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    1. Let's talk about ChatGPT

      Edit: Some interactions with the bot I posted in the comments, if you are curious about potential prompts: https://tildes.net/~tech/13lj/lets_talk_about_chatgpt#comment-7lw6 I have been...

      Edit: Some interactions with the bot I posted in the comments, if you are curious about potential prompts: https://tildes.net/~tech/13lj/lets_talk_about_chatgpt#comment-7lw6


      I have been obsessively reading about ChatGPT since it came out. I'm going to skip introducing it for those who don't know yet (please go ahead and click the link, and do some googling), because I just.. need to vent.

      I have experimented with it. A bunch. I'm also pretty familiar with GPT's capabilities from before. And ChatGPT still took me by surprise.

      Still, as of four days ago, I did not believe we were there yet. Hell, I didn't believe we would get there within my lifetime, and now, it's there.

      "But Adys, you don't understand the limitations!"

      Yeah, no, see, I understand the limitations. I understand this is the version that is still in its infancy, is crippled by stupid decisions from OpenAI, is not running on GPT-4 yet, and doesn't yet have things such as some layer of eg. checking correctness.

      But I also understand the potential. HN has been full of people crying out how we're not at AGI yet but DOES THIS MATTER? Planes are still decades away from displacing most bird jobs.

      I think anyone who isn't currently in utter shock at how good ChatGPT is, is either:

      • Somehow woefully misinformed (eg. the less tech literates I've shown it to have asked me "Can't Siri do this?")
      • In complete denial about the potential of the technology
      • Utterly thick

      I want to cry on every corner of every street that we are at the edge of the AI revolution.

      The "problems" that are left are not necessarily easy, but they're also not necessarily hard. For example, GPT's tendency to bullshit is problematic but there are ways to verify output, and those ways can themselves be automated and feed back into GPT.

      I have never, in my life, been so taken aback by a technological advancement. I'm flashing back to the scene in Westworld: "It's not possible. Technology isn't there yet."

      Like, no, this isn't skynet, person of interest, westworld, or anything like this. But it is something. Something very different, very unique. The world is about to completely change. And I want to stress this: EVERYONE I've seen argue against this has been in very obvious denial. I'll be happy to hear you out if you disagree, but if your only argument is that this isn't exactly the AI you expected / it can't solve the exact problem you throw at it, I'll refer you to better birds and faster horses.

      30 votes
    2. ChatGPT part 2: let’s talk implications

      The previous thread is pretty crowded with running a variety of prompts. I would like to create a separate one dedicated to talking about the implications and applications of such AI systems in...

      The previous thread is pretty crowded with running a variety of prompts. I would like to create a separate one dedicated to talking about the implications and applications of such AI systems in the everyday world.

      10 votes
    3. Should the Steam Deck just be a gaming tablet?

      I struck me while using my Steam Deck the other day to watch Twitch that the device has almost everything it needs to provide users with a tablet-like experience alongside being a gaming device....

      I struck me while using my Steam Deck the other day to watch Twitch that the device has almost everything it needs to provide users with a tablet-like experience alongside being a gaming device. When you're not in desktop mode Steam provides you with a high quality UI optimized for many of the same constraints as a tablet. For "great on deck" games and the store/library UI you get an easily navigable touch screen-supporting experience. If Valve can bring in Android apps for Twitch, YouTube etc. we could get that kind of experience universally.

      Desktop mode can peacefully co-exist with a tablet experience as you will switch between the two distinct modes of operation. This seems like a great way to capture a market of users normally turned off by ideas of tablets replacing their normal computers. I haven't used a tablet in years but I would use one that was a full Linux gaming OS at the same time.

      8 votes
    4. My experience with Windows 10

      I'm a longtime Linux user, and I haven't used Windows in a while aside from just launching games from Steam on my living room computer, but my new work laptop is Microsoft's flagship Surface Pro 4...

      I'm a longtime Linux user, and I haven't used Windows in a while aside from just launching games from Steam on my living room computer, but my new work laptop is Microsoft's flagship Surface Pro 4 so I figured it'd be the best experience you can have on a Windows machine.

