In a couple of weeks the waiting is finally over. We will head over to France, to visit euro Disney and Paris. Alex has been counting down the days for a couple of months already. I must admit I had big doubts. Before planning this trip I was convinced that Disney was a bit of a rip off. A place to avoid. A fake place, with abused workers in suits with a smile painted on it walking around the park. I felt it was a place where ‘undercover’ employees walk around to check on the ‘visible’ minimum wage workers, and where incorrect behaviour will not be tolerated.
I still feel like it is place of conflicting emotions, but I now see that there is also the other part. The part were everyone is (trying to) work together to create a long lasting good memory for people visiting the park. I have decided to just give the park a change. Lets see how I experience it. I am almost certain the kids will have a blast, and I don’t want to hold them back. I want them to enjoy this experience as much as they can.
Visiting Disney is pretty expensive, so we will probably do this only once, so it is important to optimise our visit. If we are going to enjoy the experience we have to do our best to enjoy it thoroughly. We need some preparation, and we will need some discipline. We are going with a big group, so it will be hard. The group is all Spanish, so it will be even harder, but we should a least try and wake up early. Breakfast early and head to the park as soon as it opens. Try and do lots of different rides and not repeat the same ride all the time.
After a couple of days at the Disney park we have some more days in Paris. Seeing the city, with a couple of visits to the famous spots, but much more relaxed. Time to enjoy some wine, a crossant and some french cheese. Enjoy the sites, visit the Eiffel tower, float across the seine, check out the Arc du Triumph, maybe see the Mona Lisa, visit the cathedral, do some shopping? Who knows.
More and more time is spend online. Your social circles are formed online with people that feel similar to yourself. Where our social circles used to be centered around the town or city where you live, right now they can be everywhere. The same way that your physical friends can influence you, you can now also be influenced by the options and views of your online friends. Friends that you might have never met, but with whom you can spend lots of time.
Imagine a very near future where your online friends might all think siilar to you. A bit group of similarly minded people. All individuals that reinforce your thinking in a certain manner. Maybe 10 good friends, and maybe 20 more people who also think in a similar way. Maybe such a big group of people can influence you much more that you would think possible. Each of the persons you know has his or her own personality, which you get to know and trust.
Imagine all these friends are not as you would think. All of them are uniquely generated by an AI. In the blink of an eye there can be tens or hundreds of people who all think the same as you, and who will all try and navigate your thoughts to a desired outcome.
Maybe suddenly some of them will tell you about their experience with a new product, using the AI’s for some kind of advertisement. Or worse, your ‘friends’ influence your political opinion. This has already happened, where less powerful AI was used to influence groups of people and to redirect their thoughts and actions to achieve a certain goal. Now, with AI getting more and more accessible, the big danger is an abuse so personal it will be very hard to resist. You will not even know it is taking place.
If can even be done with less effort. Simply train an AI on how you interact with your environment. Let it learn how your friends and contacts behave, and at the right moment simply inject some additional conversation. Almost impossible to trace.
Even if this technology is used for good, avoid radical opinions, avoid unwanted behaviour, in the end the person that controls the AI controls the emotions and thoughts of lots and lots of people. A very dangerous future we are entering.
Lets just ask an AI itself
Would it be possible for an AI to generate a number of different identities all aimed at trying to influence someone to get them to buy a certain product?
Yes, it is possible for an AI to generate multiple identities to influence someone to buy a certain product. This is known as astroturfing, which involves creating fake identities or groups to simulate grassroots support for a particular cause or product.
The number of identities needed would depend on various factors such as the size of the target audience, the level of influence required, and the resources available for the astroturfing campaign. It’s difficult to provide a specific number without knowing more details about the specific situation.
However, it’s worth noting that astroturfing is generally considered unethical and can damage the reputation of both the product and the company behind it. Therefore, it’s important to approach marketing and advertising ethically and t
Today it’s piano day. Not really very interesting, except that Alex will be performing! On the street! We are really proud of him. We will try and make a movie of Alex’ mini concert, similar to some youtubers we subscribe to like daniele vitale (sax) and karolina protsenko (violin) we now have our very own Alex taking his very first steps into the world of entertainment and art.
The stress! We can feel the tention at home, the excitement. All these emotions, and the match is still a few days away. For Alan it does not matter. His spirit is up! High up, his thoughts are of victory. He is focused on only one thing. Every night we train football. Every visit to the park we need to bring a football. Every visit to a park with an area with grass we need to take Alan’s special football shoes. On wednesday is his first official match with his new team ‘Formento’ against another team!
He is sooooo excited, it look like it is a contagious feeling. We are all cheering for him of course. We all hope Alan’s team will win, but if for some weird reason this is not the case, that for sure we will be able to find some outside reason. A bad field, the ball was too soft, foul play by the other team, maybe missing a star player?
Artificial intelligence is a thing we keep hearing more and more about, but what are we really talking about? Is it really something smart and intelligent. It is certainly smart, but sadly the intelligent part still needs to be created.
A few years ago we had various very good search engine. You could give it a couple of words, and it would use those words to really quickly give a list of results that were related to the words you provided. They improved this search by remembering where people clicked. More clicks meant a result was probable better, so it got a bit higher score.
