Issue 138

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Aug 23, 2023 · 7 mins read
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DRD138:Trust, but verify. Or failing that, carry really good liability insurance.
Astronaut Dave Bowman inside of HAL, Stanley Kubrick's seminal AI ‘character’ as featured in 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL clearly has some toxic trust issues.

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

Trust, but Verify

Yup, I’m gonna talk about AI again. This time, it’s in response to an email I received with a subject line AI Hallucinations.

You might scoff and think this email came from a fear monger. But nope, it came from my insurance broker. As most freelance or contract developers do, I maintain liability insurance. Not really because I want to but because some of my clients contractually require me to have this insurance. It is interesting that insurance companies are now warning people (using Understanding AI Hallucinations and Eight Ways to Mitigate Them as an example) about the business dangers of depending on the information provided by AI.

Large language models (LLM) are capable of some really amazing things and provide help when you’re suffering from blank page syndrome, whether you’re writing a newsletter or sitting down to write some code. But we must take care in all cases to ensure that we aren’t making use of AI hallucinations. These come when the training set does not contain adequate information for the query at hand and so AI makes shit up. 💩 If you depend on the answers given to you by whichever LLM you are using to be correct, at some point you going to discover it was completely and totally wrong.

In general, I sort of object to characterizing these situations as hallucinations. I hope we will soon have a vocabulary for talking about large language model AI—one that doesn’t anthropomorphize it or treat it like it’s human with real intelligence. Because it isn’t and it doesn’t.

Trust, but verify.

No Code Investigation

As a part of 6 Pack Apps for Entrepreneurs, we always get questions about ‘no code’ app solutions. When this first occurred, some of our students actually knew more about the topic than we did. As a result, we’ve educated ourselves on the various available no code services. Because these services come and go and frequently change options and features, we make it a habit to collect new ones and review the old ones on at least a yearly basis. As such, Lori will be doing it ‘live’ next Monday, August 28th, via a Zoom session.

We think this investigation will prove of interest to both coders and non-coders alike. It will be useful to learn what can—and cannot—be done with no code.

Sign up with this link, and you’ll get reminders about the session and if you can’t attend live, you’ll have access to the recording in due course.

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TALK — Talk of the Tech

Here are our two picks from the two main RubyMotion/DRGTK chat spaces:

  • Discord — Here’s another innovative way to collaborate with your fellow indie game developers: Brett Chalupa and Akzidenz have proposed the Monthly Game Club where participants “play the same game together asynchronously throughout the month and share thoughts on it in a thread”. That sounds like a brillliant idea!

  • Slack — Our fearless leader Lori’s editorial admonishment above notwithstanding, if you’re interested in taking ‘the AI’ for a test romp with your RubyMotion coding, there’s a thread on that running at the moment.

It’s a great idea to give one or both of these welcoming, high-IQ communities a try—they’re absolutely free.

TWIL — This Week [We] Learned …

… how really old we are. Remembering stacks of cards like this is pretty easy for us. Actually not neat stacks so much but rather when they fluttered down as manila-colored snowflakes after the captain of the high school football team slapped them out of our hands. But that’s a whole other trauma 😳 we’re not going to relive right now. Anywho …

From Inquisitor Palleteck comes this interesting photo from 1955 which shows “5 MB of data on 62,500 punch cards”.

We find it weirdly comforting that wiping out all of this data would require a bonfire 🔥 lasting the entire night and most of the next day—and not just a split-second, brainfart-induced rm -r *.

APP — All Things App

By way of a Facebook post by our friend Orin Johnson we learned the disturbing story of how a handy utility, Night Owl, had quietly been turned into something nefarious. In its innocent, younger days it simply turned on night mode based on a schedule. But then the company was sold and … read more from the article on Six Colors.

Do you have a DragonRuby-related product or service you would like to get in front of well over 1,200 raving DragonRuby-istas? 🐉 If so, please get in touch ... we would love to help you get the word out in a sponsored spot like this!  Sponsored

GAME — All Things Gaming

“Like music, you want to pull out the emotion of an individual or a group of individuals. You want them to be part of the story. You want to have highs and lows. You want the protagonist, the main character, to grow. And you want the person who’s in charge of that main character to make the decisions about how and when they do it. That’s what makes a good game.” — Tammy Coron (@Paradox927)

Intrigued? So were we. Here’s where you can read the rest of the interview with the author of PragProg’s Apple Game Frameworks and Technologies.

SPOT — Spotlight On …

Somewhere along the line we’re sure we have offered Leonard Nimoy’s quote about sharing: “the more we share the more we have.” Good thought, but depending on the kind of sharing in question, the precise mechanisms by which that happens can be a little mysterious. Lucian Ghinda’s recent article Where to Promote an Article About Ruby sheds some valuable light on the subject. If you’re doing cool things in the community, share and then share some more.

Moving right along and while it didn’t likely look much like this, Davin Walker is doing his bit to revive Family Game Night. Don’t tell anybody but by any measure what he assembled was a demographically appropriate focus group with which to gather feedback on his magnum opus.

Very clever indeed.

HAHA — And They All Laughed

OK boomer.

(credit: [Kern Jackson](
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