Weeknotes 2023 W25:

What are these? These week­notes are a reflection on the past week. I write about anything from hobby projects and work to creativity and mental health. I publish my week­notes every Sunday morning. Consider subscribing via email or using the web feed!

I lost a friend this week.

There has been a little too much death in my life. Week­notes 2022 W49: Chris was not so long ago.

I’m coping reasonably well. I’ve got friends to rely on, and I’m giving my grief the space and time it needs without letting it expand into the rest of my life.

Quick bits:

At work, a quote-unquote AI — in reality, a language model — got set up for internal use as a knowledge base, sourced from data like the company web site and internal documentation repositories.

Language models are a terrible alternative to a knowledge base; they utterly fail at giving reasonable answers, which is something my coworkers still haven’t understood. I played around with the language model to see what it spits out:

One of the data sources for this language model is an internal site where I write down opinionated drafts. The language model is based on those unfinished, badly-formulated, half-thought-through opinions. As a result, it will genuinely answer based on what I wrote there, not at all being able to make the distinction what is real and what is not, what is an opinion and what is a fact.

That gave me the (absolutely terrible) idea of writing down a collection of instructions that make no sense and see whether the AI picks it up:

Etc. You get the idea.

This “AI” thing is is dangerous — not because of dangers inherent in artificial intelligence (which this “AI” thing is not), but because people think it is much more capable than it actually is. In an age where misinformation is widespread and the value of truth is continuously pulled into question, this technology is harmful.



Tech links:

Week­notes for June 19 to 25, 2023. Browse the weeknotes archive, get these week­notes via email or subscribe to the web feed.