The World

ChatGPT is amazing, yes, but it’s also a bit too human 🤷🏻‍♂️

ChatGPT is software that is designed to chat with you like a really smart person. It can make up a story, convert it to a Shakespearean poem, and then solve a math problem all automatically and all within seconds. 🤯

The Daily covered it nicely on the episode Did Artificial Intelligence Just Get Too Smart?

ChatGPT is pretty incredible, especially for students trying to fake a term paper. But the ChatGPT blog itself calls out some interesting and very human-like limitations. In particular, it’s sort of a bore and a blowhard. 😆

  • It has a tendency to respond with “plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers”
  • It is “often excessively verbose” and “overuses certain phrases”
  • It often fails to “ask clarifying questions when the user provided an ambiguous query”, opting instead to “guess what the user intended”
  • And my favorite, “it will sometimes respond to harmful instructions or exhibit biased behavior.”

So it is overconfident and under-reliable, repetitive, a bit of a motormouth, makes assumptions, is biased, and sometimes lacks moral backbone. Does this sound like anyone you know? 😆

Still, this software an amazing accomplishment. Kudos to the team for being open about its limitations and good luck making it better (and hopefully not evil 🤷🏻‍♂️).


“Every noble work is at first impossible.”

Pretty much any interesting/useful/beautiful human achievement you can think of was at first impossible. Mass-printing books? You’re crazy. Sailing ships across the oceans? No way. Putting a man on the surface of the freaking moon? That one still gets me.

While John F. Kennedy gets my award for the best speech about doing the impossible (and within the decade no less!), the Scotsman Thomas Carlyle had summed this idea up nicely a hundred years before.

Every noble work is at first impossible.

Thomas Carlyle

This quote is so clear and to-the-point: it is perfect from a writing perspective.

But can you picture JFK getting up on stage at Rice University in 1962, saying, “Every noble work is at first impossible… let’s go to the moon.” and then just leaving? 😆 I guess politics requires a little more bombast.

Thomas Carlyle, looking a lot like The Most Interesting Man in the World.
creativity · entertainment

Missed Fortune 🗻

What does it take to pull you into a new podcast? Or a book? Or really anything?

With so many great podcasts out there and already not enough time for them all, the bar can be pretty high for anything new. But the first few lines of the Missed Fortune podcast pulled me in right away.

Did you ever find yourself in one of those situations where if it goes well, there’s a huge reward? But if it goes bad, you look just unforgivably stupid? Like what were you possibly thinking?

I’m in a car with some guys I don’t know on the way to somewhere we’re not supposed to be. And this is one of those situations.

They go on to explain that this is the story of a real-life treasure hunt in the Rocky Mountains with the only clues being a short poem.

I’m already hooked. 😲 Well played, new podcast.


J.K. Rowling’s storyboard – writing as engineering

Below is a snapshot — literally — of one of J.K. Rowling’s storyboards.

Firs of all, it looks cool!

But more importantly, it illustrates an interesting point. No matter how natural and effortless a Harry Potter book is to read, clearly writing it is a pretty analytical process. Starting with a big vision, drilling down into the details, and finally “shipping” the end result seems similar to making software.

I’m organizing and planning my own book using software engineering tools and processes, all the way down to version control and text formatting. What can I say, as a software engineer, this is my comfort zone. Having a good process gives me the freedom and security to be creative, try ideas without risk, and literally commit when I’m done. 🤷🏻‍♂️

And like a great app, I hope the end result will impact you but appear effortless. Stay tuned to see how that goes. 🤓 #goals