      I got the laptop in yesterday, and here's the summary of my experience:

      • I am required by IT to use Chrome. To install Chrome, I had to click through no fewer than three "Are you sure you don't want to use Microsoft's more secure, faster browser?" banners to do so.

      • When I plug in my external monitor, by default, the two monitors were mirrored; when I went into display settings, it didn't show the external monitor until I closed and reopened the settings menu.

      • I have an Apple Magic Touchpad 2, and I had some issues getting it set up on Ubuntu 20.04 when I initially got it. These problems are now solved on the latest version of Ubuntu, but I was expecting a nice contrast in a good plug-and-play experience on Windows. Instead, I had to install sketchy drivers from some random GitHub page to get it to work properly.

      • I've had some minor annoyances with my audio interface (a Zoom R-22) not being set as the default when I want it to be on Ubuntu, and I was really looking forward to getting a smooth video calling experience with my nice mic and interface on Windows. Lo and behold, the R-22 audio input - the whole reason I have it - doesn't work at all, at least in the Zoom video calling app.

      • On Ubuntu, I use QV4L2 to configure the framing, zoom, exposure, etc of my camera. It's a bit clunky, and I was looking forward to having a smooth experience with this on the premier business OS. Unfortunately, the camera on this laptop has extremely aggressive aperture priority mode enabled, and there is no first-party app to configure it! The documentation tells me to go to Settings -> Devices -> Camera but there is no such menu item. So, I just look either washed-out or ultra-dark in every video call.

      • After running Windows Update and rebooting, I was greeted with a full-screen and quite annoying to exit tutorial for Microsoft Teams - an app I did not install, because my company uses Slack.

      This in addition to some setup papercuts, but I think those were probably due to my corporate IT's process rather than Windows itself.

      Is this common? Do people who use Windows just... put up with this kind of thing? Or am I having an exceptionally bad experience for some reason?

      15 votes
    5. Am I stupid or is the entire StackOverflow network difficult to navigate?

      I made an account a few years ago but only started contributing recently. Outside of the barrage of awards, levels, limitations, I really just don't get how to find my way around the site. For...

      I made an account a few years ago but only started contributing recently. Outside of the barrage of awards, levels, limitations, I really just don't get how to find my way around the site.

      For instance, Google Sheets is listed in both Web Applications and Stack Overflow. Is there a way to get a consolidated view of all of the networks or do I have to check each one individually?

      6 votes
    6. If you could rebuild user authentication on the web from the ground up, what would you do?

      lou's post here resonated with me and my attempts to get my family to use better security practices (i.e. 2FA, password managers). They're very difficult to wrap your brain around to the average...

      lou's post here resonated with me and my attempts to get my family to use better security practices (i.e. 2FA, password managers). They're very difficult to wrap your brain around to the average user, and they have the ability to create catastrophic failstates if used incorrectly. Furthermore, even when they work well, they can still be kind of clunky (different sites use different methods; writing down/printing recovery codes feels like a dated solution alongside other tech-forward things).

      Also, outside of this, password requirements are their own bugbear, with nearly every site having different criteria. Even as someone who uses a password generator and manager on the regular, I still have to adjust the password creation criteria to do things like fit character limits or specific requirements (and don't get me started on forced resets!). I totally get why so many people reuse passwords, or have a default one that they sort of modify as needed to fit a given site's needs.

      From my (admittedly super limited) perspective of a lay user: usernames, passwords, 2FA and the whole stack seems like something that's suffering under the technical debt of decades' worth of web development and networking. It seems like things have inched forward and many new layers have been added to address emergent problems, but the whole system gives a sort of barely-held-together-by-tape feel.

      What if we could use what we know now and redesign things from the ground up? If we could start fresh, today, what might username authentication look like beyond the usual username/password combos that we're so used to?

      I'm interested in any ideas -- not necessarily just feasible ones.

      Also, despite me being the one prompting this thread, don't feel the need to simplify technical explanations or anything. I'm mostly interested in lurking and seeing what all you very smart techy people have to say about the topic. :)

      12 votes
    7. Does anyone else feel like Tildes gets less effective at surfacing new stuff the longer you're on it?

      I notice this primarily with the YouTube videos. I've started to notice that the videos I see posted in here I have already had recommended to me by YouTube. And I realize it must be because when...

