Discover how Rob Robinson, a high-performance leader, leverages his unique abilities to build winning teams and create networks that excel in today's dynamic and future battlefields. Explore his expertise in technology, leadership, and team building for unparalleled success.
[00:00:00] Corey Berrier: Welcome to the Successful Life podcast. I'm your host, Corey Berrier, and I am here with my man, Rob Robinson. What's up, brother?
[00:00:08] Rob Robinson: Not much. It is a glorious day here in North Carolina. Beautiful weather outside, so I can't complain too much. He,
[00:00:17] Corey Berrier: he is beautiful. Now
[00:00:18] Rob Robinson: you're in Fort Bragg, right? Yes, I am. I am right outside Fort Bragg, just north of the Goodyear plant, if you guys are knowing that reference.
[00:00:26] But yeah, retired out of the 82nd and found my home here at least for the moment. Yeah.
[00:00:33] Corey Berrier: That's awesome. Well, so just to give a little background, I I know Rob from the the dev tech group. And dude I really enjoy those calls. Like I really enjoy those calls. So let's get into it.
[00:00:51] What so you retired, how long ago did you retire at.
[00:00:55] Rob Robinson: Surprisingly, it's been three years ago, like I literally lucked out and walked across the stage. I did the last retirement ceremony before they locked Fort Bragg down for Covid in 2020. So I retired on February 29th Leap Day, which I still think is cool as a paratrooper.
[00:01:11] Spent the whole time in the my military career jumping on airplanes. So to retire on Leap Day, it was pretty cool. And Literally walked across the stage and like four days later they locked down the post for COVID 19. So that was three years ago. And it's gone by in a flash just because of just operating in the space.
[00:01:30] Like my retirement has moved as about as fast as technology. And so every time I turn around there's something new happening or something that has changed. And so it's definitely one of those things that it will get. Away from you quick and look up and it's 2023 when we're halfway through the year already.
[00:01:47] Corey Berrier: And you've been, look, you've been dealing with technology probably at a day at a level. Well look, I know AI's been around for much longer than what people conceptualize because look, a lot of people, including myself, until I started learning more about it. I didn't realize I didn't realize it'd been around for years and, but clearly it has.
[00:02:06] But now it's really. I mean, it's like, I would say like rocket speed, but it's faster than that. It's unreal how fast things are going. Go
[00:02:16] Rob Robinson: ahead. Yeah. When you think about the onset of ai, like everybody's had it before, you know something as simple as your Netflix algorithm telling you, Hey, based off of what you've watched, and this is not a plug for Netflix, but these are normally what you see with with any of your streaming platforms based off of what you've watched.
[00:02:34] These are recommendations that are similar to what that is. And basically what happens is when you log into that account, And you click on those terms of service, you're allowing them to use your previous data that you've used, hours of content that you've consumed to adjust what they present to you, to find out what's more attractive to you as a consumer to make it sell to you better.
[00:02:54] And that's everywhere, so if you have a smart device in your home that's essentially what it's doing. And you always wonder why, like, man, I was talking about getting some new running shoes the other day and it popped up on my phone. Well, all those things are interconnected and that AI is trying to push those updates.
[00:03:10] To your devices, so it's always at the top of your mind, whatever the last thing that you talked about or searched for. Comes up. And so all of those things are helpful, but those are just simple ways that AI can help your life. And then you fast forward a couple years after the growth of the streaming industry, and now you have chat, G P T and all the other chat services that are being rolled out by every other platform that's available that has a large amount of data.
[00:03:36] That they can shape to influence or to gather more information or whatnot. And so there's a lot of applications for AI that [00:03:46] are out there. Something as simple as figuring out which part of the wifi spectrum that is available for your house to make your wifi more efficient to Determining whether or not this is a face, whether that's a gun, whether that's some other type of device.
[00:04:03] And so all that computer vision, ai, machine learning and all that stuff is all interconnected. And luckily for us in the United States, we have this thing called the Fourth Amendment that protects your privacy. But in other countries that have less federal protections for information like your information is fair game and they can use it to manipulate.
[00:04:24] Whatever about you, but that's a discussion for another time. But really talking about ai it definitely, it's changing the way everybody does everything and eventually it's gonna get to the point and I think Honestly, I think we will never get to the point, at least in the military, that we'll be comfortable completely eliminating the humans out of the loop.
[00:04:48] But I think there's gonna be other applications eventually that we'll get to where like, Hey, look, if the machine can do it all, let the machine do it all like it. It's more affected that way. And But we're even seeing that today. But I'll pause there cuz I have some thoughts on kind of what I've seen just recently per, particularly in like the social media space.
[00:05:10] But you hear about the layoffs and I'll just dive into this point real quick. So you heard about the layoffs Meta and Google laying off about six or 7,000 people, right? And what happened that impacted every consumer that utilizes their platform. Why? Because at some point, if you let the i the AI run on its own, and you don't have like that human in the loop that's auditing the data.
[00:05:33] You had a lot of people that were getting copyright strikes and getting kicked off of Facebook, or kicked off of Google, or kicked off of YouTube or whatever, and they didn't know why, because the algorithm was taken care of at all. And so part of that is having those human auditors in there going, Hey, is this right or this not right?
[00:05:49] Is this bad AI or is this is this good data or bad data? Because again, the set that trains your AI is just as important as the AI itself. And I think that's one of the things that gets lost is so if I. If I were to program a, an algorithm with a whole bunch of really poor data, I'm gonna get really poor results.
[00:06:10] And I don't think a lot of people actually recognize that. They're just like, oh, I just need in the military we say, we'll just sprinkle some AI on it. That's at the end. Everybody wants to add something at the end of it. And it's not thought of throughout the process, but I think it's very important to remember that like, yes, it's a very powerful tool, but all tools can be misused.
[00:06:29] And that's one of the reasons why we try and educate people on some of the use cases that they can use it on. And then when dealing with the military, there's a whole lot more certifications that go through it to get authority to operate on a government network. And that's a contracting class for another time as well.
[00:06:48] But I'll pause there, pass it back over to you, Corey.
