Last week was taken up by Christmas shopping, so I barely touched the label project. Maybe this week. This year I’ll be at my parents’ house for Christmas instead of somewhere unfamiliar with fewer art and technology resources, so I don’t feel as much pressure to finish the labels before I leave.
My new interval timer for cooking is helping a lot. It matches the structure of my recipes and the pace of my cooking well, and it makes the process more orderly, predictable, and relaxed, so I can plan my schedule around cooking better and procrastinate less.
I researched the historical versions of Gregg Shorthand and learned that the Pre-Anniversary edition may explain the most about the system’s rationale. So I’m supplementing my Gregg Notehand textbook with that. I also settled in my mind that it’s Gregg I want to learn and not Teeline, and at some point I also want to look into a typeable shorthand like Personal Shorthand or Emma Dearborn’s Speedwriting.
My mind has been gushing with ideas for exploring OpenAI’s new chatbot, ChatGPT. My boss got me to try it out at the end of the previous week. While it has clear limitations, it’s at another level of sophistication and usability from earlier chatbots, and it opens up many possibilities for learning and creative collaboration.
Honestly it’s so uncannily coherent and carries such potential for me personally that I sort of feel like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone. But it’s only been a week-and-a-half, so we’ll see if this blows over or becomes a regular part of my life.
It’s also gotten me to finally pay attention to some of the other sophisticated AI tools that have come out this year. Signing up for ChatGPT gave me access to the image generator DALL-E 2. I signed up at the Hugging Face machine learning community to try out the demo of the image generator Stable Diffusion. There are helpful prompt books for both DALL-E and Stable Diffusion. And I signed up for another chatbot app called Character AI, which lets you create and share personas for the AI to take on, optionally with AI-generated images to illustrate the messages.
ChatGPT is open to the public and free to use till, I think, sometime in March. Here’s a good explainer article, a more technical one, and a more critical one. Here’s one on real-world ways people are already making use of it. And here’s a page of links to much more information about what you can do with it and ways to write your prompts.
And here’s an example from one of my conversations. I asked it to write a story set in a synthwave world.
The year was 2084, and the world had changed beyond recognition. Gone were the lush green forests and open blue skies, replaced by a sprawling metropolis of towering skyscrapers and endless neon lights.
In this world, the city never slept, and the streets were filled with the sound of pulsing electronic beats and the hum of retro-futuristic cars. This was the world of synthwave, and it was all that anyone knew.
At the heart of the city stood a towering skyscraper, home to the most famous synthwave musician of all: Roxy. She was the queen of the genre, known for her mesmerizing live performances and her ability to create entire worlds with her music.
On this particular night, Roxy stood atop the skyscraper, overlooking the city below. With a flick of her wrist, she activated her synthesizer, and the air was filled with the sound of her music.
Down on the streets, people stopped in their tracks, drawn to the hypnotic beats emanating from above. They danced and swayed to the rhythm, lost in the neon-soaked world that Roxy had created.
As she played on, the city itself seemed to come alive, the buildings and vehicles taking on a vibrant, otherworldly glow. It was as if the entire metropolis was dancing to the beat of Roxy’s music.
Eventually, the sun began to rise, casting a warm, golden light over the city. And as the first rays of sunlight touched the skyscraper where Roxy stood, she knew that her music had once again captivated the hearts of the people.
With one final flourish, she brought the song to a close, leaving the city in a state of euphoria. Roxy, the queen of synthwave, had once again proven her power over the neon-lit streets of the city.