Social Battery

For years I’ve mentioned my issues with social gatherings. I used to come back from conferences or large social gatherings and crash for a few days/weeks. When trying to describe it, it would often sound much more serious than it was. The term “social battery” is so much better for explaining things, as it doesn’t sound like I’m trying to self-diagnose some deep seated problem. 🙂

I have talked about being different people in different contexts, like “conference Tim”, “work Tim” and “home Tim”, which can sound a little schizophrenic, but I’m really just describing coping mechanisms most of us have when dealing with situations. Introverted people don’t all act in the same way. Some people are really quiet, but some people, like me, become almost hyper when they are in a group setting. I think the term “extroverted introvert” is possibly what I am. That behaviour comes with a cost. It’s so unnatural for me that it drains my social battery, and it takes a long time for that to recharge. I know other people who seem to charge their social battery by being in group situations, and their battery drains when they are alone. Everyone is different in this respect.

The pandemic made me even more aware of how my social battery works. The switch to working from home and the break from conferences was a game changer for me. I had never spent so much time alone, and it was fantastic. So much so that I still work from home, and have stopped doing conferences permanently (probably).

This is one of the reasons I rant so much about company attitudes to working from home. We are all different, and if you want to get the most out of people, you have to recognise that and use it to your advantage. I think companies that value diversity in all its forms, including neurodiversity, have a long term advantage. That’s just my opinion, and maybe I have a vested interest in believing that, but that’s how I feel. 🙂



AI Prompt Engineer (AI-fu). The new Google-fu?

The other day I came across the term AI Prompt Engineer. It was in the context of being the next big thing in the job market. I did a bit of Googling and sure enough there are courses about it, and a number of jobs being offered. These seem to break down into two main types of role.

  1. A technical AI development role, involving understanding of AI and coding against various AI backends via APIs.
  2. A person who types in stuff to get the right outcome from specific AI tools.

As mentioned, the first is a technical development role, but the second seems like AI-fu to me…


Here is the Wikipedia definition of Google-fu.

“Skill in using search engines (especially Google) to quickly find useful information on the Internet.”

After all these years I’m still surprised how weak people’s Google-fu is. Searching for information requires knowing what to include in your search criteria, as well as evaluating the results to make sure they are actually what you need.

If you don’t understand how to filter the results using targeted search terms, you may get incorrect or misleading results. If you don’t understand the subject matter, you have no way of validating correctness of the responses.


I’ve made up the term AI-fu. I can’t see any references to it on the internet. The closest I can find is ChatGPT-fu, which I also made up here. 🙂 I said Google-fu is about providing the appropriate inputs, and validating the outputs. I would suggest that AI-fu is very similar.

If you’ve played around with ChatGPT you will know there is a degree of “garbage in, garbage out” involved. You have to refine your inputs, either by altering the original question, or following a chain of thought (CoT) process.

How do you know you have a suitable result? Well, you have to understand the subject matter, and do some fact checking to make sure you are not generating garbage. If you don’t understand that a human hand typically has 5 digits, you can’t tell if that 7 fingered monstrosity you’ve just generated is wrong. 🙂


I suspect those people that have acquired good Google-fu, will also acquire good AI-fu. Those people who have proved to have consistently weak Google-fu, are unlikely to ever developer strong AI-fu.



PS. If you want a certificate in AI-fu, please send £500 to my PayPal… 😉