[00:06:51] Corey Berrier: So that, dude, that was great. I think it's interesting cuz you hear you hear people say, well they're listening to my conversations. I'm just kind of going back for a second. And the truth of the matter is they've been doing that and it's not like you've got a human being sitting in some crazy room listening to everything that you're saying.
[00:07:10] It's all data points, sentiment analysis, there's a whole bunch of different ways to do it. And the truth of the matter is, yes, they use it for marketing and who knows? I don't know what else they use it for. And we could probably guess all day. You probably know more than I do about it,
[00:07:25] Rob Robinson: but it does help.
[00:07:28] Corey Berrier: us on, well, look, I look around my [00:07:32] desk and most of the stuff I've ordered online, and most of it I probably was it probably was fed to me in some shape, form, or fashion, and that's why it's here. But hey, I like it. I like what I've got. Right? So, yeah. It's not like they're it's not like it's a necessarily a bad thing, but I totally agree with you.
[00:07:49] It could be a bad thing.
[00:07:52] Rob Robinson: Yeah, one, one. Leverage properly. Every everything is people make things good or bad, unfortunately, like their, your attitude towards the utilization of whatever it is makes it good or bad. It's not the tool itself. You can have this discussion about cars, you can have the discussion about guns.
[00:08:09] You can have the cons, the discussion about computers and cell phones, and any device that is an inate object, the user of that is holding it. Makes it good or bad based off of their intentionality of what they use it for. And so if I'm Using my computer to mind Bitcoin. Okay. That's one thing. If I'm using my computer to steal Bitcoin, then that's another thing.
[00:08:32] And it's the same use case, right? So I have this device that I'm utilizing. One is for nefarious purposes, and one is for the actual intended purpose of what that device was designed to do. And I think that's one of the things that everybody forgets is, Hey AI is great. Machine learning is great.
[00:08:51] It makes things easier. However, with the wrong intent, then it can come out poorly. Right? Like perfect example throwing my electronic warfare hat on. We can talk about the utilization of TikTok, right? So when you talk about TikTok, right, the algorithm that is feeding young men and women in the United States content, regardless of what side of the political line you're on.
[00:09:15] Those algorithms are not being generated in the US by US consumers. They're being produced by a host nation that has an in-state, and that in-state is, Hey, we're gonna talk about body image. We're gonna send risky risky behaviors to these kids. We're gonna send them things that are going to alter the way that they act or the way that they behave.
[00:09:37] To make them more complicit when we eventually launch our takeover. And that could be five years from now, it could be 50 years from now. We don't know what the timeline is, but you can see the seeds being planted on that social media platform in particular with the types back to China. And that's and that's ripping the bandaid off and talking about it.
[00:09:55] But like, think about those algorithms. What you see every day in those social media feeds comes from what you previously looked at. Or is it am I really looking at this stuff or is somebody feeding it to me? And then it's just becomes habit. And so that's one of the things that you have to be cautious with because selection of the information is just as important.
[00:10:17] Like I. AI is a lot like artillery in the military. And one of the things that we talk about in artillery is computational GA data, garbage in, garbage out. So if I put in bad stuff, I get bad stuff out of it. I put in good stuff, I get good stuff out of it. And again, there's always room for error.
[00:10:34] But that's one of the reasons why AI is such a struggle for most people, is because it's like how do I get to a trusted, vetted algorithm? What does that look like? It looks different for you than it would be for me. And it would look different if like I'm a small business trying to get ahead, or if I'm a big corporation that's trying to safeguard information or securities or whatever it is.
[00:11:00] And so there's a lot of balance that has to be struck. And because the technology is moving so rapidly and it's so new, I think everybody's gonna struggle with it because if the d o D hasn't figured it out at some point, then guess what? Like, I don't expect Rob and Corey sitting down in our [00:11:18] offices at home to be able to figure this out very quickly because we're only we're finite in our resources in time and.
[00:11:27] That's the downside of it. The upside of it is like if we have the right ai, we have more resources and more time. So it's just one of those things that you have to, it's a balancing act. And that sounds like a non-political answer or a non-committal answer, but it really is.
[00:11:43] It's like with everything, if I go all in on my business and my business is AI and something goes wrong It's my responsibility, but if I diversify and AI is just one aspect of what I'm doing, then there's ways to do it. And we have this discussion all the time in the death tech community.
[00:12:02] And I know that my colleague Bob Burton is around and he's gonna talk about he's gonna talk about the use of AI platforms in developing simple products. To help advance your business. Right. And that's a completely different discussion than writing a proposal to the government. And so there are areas like there's some hard there's some no penetration lines where I'm like, absolutely not.
[00:12:25] I will never do this with ai. But then there's also points where it's like, well, I really don't care, right. Because when you think about when you think about, when you post something on social media and you're trying to get feedback, most of those analytics are done by some kind of AI al algorithm, and you want those, cuz that's a positive use case of AI for any user.
[00:12:43] Like, hey, if I'm trying to monetize a video or audio clip or a post or something, then I want that AI to be fine tuned and. With precision, so I can get the maximum effect out of whatever it is I'm producing. But that's always always gonna be contentious, dude.
[00:13:04] Corey Berrier: Yeah, a hundred percent.
[00:13:05] And I people could argue that Well, if, yeah. Yeah. I'm right there with you. I am right there with you. So when you say some of the applications, I don't know if you said applications, but something similar to that, that are spinning off that will help business owners?
[00:13:21] I've experienced a lot of these now. I will tell you that there's also a lot of garbage out there. There's a lot of when you see this no code, low code, like guess what, Jack, if you don't know how to code somewhat, you see you're still not gonna be able to do it. Now, at least that's my experience with it.
[00:13:37] Have you seen anything that what have you seen that's helping business owners? On from your end.
[00:13:43] Rob Robinson: Yeah. So what I've seen for business owners and again, like I said, Bob's gonna talk about this cuz he's been actually working on this quite a bit. So this is kind of a precursor to another coffee call that's coming pretty soon in the next couple weeks.
[00:13:55] So you're getting a preview beforehand. So Bob has actually been working utilizing an AI platform to help write the initial proposal. So one of the things that we always ask at Def Tech is, hey, we need a quad chart and a one page white paper. So what Bob has been doing is he's been going into the AI server and feeding it keywords and feeding it things that are important to build those two documents, the quad chart and the one page white paper.
