Finance to Futurist

Functional Fixedness, Innovation, AI and How Leaders Can Think Outside the Box

March 13, 2023 Season 2 Episode 2
Finance to Futurist
Functional Fixedness, Innovation, AI and How Leaders Can Think Outside the Box
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Sidetrade’s UI/UX Researcher, Dr. Wolé Adaramoye discusses the concept of functional fixedness, inherent biases and how leaders can break away from the status quo to think differently, drive innovative thinking and problem solve with alternative approaches.

Introduction  0:01  
Welcome to Finance to Futurist a Sidetrade podcast series on how innovation data and AI are disrupting order-to-cash.

Natalie Silverman  0:12  
Hi, this is Natalie Silverman for Sidetrade. Welcome to Finance to Futurist. On today's episode, we're discussing an interesting topic that extends beyond order-to-cash and fintech. We're digging into the concept of functional fixedness, inherent biases and how leaders can break away from the status quo to think differently, drive innovative thinking and problem solve with alternative approaches. Please welcome Sidetrade's UI/UX researcher Wolé Adaramoye. Good morning, Wolé and thanks for sitting down for Finance to Futurist. 

Wolé Adaramoye  0:46  
Good morning. Nat. I'm really glad to be here. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure. 

Natalie Silverman  0:50  
Yes. And hey, we love having new guests on Finance to Futurist. And so very excited to have you on the podcast, really, because I think you bring a fresh new perspective, not just to Sidetrade, but I think to the FinTech world, because again, I want to get into a little bit more about your background, I won't give it away. But you know, I'd love to hear more about yourself where you came from your background, and you know a bit more about your role here in Sidetrade, because I think it's very, very unique. 

Wolé Adaramoye  1:18  
Of course, I'm gonna say like, again, I think when I went through the podcast before I came on today, I went through the guest history, I didn't notice that I was a, we'll call off brand guests. 

Natalie Silverman  1:29  
Oh, I wouldn't say off brand, I would say in a good way. Very good way. Very complimentary. With an "e" to what we do here. 

Wolé Adaramoye  1:37  
That's great. So my name is Wolé Adaramoye. I'm Nigerian by birth and nationality. My background, I'll probably start with two main fronts. So my personal background in that sense. So born in Nigeria, a family of five, two amazing older sisters, and mom and dad as well. And I moved to the UK about seven years ago. And that was mostly for educational reasons. So my education wise, My undergrad was computer science. And I think straight after my undergrad, I knew that I was not somebody who wanted to be behind the screens and coding all day, even though now I think about it, I'm not sure that that was the right choice. But on a more serious note, I think I realized quickly that I was very, very moved by people and tech interactions, but also moves by tackling abstract concepts and problems. Because of the after work. In a year after my undergrad, I had to almost do a kind of change of career path. So that led me down to into doing a master's degree. And then my master's didn't involve me doing something lines of IT and business. So I did that and Loughborough University. But yeah, so I did my master's degree in it, and business. And that helped me expose me to the people side of IT strategy, communications, information and knowledge sharing management, things like that. And then I think it was pretty much halfway into the line, I've done a couple of tiny research projects, I began to dabble into the idea of bringing out knowledge products from knowledge questions. So what that means is trying to use research to try and create solutions for things that we don't know or don't have answers for. And so I went on this path of doing this kind of master's project that involve me researching how cultural trust, gender and other soft factors influence how students communicate using technology. So that was like my first big breakthrough into research. And I did that with every kind of ounce of strength that I had at the time. I remember my my advisor at the time, was always talking about how she was surprised with how much I wanted to pursue that path of research. Because typically, for master's students, most people just want to get back into industry and into consulting. Anyway so after that, I then began to look for sponsorships and funding for a bigger PhD project, a doctorate. And then luckily, I secured one later down the line in 2017. And then I started my project, my PhD project research projects in 2018, my project was fundamentally on CIOs, Chief Information Officers, and I wanted to find out how this group of individuals make sense of technologies that are emerging, and how they translate that into good decisions that came about because I realized, like that position was one amongst the C-suite that was quite new compared to the other. So the CIO probably began 40 years ago compared to your CFO, your CEO. And they are the ones who are dealing with this ever changing landscape of technology. And they are the ones that are very much accountable to that on the business board, or the C suite board, whatever you might call that. So I wanted to know how they make decisions from the state of awareness, when they hear about it, what happens in a sense making aspect of it, how do they make sense of technology and new? How do they translate that to business problems? And how does that translate into good decisions, whether for adoption for experimentation or for just monitoring? So I try to theorize that into a big process framework for the last four years and just kind of wrap that up into my PhD project. So I finished that in 2022. Yeah last year, it seemed like a long time. but it was just last year. And then how did I get into UX research, which is where I am now. So currently, just to reiterate, I am now the UX researcher at Sidetrade. And I got into UX research almost accidentally, because midway through my PhD talking to several CIOs around the UK, I knew that I was kind of working on a project that was working on user technology interactions, but on a more senior level, but I was also keen on knowing how the everyday nuances of user interaction at a very, very operational user level, so I began to almost like self teach myself. And I also found a startup where I was doing my PhD to try and build my experience with UX research. So I worked with a startup for about a year and a half they about on like, a freelance basis. And then after I finished my PhD, I knew that okay, if this is definitely where I wanted to go into, and then I found myself a Sidetrade. And you know, it's been three months now. And it's been a very, very good three months so far, I gotta say. So that's a very long answer. I appreciate the length, apologies. But I feel like my story tends to have lots of some more detail in there that I can't afford to miss. 