      I notice this primarily with the YouTube videos. I've started to notice that the videos I see posted in here I have already had recommended to me by YouTube. And I realize it must be because when I watch a video here, the YouTube algorithm decides I'm interested in that kind of thing. So, functionally, by posting and interacting with content in Tildes we are tuning the various algorithmic recommendation feeds that we interact with to view us all similarly.

      It's just an interesting side effect I noticed and some food for thought about the effectiveness of a link aggregator or discussion forum at surfacing novel, interesting content we might not find otherwise. In part, this could just be an effect of Tildes being kind of small and having lots of self-selection biases for its user population. Perhaps if it was more diverse we'd be exposed to more things that break the mold and recommendation algorithms won't be able to pin it all down as easily. In fact, we may be able to use this effect as a way to test the breadth and diversity of content and types of people a site is attracting.

      11 votes
    8. I think Keyword Research doesn't work at all. Prove me otherwise!

      Keyword Research and SEO are entire industries today. There are tools like ahrefs and semrush that promise to give you "trending" topic keywords for a sum of monthly subscription money. However,...

      Keyword Research and SEO are entire industries today. There are tools like ahrefs and semrush that promise to give you "trending" topic keywords for a sum of monthly subscription money.

      However, you can discard all their claims using a similar logic that you use to discard the claims of Astrologers, Voodooists, Stock Experts who "recommend" stocks, etc:

      1. If an Astrologer knows the future of everyone, wouldn't they profit massively from it themselves using the information rather than telling the trick to everyone else (just for a pittance)?
      2. If a Stock Expert knew that a stock's price will go up (and how much), won't they invest thousands and make millions themselves instead of giving those "tips" to "subscribers" and again, earn only a pittance?
      3. If SEO and Search Marketing companies knew exactly which keywords can rank your blog or site in the Google Search Engine, won't they write articles on those topics/keywords themselves and profit massively with the page views instead of revealing that secret to you for merely a few cents!
      6 votes
    9. Is it me or are "news" articles on the web getting more and more irritating to read

      I've recently experienced something multiple times and wanted to see if others are seeing this. I'm seeing various news articles where the first few paragraphs basically say the exact some...

      I've recently experienced something multiple times and wanted to see if others are seeing this. I'm seeing various news articles where the first few paragraphs basically say the exact some information over and over again 3 or 4 times in slightly different ways. My most recent experience was this article about some hackers selling information on billions of Facebook users.

      The article starts off with the title "Personal Information of More Than 1.5 Billion Facebook Users Sold on Hacker Forum". Straightforward and to the point. Next we get this paragraph in bold:

      The private and personal information of over 1.5 billion Facebook users is being sold on a popular hacking-related forum, potentially enabling cybercriminals and unscrupulous advertisers to target Internet users globally.

      Next is a bullet list of the highlights of the incident:

      Highlights:

      • Data scrapers are selling sensitive personal data on 1.5 billion Facebook users.
      • Data contains users’: name, email, phone number, location, gender, and user ID.
      • Data appears to be authentic.
      • Personal data obtained through web scraping.
      • Data can be utilized for phishing and account takeover attacks.
      • Sold data claimed to be new from 2021.

      This rehashes the number (1.5 billion) and place (Facebook), but does contain new information like what was leaked, and some unsubstantiated claims about whether it's authentic and how it was obtained.

      The next paragraph repeats the 1.5 billion number a fourth time, and repeats that the data is available on a hacker forum. Two paragraphs later, we get another list of bullet points which are identical to the 2nd bullet point above; namely that the info contains:

      According to the forum poster, the data provided contains the following personal information of Facebook users:

      • Name
      • Email
      • Location
      • Gender
      • Phone number
      • User ID

      At this point I stop reading because I mistakenly think that I'm re-reading the same paragraph over and over again. It's an incredibly unpleasant experience.

      Is anyone else seeing this? I've been seeing this not just on smaller sites like the one linked here, but on major news sites like CNBC and CNN, too. I know that news sites are having their budgets slashed, etc., but I literally can't read articles like this. I mean my brain just won't let me complete them because it thinks it's caught in a loop or something. It's hard to describe.