[00:14:23] And he's getting results. And those results are hitting target with the business owner. So if you're a small business owner and I don't have a lot of time, or I don't have a lot of money to go out and hire a proposal writer, and I would say in anything, Associa it to a proposal. Like don't take the AI's word for it.
[00:14:42] It is your proposal. It is your project. So make sure that it says what you need it to say. If it doesn't say what it says that you need it to say, don't use it. It's a tool. It can help you get started and you can always make changes and manipulate it. And I think again, it goes back to how do I utilize the tool?
[00:15:00] So that was one of the ways that we've seen it being [00:15:04] done. And then other. Other ways of using it. And one of the ways that's kind of frightening that is coming out now is you're hearing a lot of scammers that are using it for voice recognition and then using that voice to basically call somebody's grandmother or grandfather that's elderly with their grandchild's voice.
[00:15:24] Hey grandma, I need you to send me some money at this account. And it is a complete artificial voice that has been reconstructed through ai. And one of the things that we have advantage of is like the human eye is very attuned to artificial intelligence right now. They haven't gotten to the point where you can everybody falls into the uncanny valley.
[00:15:45] You're watching this, and they're like, something about that face just doesn't look right. Right. You know what I mean? So we've seen that, but. The downside is like you can only trick A, you can only trick people so far with the deep fake because eventually they're gonna like, something's not right about this because it's just not gonna sit right with you because your eye and your ears are like, eh, I don't know.
[00:16:07] And that's the combination of visual and audio working together. But if I can separate those two, Like, if I can just show you a picture or just show you the audio, the chances of me fooling you is better because I have fewer data points with my senses to collect them. And so that's one of the things that I've seen.
[00:16:23] So, perfect example of a successful use case of artificial intelligence in in the media is what Disney did with the volume in. Mandalorian. So like they built this whole virtual set that allows you to operate in multiple different environments. The lighting's always correct, the shadings always correct, and that's all AI driven on a giant L E D screen.
[00:16:50] You know what I mean? Like, that's super, super cool. Great use case. If you enjoy the Mandalorian or TV shows like that, then that's an easy way to, to cut down production costs and invest into more extravagant Special effects that makes the show that much more immersive. And so that's a great use case of artificial intelligence and then again, with the staying with the Mandalorian thing, but the deep fake of mark Hamel they de-age him and put his face on another person.
[00:17:20] And so again, that's a use case in entertainment. That makes perfect sense. And if it's not perfect, they'll harm no foul. Cuz like, people are like, ah, the technology's growing. But that was at least a cool attempt, but when we get to the point where that stuff is self-training and it can capture all the data points on your face and all the movements and everything else, then that tool becomes incredibly dangerous because I could do a video call with a complete stranger and throw a deep fake mask over the face and completely have the same interaction that you and I are having right now.
[00:17:54] But I'm not that person. Right, right. Of course. And that's the part where it gets scary and if you haven't looked at it, there's another the other application of AI that's incredibly scary is taking place in China right now. Everybody, if you haven't heard of Skynet, all you have to do is look China Skynet, and you'll find it.
[00:18:13] And what they have done as a government, they have basically weaponized artificial intelligence to basically, Encourage or discourage social behaviors in the community. So for example, one example that they use, there's a vice video, it's a couple years old, but one example that they use is a gentleman goes to use the bathroom, uses more than his allotted share of toilet paper when he comes out.
[00:18:39] So basically what they do is they name and shame this guy, he's walking down the street and his face is being flashed up on light poles as he is walking, saying, Hey, this guy used too much toilet paper. [00:18:50] Oh man. And so they're literally publicly shaming this guy for violating whatever social norm or social construct that the government wants them to have.
[00:18:59] Right. That's where it becomes scary, and I think that was part of that's part of the discussion when we had all the different boards of, oh hey, we wanna have misinformation or disinformation, or whatever you wanna call it. Like, look, it's truth and lies is basically what it boils down to.
[00:19:17] But at the end of the day doesn't matter if it's factual or not factual. If the AI is designed to be biased, And that's one of the things that people will have an understand. So like if I'm training this thing, so if I take an artificial intelligence algorithm and I build it, and I have this AI based off every written or verbal report that comes outta Fox News or every written in verbal report that comes out of C N N.
[00:19:44] That AI is going to be slanted towards those referencing organizations. So if I build it that way, then that's what I'm gonna get. So if I feed a Fox News story into the CNN algorithm, then it's gonna be like, oh this isn't real. This might be fake news. You gotta check this out, do more research.
[00:20:02] And the backside is the same thing with the cnn. So if I were to feed that CNN feed into the Fox News algorithm, it's gonna come up flagged. That's not correct. And so, That's where we have to be cautious with ai. And then at the end of the day, when it boils down to it, who polices it? Right? So it's like if we have this AI algorithm that's supposed to tell us what truth is, what is truth?
[00:20:27] Is it the truth of the person that built the algorithm or is it right the truth that's out there? You know what I mean? Like the five Ws of the news, the way that it used to be. The who, what, where win line, how, like if it just tells us those five things and we can determine our own outcome, great. But we've seen this over the last 20 years as how we've gone from hey, we're just giving 'em the five Ws to people descending behind news desks, providing commentary on a news story that has nothing to do with it, and now automate it.
[00:21:00] Imagine having A computer that is cranking out Tucker Carlson or Don Lemon Sound Bites and Nuggets 24 7 365. And it's learning off of itself. So guess what? It's never gonna break out of that change. And so that's where it becomes scary. And I'm using a lot of contemporary examples, not military, because again, the military the military examples are gonna be a little bit different, but.
[00:21:29] It's the same thing. So for example, if I'm using an artificial intelligence algorithm to process intelligence, right? Who's building that algorithm? Is there an insider in there? Is this accurate? Is it hitting all the 17 million different agencies in the government that need this accuracy?
