Ikigai: The Japanese Concept for the Reason for Being and AI Development

purposeful AI

Ikigai is a Japanese word and concept that essentially means to find purpose in everything you do. The diagram below illustrates it better than words can, but in short, it’s about finding that sweet spot where the things you love, the things you’re good at, things the world needs and things you can be paid for meet. This, in essence, is ikigai.

The concept can also be applied to AI development to ensure a real sense of purpose. Here’s how.

The core of AI development

The first question to ask before an AI development should be ‘Why?’. There needs to be a purpose for the tool, model or program you develop. This aligns with the ‘what the world needs’ part of the ikigai concept because there’s simply no point in building something that people don’t need.

Avoid over-engineering

Although AI is incredible technology – perhaps some of the most advanced on the planet, that doesn’t mean everything should be complex. Simplicity is the key to AI development, as it avoids over-complicating and delivering a model that nobody can use.

Aligning with passion

Most people do better work when they do things that interest them. So, developers should pursue the creation of AI models for applications they’re passionate about. This helps to combine the ‘things you love’ and ‘things you’re good at’ sections of ikigai.

Ethical and responsible

If we consider ‘what the world needs’, we need to think objectively. While a developer may be keen to explore AI technology and create something incredible, it still needs to be ethical and serve a meaningful purpose. An AI model that’s potentially harmful isn’t something the world needs.

Balancing needs and purpose

Ultimately, as an AI developer, you can quite easily achieve ikigai from your work. Your skills alone hit the ‘what you’re good at’ concept, while building something you’re passionate about achieves the ‘what you love’. As long as your model is ‘what the world needs’, you’ll likely be paid for it. And there you have it – all 4 points of ikigai intersect, meaning your AI model has a genuine purpose.

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Ikigai: The Japanese Concept for the Reason for Being and AI Development

Adam WInchester

Experienced Technology Leader with Nearly Three Decades of Impactful Achievements | Driving Business Transformation with Data-Driven Solutions | CRM and ERP Expert With an extensive career spanning nearly three decades, Adam brings a wealth of experience and expertise across various industries and software applications.