Natalie Silverman  6:05  
No, you know what, I love it because you're a storyteller. And I feel like that's the point of these podcasts. It's not to sell products. It's really to tell stories. And I love that. So thank you so much. Because I think getting a bit into your background and what you have a passion for and your research, it comes through. And I think, again, it brings a bit of a different perspective to maybe what people might think about when they think of a traditional, like you said, UI UX role in product or product development. So I think it's very interesting that you're combining this, you know, it's an art and a science in a way, right. And it's understanding people. And you have the technology background, as you know, again, you said you were in computer engineering previously. So it really blends nicely, I think into what we do here at psi trade, I'm going to ask you a few questions, because I really want to know your PhD project a little bit more. And again, getting into the mind of the CIO, because I think it translates nicely into what we do here in Sidetrade, as we're trying to solve problems for the CFO, a little bit different persona in the C suite. But let's take some of that research that you were doing for the CIO. And let's talk about, again, how you're leveraging maybe some of the same ideas and methodology in your role in UI UX here in Sidetrade. 

Wolé Adaramoye  7:17  
Oh, yeah. Good question. Good point. I think, you know, first of all I must say that when I did my research, I was almost blown away with the way it unraveled. There's two questions in that. So one is about the people. And one is about the methods, right? The easy answer is the methods. But sometimes of applying my methods into citrate, I think it's quite straightforward. Because I'm research involves trying to answer certain question i, that's the fundamental aspect of research wherever you go to right, whether it's at a PhD level with us or a undergrad level, whether it's in practice, industrial UX level, right. And I think during my doctorate, I did get a good exposure into the variety of research methods that exist, but also why they exist, and why and when they can be applied, right, because oftentimes, how you apply a research method depends heavily on the problem and the scope of which you're trying to find answers for. So I think it was quite an easy shift from that doctorate mindset into UX research and methodology mindset. Because there's quite a huge overlap, the only differences that may exist might be the terminology. So for example, back in academia, we use a lot of methods that would involve interviews that are structured, semi structured versus fully structured, unstructured interviews. Whereas here, you might have like user interviews, and maybe user testing kind of methodologies. But also in UX world, we also have more specialized studies that may not really apply in academic worlds. So things like card sorting, things like tree Jack tests, things like first click Test, all of this may mean jargon to you right now. But my point is like you have some overlaps and methods in PhD academic world versus a UX research world, but you also have some specialized studies that and from a UX point of view, we use to help understand how users use our products. So for example, if you're doing some kind of research in academic sense, you're probably doing research on abstract concepts on abstract problems. Whereas in the UX sense, you're doing an abstract problems and abstract concepts, but also user interactions with digital products, right, which means you can also invent and create and add a bit more creativity into how you get research. There could be things like card sorting, for example, that could be things like treatises I mentioned that could be things like user testing, wireframe tests, and all sorts of methods or methods be there's a lot of overlap between both. And I think that's pretty much the easy answer. Now for the second bit of people, CIOs and CFOs. I think that's where there is the big, big difference. I think we see it was what I learned with them was a couple of things. So the first day I learned from CIOs, I think CFOs also also applies to CFOs is in the last probably 20 years precisely maybe a lot of these leaders have gone from being very tactical and hands on with what they were known to start their careers with to be more strategic in terms of what they spend their time. So there's been