[00:21:47] Or is it just one organization programming an algorithm for all these organizations and there's goodness and badness in both, right? So if I have one organization that's the sole focus and the sole proprietor of all this information, that's good, but that also creates a single point of failure. And then the larger I build the committee, the more difficult it is to get everybody to agree upon like, Hey, these are the things that we need to turn on or turn off as far as utilizing the search to get data.
[00:22:12] But I mean, It's really tough. It's tough to make that call like sitting here behind this desk, I would say, Hey, use ai, but if it doesn't if it smells funny, don't, you know what I mean? Right. Like that's the easiest thing I could say. It's like, If you don't have if I'm trying to use it to write an article, if I don't have 20 years worth of [00:22:36] my personal writing style to feed into that ai, then don't use it for that purpose, because I think that's what everybody it's becoming a catchall, it's an easy solution.
[00:22:46] Like, oh, we'll just we'll just use AI on it. Well, yeah. The backend support of all the data that's required to build these AI algorithms is a lot more robust than people think. And it's not as simple as just saying, Hey, I wanna use AI in my business. Okay, cool. Well, what does that mean? Right? And it's different for different people.
[00:23:08] Well, you
[00:23:08] Corey Berrier: know, that's a great point. And you're a hundred percent right it also you can't become an expert in an area that you don't have any experience in, just because the AI's spitting out what looks like expert advice. I think that's kind of what you were saying there. You've gotta, and I've just found that in my own I'll ask it a question about something I should have absolutely no idea about, and I won't I won't know the difference if it's right or if it's wrong.
[00:23:36] I mean, you, conceptually you may have an idea, but when I ask it stuff about sales stuff, which is where my background is, like I know if it's right or wrong, right? And so you've gotta use your you're right. You can't just put something out there and ex. Expect people to believe that maybe you're an expert in this area when you've never done this thing.
[00:24:00] And I thi I don't know if people are doing that. I'm sure they
[00:24:02] Rob Robinson: are. Yeah. Well and I think. It, it depends I mean what have we gotten to in our society? So if I am a, if I am a social media person, I'm working that algorithm to death. Like I'm finding those key words, those key buzz phrases, those things that are gonna draw attention to my product, I'm absolutely gonna utilize that AI for my benefit.
[00:24:25] Sure. Now, if I don't have the right stuff, then I could screw it up and like, so for example, with sales, like, what's gonna get you the sale? The AI written script or your personality that comes across through that phone call, right? Because I can have an AI generated email or AI generated cold call that does voice or text the speech, but that doesn't necessarily gonna allow me to connect with that person that I'm trying to sell the product to.
[00:24:52] And. Relationships matter. And I say this all the time, that's one of the most important things that, that we have e especially in business, right? Whether you're in uniform, you're outta uniform, big business, small business, whatever. If you don't have a reputation of being a good person or being able to bring solutions to the problems or issues to the table, nobody's gonna care.
[00:25:14] And I think that's the main thing that you're missing out of. It's that. It's that human touch. You know what I mean? It's like that, that thing that we're all seeking is the relationship and the interaction between other human beings, which is what we're built to do. Like we're designed to have relationship with other humans.
[00:25:33] So yes, having this massive amount of data and this computer program that can give me some nuggets is cool, but I don't think that we're ever gonna get to the point where AI will completely. Replicate human interaction. Right? I mean we see it all the we see it all the time. People, well, I have 10 million freaking subscribers on my YouTube page.
[00:25:57] Okay, well, how many of those people do you actually know? You don't, but Right. The upside is when that monetization algorithm runs at the end of the month, don't matter. Right? Right. Because success is having those 10 million people, it's not having the relationship with those 10 million people.
[00:26:13] But in the flip side of that, Much better to have an intimate relationship with one or two folks, because guess what? If I have [00:26:22] an intimate relationship with one person and that person happens to be a venture capitalist or a private capital person, then I can have 20 million people on my YouTube algorithm, and that one person is gonna be able to fund me at a much greater rate than anything that comes in.
[00:26:37] Off of the YouTube algorithm. So there is some importance to being able to still have that physical interaction with people. And again, pick your tools correctly and that's that. I mean, that's the best thing that I could say at that point is just you have to decide which one works better for you or not.
[00:26:54] Corey Berrier: Totally. No I totally agree and I will say that like whenever I write something I suck at writing emails. I'll just be completely honest with you. Like I'm just not that great at writing emails. And so I'll put in how I would write it. I'll almost say A D H D, so half the time I leave things out, but I'll put that in the chat or whatever, and it will spit out a version of what I wanna say.
[00:27:17] But guess what? You'll be able to read it. Yeah. And that's huge. I think for
[00:27:21] Rob Robinson: me it's huge. Yeah. Well and again, it boils down to is it an efficient tool for saving time? And that's one of the discussions that, that we always have. And we don't stress it enough on the coffee call is like, as a small business owner finite.
[00:27:36] Again, it goes back to finite amount of time, finite out amount of assets. If I have to write an individual email to 30 people, That's cool because I think crafting that individual email to all those 30 people is a big thing. But if I have a tool that can help me streamline what I'm saying, so I can get to those 30 people in an hour rather than three hours, then that's an effective use of your time.
[00:28:02] Because again, time is money. And if You're wasting time, you're going broke. And so that's one of the things that that tools are very important. And that's how I try and stress the use of ai. Like are there ways you can use it in the military? Yeah, there's great applications for the military, but again, then it becomes, hey, do I have the proper authorities to operate on this thing?
[00:28:23] Do I trust it? And it goes back to who built this thing? Can I trust who built it? If not I'm having a little bit of difficulty. But when you look at commercially, The advantage now and that's one of the things that has shifted a lot in the last 20, 25 years as well. Before I was born, a lot of technological innovations came outta the Department of Defense, and then they eventually rolled into a.
[00:28:50] The corporate or the commercial environment, and now that's completely reversed. So there's things that are coming out faster than the D O D can keep up, and that's why we have the coffee calls and that's why we have the North Carolina Military Business Center and DEF Tech and the National Innovation Security Network and all these other monolithic organizations that are just trying to get ahead of the curve.
[00:29:12] Because like we have all these problems that need answers and. Industry is creating solutions faster than the government can. And that's okay. So long as the government is willing to pay that premium price tag to solve that solution. And that's what gets people in trouble is it's like, Hey look, I wanna hang my shingle on this one D O D aspect and hopefully I can win.
