Scott Belsky gave a kick-off speech at the Collective Future conference that I recently attended. He focused on how we will operate in the future. I continue to think about how technology leads the charge and fits into our culture. AI is not going away, and like all technologies, they scare people, but overtime we evolve with those technologies, the question we fear is how will that affect our culture.

As the eternal optimist, I believe that technology, like everything, has its peaks and valleys and eventually becomes the status quo. Do I think that AI is game-changing? For sure, but I also believe it will be better for multiple industries that are ripe for change, and education is one of them. You can’t use Chat GPT correctly if you don’t know how to write, just saying.

Taste is a word that Belsky used when he talked about creativity in our culture—something that we should value more. Can taste be learned? Is taste something that goes under the Malcolm Gladwell theory that once you do something over 10,000 times, you can be at the top in any field?

In my early twenties, when I was at Macy’s, there was a junior buyer who had exceptional taste. She had her finger on the pulse of the customer she was buying for like no other. She saw trends and built on them. She knew how to get back into the products and when to call it a day. Unfortunately she got caught up in the shift of how Macy’s was being managed, and her brilliant taste that she transformed into a profitable business, became wrapped up in the new guard where her gut wasn’t allowed to operate anymore.

I am all for data, numbers, and essentially portfolio management, but you still have to be able to pick winners. Picking winners comes with a level of taste that I believe will always require the human touch—at least, I hope so.