a time a lot more meetings and thinking about how to create revenue for the organizations having to defend proposals a lot more with other members of the C-board, as opposed to putting their hands on into tech or into financial credit scores, etc, things like that. With that distance that you have your CEOs and CFOs begin to find themselves, it means that they begin to need a lot more time and resources to keep up to date with trends and changes in technology. And bear in mind that in today's world, I don't think we can say that the CFO themselves Don't dabble in technology, because I mean, we're excited we provide a SaaS platform, right, so to CFOs, and other members of the Finance function. So definitely, technology is not a strange element, only the CIO now also to the CFO and other members of C-Suite as well. So they have that urge and our responsibility to try and maintain awareness of changes that are happening, the ever growing landscape. So I think that's a very big commonality between both in terms of how they've gone from people who become carriers, probably, and the more technical side of things, and then are now at the point where they're strategic and having to spend more time thinking about strategy issues and less time on technical problems. With that in mind, that means that you have to have a lot more creative ways to stay up to date with changes, right, because the people on the ground are more in touch in quotes than those who are probably not using the technologies and tools on a day to day basis. So I think that's probably the biggest overlap I can find between both members of CEC between the CIO and CFO board in real life, they also collaborate a lot I can imagine for most companies that existed about 20 years ago, you will find the CIOs reporting to CFOs. Right. So I think it's only up to you from my research. And it was only up until the last 20 years, we began to see a big shift from CIOs reporting to CEOs, but before the CIO was fundamentally under the remit of the CFO, right, because, again, tech began in most big companies as a way to help clerical function. And where do you find the clerical functions in the office of the CFO. So they've always had that relationship from day one, as opposed to being too distant. But I think the main similarity between both personas CEOs and CFOs is just that, regardless of where they are, they're facing the buffers in this incredible need to stay up to date with trends that affect their functions, which can be hard to do when you stay further away from the ground. 

Natalie Silverman  12:19  
Yeah, I think that's a great point. And I mean, we say the same thing here at Sidetrade, right? That a lot of times, finance can get stuck in the tactical day to day, and they're sometimes using things that I call status quo, like Excel, which has worked for them over time. But you know, now that technology obviously has evolved, they have to start thinking about using more data or using more advanced technologies, like AI or machine learning. So you're absolutely right, this move and shift from tactical to strategic. It's not just in the C suite, it really is something that we're seeing industry wide and why even people again, that had to roll up their sleeves and do more technical and tactical activities day to day, like you said, have to take a step back and look at trends. Look at how inflation is affecting their company and their business and why they have to do things on the ground in the finance function to help combat some of those market drivers. I love that this extends, you know, way beyond what we're doing with order-to-cash and the FinTech industry as a whole. But I'd love to dive into a topic that I know you're very passionate about. And I need to learn more about so this is an educational podcast, I think, for the audience. And for me, I want to talk about a topic that you call functional fixedness. Okay, it's a little bit of a tongue twister, but functional fixedness. I made it, I got it. So let's start off. Let's talk a little bit more about defining, I think for people like myself that maybe have not heard of that term before. So maybe you could just start by helping us to find what functional fixedness is, and talk about kind of where it comes from. And I know you can talk a lot about how you've discovered and uncovered this in your research. And I'm interested again, and how we can apply it to maybe what we're doing in the FinTech industry. 