[00:29:33] Right. Well you're in a pretty stiff competition and oh, by the way, if I'm in the if I'm in the business of algorithm writing, you better have some great coders on your side. Cuz if you can't write a good algorithm, People are gonna see it. It's just like anything else, like, hey, how many people complain and u using like the commercial example, how many people complain when a new video game comes out and there's a whole bunch of bugs in there.
[00:29:57] It's like, Hey man, like you worked on this thing for two years. How are there still bugs? Like you're an organization that does programming, that's your entire life, was to build this game and make it work [00:30:08] and it doesn't. And so that creates blowback, and that blowback comes in the form of damaging the relationship between you and your customer.
[00:30:16] And so your customer is like, eh, I'm not gonna buy this game. I'm gonna wait a year, wait two years and buy it when it's discounted or after they've fixed all the problems because it's not worth my time and money. To pay for it upfront. Yeah. And that's where with all things is like that and it's the same thing I would tell anybody, like, Hey, if you're looking for somebody to assist you in writing a proposal, there's tons of proposal writers out there, tons.
[00:30:40] There's some people that will do it for free. Some people will do it at cost, some people will do it for X number of grand a month. But at the end of the day, you have to decide personally, what's for you, what's the best option? Because if choose poorly. It could be a costly mistake, and the government space is already difficult enough to navigate.
[00:31:01] So you don't need an extra burden of like, oh, man, I mis vetted the guy who's writing my proposal, and I cut myself off at the knees. But I genuinely think from a success standpoint, what business owners have to do is they have to first of all, make sure it's in your budget. If it's not in your budget, look at what free tools are available and then utilize those free tools to their fullest potential.
[00:31:27] And then when it reaches that full potential, then you kind of have to shift away from it and work on your personal stuff. But again, it goes back to the email example, if I can save two and a half hours, great. That gives me two and a half hours to do more business development or make more calls or whatever, vice.
[00:31:45] Not having the tool at all. It takes all day. And so I think there's a again, sounds non-committal, but balance. Balance is important. Being able to bring all your tools to the table and then augment it with technology. And I think ultimately when we get to the end of that's what everybody wants.
[00:32:02] When you talk about the special operations command, what do they talk about? Hyper enabled operators. We want to give. Our folks as much information as they need to make decisions in a timely manner, so they're just more effective and more efficient. And so that could be one device, it could be 30 devices, it could be a device that somebody else is looking at that's feeding it into your ear.
[00:32:24] Doesn't matter how it gets there, so long as the in instate is effectiveness and efficiency, and I think ultimately, Whatever application you're doing. That's what it boils down to is like if I'm trying to do computer vision so I can do object detection, it takes a lot to train an algorithm to find Hey, I'm looking for this short redheaded guy.
[00:32:44] Well, how do I find that short redheaded guy? Well, I gotta program that algorithm to look for this. And some cameras are better at full color than others. So hey, that camera that does the full color really well might cost 10 grand. Whereas the cheapo webcam that I can buy off, Amazon costs 15 bucks, so which one do I use?
[00:33:05] And so it becomes a that becomes a decision point. And you can actually if you're going back to the chatbot example, I can put those specs in that thing and train it with my requirements and it will come out with like, Hey, based off of the five submissions that you gave me, these two are your best option for price and quality.
[00:33:27] That's the way that you can simply use the ai. But again not my first choice. Like if it, if you're asking me today like, Hey Rob, how often do you use AI in your normal day-to-day life? Not very much. Like, pretty much the normal commercial examples. YouTube, netflix your streaming services or whatever, or the the echo.in my [00:33:54] house.
[00:33:54] Like, Hey, what's the traffic pattern looking like? And that's ai, right? There's an algorithm that says, Hey, look, go tell him. Point A to point B, what the traffic pattern looks like. Well, in order for him to pull down that data has to have access to the internet. So there's a connection that goes on there over simplification of the example.
[00:34:12] But you guys get it, and I think there's a lot to be said about. Maximizing the use of your tools, but if you don't know that the tools are there, you're not maximizing them. But I'll pause there. I mean, I've been talking a lot, but I'm sure that you have other questions or other things that you want to get into.
[00:34:28] Well, I, yeah,
[00:34:29] Corey Berrier: look I just feel like I. As a business owner and because May, may, maybe I'm biased because I have been neck deep in this for six, seven months now which doesn't seem like a lot of time, but in this world it's a long time. But there's a lot of people. So my industry is home services, plumbers, HVAC roofers, and dude like.
[00:34:52] They're five years behind technology already. So I'm in the process of building a call center AI and I can't get into it too deep on here cuz it's not out yet. But we're utilizing all the voice things that we discussed earlier and we're bringing gamification to it. I probably shouldn't have said that either, but either way, the point is nobody's gonna know what I'm talking about.
[00:35:16] Most likely nobody that would matter. And at the end of the day, like. It's going to revolutionize this industry. I know that. I mean it's because it's so far advanced, it's gonna look forward to people, to be honest with you. So what happens to these guys that are they've gone on chat and they've got a a a left or a right lean response, and they didn't like that response, whichever way it went, they're like this is, it's not gonna work for me.
[00:35:47] So they're not even considering it, they're not even looking into it. I just, I worry about these business owners that are so blind to the fact that it is here and you've
[00:36:00] Rob Robinson: gotta get used to it. Well it's, we have these discussions all the time. It's one of those things where when you start building out your business?
[00:36:09] Like what's the first, what's the first thing traditionally that we think of with a business? Oh, gotta make sure I have a structure. Okay. Well, guess what? How many businesses don't have buildings anymore? They're all virtual or they have like a I have a registered L C with some larger company.
[00:36:26] And I just have an address or I'm renting a space or whatever. Right. Because I need the physical address. Cause if I don't have a physical address, I can't have a business. Right, right. Well that's not entirely true these days. How many how many Delaware founded LLCs Are there more than five?
[00:36:42] And the reason why that happens is because there are some advantages to having that, that semi virtual presence. That's just kind of the way that it is. But the other part of it is. Yeah. Oh, I wanna drive people to my website. You hear that all the time. I hear people say that like, I wanna drive people to my website.
