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Interview with AI influencer Jerrod Lew

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

A photo of AI influencer Jerrod Lew

Multifaceted Content Creator and AI influencer and enthusiast:

Owner of Onwards project

1. What was your background before diving into the realm of AI?

I’ve worked in a few industries, such as major sporting events and local government, but at the core of it all I am an online content creator.

I’ve been creating online content since 2016 ranging from music, gaming, technology and now artificial intelligence.

I’m fortunate that this is now my day-to-day job while I work on my creative side projects outside of the office.

He describes AI as a "Co-Pilot" to life, emphasizing its role in aiding various aspects of work, travel, leisure, and research.

2. How did you first venture into the world of AI, and what sparked your interest?

I’ve been waiting a long time for generative AI to finally cross into mainstream. As a creative, these kind of tools can really help to remove administrative and time-extensive tasks so I can be solely creativity.

I’ve been using AI mainly in my music, since 2019, where all the drums in my songs are AI-driven using the ‘Drummer’ tool in Apple’s Garageband and Logic Pro X software.

3. Can you recall the initial AI tools you encountered? How did you discover them, and what were your initial impressions?

Midjourney and ChatGPT were the start of my research, towards the end of 2022 and once they launched more publicly I saw a huge opportunity to improve productivity.

I discovered them through news and online videos. The main stand-out was how fast tools could process information and relay ideas to me.

The concept of ‘prompting’ works really well with me as the more detail you provide, the better the outcome.

4. How would you simplify your AI-related work when explaining it to someone unfamiliar with the AI tool landscape?

I always label AI as a ‘Co-Pilot’ to life. Whether it be for work, travelling, leisure or just online research.

An AI tool will never be able to replicate your true imagination, your creativity, your context and perspective, but it can help you to find information and learn something new in a much more productive way.

‘The Onwards Project’ is my AI-related work where I try to understand how AI can help as many people as possible everyday with a dream of creating a more positive world. He started his AI journey by exploring tools like Midjourney and ChatGPT, which they discovered through news and online videos.

5. Whose insights or expertise in the field of AI do you find most enriching to learn from?

I am following Adobe very closely with their AI tool releases because they are very content-creation specific and broad.

A lot of big players are creating incredible tools, such as Microsoft with Bing AI Chat and Google with Bard.

However, I am also very interested in niche tools as well that are starting to grow. Such as Inflection AI’s focus on “Personal AI '' and Perplexity’s focus on research.

6. Reflecting on your journey, what stands out as the most significant achievement in your career?

In my career, the most significant achievement was the release of my first music EP called “They Know” in 2019.

I’ve been writing music since 2005, and am completely self-taught in all instruments and recording. To finally be able to record something in my bedroom and release it to the world continues to be my number one achievement.

I’ve released 4 more albums since then.

It can be found on Bandcamp here They Know EP | Jerrod Lew (

7. As you navigate this year, which technological or AI trends have captured your attention?

AI Art and AI Video have completely given me a new way to express my creativity to the world.

I’m not a talented artist, drawer or painter, but am learning motion design and graphics at the moment.

AI Video allows me to test how camera angles, colours, lighting and other aspects of film work without me having to spend a lot of money on courses.

As a result, I’ve been able to grow my editing and filming skills in a more practical way than just an online guide.

8. What valuable guidance would you offer to newcomers diving into the world of AI and its tools?

Just start.

Whether you are using AI to find a nearby restaurant, curate your perfect Spotify Playlist or researching a new holiday destination, AI is about everything, not just the big fancy things.

The best AI tools are the ones that seamlessly integrate into your life, and many apps and website we use are already heavily built on AI.

9. If given the chance, what compelling topic would you choose for your own TED talk?

I would love to talk about the concept of proactivity and discovering opportunities. As an umbrella to it, I really want to create a message that failure is absolutely okay and normal.

Online we see only a certain side of people, but in 2023 onwards, transparency is going to become more critical when building your personal brand and reputation.

You have to become comfortable talking about your failures, and how to find opportunities with them.

10. Imagine being stranded on a deserted island – what single item would you want with you?

I’d love to have my acoustic guitar with me. I’ll be writing music for the rest of my life.

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