Blog Archive

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

AI has arrived, Turkish Disaster, Russia's War - Year 2

AI has Arrived

Artificial Intelligence finally appears to have arrived in a way that ordinary people can see and appreciate.

I asked ChatGPT to create a Shakespearean sonnet based on Inzy Winzy Spider. This is what I got within a few seconds:

Verse 1: Inzy, Winzy, small and bold, Up the spout his way did hold, With nimble legs and playful grace, He spun a web with practiced pace.

Verse 2: The rain did come, with heavy pour, And washed away his work once more, But Inzy Winzy did not fret, His will was strong, his spirit met.

Verse 3: He climbed up high with ease and speed, And spun a web with greatest deed, A symbol of his tenacity, A testament to his ability.

Verse 4: So when life's storms come crashing down, And all our labors are washed out, Let us be like Inzy Winzy, With courage bold and will unwavering.

Verse 5: For in the end, what matters most, Is not the web we spun and boast, But the spirit that did not subside, The courage that we kept inside.

Verse 6: So let us climb, with hearts alight, And spin a web that shines so bright, A symbol of our strength and might, Inzy Winzy spider, a delight.

I have also been using it to create limericks and other stuff and I am most impressed!

ChatGPT from Open AI has had investment from Microsoft and is being integrated into their Bing Search engine. Google are not far behind with their Bard AI which they are testing for roll out in the coming weeks. Google share price fell by 14% when, on February 8th, their AI got a question wrong in an advert. I think this just goes to show how much importance is being placed on AI commercially right now and the impact that the market believes it will have.

Is the Turkish Disaster Natural?

The deadliest disaster in modern Turkish history struck on February 6th, in the form of two earthquakes, of magnitudes 7.8 and 7.5. Over 50,000 are believed to have died. A natural disaster you may think? Well, had the buildings been built to standard, the number of collapsed buildings and deaths would have been far far lower. The real disaster here is the corruption in Turkey that allowed, even encouraged, poor quality construction work and led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Who would ever have thought that corruption could be the biggest killer of all? Will the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan fall as a result?

Poorly constructed buildings collapsed while others were scarcely touched

'Hundreds of people may be trapped under a luxury housing estate completed only a decade ago in Antakya, south of Osmaniye. The contractor responsible was arrested on February 11th while attempting to leave Turkey. In nearby Erzin county, however, not a single building collapsed. The local mayor and his predecessor told local media that they did not allow any illegal construction. Both used the same phrase: “My conscience is clear.”' The Economist 12th February 2023

We should also remember the poor people of Syria, already bombed out of their towns and cities, who were also hit by this earthquake. Our thoughts are with them.

Russia's War - Year 2

To mark the first anniversary of Putin's War, on February 25th, campaigners "Led By Donkeys' painted a Ukrainian flag on the Bayswater road in front of the Russian Embassy. I believe 4 people were arrested. They said the paint was “high-standard, non-toxic, solvent-free, eco-friendly, fast-dry edible paint designed for making road art.”

I am not sure how many people would have thought that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would continue into a second year. Putin thought it would all be over in just a few days as he took Kyiv, planned to install his own puppet government and expected to watch the people thank him, He was so very wrong. Unfortunately the whole world is paying for his mistakes.

Instead, he has united the Democratic West against him, prompted the expansion of NATO to his borders and ruined the lives of millions of ordinary Russians and Ukrainians. With an estimated 100,000 dead and hundreds of thousands injured, there are nearly 10 million new refugees and hundreds of millions of people across the globe suffering from the financial impact of the war.

I don't think this will end any time soon, but I do think that Putin will lose his war.

Quote for the month

I am pleased to see the West remains united in its support of Ukraine. I hope that, this time, unlike on so many previous occasions, Leon Uris' quote below does not hold true.

"The apathy of free men. Until a man is struck in his own face he does not want to believe the attack on his brother concerns him."

 Leon Uris. MILA 18. 1961.

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