[00:36:59] That's cool. But it is 2023. Like if you're not on some part or all of the social media platforms that are available for you to utilize, to leverage your marketing. Like social media marketing is a thing now, folks. It's 2023. If you don't, if you know how to market yourself, you can be very successful just on that.
[00:37:21] Like look at all the people that are just making money, posting whatever on social media because they know how to work the algorithm. Right? Right. Now, if I actually have a service that people want, like, Hey, you need a great plumber, here's a great list of plumbers, and we kind of see that early on. Like [00:37:40] imagine What is it, Angie's List or whatever they're calling it today, right?
[00:37:45] Sure. All those pre-vetted type platforms. That was a early version of this, but it was still kind of plug and play, like the algorithm wasn't doing it for you, but being able to literally Pull up an app and have it searched and say, Hey look, these are my parameters. And that happens when you go to these websites and you register and you fill out all your information, it kind of does it for you.
[00:38:07] But again, there's some smart technology that's going in behind that that the back end of the user doesn't see. But I. The programmers or the people that are operating the business actually get to see all that stuff. Hey, these are the inputs, this is the output that we get. And again, you can always go.
[00:38:23] It's kind of like dealing with an insurance adjuster like, Hey look, I need to get this fixed in my house. I got this problem. How can I get it fixed? Well, these are the certified 17 people that have worked with us in the past, and we know that they're good. But I have my buddy down the street that does the same thing and he is probably gonna cut me a little bit more of a break.
[00:38:40] So who do I pick? Again, it goes back to striking that balance and being able to make that, unless lack of a better term, that commander's call of, you know what, I'm gonna do this instead of that, and I think that's really, With all the AI tools that are available, that's a great part.
[00:38:59] But at the end of the day, you still have to make the decision as the consumer or as the director, or as the the business owner. Like ultimately, it's only to inform your decision making, not to supersede or do it for you. And eventually we probably will get to the point where it can. Or we can sense of put a sensor in somebody's brain and it's gonna measure the dopamine, and then it's gonna tell you like, oh, this is the right decision for you because you got a warm and fuzzy feeling when you looked at this company versus that company.
[00:39:32] Whoa, okay. And it seems far fetched, but like when you look at all the data that we're sensing right now, how far away from that are we?
[00:39:40] Corey Berrier: Well, I mean, I would argue that TikTok is already there. Like social media is already a dopamine. Like that's why people stay on TikTok for as long as they do.
[00:39:49] Cause it's just dopamine hit after dopamine hit. I mean it. And they know That's what's hap they know. Like they under, they understand that. So imagine this I was on a call with a guy yesterday, he's a friend of mine, and he built this LinkedIn tool several years ago, and the LinkedIn tool would automatically connect with, I think it was 50 people at the time.
[00:40:10] It's a hundred now. You could only connect with a hundred people per day or you get flagged. All right. So he is at this tool and it wasn't necessarily ai. Maybe it was or we just didn't know it. But he. So, so you could connect, it will have a conversation with you up until you ask a targeted question, so to speak.
[00:40:34] And then it kicks it out, kind of like a funnel would do, right? Yeah. And so it super cool. What did they figure it out now? He was just telling me yesterday he's figured out how to do this. Not only, but of course with LinkedIn, cause he'd already figured that out. But now he can do that with Facebook.
[00:40:52] He can do that with TikTok, he can do that with Instagram. So in other words, you send out 35 dms hypothetically to 35 people, you wouldn't even have to do it. It's automatic. Sends out the 35 dms like you feed it, who it is you wanna send it to, I guess. Yeah. And it con will have a conversation with you up until whatever point.
[00:41:13] You don't want it to have a conversation anymore. Yeah. Which is sick. It's sick
[00:41:18] Rob Robinson: But that's reasonable. Like, there's tons of those, like there's a company talks to them about a year ago that, that does [00:41:26] that for a living. They build chat bots, andis, right? So that AI will answer all your questions and like, it's only it's only as good as the data that's put in it, but like, when you log onto most.
[00:41:37] Large companies or even some small ones, like most universities, have a chatbot now that's gonna guide you through the process. Hey, like, Hey, I need to register for classes. Okay? Like, these are your steps to register for classes. If you need any assistance, this is what you need to do. And so they're available, they're there.
[00:41:53] Those technologies are available right now and people are using them. Like specifically like sending the message out and getting it, like that's a new one for me. I suspected that has happened before, cuz I get a lot of these like random, like, Hey, you should really sign up for this.
[00:42:09] And you're like, I don't think so, cuz I'm not like the person that hits yes to everything. Right. But there is some validity to that because again it's a law of averages. Like if I'm trying to get 10 per, and that's when you look at the way that social media works very, the reason why viral videos called are called Viral is because they replicate exponentially just like a virus would.
[00:42:35] Right. On average. A good social media post is only gonna get you about 10% return on what you've posted, and that's on the platform itself. Now, if I start dropping these hey, check out this post directly in somebody's inbox, then it in, it does two things. It increases my chances of getting blocked, but it also increases the chances of that person going well this doesn't look like spam.
[00:43:01] Let me dig into it and so it's a numbers game. It increases your chances of actually hitting a target. And so again, you can do it by volume or you can do it with precision. And either way, the outcome is still the same. Hey, I wanna build a new lead for business, right? And so I think. That's one of the discussions that we're always gonna have too, as far as AI or any type of cyber activity whatsoever.
[00:43:25] It is, it's like, Hey, who's vetting this to make sure that this is fair legal? And just because the internet to still to this day is the wild west like you basically do anything that you want on the web. And if you can't do it on the regular web, there's the dark web. So there's other places that you can go to Hey, I'm gonna do this thing.
[00:43:46] And it kind of gets flagged and gets poo-pooed. All right, well I'm gonna go to the lesser known avenue and still attack those things. And so there's still ways of utilizing that stuff, and there's tons of ways to do it. It sounds like scheduling programs are great. There's websites that are commercially available right now that you can log in.
