Week Notes: 28/03/23


I am sorry, but I have not been a good working in the open kind of person and I am late with my Week Notes. But here, on a Tuesday, they are.

AI anxieties

Like a lot of tech people, I've been thinking about the consequences of AI. This is from Azeem Azhar's Exponential View newsletter:

"The current generation of [LLMs] is a missile aimed, however unintentionally, directly at software production itself," argues investor Paul Kedrosky. The language of software is structured and formal so lends itself well to large language models. These models can generate code, even for non-coders, making software production more accessible and less complex.

My friend Charles sent me a link to Simon Willison's post on Using ChatGPT to Write AppleScript - which was useful (because it outlines how to export notes from Apple Notes and that is something I'd like to be able to do easily) but scary (because it was mostly ChatGPT that figured it out.)

I like to flatter myself that I don't just knock out code, and that there is some element of contextual understanding to what I do in my work (which you might broadly characterise as helping people to use technology intentionally.). But hey, maybe AI chatbots will get the gig of helping people to use AI chatbots more intentionally? I mean, what could wrong with that?

Progressive Web Apps

I'm really glad Apple (and particularly the Safari team, thank you Jen Simmons) has (finally) made such progress with Progressive Web Apps: See https://webkit.org/blog/13966/webkit-features-in-safari-16-4for more details . Install prompts for web applications would be a really good next step.

I've been using Fedora a bit lately, and I like the way I can add websites (via PWA mechanisms) I use regularly to the dock in Fedora. It allows me to use disparate tools in a way that feels coherent. When I looked at the Arc browser, I was thinking: why are you trying to shoe-horn the internet into the browser, why not allow the internet to expand out into the operating system?

What to do about the climate and biodiversity crisis that might actually help

I have worked in and around the environmental sector for a couple of decades and I worry that, like many people, that the sector hasn't been particularly effective at producing the kind of large-scale change that we need. A friend suggested I look at Project Drawdown to get more clarity on what effective action might look at, and I'm going to do that. If I find any answers there, I'll let you know...

And that is the end of this Week Notes, which is actually more like Ten Day Notes.. See you soon.

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