Wow, still wet out there. All over. With more rain in the forecast. I love rain, but not all at once, please.
So I posted about being a crypto grump, but I'm also an AI cheerleader. If you've played at all with DALL-E or ChatGPT or any of these sorts of tools, you can immediately see the incredible value being created. (BTW, I use AI as shorthand for AI/ML, hope you're okay with that.) As Steven Levi notes in Wired, Welcome to the Wet Hot AI Chatbot Summer. (He's drawing a parallel to the so-called AI Winter...)
Salon: An AI that can "write" is feeding delusions about how smart artificial intelligence really is. We certainly have a chorus of professional writers disclaiming AI's ability to replace them. I think we should ask ChatGPT to write an article, in the style of Salon, about how AI is not really intelligent. Oh, wait... [Later: someone did :)]
As you know I'm a close follower of the Iditarod, and recently I got an email from them asking "who's ready for Iditarod 2023?" Great question. And, not me, yet. If you've hung around here in the past you know I traditionally post about the Iditarod, and have even created a little race tracker to help follow the action. Which I did do in 2020 - it was just before the pandemic became "the pandemic" - and did do in 2021 - a weird year with the Iditarod being one of the few sporting events still held - but which I did not do last year - I was sailing in Florida. But this year I'd like to do again ... time to get ready!
Excellent! Boom supersonic unveils new Symphony engine for faster-than-sound Overture airliner. Having lived through the whole SST era, I can't believe we don't have these yet...
Henry Kissinger: how to avoid another war. "End the Ukraine War by trading NATO admission for Ukraine in exchange for Crimea and Donbas staying with Russia." Ah yes, diplomacy. [via David Sacks, my old PayPal colleague who has rapidly become one of my favorite Tweeters]
Along with crypto and AI, another present-day technology gathering headlines is AR/VR. Like AI it's been around for a bit, but unlike AI it hasn't found any killer apps. Yet. I think the form factor is the problem - people don't like wearing things on their head. Once we have reliable implants to inject video and audio directly into our brains, this problem will disappear :) but for the moment, it's a big hurdle. There are other problem too; Wired has a report from a metaverse skeptic: I Threw a Holiday Party in Horizon Worlds. It Didn't Go Well.
Another new technology gains traction: My Dystopian Ride In San Francisco's Fully Driverless Cars. As a happy Tesla Model S owner with Enhanced Autopilot, I feel this is now only a matter of time. There's a big difference between the car driving for you - while you are sitting there - and having no driver at all.
John Battelle:The Next First Day. "I'm resolved to come back to this patch of land and dig around. I don't expect anyone to notice, and that’s OK. I need to till the soil, clear the rocks and roots, and find out what might grow here." Yeah, me too!