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The parallels between no-code & AI by Arne Wolfewicz

The parallels between no-code & AI by Arne Wolfewicz
By Aron Korenblit • Issue #60 • View online
Today 1PM EST on the stream, I’m excited to welcome CJ Avilla, Devl rel @ Stripe, to build a No-code marketplace using only Stripe and Airtable in one hour. Perfect if you’re entrepreneurial type but also great if you want to build an internal job board or a neighborhood upcycle marketplace. Up to you!
You can add the stream (and all future streams) to your calendar by clicking here (it auto updates!) and subscribe on Youtube.
You can catch last week’s replay of Automate your e-commerce store with Sara Du.
Onto the update…

This week’s post is written by Arne Wolfewicz, Head of Growth @ Levity AI. It resonated with me because of the gap between between what I’ve seen done with AI vs the amount of space it takes in the popular discourse is wild. I felt, like Arne, that there are a lot of similarities between AI and No-code. It’s promise (and failure) to democratize everything. I’ll let him take it from here…
“We are sitting on a pile of gold,” “… and then we train an AI on top of it”, “…our platform uses advanced analytics…”, “I want to use AI to automate… everything.”
bullshit /ˈbʊl.ʃɪt/
exclamation, noun
to try to persuade someone or make them admire you by saying things that are not true
Conversations around artificial intelligence have become more like decisions concerning the color of chairs in a new nuclear plant: Almost everyone has a strong opinion about it, but few people are ready to discuss things that deserve a thoughtful chat.
And that is why most AI projects never make it past the “PowerPoint stage”: The mystical place where motivation dies.
Like with most technology, the problem isn’t that it isn’t capable, but organizations struggle to make it work in their favor. Why is that? After countless interviews that led nowhere, we found three main issues:
Issue #1: The expertise gap
Although AI has passed the peak of Gartner’s Hype Cycle, there are a surprising number of people who think of it as the thing that will get them promoted. It can, but they need to get a good grip on what to do with it in practice.
Some people come up with ideas for process improvements and people who know where the limitations are. That phenomenon is not exclusive to the AI space, but it seems particularly pronounced.
The recent uprise in no-code tools in this space can solve part of the issue: It lets the process experts try things with their own hands rather than waiting for some developer to do it for them. But it still requires people to think of tasks in ways how machine learning systems can handle them.
Issue #2: Exaggerated expectations
There is no single thing in the world where you dump something random into and get something great out. Except for apple crumble. Everyone who says differently is lying.
Seriously though: We get messages from people who say, “I want to automate everything,” and even though that’s the name of this publication, that is complete bonkers. We know that this person hasn’t even tried building something more than a Slack notification whenever we see it.
Implementing AI is nothing like sending a dropdown field to a database; it usually requires commitment and iteration outside of the power of individuals. Hell, even we can’t change the fact that machine learning models are fuzzy by nature.
And this is easily visible in our product funnel. Unless one of our template models is sufficient, most people drop off at the point where they need to bring data. We can help with pre-trained models or public datasets but when it comes to specific data, it’s up to the user. The second drop-off point is when the model has been trained – and mistaken a banana for a sausage.
I wouldn’t spend my Friday afternoon writing this if I didn’t know that AI could do wonders. But as my friend Roman likes to say: “If you want to get stronger, you need to go to the gym sometimes” and I would add to that: “experiment with a machine learning model”.
Issue #3: Understated expectations
It’s not that today’s machine learning (or ‘ML’) systems are stupid. If trained with care, they are capable of remarkable performance. The technology is right here, and it comes in many shapes and forms. But because it doesn’t deliver instant value – systems are sometimes disregarded as useless by careless visitors – at least on things that matter.
Lying means being unaware of the facts. Talking bullshit means accepting a knowledge gap to persuade someone at the cost of truth. Just because Bob generally says bright things doesn’t mean his wisdom about AI is worth a dime.
We have yet to crack the conundrum of teaching people enough about AI before engaging in an opinionated conversation. To us, it is a pity to see lots of wasted potential on lukewarm projects that end up in tears (or fade out).
It seems that we are not the only ones though: The whole no-code space is giving new powers to a new audience. That’s great for an investor pitch (new market) but superpowers don’t always transfer 1:1. It is easy to forget that building a business takes more than just making a website or app just because all of a sudden you could
The same goes for having the possibility of using AI: Parroting its “endless possibilities” is not what drives impact in day-to-day business. Thoughtful process design, clever use of the right technology, and focused implementation do.
By Arne Wolfewicz
Airtable tip: emojis everywhere
July 17th was world emoji day (who knew this was a thing?). So let’s talk about emojis x Airtable, a match made in heaven.
Little known fact but emojis are supported everywhere. You can set any emoji as your base cover. To do so, set the emoji as the first character in the base’s name like so and the base cover will change to the emoji:
You can add emojis to views, records, fields, base descriptions. Everywhere frankly.
But who cares right? Wrong.
Emojis can act as a simple common language within a team. Visually signal that a view or a field is tied to an automation by using the ⚡️emoji. Much more efficient than putting that information in a description where it’s hidden away. If your view picker is getting a little long, use emojis to visualize explain what’s going on: 📤 for incoming form submissions or 🚨 for crucial information.
If you’re on the free plan without view permissions, you can use them to denote different types of views. Nothing like a 🔒emoji to let people know not to mess with a view’s configuration.
Emojis let teams communicate a ton of information visually and succinctly—information that would take chapters to write out!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that a good Airtable base requires emojis. But the most efficient teams I’ve worked with all use them extensively. Take from that what you want 😅
Tool of the month
Levity is a no-code AI software that enables you to automate processes with documents, images, and text. Create a fully customized AI based on your data and integrate it through our workflow builder or using Zapier or Integromat. Feed your model your data and let the training process begin! Your model learns from its mistakes, too.
If you have a suitable use case, use this link to sign up! Tell them what you have in mind (hint: the more elaborate, the better). They review each submission and will get in touch with those they can help.
From the interwebs
Mitchell Wright from Vercel is looking for automation manager
Mitchell Wright
Alright friends, I have a job opening on my team, and it's for an automation manager.

