James Evans, associate media planning director at EssenceMediacom Sydney, shares his journey with dyslexia and how Generative AI is empowering him in the workplace.
This is my first foray into discussing a deeply personal subject. I’m sharing some of my experiences of living with dyslexia and the transformative role that Generative AI has played in my life. While I’m no expert, my perspective continues to evolve with each new experience.
Dyslexia, with its nuances, isn’t a one-size-fits-all condition, it’s more like an iceberg. Most people see only the surface challenges, and difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. However, beneath the surface lie a multitude of other hurdles, working memory issues, decoding, stress, anxiety and auditory and visual processing difficulties. It’s important to recognise that not every person with dyslexia experiences the same challenges. Our profiles are as unique as our fingerprints, with each of us facing our own set of obstacles.
Dyslexia is highly individual, think of it like plotting points on a graph, the average person falls on a straight line, but dyslexics have a wide range of profiles. Some may excel in certain areas, represented by points above the line, while simultaneously struggling in other aspects, shown as points below the line. For instance, one might possess an extensive vocabulary but experience difficulties with rapid word recall in a conversation, where the right words may not readily come to mind.
Amidst the scepticism that sometimes surrounds AI, tools like Generative AI have emerged as a helping hand for me, especially in the professional world, which can sometimes feel like a pressure cooker. This environment intensifies the challenges that people with dyslexia may face, with high-pressure deadlines, relentless email communication, and demanding workloads defining the landscape. Picture starting a race five seconds after the starting gun has fired. The hurdles can be immense, and in this unforgiving environment, even the smallest mistakes can have significant consequences.
Generative AI acts as a writing co-pilot, lightening the burden of written communication. Generative AI effortlessly transforms my thoughts into written text, almost as smoothly as spoken words. It doesn’t just correct spelling, it helps craft clear, concise sentences, bridging the gap between my ideas and their effective expression.
With Generative AI’s Dynamic Adaptability, I’ve harnessed the capabilities of Generative AI for various tasks, from simplifying complex slide titles to curating compelling content. It serves as a bridge between my ideas and their effective communication. It’s not only about what you say but also how you say it, and Generative AI excels at ensuring that my message resonates and captivates the audience.
The transformation that Generative AI has brought to my life is profound. It empowers me to create the outputs I’ve always aspired to achieve. My employer has developed its own internal Generative AI tool that allows me to work seamlessly and, importantly, provides the security measures required for our clients. It’s not infallible — the quality of its outputs is still dependent on the clarity of the inputs — however, Generative AI’s Dynamic Adaptability and non-judgmental approach allows for fine-tuning, ensuring clarity and brevity.
Generative AI has helped me unlock the safe in my brain. Before Generative AI, I often felt that what I wanted to say was locked away, and my hands or fingers lacked the key to access those thoughts and communicate them clearly in writing. Generative AI has become that key, allowing me to unlock the safe where my ideas reside.
This is empowering me, and it should empower others. While I can’t speak for all people with dyslexia, I firmly believe that if something helps one person, it has the potential to help others. I hope that sharing my story encourages more visibility and understanding. In the workplace, there’s a two-fold responsibility, employees should feel comfortable sharing their neurodiversity, and employers should actively seek this information to create a more supportive and empathetic environment.
Generative AI isn’t just a tool, it’s a helping hand that extends beyond people with dyslexia to countless others. It breaks down communication barriers, allowing everyone to express themselves more effectively and unlocks new dimensions of communication and expression. It has helped me write this article after all.
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