5 min read

Day 37: Recharging

Morning Run

This morning I woke up to the sounds of many people outside of my Airbnb. I share a central courtyard with other neighboring units. It turns out, today was some kind of “yard” sale. There were tables setup with all kinds of items on sale, from clothes and shoes to old paintings, cameras and music records. As I set off for my run, I noticed that other buildings had yard sales setup in a similar way. People milled about, thrifting from one sale to another.

Somehow, I misjudged the elevation of the route I chose on Strava. I had to scale some hefty hills that left me winded. I had to take breaks every now and then, so I utilized them for photo opportunities. The warm weather and slight breeze made the run very enjoyable.

State of AI

Finishing up my run, I got back to Airbnb after stopping to admire the bobbles on sale at multiple yard sales. I showered and went off to check out a nearby cafe called misch misch. Google Translate tells me this means “mix mix”, but I’m not sure what that really means. Grabbing a sandwich and a cappuccino, I hunkered down for a few hours to catch up on some overdue reading and lectures.

On LinkedIn, a former boss shared a link to the recent Fact Sheet published by the White House and Biden Administration on New Actions to Promote Responsible AI Innovation. The announcement follows the recent work promoted by the White House in response to the release of ChatGPT, GPT-4 and other generative systems. Now, I’ll hold off on sharing my opinions on the potential existential threats posed by generative systems (based on what they can currently do) until I have a more informed opinion.

But, it’s clear that discussions and conversations need to be had now on how to better understand the ramifications of generative systems on world and domestic economics, politics, financial institutions, national security and culture. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights also released by the White House. I was pretty impressed with the structure and thoroughness of the proposals.

IMHO the work done by DJ Patil (of whom I am a big fan) during the Obama Administration to place extra emphasis on the analysis of emerging technologies and software is paying off today with the position that the current administration is taking (and even includes positions taken by the previous administration as well). Granted, there’s still a tremendous amount of work to be done to really get a better grasp of where things are heading.

In addition to the Automotive sector, I pay a lot of attention to the Agriculture Technology sector and the Education sector. I’ll have some dedicated posts on these topics that will be included on another section of The Monthly Mantha, but one thing I’ll call out today is the great talk by Sal Khan (founder of Khan Academy) on how AI can serve as a personalized tutor for millions of students around the world. I spent part of my day going through talk and dissecting more on Sal’s mindset and vision for where he sees things going.

It may not be the final solution, but the capabilities delivered by tools like ChatGPT and GPT-4 could bring us one step closer to delivering high quality education to students all over the world who may otherwise not be able to afford it. This talk was really thought provoking. There were some things I agreed with and some things I disagreed with. I’m on the waitlist to try out Khanmigo, so I’m really excited to try that out.

Comfort Food

After spending a few hours at misch misch, I decided to go for a walk around the main Stuttgart city center. I somehow found myself watching a demonstration parade / protest in support of the legalization of marijuana in Germany, followed by a peaceful demonstration protesting the ongoing human rights violations in Iran, followed by a silent protest against the meat industry.

All of this happened simultaneously within 300 feet of each other in the main square, while people milled about going from one store to another or lounging around on the grass drinking beer and eating food. I have to say, it’s a lot to take in, and something you’d definitely not see in the US.

Back in Marienplatz, I stopped to have a Prosciutto Pizza and orange Fanta from Il Pomodoro. This was the first time I’ve ever had an orange slice in my orange Fanta. I love that.

A Night In

After dinner, I went back to the Airbnb and had a nice night in. I decided it was going to be movie night, watching a bunch of random things on Disney+. If Peacock was operational in Germany, I would normally alternate between the two streaming services, but right now, I'm dedicated to Disney+.

I’ve personally given up on Netflix. I can’t handle all of the derivative dating shows that have now popped up, and to be honest, Peacock has much better reality television and sitcoms. Disney+ is doing a great job expanding its offerings, now that Hulu and Star content have a more prominent role.

Today was a great (and much needed) day to recharge the batteries.

Frieden und Liebe ❤️ (translation: peace and love)