Wolé Adaramoye  13:59  
Definitely. So I'll start by saying like every human being, and I think anyone who probably reads about these fields of work would not find what I'm saying surprising for every human being has cognitive biases, right? And that's because we go through our day to day lives with so much information and so much eras of perception that our brain needs shortcuts, right? If I step out of my house today, and I go to the office, right before I get to the office, I'm going to go through my door, I'm going to go through the road, I'm going to check for cars crossing by I'm going to check for dogs, I'm going to check for so many things. My point is in that 20 minute walk, I'm probably going to take on loads of data that are just in the process to get to work, right. And that's just me just going for one particular goal, let alone the multitude of goals that we have on a day to day basis. Right. So because of those things, our brain just has certain mental shortcuts that it develops to help us manage life because without those shortcuts, life would just be a lot harder for every one of us right. And amongst the short course slowest biases is the idea of functional fixedness and what it just means in essence, as in a very simple way is a cognitive bias that drives everyone, people, in general to use objects thins in the most traditional ways that they were made for. Right. So for example, I don't know if you remember, um, I don't know whether this happened to you as a kid. But when I was a kid, I remember like, if I was playing a lot with my friends, I could use a chair, for example, as a way to hide myself or to block the door or to use a chair as for so many things, right. But now as an adult, you probably just see some objects as the only function as they should be. And it's not a bad trait to have, because it's not a bad bias, because it's only natural, because the older you get, the more experience you get, the more you use certain things, the more kind of, again, the word fixed, you get into that. So I think the bias itself is a very natural response to living in our normal world of full of information. But it comes in place a lot when we get faced problems that we think of only one solution for because the object in front of us, as always preached to have that as a solution. Right. So when we say common objects, whether it's a laptop, whether it's a book, whether it's a microphone, whether it's a bottle, a screwdriver, we automatically screen out every possible awareness of the features that are important for his use. Right. And I said, it's a vital tactic for everyday life. However, when it comes to creativity and thinking out of the box becomes a problem. 

Natalie Silverman  16:26  
Okay, this is interesting. So you're right. I think as we're younger, right, were growing up. And again, I did that too. I played with friends and you have maybe more of an imagination as you're growing up. And you're right, maybe like you said, your chair is a rock. It's a castle, it could be right isn't anything there. Right. Okay, so All right. So let's fast forward to us being adults today and working. Do you think then that functional fixedness? Does it actually hinder innovation? If maybe we're not as creative as we were when we were growing up? 

Wolé Adaramoye  16:59  
I think definitely. So in the 1930s, or 1940s, the main proponent of functional fixedness, Karl Duncker I believe. Yeah, he's German, he ran a study classical experiment. I think if you Google with deep bias, you find that experiments on probably every size that comes on Google page, but I think he gave every participant a candle and a matchbook and a box of tacks right matchsticks and ask them to fix the candle to a vertical surface so that you'll be able to burn. And what they found in that study was that adults and people that were older, older kids and adults, right, people who are above 6,8, or 9 years old, were significantly slower to use the actual matchstick box as a shelf for the candle, right, compared to five year olds. And why is that because as an adult, you've probably been told, well, if you're burning a candle, you don't leave it near the matchbox, because it's not safe, right. But for that particular task, to get to the end goal, as the kids were below five, we're not thinking about safety, because they figured for that particular goal, the actual matchbox will help them achieve that. Now bringing that back to innovation, sometimes we get put in certain boxes, when we used to sit in functions, whether you're a developer or whether you are a UX researcher like myself, whether you are a credit manager, whatever it is, right, you use a process. And sometimes you face with a different kind of goal that might have the same resources that you need for process a bit of a process. There's just this kind of work. But because we're already so fixed on how and resources ABC are used for fresh process, we can never actually think properly to make it to the next, if that makes sense. So I think that's where that bias really, really gets to us. And it's not a thing that one can escape that was me every day I work in terms of how I go about solving everyday problems. But what really helps is how we can overlook alternative approaches that hinders our ability to solve problems. 