[00:44:07] Put in three of your social media profiles and it will publish to all three of those social media profiles on the schedule that you want when you need it. And that's the free version. The paid version is, Hey, it does video, it does 12, I think it does up to 12, right? Social media platforms. So like if you are one of those folks that do all the socials, you can basically program what you're gonna drop at the beginning of the week or at the beginning of the month, and then just walk away from it.
[00:44:35] That's right. And then it's gonna publish the stuff as you need it. And again, useful tool because again, effective versus efficient, so I can be more effective and efficient by maximizing my time being able to do other things. Well, I'll tell you
[00:44:49] Corey Berrier: though I agree. On one hand, you're absolutely right, and so I would, and I would in I've used exactly what you're talking about, but I'll tell you for me what happened is because I took the human element out of it.
[00:45:04] I didn't think about going back to the Post. Right. I wouldn't go back and see if there were comments. I would forget that [00:45:12] it was going out and. The, then the effectiveness for the algorithm, it it kind of detracts from the effectiveness at a di at a different level. Does that
[00:45:20] Rob Robinson: make sense? Yeah. A again, the follow up is always important, right?
[00:45:24] And again, that's one of the things in business, right? Word of mouth matters and the other part of it is follow up. So if I tell somebody, Hey, I'm gonna call you at this time and I don't, if I don't have a darn good reason, or like, Hey man, like, look, sorry. Like just what happened with us, how we rescheduled, right?
[00:45:39] Had a project ran a little bit long and I apologize. Can we reschedule? That is the follow up that's necessary to continue these conversations when you want to have 'em. And I think that's one of the things that on a day-to-day basis, the AI doesn't come back and say, Hey, Corey, like you, you need to reach out to this person.
[00:45:58] And some of the platforms do it like, Hey, this person sent you a message 24 hours ago or 48 hours ago or three weeks ago, or whatever. Did you respond? If you didn't, maybe you should it kind of gives you those prompts. But that's just a recent kind of change to the platforms that are out there.
[00:46:15] Like, I generally tell people face-to-face is better. I had a boss that used to say, and this was a flat rule that we always had never send an email when you can do a phone call. Never do a phone call when you can do face-to-face and the reason why, there's two reasons why.
[00:46:31] One cuz if I send an email, There's a trail if you know what I mean? From the negative side of it, from the negative side of it. There's a trail. If I do a phone call, hey voice data is not the most captured data anymore. It's internet stuff. And then face-to-face, I can literally have a more open discussion behind closed doors with a human being if I'm face-to-face with them because I don't have technology that could potentially derail the conversation or something gets taken outta context.
[00:47:00] Cause if I send an email, And I don't use the correct tone or, Hey, how about this? I use the AI algorithm and the AI doesn't convey what I'm trying to express to that individual. On the far end of that email, then the whole thing gets lost. The and that's the negative side of it. The positive side of it is like, Hey, I send an email.
[00:47:19] Yes, there is a record. I make a phone call. It allows me to translate that context that may get missed from the email and then the face-to-face again. More intimate conversation, better outcomes if I talk to a person face to face. But again, that is it's different. And generationally we're different.
[00:47:37] We have an entire generation of digital natives that live on their phone. Like, you go to the beach and you see people at the beach, like on their, like, dude, you're at the beach unplug. Right. You go like, like if you go to an amusement park, like the only time your phone should be out is when you're taking a picture of the rollercoaster or something of that effect.
[00:47:58] It's not for family interaction, but that's because we're a little bit older. We're a different generation. We're kind of straddling the fence. If you're like, Between 42 and 55, you're straddling the fence on two generations. Right. So we had enough computers to like hear the AOL dial. The AOL dial in, but we have iPhones now and there's people that grew up with the iPhone, like could you imagine, like, I don't even know what I would do.
[00:48:26] There's kids in their twenties that have seen no other device other than Android and iPhone have phone in their house. Right? Right. Like most people don't even have computers anymore because they have these super powerful, extra large phones that are basically tablets, so there's a lot to be said about the different generations of technology.
[00:48:46] And so you have a generation like. People in their sixties and seventies, I feel bad for them cuz like they missed out on a whole bunch of tools. And if you crack the code on that as a 70 year old, like you're gonna be the coolest person at the [00:48:58] retirement home cuz you'll be able to win all the the trivia nights because you'll have access to ai.
[00:49:03] But that's right. But when look at like those middle generations, like our generation and then the younger guys, like people under the age of 45, they're digital natives. Like, who would've thought that you'd be watching movie premieres at your house? Like it took almost a year when we were kids to get a movie like, man, I can't wait until that movie comes out on vhs.
[00:49:24] Right. And now it's like you blink twice and you're like, oh yeah, this is one of the special select movies that were released this month that's gonna be premiering at your house at the same time it's in the theater. Like, yeah, it's madness. It's madness. But also, but it's also the development of technology and the ability to push things and that's part of losing the physical medium too.
[00:49:45] So like I personally still have copies and I'm big old nerds, so I have original Star Wars in the slip cases on V vhs. Right. Wow. That's the physical copies. But now I can go anywhere in the world that has a H that has a halfway decent connection and watch those movies in high definition anywhere as long as I have an internet connection and a smart device.
[00:50:11] And so there's a big difference between those two mediums. But you know, as far as enjoyability. It's about the same like I enjoyed the experience of being able to do that. Like going back to the theater and watching a movie in the theater after the pandemic was just like, man, like I forgot what this was like and sitting around at home for so long.
[00:50:32] But there's so much to be said about the use of just technology in general. It doesn't necessarily mean artificial intelligence or machine learning. And I'll kind of close with this is. In order for you to have good ai, one, you have to program it well, but the other part of it is you have to have massive amounts of data to influence the training of the algorithm.
[00:50:58] And so I. You are probably better suited to build an AI algorithm for what you do for home services because how many homes are there in the area, right? There's 10 tens of thousands, and so you could get to the point where if you really wanted to, you could probably build this thing out.
[00:51:14] You could probably have a algorithm that will tell you the failure rate of a specific. Company's design, right? Like, Hey look, I'm gonna, this guy built this house 20 years ago. These are the parts that he put in it. This is the failure rate for that part. I know in 2025 that this person's gonna have.
