31 Comments

Excellent and comprehensive -- as always. Thanks, Ethan.

But please consider adding GitHub Copilot as a coding tool for people who can code.

It is GPT 3.5 based (I think), $10/month and uncannily ingenious.

Of course it autocompletes code as you write. Just start a line.

Or I can write a comment - and it will generate the code. That's great.

The comment works like a prompt.

But if I slow down - it figures out what I am up to

and writes the comment itself (self-prompting) before getting down to the code.

All while imitating my own style so closely

that it once took me hours to find somé hallucinatory nonsense that it injected into our program

and killed it bad.

Yeah, it'll do that too.

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Hey Ethan, this is a great rundown! For a part 2, you might want to look at some of the add-on tools people have built around the AI API's and see if they're useful. I've been using Lex as my writing companion.

(Also, typo in the link to Playground.)

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Thank you for this very well-organized and written post! (Did you have any artificial assistance with it?!)

As a voice-over artist whose livelihood is being challenged thanks to synthetic voices, I have mixed feelings about these wonderfully powerful new tools. AI will push human voice actors to be better than ever to distinguish themselves apart from AI voices when it comes to good storytelling...narrations with nuance, humor, emotion, etc.

For the moment, I'm confident my clients are still thrilled to work with the real me. :)

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Amazing content - thank you, Professor.

My biggest pain point is how to efficiently feed the system information, mindful of the character limits. I've converted pdfs using OCR tools to txt files, which then need to be chunked (again, because of the character limits).

This can't be the best method. I'm sure you've explored a myriad of options in your research - this could be a good future post for your series.

PS: I'm mostly using ChatGPT-4 for this work, but I'd imagine this is an issue across the board with the various options.

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I still don't have any idea regarding the prompts to put in DALLE-E, which will generate better pictures. hopefully, I will learn it.

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You can ask ChatGPT for help structuring prompts for Dall-E

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I am baffled that anybody wanted to automate the production of more content. Be it text content, images, videos, we have far too much now. I was recommended this substack, and may never be back - not because it isn't good and interesting, but because THERE ARE TOO MANY SUBSTACKS.

I'm subscribed to two of them, and four web newspapers, and one paper newpaper, and I watch TV news. I have that much time. I'm a retired news junkie. I do not have time for even more. What I'm saying, is that everybody seems afraid that AI will help Steve Bannon "flood the zone with shit", and I can't see why: it would only save him $9/hour on Macedonian troll farms.

An individual (one of my substack subscriptions, say) using this to generate content faster, and more cheaply, is helping themselves: a million writers doing the same thing, are just reducing the cost of writing even further. Also true of shovels and backhoes, automation is great in the end! But this time, it's the *product* that we don't need more of, and is extremely cheap already.

What I repeat to every discussion about AI, is that the vast ocean of content means that the AI most-badly needed is *filtration*. Why can't the same technology be used to throw out content? I'm getting very, very, tired of reading articles by female-or-minority journalists that were bombarded with shit for some innocuous cultural offense.

Why don't we all have FilterGPT, that lets through every message you do need, even from a stranger, and tosses all the shit? Or, better yet, pre-reads my substacks for me, and throws out anything David Brooks was saying about Iraq in 2003, now about Syria? If they can generate blather, surely they can spot it.

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This article is already amazing, and if you could enhance the coding section by including the ChatGPT 4 extension to VSCode, it would be even better. With this extension, you can access free ChatGPT 4 for up to 50,000 tokens and then utilize GPT 3.5 for an unlimited amount, making it an incredibly valuable and indispensable tool.

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Can you provide a link to this extension for v4 in VS code. I did a light search and did not find it.

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Thanks for your great series of articles. Your advice is exactly right - and to put it more bluntly - use ChatGPT whenever you are exploring new areas, don't plagiarize - but use ChatGPT as a digital muse that provides a quick starting point. The hard work of verifying and being responsible remain, but for explorations of new areas - ChatGPT is a great digital muse that should not be overlooked or forgotten. Once in a while you and ChatGPT might actually stumble together onto new and exciting perspective. OpenAI's ChatGPT is a useful AI tool to add to any creative professionals tool kit.

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super Guide! Lov it! thanks for creating it!

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It is indeed true that ducks are the best bird!

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So useful. Already sent to 4 friends. This substack is worth $100+/mth. (Please do not raise the price!)

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That is missing Anthropic's upgraded Claude+ available via Poe.com from Quora. Poe also has chatbots like Sage and Dragonfly that are built on OpenAI models but trained differently from ChatGPT. I hadn't experimented or searched to find out their pros and cons.

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Unfortunately Chat-GPT 3.5 "lies continuously and well" in coding too. When asking questions about an API, especially in C++, the output code only works for the first answer, which is roughly a copy/paste from the doc. When you try to do more whith more questions, it truly "invents" the API in a plausible way, and the code won't even compile. Anyway, there is no deep comprehension of the code and for now the results, beyond the basics, are very disappointing.

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Good stuff. Useful. I'd clarify that AI is a technology NOT a tool. And LLMs are more of an open-sandbox given their maturity. This is a great time to observe the release/focus/adoption/refinement of a new tech in the market - but its is truly "in the wild" right now. Another comment really concerned me (and is a good point of discussion) - as the models get better does that mean the hallucinations become more catastrophic? "It took me hours to find .... in the code that killed it" - what if this was a medical device, air traffic control system or car nav control?

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Great guide, very well summarized. Thanks a lot!

Could you tell us more about the pros and cons of Claude? You only glossed over it here and I am curious to know more about its capabilities and limitations.

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Great article again, Ethan! Would love to have a deep dive article focusing on open source alternatives for many of these practical applications for AI. Obviously many aren't even close to being useful yet, and require a lot of manual time and effort to install and configure, but I feel like we're inching closer and closer this year towards most of these creative solutions existing locally. Personalized AI is right around the corner.

I think the biggest 'woah!' moments this year might come from the advances with text to video and utilizing tools like D-iD and Elevenlabs. We've already seen some shockingly good pieces of art clearly made from generating with Midjourney --> D-iD & Elevenlabs. We'll likely see even more impressive one-person created web/tv shows.

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