Natalie Silverman  16:59  
I think it does, because here it let's take an example right? Because again, I'm I'm trying to wrap my head around this and I think you're absolutely right. Like you said, the five year old is thinking a little bit differently outside of the matchbox, no pun intended. And, you know, let's take it back a step right. And let's let maybe we'll give a real world example. So you just mentioned the credit manager or somebody in finance, right, which again, applies to what psychiatry does and we talk a lot about we call it maybe collections 1.0 and collections 1.0 to us. It's not wrong and nobody's saying that anybody's processes either right or wrong. It's just we tend to say 1.0 is maybe again, your status quo of leveraging a very manual tool like Excel, and it works and it gets the job done. And again, if you're getting to your goals and objectives at the end of the day, great than we call collections 2.0, maybe you're dabbling or dipping your toe in the automation water and maybe you've said let's build some rules or automated rules and workflows to get you again out of the manual processes. But maybe again, you're not quite ready to go all the way to what we call 3.0, which is where you're leveraging advanced technology like AI or machine learning. So that's why again, you said it's an evolution, maybe not a revolution and some people again, they need to take their their time getting to the correct step that makes sense to them, I guess how would you or what advice would you give a finance leader than that maybe is trying to break out of that functional fixedness, right, where they have some of these inherent biases that, hey, Excel is working. It's the status quo. And why do I want to disrupt that, even though again, at the end of the day, and maybe they know that something would be more beneficial or make their operations more efficient? But yeah, I guess how would you then apply the idea of getting out of the functional fixedness box to somebody that still in that 1.0 scenario? 

Wolé Adaramoye  20:38  
Yeah, that's a very good question. I think there's there's two things I would probably keep in mind even before I think of solutions, and probably be at peace with actually, the very first is to know that with time as time passes by daily, weekly monthly experiences, well, that bias of functional fixedness only strengthen more practice a solution, whether it's how we sought out a table, do a task, but as how we send something to a different person, different departments, whatever, that's how we raise a dispute, whatever it is, right? The more you do something, the more you do a solution, the harder it is to find or see new ones. The second thing is worth to remember is like whenever I want to solve problems, one thing that hinders the ability to solve problems is definitely how we overlook alternative approaches. So for example, when I spoke about the kids with the experiment, a lot of them, you know, passed in quotes, did not see the matchbox as just a matchbox, but also something to elevate and hold the candle at the vertical surface, right. But it's natural that when we want to solve problems, we often think of the immediate common traditional ways we know how to do and we rarely look at alternative approaches that exists, right? Sometimes approaches could not just be a task or process. It could also be people, which we then brings me into your question, which is how can leaders finance leaders in this case, break out this box? I think first and I'll start with something that I like to talk about my friends is let's change how we understand a certain everyday practices. For example, if you have a problem right now, anyway, in a team, you and maybe you, me and somebody on your team, for example. And we have a product that we that we want to bring out to market, but we're not sure we're going to do it. Firstly, we're going to think of to do is what brainstorm, they'll probably not top top three tasks. But brainstorming itself is also kind of a fixed approach, which is why people have people like Elon Musk talk about some meetings being pointless in his words, right? It's also because the idea of brainstorming as an activity for solving problems is also very traditional approach solving problems. How can you take that in a different way when it comes to being not functionally as fixed, if that makes sense, is maybe to think of a different approach that brings them in, so I like what they call something called brainswarming. I don't know if you've heard about it. So brainswarming is an approach where instead of brainstorming where you engage in lots of verbal and discussive conversations, and you have whiteboards, etc, right, brainswarming involves more of teamwork, silence and tools. So a typical scenario would be if we have a problem, we put a problem on a board and the board on top of the board, we have the goal we want to achieve on top at the bottom, we have resources that we have available to us. Now, every single person in this brainswarming room team, whichever it is, whether it's 3, 4, 5, or six, we'll think of how can we get from top to bottom or bottom to up but we'll do that in their own spaces. Now what that often brings about from what I've read is that what I've tried as well is that some people will think of solving problems from Okay, I have this goal, how can I achieve this goal? And how can I achieve will make me achieve this goal, right? That's top to bottom, others will think about, okay, well, I have these resources or condition sources to get me towards this goal, right. So people will think in different ways in terms of achieving that target some from top down some from down up. Now what you didn't get there is when everybody brings their post, it's all there online, or physical posted on the board, you see that at the bottom, you have a range of resources and a range of tasks that people can come up with but, people do that in silos, right? So what that gives you is you have lots of creative ideas that come out that are not influenced by anyone's ideas, and then you then link your go to Resources by what looks the most pragmatic and obvious way on the board. It's hard to explain to you without showing you that visually, but I think if we look at brainswarming, it poses as a very, very alternative use of brainstorming because that way you definitely have a higher chance of getting towards some kind of solution because of everyone's creativity around the process and everyone thinking in their different ways, either from resource to go or go to resource right and now you have also avoid one main voice clouding the majority. So that's, that's one way out there. Think about breaking out of the box is changing your idea of brainstorming. It might not be brainswarming. But there's probably other ways you can change the idea. But it's about questioning how do we even bring some in the first place? Another thing I learned from particular CIOs that I spoke to during my research was the idea of abstraction. So many times for me as a UX researcher, right, for example, I am often in conversations were talking with Dev, guys who are the data engineers. I'm not gonna lie, sometimes some things fly over my head, right? Because a lot of them are just so brilliant that I can't understand what they say about some technical tools or processes in like, a few seconds. It will take me probably weeks to digest that, right. I don't know if that happens to you, too. Does it? 