Now OpenAI has added a new layer to this. It’s tool ChatGPT can understand text, and can tell you something in a natural fashion. You can ask it a question, and it will give you an answer back, just like a normal conversation. Understanding someone is a very complex task. You can ask the same thing in lots of different ways, and small details can be very important or meaningless. The ‘engine’ is trained to know what is important, and what is not. Instead of giving you a list of sites, now you can simply get a summary as an answer. The AI is not storing a huge amount of links, it is reading everything, and storing the information it finds, which is what it uses to answer your question.
We are not there yet, but it is a huge step forward. Understanding language is really difficult, and making it seem ‘natural’ is very hard, but it looks like they really achieved something here. Still, there is no intelligence. For now there is no curiosity, no initiative, no desire. The AI only responds to queries. It remembers what you asked it, but thats it. You can ask it things, and it can tell you things, but it won’t do anything else. It is really good, and clearly the current ‘AI’ is much much better then the ‘old’ search engines.
We can even ask it directly.
are you really intelligent?
As an AI language model, I don’t possess a conscious intelligence like humans do. However, I have been trained on vast amounts of data and algorithms to respond to various queries, so I can simulate an intelligent conversation with humans. I can understand natural language and can generate responses based on the information I have been trained on. My abilities are limited to what I have been trained on and what algorithms are available to me.
The soccer gene is completely lacking in my. Father Kees and mother Nel were both soccer trainers with various youth teams at VVSB (The local team from Noordwijkerhout). My brother Bert was also a player. I was sometimes forces to visit the games and watch, but I prefered to spend my time picking grass for my rabbits. The game was not interesting to me, and I still don’t care for it.
Well, the gene is back! Alan has a love for the game that amazes me. Alan is part of the Las Palmas youth team of ‘Atleti Formento‘. Now, every night we play a game of soccer in the hall (with a soft ball), every visit to the park he spends playing football with the kids there, every weekend we go to the park what Alan tries out his new soccer shoes. Once a week he goes to training.
I can still remember the situation perfectly. As a little boy I was sitting on the couch, next to my little brother and my family. We were all watching Louis de Funès. It was a series movie called something like ‘La gandarmes de Saint Tropez‘. In French with subtitles (with would normally take away any interest I would have), but with Louis is was different. I remember 45 minutes of hilarious situations, ridiculously funny solutions and mayhem. We were direct fans, and watched all the shows. I think in my subconciousness I connected France with the sense of pleasure and enjoyment. To this day visiting France makes me recall the feelings I felt as a little kid, watching the show. I look forward to visiting France more than any other place, just because I get a dose of happiness in advance.
The three kings arranged for a special gift this year. A puzzle, with a message on the back. After completing the puzzle the kids had to turn it around, and the gift became clear. This year the kids get a great adventure, and will visit France, to spend a couple of days at the Disney park, and a couple of days in Paris. We are not going with just the four of us, but we wil go with a big group of friends. 7 kids and 6 adults. I suspect it will be lots of fun and excitement.
We plan to go in June, so I still have time to practice my ‘Louis de Funès’-French a bit. Finally I will be able to use my standard/favourite French vocabulary.
– ‘La summicion sil vous plaid’, the bill please
– ‘Bonjour’, good morning
– ‘un vin avec fromage avec un crossant sil vous plaid’, a wine with some cheese and a croassant please
– ‘merci bocoupe, au revour’, thanks a lot, see you
– ‘Command tu t apelle’, whats your name?
– ‘Je m apelle Adrie’, i’m adrie
– ‘Un chien avec un tres petit cull’, a dog with a very small penis
Except for the last sentence all my French should be really useful.
It is getting ridiculous! Years ago (in 2009!) I was already complaining but I never realised it was just the beginning. They were just getting started. Advertisements are now literally everywhere, and you are forced to either pay to reduce the amount, or find other solutions. Just letting it slide, and trying to ignore the ads is nearly impossible, and costs way to much time. Here is a completely legal solution to this problem.
Case study: Youtube has really made a turn for the worst. Not only do you have to endure two or three ads before watching the video you want to see, often times there are ads during the video, and some ads added to the end. If it is a short video you want to see you will be forced to watch much more advertisements than actual content. Sometimes a button will be provided to skip the ads, but this button is hard to press on a smart tv.
Solution for your smart TV: Install SmartTubeNext. This app is free and it offers exactly the same functionality as the YouTube app, except for all the ads. This is how you install this app: (easiest) install Downloader by AFTVnews on your Android TV, open it and enter kutt.it/stn_stable, then read, understand and confirm the security prompts. After this you will have the SmartTubeNext app installed, and you can finally enjoy content without constant interruptions. I did it on our own TV, and I have been so happy ever since! Once you get used to the slightly different interface you will never ever consider going back to the ‘normal’ YouTube app.
Solution for your phone: The YouTube app on my phone was unusable because of the frequent ads. The Brave browser opens YouTube just as normal, but does not download any advertisements. On the phone it does work clearly worse than the YouTube app, but skipping all ads is such a big advantage I feel like for now this is the best option.
Solution for your laptop: I changed to watching the movies in the Brave browser, just like on my phone.
Do you have a good working solution? Please let me know in the comments!
We are taking a short break and we’ll be going to la Gomera for a couple of days. We leave by plane on tuesday and return home on thursday. A short trip but very welcome to break up our daily routine.
We will be going with a few friends and at la Gomera we rented a big car for 7 people where we can all just fit. In addition to a big car we also rented a big house, hopefully with a garden so we can maybe even have a bbq! It will be quite the adventure. Of course there is also a big celebration! It is Alan’s birthday, so there will be a great party.