Opinion: AI for self-betterment

It is essential to critically examine implications of artificial intelligence and foster ethical approaches to tech development

Published Date – 10 June 2024, 11:55 PM




By Viiveck Verma

The age of artificial intelligence is here and it is here to stay. From answering difficult questions in split seconds to generating libraries of data, AI has revolutionised modern thinking and working. In these times of rapid technological advancement, can we think of AI as being a powerful tool beyond optimising processes and enhancing productivity? How does AI seep into and impact the intimate parts of our lives and can it improve things in that domain?


In other words, can it be utilised for fostering personal growth and self-improvement? The answer is a resounding yes. From managing time more efficiently to learning new skills and improving mental well-being, AI offers boundless opportunities for individuals to embark on a journey of self-betterment. Let us explore this in detail.

Enhancing Self-expression

The integration of AI into our daily lives has, needless to say, brought about profound changes that permeate our personal relationships, emotions and sense of self. From altering the dynamics of human connection to influencing the fundamental perceptions of reality and identity, the intimate impact of AI is undeniable and can engender benefits as well as challenges. For example, readily available filters, editing tools and AI-enhanced beauty apps allow individuals to alter their appearance and present idealised versions of themselves online.

While these tools may enhance self-expression and creativity, they can also contribute to unrealistic beauty standards, body image issues and the commodification of identity in the digital sphere. Just as this example illustrates, AI has entered a zone of tremendous influence where it can impact deeply personal things including our relationship with our own bodies. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that it is harnessed to bring about changes which improve us.

However, it has to be noted that this requires a great degree of strategising and has to be pieced together with the variety of tools AI brings to us.

To begin, since time is the most precious resource in our busy lives today, AI-powered tools can assist individuals in managing their time more effectively by analysing their daily routines, identifying inefficiencies, and providing tailored recommendations for improvement. For instance, time-tracking apps analyse users’ digital activities and offer insights into how they spend their time, enabling them to make informed decisions about prioritising tasks and eliminating distractions. This has repercussions for the experiential realm as the way time is structured determines experience and once AI synergises our time management, it is likely to influence how we feel as well, positively impacting mental well-being.

Educational Platforms

It is necessary to note that AI-driven educational platforms and personalised learning systems can facilitate skill acquisition and knowledge enhancement. For example, a platform like Duolingo employs AI algorithms to adapt language lessons to users’ proficiency levels, providing customised learning experiences that optimise retention and engagement. Similarly, platforms like Coursera and Udemy leverage AI to recommend courses based on users’ interests, learning styles and career goals, enabling them to acquire new skills and advance their careers efficiently.

On a related note, AI-powered health and wellness applications offer valuable insights and support for improving mental and physical well-being. For instance, meditation apps utilise AI algorithms to deliver personalised mindfulness exercises and stress-reduction techniques tailored to users’ preferences and needs. In the same vein, wearable devices like Fitbit employ AI to analyse users’ activity levels, sleep patterns and other health metrics, empowering them to make informed lifestyle choices and cultivate healthier habits.

Financial Sphere, Creativity

If there is another element to our contemporary lives which is as precious as time, it is money. The financial sphere is the chief determinant of most aspects of our lives and AI-driven financial management tools can help individuals make smarter decisions about budgeting, saving and investing. For example, an app like Robinhood utilises AI algorithms to provide personalised investment recommendations and insights based on users’ financial goals, risk tolerance and market trends.

Similarly, budgeting apps leverage AI to categorise expenses, track spending patterns and offer customised budgeting strategies to help users achieve their financial objectives. This takes away the informality inherent in our relationship with money, giving us the degree of seriousness necessary to manage finances adeptly.

Just as AI has made everyday tasks easier, it is wise to acknowledge that it can make living with and working on ourselves seamless as well

Furthermore, AI technologies can inspire creativity and support innovation by providing tools and resources for creative expression and problem-solving. For instance, the tremendously popular Adobe Creative Cloud suite incorporates AI-powered features such as Adobe Sensei, which enhances creative workflows by automating repetitive tasks, generating design suggestions and facilitating content creation. Likewise, platforms like Canva utilise AI to streamline graphic design processes and empower users with intuitive tools for creating professional-quality visuals.

On a related note, AI-driven applications can help individuals develop emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills by providing feedback and guidance on social interactions. AI-powered coaching platforms can offer personalised guidance and feedback to people seeking to improve specific aspects of their lives, ranging from career advancement to fitness goals.

As this constellation of ideas and illustrations demonstrates, the possibilities for personal development with AI are immense. Most importantly, however, these possibilities are premised upon the realisation that AI gives us a window into an unprecedented life of ease. Just as it has made everyday tasks easier, it is wise to acknowledge that it can make living with and working on ourselves seamless as well. It is this potential that can drive us to summits of self-improvement.

Of course, it is essential to critically examine its implications and foster ethical, human-centred approaches to technology development and implementation with checks and balances, such as ensuring that no particular tool can overpower our lives. For example, if the time management apps seem to be unforgiving, the mental and physical health indicating apps can tell you to change them and such a balanced diversity can centre human well-being.

In conclusion, AI presents unprecedented opportunities for individuals to embark on a journey of self-betterment across various aspects of their lives. By harnessing AI-powered tools and applications, individuals can optimise their time management, acquire new skills, enhance their health and well-being, manage their finances effectively, unleash their creativity, develop emotional intelligence, and receive personalised coaching and feedback. As AI continues to evolve and proliferate, its potential to empower individuals in their quest for personal growth and self-improvement will only continue to expand, reshaping the way we approach and actualise our aspirations in the digital age.

Viiveck Verma

(The author is Founder & CEO, Upsurge Global, Advisor & Adjunct Professor, EThames College, and Strategic Advisor and Venture Partner, SilverNeedle Ventures)

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