      18 votes
    10. How important is protecting our data from companies like Google?

      I was a supporter of Andrew Yang while he was running for president. His policies appealed to me a lot. One I supported because it made sense to me; personal data as a property right. I’ve thought...

      I was a supporter of Andrew Yang while he was running for president. His policies appealed to me a lot. One I supported because it made sense to me; personal data as a property right. I’ve thought about it more and I don’t see how a company like Google using my data negatively affects me. What are the negative repercussions I experience when a company uses my information like that? Are there alternatives that would protect my data more that are actually decent? I’d love to receive some explanation for this!

      21 votes
    11. There is such a thing as too much technology

      Today I went to my favorite bakery/cafeteria/restaurant/grocery store (yeah it's one place, but not large enough to be considered a supermarket - IDK the correct terminology in English but you get...

      Today I went to my favorite bakery/cafeteria/restaurant/grocery store (yeah it's one place, but not large enough to be considered a supermarket - IDK the correct terminology in English but you get the gist). It's a nice place if a little pricey. About a month ago, they installed a gate. Next to the gate, there's a huge metal thing with a single red button. When you press the button, it tosses an electronic ticket (that stores every purchase you make in the system) and the gate lets you go through. These are not synchronous, sometimes the gate is unlocked a lot sooner than the ticket is tossed. So today, after I got into the store, an employee had to run towards me to give me my electronic ticket. Okay.

      I noticed that, despite the machine having only one very big button, lots of people still need to be instructed by the employee in order to enter, and he's constantly manually handing out the tickets. There is also a gate to leave that slows things down.

      In this last month, I went a lot less to this place. That's because, whenever passing by, I used to enter just to check things up, see if there was something new or appetizing. You know, impulse buys. The need to check myself in and out (even when I don't purchase anything) made me quit that habit. I think other people are the same. Besides, what's the good of automation if it requires a human being to make it work correctly? AFAIK, the analog system worked. And we're not in a dangerous part of town where one needs to worry about people putting products in their pockets.

      That's why I say: sometimes, there is such a thing as too much technology.

      23 votes
    12. In your opinion, what sort of effects has the rise of social media had upon society?

      It's no secret that social media is used by a large amount of people. The Pew Research Center has a social media fact sheet if you'd like to see the numbers. They claim that 72% of the American...

      It's no secret that social media is used by a large amount of people. The Pew Research Center has a social media fact sheet if you'd like to see the numbers.

      With no signs of slowing down, social media is certainly going to be part of our lives for the foreseeable future. What sort of impact do you think it has had upon our society? Has it connected the people of the world, or disconnected them? Do the positive aspects outweigh the negative? If you believe social media's impact has been negative, do you think it can be fixed? How do you see social media evolving?

      29 votes
    13. How do you keep track of all the projects you're interested in?

      If you're like me, you have tons of various projects/companies/organizations that you like to keep up with. I have a few different methods I use to keep track of everything, but they all seem...

      If you're like me, you have tons of various projects/companies/organizations that you like to keep up with. I have a few different methods I use to keep track of everything, but they all seem fragmented. Here are the methods I use:

      • An RSS reader with the blogs of projects I follow
      • Following the project on social media
        • Mastodon
        • Twitter
        • Reddit

      The RSS feeds work, but I almost always miss the social media posts. Is there a better way to do this? What do you Tildians do?

      10 votes
    14. Has anyone been following Mycroft AI (open source digital assistant)?

      Video pitch: The world’s first open source AI | Mycroft AI | HT Summit 2017 Fast Company article: Can Mycroft’s Privacy-Centric Voice Assistant Take On Alexa And Google? Kingscrowd review: Top...

      Video pitch: The world’s first open source AI | Mycroft AI | HT Summit 2017

      Fast Company article: Can Mycroft’s Privacy-Centric Voice Assistant Take On Alexa And Google?

      Kingscrowd review: Top Deal: The Secure Open Source Voice Assistant Of The Future


      I'm not a techie by any means, but I stumbled across Mycroft AI some time last year, and I'm keeping half an eye on its progress. If ever I get myself a digital assistant, I think it's likely to be Mycroft. (I also love the name!)

      I wondered if anyone else had any thoughts about this.

      11 votes