Natalie Silverman  25:36  
I think a little bit. Yeah, you're not alone! 

Wolé Adaramoye  25:40  
Yeah. So what I learned from scenarios is that in many cases, when you're trying to move forward towards a problem, obstruction is often the best way you can move forward quickly. Because what you do is when you're faced with a problem, you obstruct, or in my case, some kind of technical language, I don't know what it means, abstracts that problem or topic by removing every single surface detail, every single characteristic, every single feature that minimizes my chance of allowing me to focus on the core issue, I take that up. So for example, when I first heard about this was years ago, Slack so that about 2015, or so. What's this, what's Slack? And someone told me everything, everything that Slack could do. And in his descriptions, I realized at the end, all that it just means is that Slack is a tool for collaboration. As the novice, I'm thinking of the goal - collaboration, that's Slack. Well the person who knows more about Slack in this case, back then was telling me about this talking about every single feature, click and do well, that took me out of the box, like I got so lost. But I had to abstract to the point where I knew what that problem was, aha, no, no, we're talking about collaboration. Then from there let's then work downwards, right? So abstraction is a very, very useful tool for everyone, not only leaders, but everyone to be able to break out of the functional fixedness box. 

Natalie Silverman  26:56  
Really quick, and just just to feed off of that, because I find that super interesting, especially me being a marketer, right? Or anybody that has to think about from a product perspective, even or again, for in a strategic role, you have to think a little bit higher, right? You're not just talking about your own product or your own problem, you need to talk about the challenge that your target audience, a CFO, for example, for side trade is having. So one thing I you know, I've also heard, I think Amazon does this, they do what I love, it's called the working backwards approach when you're about to build a new product. And you don't even know what the features and the functionality is. But guess what you write a press release, you write a press release in the vein of what does it look like when it's actually released? What is the value? What is the the headline or the abstract here, and you do that, and you actually write the press release. And then from there, extract the features and functionality, and you actually work backwards. So I've always admired that. And I feel like that's a great way to understand how to bring yourself up a level into more of a strategic level. 

Wolé Adaramoye  27:59  
No, thanks for sharing that. I've actually never heard about that approach. That's actually interesting. Probably go look it up later. But yeah, thanks for sharing that. I mean, learn everyday. So that's another good point. I think I'll just also add as well and say what I learned from CIOs as well, who were very, very creatively a solution addition, making a lot of them who surround themselves with diverse ideas. I know that's probably a cliche, but boy, boy, does that ring true. In almost all of my say conversations, you know, a lot of them to make good decisions, they had companions, and companions, or those who I call people they considered as smart and their circle that you could trust and the closer trust them to bring ideas, I'll challenge their own ideas as well, right. And this will often be like their peers in the network, maybe the head of architecture, the CTOs people around them, right? This is about surround yourself with diverse ideas, because we have diverse ideas, right, you have an ability to also challenge your thinking, but also know whether we are thinking is the right path. And the sad thing about that is for most human beings, it definitely hurts like instinctively when they're challenged, for sure. But the more you do that, the less that hurts, and the more it becomes a normal thing, which is why if you're somebody, whether you're a leader, whether you are a media manager, whether you are just a typical user like myself, it's very, very easy to get stuck in your ways, and very, very easy to get stuck. You're always battling when your ways are working. But when we're working with technology, things are going to change every single week, every single month, every single year. So the habit of being able to be challenged not only your ideas, but also in your processes and your tasks and your how you do things helps us maintain that flexibility and help reduce that functional fixedness and bias. And of course finally, I also say it's important to also draw inspiration from different domains. Alright, so whether you're in finance, whether you are in tech function within finance, whether in HR is because also draw inspiration from how different functions and different domains do things and can apply those learnings into your own original problems. I think it's definitely not a universal truth to think that if I have a problem in finance, only finance people in my company can help me. Sometimes you can draw ideas from other domains as well. And that could be where your answers lie. So I think those four things are probably things I think can help leaders break out of the box. So change how you understand brainstorming, abstraction, diverse ideas, and people and inspiration from different domains. 

