; cameras go back even further – Leonardo da Vinci was tinkering around with prototypes way back in 1490! The point is technology hasn’t always been there but when it comes along it changes everything about how we work – often making tasks easier but also sometimes replacing them altogether.”

Rise of the tech-savvy Generalist 2.0 – who can work with specialist machine systems

One of the most significant shifts in modern business practice is the rise of generalist 2.0, after the specialist 1.0 model that has dominated over the last century. This change will be particularly beneficial for businesses that need to leverage technology but don’t have in-house experts or external consultants to build it for them.

The reason for this shift is simple — computers are now faster, more predictable, and cheaper than humans at performing specialized tasks such as data analysis or translation from one language to another (think Google Translate). This means that there is less demand on human specialists who can perform these tasks more efficiently than machines — and therefore less need for those human specialists altogether!

But why would anyone want a generalist over a specialist? The answer lies in how quickly technology advances; generalists have tech savviness which makes them better able than specialists at learning new skills and adapting when new technology comes along (like AI!). They also tend to have broader knowledge bases which allow them to understand connections between different fields without having specific expertise in any one field—take an example where someone needs to use machine learning algorithms but doesn’t know anything about programming languages like Python or C++…it’s unlikely they’ll find many developers with both skillsets available locally so instead they might hire someone who has experience with ML but hasn’t coded before–this person could then take on their role effectively whilst learning how code works at their own pace outside their full-time job responsibilities!

Long live the AI, ML, and the Generalist 2.0

The generalist is back, and he’s smarter than ever!

The specialist is dead. Long live AI, ML, and the generalist 2.0!

For a long time we’ve been told that there’s no future for generalists. That we’re doomed to be replaced by automation and bots that can do our jobs better than us. But now it looks like our survival skills are coming back in vogue as technology becomes more powerful and ubiquitous – with AI (Artificial Intelligence) taking center stage in many industries where automation has taken over traditional jobs previously done by humans alone: from law firms that use AI software instead of associates; accounting firms using bots instead of accountants; insurance companies using bots instead of adjusters; banks using algorithms instead of bankers…the list goes on and on!


AI and ML are evolving at a rapid pace, but so far the tech-savvy Generalist 2.0 seems to be able to keep up with them. As long as this trend continues, it looks like we’re going to see an increase in demand for generalists who can work alongside specialist machine systems rather than being replaced by them.


Are humans on the brink of extinction because of AI, ML and Robotics?

by Rajesh Soundararajan 

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotics is leading to a fundamental shift in the way we live and work. As machines become increasingly capable of performing a wide range of tasks, many people are wondering whether we are on the brink of making ourselves redundant and obsolete.

One of the most notable examples of this trend is the rise of driverless cars. These vehicles are capable of navigating roads and highways without human intervention, using a combination of sensors, cameras, and advanced algorithms to make decisions and avoid obstacles. While this technology has the potential to greatly improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion, it also threatens to put millions of taxi, bus, and truck drivers out of work.

Another area where machines are starting to take over is in the field of healthcare. Robotic surgery, for example, is becoming increasingly common, with surgical robots being used to perform a wide range of procedures with greater precision and accuracy than is possible with human hands. Similarly, AI-powered diagnostic systems are being developed that can analyze medical images and other data to identify diseases and conditions more accurately and quickly than human doctors.

Even creative professions are not immune to the rise of AI and robotics. For example, there are now AI-powered systems that can write complex technical content, paint pictures, and compose music. While these systems may not yet be able to replicate the creativity and originality of human artists, they are certainly capable of performing many routine tasks and may eventually surpass human abilities in these areas.

As machines continue to take over more and more tasks, many people are asking what will be left for humans to do. Some argue that we will need to find new, more creative and meaningful ways to use our unique human abilities, such as problem-solving, empathy, and innovation. Others fear that we may become increasingly dependent on machines and lose the ability to think for ourselves.

There is also the question of whether we are being programmed by the machines we create. As AI systems become more advanced and are able to perform more and more tasks, they may shape our behavior and decision-making in ways that we do not fully understand. For example, AI-powered recommendation systems, such as those used by online retailers and streaming services, may influence our choices and preferences without us realizing it.

Finally, some people are concerned that the rise of AI and robotics could spell the end of human civilization as we know it. If machines become more intelligent and capable than humans, they may be able to outcompete us for resources and ultimately take over the world. While this may sound like science fiction, it is a possibility that we must take seriously and prepare for.

Overall, the rise of AI, ML, and robotics is leading to some fundamental shifts in the way we live and work. As machines take over more and more tasks, we need to think carefully about what this means for the future of humanity and how we can adapt and thrive in this rapidly changing world.

But then, we have very very interesting times ahead. We have absolutely no clue on how and what the future holds for children. While one can hope that  it’s not too much of a challenge, we must remember that humans have lived for 7 million years on this planet.  A mere 7 years ofAI, ML, Robotics rage or our own lifetime of 70 years will not even be a blip in the timeline.So as they say, I guess the fun is in enjoying the ride as it happens. 

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