How to Overcome the Maddening Frustration of Being a Gen-X-er in an Age of AI

Leverage the best of both worlds, find more time, and become more creative.

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD
4 min readOct 20


Photo courtesy of author

So, you think I am too old?

Two DJs were discussing the topic of “age.”

“Artists who are over fifty years old should quit performing. They no longer understand the younger audience, and their presence on stage looks unnatural and seriously uncool.”

His “colleague” agreed with this sentiment and suggested artificial intelligence might be used to replace the “older” performers.

“We could use AI tools to recreate younger versions of the fading stars, and the originals could happily retire to their country estates.”

When did morning radio become so controversial? And couldn’t the same logic be applied to fading middle-aged DJs?

I was driving to work and was slightly taken aback by the direction of the discussion. It is one thing shocking your audience to grab their attention, but quite another to tell them they are past their best and should be replaced.

And here was a topic I totally disagreed with. If I had the chance, I would tell them they could make their radio show more interesting by listening to and learning from people my age.

We are more up to speed than you think. But such defensive thoughts make me older and, worse, old-fashioned.

Telling people, “I’m still relevant,” is never a good look.

Better to stay focused on the positive and ignore the negativity and noise.

My Cyborg Life

I am 54 years old and have started to become an actual cyborg. I spend most of my time in front of three 32-inch monitors with a smartphone at hand. And when I am in the zone, I avoid interaction with people. If I must attend a meeting, I try to have them online and for no longer than fifteen minutes max.

I find myself constantly connected to AI and other online tools. I get many more tasks done in less time. Emails. Memos. Reports. Assessments. Presentations. I can do them quicker and better. AI has become my favorite new colleague.



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.