Natalie Silverman  30:24  
I love that. And I feel like we could have a discussion for a very long time on innovation, because again, that's my passion. That's kind of my background where I come from, too. So we definitely want to have you back on the podcast. So this is not going to be your last appearance. But for this episode, my last question is going to be a little bit different. But I think it's going to apply to what we've been talking about. Want to get your opinion on one of the hottest technology topics that I'm sure you know very well, what I'm gonna say, Yeah. And it's across every industry, not just finance. I just want to ask you about ChatGPT. Because I saw a very interesting headline that said, new AI technology, old bias question mark. So you know, we're talking about functional fixedness. And bias. And I just wanted to get your opinion on if you think ChatGPT has some inherent bias. And we'll start there because I know that's a loaded question. 

Wolé Adaramoye  31:17  
No, it is. It's one of those things. You know, when they say I'm heavy, the head that wears the crown, that's how it feels like, you know, ChatGPT is is a monster. That's how I describe it. I mean, when I first heard about it, I probably did not believe the rave until I tried it myself. And until I read the use cases, and I thought, and even to today, I'm still in shock every day when my friends and colleagues share screenshots of what they do with ChatGPT . But of course, you know, the fundamental ChatGPT if we abstract again, is that it is this AI system that is based and trained on a massive corpus of text. And that text is obtained from where from our world from our real world of human speech and human data. Now, that corpus is definitely is growing all the time, for sure. But the point is, is obtained from human speech and real world data. Now growing to the point of bias. I think my humble opinion is that the answer has to be yes. There has to has to be a yes, I might have to read more and learn more. But for now, from what I've read, the answer has to be a yes. And that is because if I speak on a very abstract sense, right, ChatGPT been been a generative AI is a model that does something. Again, I'm making it very simple, but is different. not simple. But it does something as simple as this, it takes in text, right? It takes in text as imputes. And it takes that text into an outputs, like text, again, videos, or audio, right. So it takes in text and as inputs and outputs you back in probably in a conversation like manner as other things. Now the bias has to come in because I think that if you take some text from real world data, whether it's from already published and blogs, whether it's from published databases, whatever it is, one can argue that the size of the data means that you're getting a huge diverse set of outputs, right. So again, the size of the inputs means you're getting a huge, diverse set of outputs. Hence you can have bias, right? That could be someone's argument. However, it could be that the inputs, particularly towards conversational like text, that it brings up social media, etc. It could be that the inputs is predominantly biased, because things that remain online, things are published online, whether it's on social media, whether it's by whitepapers, whether it's by databases, whatever it is have something in common, they have a similar trait. And because of that similarity in their traits, it has to have a bias in what it produces. So even though the size of the inputs in terms of the corpus of text, which ChatGPT gets its data from is massive and vast, surely that input itself being something that remains online predominantly has some kind of biases embedded in there, and a very, very abstract sense. I guess the question then is how much bias does he have and how much bias can we ignore when he has that bias? And those two questions that some of the I can't answer, unfortunately. 

Natalie Silverman  34:05  
Thanks, Wolé for the insights into the future of finance. For Sidetrade, this is Natalie Silverman. 

Conclusion  34:11  
This has been another episode of Finance to Futurist a Sidetrade podcast series. Make sure you catch every episode by subscribing to our podcast on or through your podcast platform of choice. Thanks so much for tuning in. This podcast is brought to you by Sidetrade, and is for general information purposes only. All rights reserved.