Do poor processes at a company make you sick? 🤮
Do you love to let robots do repetitive work for you? 🤖
Do you want to work remotely at a fast growing startup? 🚀

Then come work with me! 👇
The folks over at Calm company (formerly known as Earnest Capital) are looking for a no-code intern.
Calm Company Fund

We're looking for a ⚡️No-Code Intern⚡️ to join @MichaelRouveure on our engineering team!

Excited about using #nocode software to automate processes, build product, and support founders of calm companies?

Learn more + apply 👇🏽
I always love it when someone gets the job they’ve always wanted. That’s doubly cool when it’s someone I look up to. Pixelgeek is now senior product evangelist at Webflow.
Meet @Webflow's new Senior Product Evangelist! Six years in the making @thepixelgeek. Proud of you my friend. Looking forward to seeing you inspire the #nocode community on a whole new level.
I briefly worked with the folks over at Carefree breaks which takes unfilled vacation accommodations (unused hotel rooms for instance) and gives them to unpaid carers! What’s even more interesting (frankly to this audience only) is that it’s fully built on no-code. You can learn more about their setup in this typeform community post:
[WORKSPACE INVADERS 👾] Meet the charity that uses Typeform to give carers free breaks | Community
Until next week, keep building!
Thanks to Stephen O'Grady (@orishnal) for reviewing this newsletter every week before it reaches your inbox!
PS I’m always looking for guest posters. If you’d like your writing featured, let me know by replying to this email!
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Aron Korenblit

Weekly thoughts on the working smarter not harder using no-code tools + a weekly Airtable tip. Written by Aron Korenblit

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