[00:51:38] A, either a crack or busted toilet ring because that's about the usable lifespan of a toilet or the usable lifespan of whatever device that they're using. And so you could build that. Now imagine being able to build that, you're gonna have to have tens of thousands of inputs of data to make that a
[00:51:59] That's right.
[00:52:06] I was you there for a second? You did for second. Again that, that's literally what it's just, yeah. And guess
[00:52:11] Corey Berrier: what All that data provided that it's good data, right? If you've got if had good records, if people have inputted it right, then it's a goal. Mine, really, the truth of the matter is if you can get to the data, it's a goal mine, because a lot of people don't know that.
[00:52:25] And the data's
[00:52:26] Rob Robinson: there. Yeah. And that's the thing. And. What you have to do when you're thinking about technology and what I tell people is like, it's gotta be disruptive. And when you say, Hey, I'm doing this, and people look at you like, Ugh, I really don't understand what you're doing, then you're [00:52:44] probably onto something, yeah. But if you're like, ah, I fundamentally understand what you're doing, I get it. Like usually there's a concept in there that people can glean from it. So that's kind of the response. It's like, Ugh. Okay. I kind of see how that work. Is it like this? And so if they can present you an example that's kind of contemporary or something that's currently close to it, then you're probably on the mark as well.
[00:53:06] But if people literally go, whew, I don't know what to do with this, and they run for the hills, then you probably have something that's truly disruptive, yeah. And I think it's hard to get to that because you have so many inventors and so many people that are doing technology, and so it makes it a much more difficult challenge, but it doesn't mean that it's impossible and.
[00:53:27] Like that's why I'm in this space is cuz every day is new. I find out new things every day. I see technology that it's like, man, like when I was in uniform, I really wish we had this, like, this would've been a perfect addition to what we had. And I think really what it boils down to is like the more technologically enabled we get, we can't forget those lessons of the past as the first part.
[00:53:49] But the other part of it is like now how can we advance this technology? To the point where it's protected and it will last through any of these other crazy things. And again, sadly, commercial applications work a heck of a lot better than d o D ones because of the amount of permissions and bureaucracy that's associated with getting whatever widget it is into the d o D.
[00:54:11] But hey, look, as a business owner, you can do whatever you want with ai. That's right. Like the government is not gonna step in and say, oh, Corey, don't do that.
[00:54:20] Corey Berrier: So, have you checked out Active Defender yet? Because I, that I'm, that's like, that's the one of the main things that's like my job is I'm the business development for Active Defender.
[00:54:29] That was really quickly, cause I know we're getting close on time. He built this for schools, right? He, we were in like 139 different schools. Have you looked into it at all? Yeah,
[00:54:37] Rob Robinson: I did. I saw that, that I think that's a great program and given recent events, it's even better. Yeah. And that.
[00:54:45] Being able to send that a, an alert message like, hey, something's going down is important. And I think that's one of the main information is critical to success. I think Active Defenders a great program and. Really being able to message like that could save lives, and it doesn't, and it doesn't have to be singularly an input from a user.
[00:55:09] As we start advancing, or even with some of the technology that we have is, I could set this to respond if it hears class breaking, right? So we have sensors in smart systems that will alert you if glass breaks in your house. So like, if I can integrate that into a school and the school has a budget to do that, guess what?
[00:55:26] Glass breaks in a. Unlikely or an avenue of approach. So using the Tennessee example, right? If glass breaks during the middle of the day when the doors are locked or there's a low amount of activity, then I'm gonna be notified. So I know that's something that's going down. And so those are all technologies that are very disruptive, but in the best way possible.
[00:55:51] Cuz if it saves somebody's life and it protects And it protects an environment, whether it be with people, with gear, with whatever. So long as I can maintain some security assurance of that, I think that's one of the biggest and best things that you could ever do.
[00:56:11] Corey Berrier: Well, Rob, dude this has been a great conversation.
[00:56:14] I really appreciate you dropping as much knowledge as you did today. Look, if somebody wants to reach out to you, how would they do that?
[00:56:21] Rob Robinson: All right, so you can always find me on LinkedIn. I'm probably one of the only Rob Robinsons out there. I mean, that's how you found me. And we're connected. So all you have to do is look at [00:56:30] his first or second connections and you can find me.
[00:56:33] I work for the North Carolina Military Business Center and the DEF Tech arm of it. So you can go to nc nbc.us or you can go to nc def tech.gov. And both of those are Places where you can find me, you can find me around Fort Bragg. You can find my podcast. I've done, I do multiple podcasts as well.
[00:56:54] So like, I'm a podcaster, I do a defense one that comes out just about every week. We try and do one every week with the North Carolina Military Business Center in Def Tech. It's called Defense Technology Talks, and we cover government, we cover federal opportunities and we talk to business owners.
[00:57:10] And I need to get you on there so we can talk about your business because. Again, word of mouth is one of the best ways of communicating what your business does. And a podcast is just another artifact that allows us to do that. And it's passive, right? That's just passive income and money being made in the sense of like, Hey, somebody can check it out, give you a call.
[00:57:31] We'll write everything about you in the podcast description and people can find you. And so that's one of the great ways of doing it. And. At all times. If you have not looked up the NC Def Tech Coffee Colleges, getting to your Google machine, search that and show up on a Friday. We talk about technology in a great way, and it's not always services, it's not always tech.
[00:57:51] It's kind of a mix of the two. But the end of the day is like you have a passionate group of technologists here in the state of North Carolina that are invested in your success. And so if you take an hour to two hours of your time every Friday, We could I may not be able to get you the contract, but I can point you in the right direction.
[00:58:10] And that's one of the most important things that we can do as a state one because it keeps incomes in North Carolina, but it also keeps quality businesses and services provided to our war fighters, our first responders, and anybody in the community that just needs help. Rob,
[00:58:24] Corey Berrier: thanks again. I really appreciate that my man, and I'll definitely take you up on that.
[00:58:28] Look forward to it. Perfect. Alright.
[00:58:30] Rob Robinson: Sounds good, man. I appreciate it. You
[00:58:32] Corey Berrier: got it, my man.