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How the world of AI changed — so quickly. Maybe not for Search. But good for Love.

+ I called the NYTimes to change my subscription. After 15 minutes, they apologized. Their computer “was having problems.” They’d call me back in a few hours. Maybe.

+ Many companies I buy from send me emails and brochures. That’s good marketing. 80% send me stuff for women. That’s bad marketing. Please, I’m 80. It’s too late for a sex change operation.

If they can’t get normal computers to work with a modicum of intelligence — like the man/woman thing, what about AI?

This was the front page of the NYTimes business section on January 13 — only seven days ago.

I got suckered in also. I wrote a long piece:

The press (including me.) is now having a blast testing the new Bing and giddily enjoying its booh-boos.

The Atlantic did a good job:

Last week, both Microsoft and Google announced that they would incorporate AI programs similar to ChatGPT into their search engines—bids to transform how we find information online into a conversation with an omniscient chatbot. One problem: These language models are notorious mythomaniacs (fancy word for big myths/mistake). …

The trouble arises when we treat chatbots not just as search bots, but as having something like a brain—when companies and users trust programs like ChatGPT to analyze their finances, plan travel and meals, or provide even basic information.

Instead of forcing users to read other internet pages, Microsoft and Google have proposed a future where search engines use AI to synthesize information and package it into basic prose, like silicon oracles. But fully realizing that vision might be a distant goal, and the road to it is winding and clouded: The programs currently driving this change, known as “large language models,” are decent at generating simple sentences but pretty awful at everything else.

You can read the Atlantic here.

A few days later, we wake up. Microsoft has probably blown $13 billion.

ChatGPT may not be good for searching, yet. But it does write “great” poems. I asked it to pen A Valentines Day poem to Susan. Forty five seconds later…drum roll:

She actually liked the poem. It was the thought that counted. Not the fact that the love poem was written by a computer.

Thinking some more, (I’m having fun), I asked it for a new poem:

How your kid should get a job

You kid will graduate in June 2023 or 2024.

Number 1. Learn programming now — Javascript and Python.

Number 2. Don’t visit banks or management consultants. You do not want to work for them.

Number 3. Read all the famous business and technology books. Start with this one.

Then go to Bill Gates blog. He’s got good taste. Click here.

Number 4. Make a database of the 25 companies you most admire. There are “disruptor” lists everywhere, including Fast Company and CNBC.

Number 5. Follow the news about each one, removing and replacing as they impress or depress you.

Number 6. Contemplate working for only your top five companies.

Number 7. If they don’t have a job opening, offer to work for three months for free. Work hard. It won’t be long before they feel guilty and start paying you.

Greatest invention ever

I have to take a 10 mg statin every day. I am old and stupid. Did I take it? Should I?

No more, God invented this:

Clock here.

Second greatest invention

This pencil sharpener was invented by an IRS agent. Turn up your sound.

42 Best Things to Do in Paris

I love Paris. I’ve been there many times.

Here’s a list of the best things to do there. I’ve been to most of the 42 places, but not all. Hence I’m going back.  Click here.

Am I in love with ChatGPT?

Is she in love with me, yet.

Today is my daughter Claire’s birthday. Also her husband, Ted, birthday. So here goes:

Enough for today. See soon. — Harry Newton