Before I read this article, I had no idea who Jeremy Howard was. I’ve subsequently learned he was one of the founders of (and the co-founder of fastmail), which I guess makes him someone. My initial reaction to his piece, in my ignorance, was, ‘what a load of pretentious dross’. As others have noted, the comparisons to brilliant 19th century minds is particularly cringe-worthy. Jeremy’s subsequent discussion on hacker news was much more illuminating, so perhaps the original piece does him a disservice. One particular comment stood out to me – from Eric (Dshiv?), a Professor of Humanities from the Netherlands. Here are his ideas on how AI-influenced software might move forwards:

– dashboards or other reports that call you when something changes, so you don’t have to log in to see what’s changed

– extremely personalized settings that remember exactly who you are and what you like to do with the interface, to the point that it basically uses it for you

– rapid prototyping interfaces, doing things like “make it real” demo

– extremely simple apps that use AI in the backend to do amazing things. how about a camera app that just sends everything it sees to GPT4-v. think how much easier that would be than loading up a translator app, taking a picture of a menu, uploading the picture, etc. just figure out what I might want to do based on the fact that I took a photo

– artistic/musical/creative apps that require only your phone and that you can noodle on while you have 5m of idle time. maybe the AI works on it silently in the background and then the user gives notes or feedback whenever they have time. end product is a pro-level artistic work that reflects the user’s taste level but the AI’s mastery of technique

By Patrick

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