It’s not been that long since my last round up of links. I’ve collected enough that I think it’s worth doing again. So, without furthur ado…
- History of generative AI: We didn’t just magic up DALL-E, GPT, et al. We’ve been on a journey to get us there for a while. This article covers the major steps along the way to get where we’re able to have those models.
- Google Research, 2022 & beyond: Language, vision and generative models: Google reviews the state of play of AI. This came out around the time BingGPT was launched, and the narrative was that Google had lost the plot. This article covers all the foundational elements that Google created – and everyone else has exploited.
- What is ChatGPT Doing… and Why Does It Work?: Great, insightful, and (importantly) accessible. This helped me really put into perspective my ‘why is everyone going gaga over GPT’ feelings by reinforcing it is just statistical analysis. Powerful, possibly transformative, statistical analysis. Worth a read so you can continue to ignore the ‘ChatGPT killed my dog and took me another planet’ stories.
- A 175-billion-parameter Goldfish: Another breakdown of ChatGPT, focusing on the realities of how it goes off the rails after extended chats. No, GPT isn’t a sentient being come to murder us all.
- From Samantha to Delores: MG Siegler takes a slightly more balanced look at ‘The AI is coming for us’ through the lens of some of well known Movie AIs. I especially liked the connection to Her.
- Why VR/AR Gets Farther Away as It Comes Into Focus: VR/AR is always just around the corner. I’ve been expecting it in 2-3 years for about 6 years now. I’m frustrated, and wondering if I’ve just read too many Sci-Fi books. This article goes in deeper to why it’s always just around the corner.
- The New Gatekeepers (Site): Benedict Evans goes over the realities of what the end of “zero interest rates” may cause on the industry, the reversion-to-trend of ecommerce post-pandemic, and the realities of the advertising industry being the gateway to your spending dollars. Long, but great, read for anyone that has to think about business in tech.
Leadership / Management / Career / Engineering
- In the long run: This article could also have been called ‘Shortermism considered harmful’. I especially liked the Keynes quote “In the long run, we are all dead”. Gotta goldilocks it!
- Meetings for an effective eng organization: What meetings should healthy, well oiled, engineering organization have? This seems like a great place to start from, and then you can tailor it to your needs.
- Reaching Peak Meeting Efficiency: A serious look at the meetings that go on, and how to be efficient. This isn’t a tactical look at applying some magic wand to have effective meetings – it’s an insighful look at what meetings really achieve, and the context around them.
- What shape are you?: Being part of the team is making sure all our weird & wonderful shapes fit together to deliver the things we need to deliver. It’s our differnent shapes that make us great. I kinda wish I’d read this when I was a lead, as I attempted to get a team to gel together.
- Setting Engineering Org Values: Every company has ‘values’. Some are written down. Some aren’t. Some are just empty calories. Rarely do engineering orgs contextualise them for what happens in an engineering org. The article covers basic guidance on how to do that or make your own unique values for your engineering org.
- The Tyranny of the Churn Equation: David Smith looks at the challenges around churn, and the impact it has on how big your funnel has to be relative to your churn rate. I wonder if this fits for large scale things such as Netflix, Prime, or Office subscrptions.
- New Human Metabolism Research Upends Conventional Wisdom about How We Burn Calories: We don’t burn calories quite like we thought we did. Interesting insight into the relationship between age & calories burn rate. Worth a read!
- Is Europe Just Not Good at Innovating?: A somewhat-insiders take on the challenges of europes lack of tech innovation, focusing on the way incentives play out. tl;dr you can’t win big in europe, no matter how much money you have.
- Europe is the free rider content: The Econoimist has a pretty harsh critique on the fact that Europe behaves like a follower. I’m not sure I agree with it (nor do I disagree), but I thought the perspective was interesting.