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As part of a team meeting, I recently watched a two- hour presentation on generative artificial intelligence (AI). Though this type of software comes in many names, you've likely heard of it as ChatGPT or Bard, since those are the most popular programs making waves in the news. The software works by having you enter prompts (just like you would enter keywords into a search engine), but the AI bot spits out very human- like answers, often written with some complexity. For instance, if you're brainstorming, you could type in "Give me 20 names of massage businesses that use the words knead or touch." Then, like magic, voilà! But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Programs like this can create resumes and charts, provide statistical analysis, and even write songs, computer code, and books. We've played around with them internally in our offices to take some shortcuts, like using them in brainstorming sessions, creating interview questions, and summarizing long portions of content. Our presentation then took a turn toward much more advanced AI. I was dumbfounded by a graphic software called Mid-Journey that creates astounding illustrations and images in seconds. "Create an image of Oprah EDITOR'S NOTE Oprah Winfrey in a Snow Globe Winfrey in a snow globe." Done. "Create a Baroque-style painting as a still life using a bowl of fruit." Check. Next, I watched an audio program called Riffusion make music fusions (emotional disco being my favorite), and a program called Murf.AI do text to speech voiceover. Most of the software in the presentation were presented with the idea to help humans do things faster and more efficiently, so we can concentrate on the important stuff. But, I must admit, it was also like watching an incoming threat. Sure, some people may associate AI with potential job losses—and perhaps they're correct—but it also felt like a step toward losing human connection—something massage therapists are excellent at establishing. The point I'm getting at here is twofold: The future is now, and massage therapists fear not. I have yet to hear about a bot that gives massages. I was reminded of the power of touch this past weekend when I booked an appointment for a facial. While not a full-body massage and only focusing on the area between my scalp and décolletage, within minutes I was transported to another place through comforting hands and therapeutic touch. This issue's professional passion plea comes from Cal Cates and their column "Rest and Relaxation are Necessities, Not Luxuries" (page 79). "Many of your clients or patients are likely subject to the pressures and stories of production, action, and achievement," Cates writes. "The most profound value in what we do is providing an experience that invites the people we touch to rest." Technology brings efficiencies, but touch brings much needed relaxation for the sake of relaxation. We hope you enjoy this issue, and rest assured, neither this letter nor any part of Massage & Bodywork magazine were generated by an AI bot. DARREN BUFORD Editor-in-Chief L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 9

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