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Bas Steins
Bas Steins

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Bas' Take on Tech: OpenAI, e/acc, PyCon

🤖 (Open)AI (again)

In a probably unnoticed act of honesty, OpenAI has admitted that “AI” is probably still miles away from being “intelligent”. As I have written here several times, LLMs are a remixing of content, not a deliberate creation by an intelligence. Admittedly, this looks very impressive, but it is a far cry from the dystopian rule of machines. However, OpenAI set up a team to prevent precisely this rule by machines - and has now fired them. Obviously a marketing stunt that was no longer needed.

But in case anyone was wondering why remixing works so well and what role “Whisper” speech recognition played in this, although speech recognition has less to do with LLMs and more to do with traditional machine learning: By the end of 2021, OpenAI had read the internet and moved on to transcribing all sorts of YouTube videos and also using them as training data. Please support this channel by hitting the subscribe button!

Meanwhile, while some people have jumped off the OpenAI bandwagon (Ilya Sutskever, Jan Leike, Evan Morikawa), it has come to light that OpenAI, which has just released GPT 4o, is committing its employees to a lifetime ban on criticism.

I’m not the only one who is bearish on OpenAI. Here is another hot take.

🐍 PyCon & Python 3.13

Three years ago, the Python Language Summit 2021 was about making CPython faster. A lot of improvements have been made since. Most notably, PEP 703 adds an experimental flag to remove the GIL in Python 3.13.

PyCon 2024 was happening last week in Pittsburgh, PA. I would have loved to attend, but I couldn’t make it. Glyph Lefkowitz has an interesting field guide on “How to Pycon” on his blog. This applies to other conferences equally well and is a great bookmark for your next one.

For now, I have heard some great things about these talks in particular:

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