2 min read

Friday, February 17, 2023

Friday, February 17, 2023

Nothing exciting to say this morning but it's a pleasure to see you (or it would be if I could see you).

Okay, what is the deal with all these new AI chatbots and are they any good? I think this piece by Ted Chiang (a gifted sci-fi writer whose work I recommend) may undersell their usefulness for (and potential for screwing up) more quotidian writing exercises, but it’s a helpful not-too-technical look at what ChatGPT and its cousins are doing and whether we should start worrying about whether it's time to grant them citizenship.

My personal view is that these things are mostly just sophisticated pattern-matching black boxes parroting humanity's own words back at us, and do not have what we would consider "consciousness". But it's fair to say that an objective assessment of human beings might reach the same conclusion.

Item 2: a list

2023 Best Picture nominees, ranked

  1. Tár
  2. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  3. Top Gun: Maverick
  4. Avatar: The Way of Water
  5. The Fabelmans
  6. The Banshees of Inisherin
  7. Women Talking
  8. Triangle of Sadness
  9. All Quiet on the Western Front
  10. Elvis

Item 3: a media recommendation

I can't embed it here, unfortunately, but the recommendation is "Around the World / Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" from Daft Punk's Live 2007. Click here for the whole album (or find it on your streaming service of choice).

Item 4: word of the week


Item 5: a photograph

Anchovy Catching. The soft light of a new day illuminates the smoke from the fishing boat engine and the shape of green nets moving underneath the water surface when local fishermen pull in their nets. Many local fishing families along the coastline of Phu Yen province will follow the near-shore currents to catch anchovy during peak season. Salted anchovy is the most important raw ingredient used to create traditional fish sauce - the spirit of Vietnamese cuisine. © Thien Nguyen Ngoc,Viet Nam

See ya!

Thanks for reading - have a splendid weekend and let's reconvene next Friday.