AI: Are we there yet?

A mind inside a fishbowl on top of a mechanical body walking through the sky on top of a cloudArtificial 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.

Q: are you really intelligent?
A: 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.
Q: can you repeat the answer in dutch
A: Als een AI-taalmodel …

One week challenge: Sunday

This is a post for my one week challenge.

[08:00] The kids once again wake up early, but thanks to YouTube we get a little bit extra time in the bed.

[09:00] Alex’ caterpillar has finished the entire plant. There is not a single leaf left. We lost the caterpiller for a while but Alex rediscovered it on the Aloe Vera plant. It was bungling on a leaf there and I suspect it will start its metamorphosis there.

[10:10] A classmate of Alex will ride in a mountainbike race today in Santa Brigida. We are going to watch and support him.

[13:30] The race is finished and Maikel did a really good job. We are heading back home.

[14:30] We all have dinner next door at grandma’s place. She make rice with rabbit and snails. After dinner I clean our windows. We went to the nearby park to play a little. Alan brought his footbal, and Alex his roller skates.

This is the last day. My one week challenge is now complete! But… as usual these kind of challenges always end in a challenge to someone else. I have my doubts, but I think I will do it anyway. I challenge the next generation! Annabel, Alex, Jack and Alan! They will probably never learn about this challenge so we will see. If you do read it, and want to participate, it is easy. For one entire week write down what you do every day. As detailed or as general as you want.

One week challenge: Saturday

This is a post for my one week challenge.

[08:00] De kids are already waking up. Luckily for us the head to the living room to watch some YouTube videos, so we don’t have to wake up just yet.

[08:xx] Run the washing machine with all white clothes. I also cleaned the bathrooms.

[10:30] Today there is an event in El Puertillo, Arucas, on the beach. Here we have the ‘Cangrejo Fest’ a festival with a lot of activities for kids, so it might be fun.

[19:30] Back home. Shower, dinner, teeth, bathroom, and to sleep.

One week challenge: Friday

This is a post for my one week challenge.

[07:00] Again the same ritual. Wake up, kids, car…

[07:30] This morning we made a new list for the supermarkt. Ana had complained to me that we did not have anything. I stopped buying sodas, beers, salty snacks, sweet snacks, and Ana has gotten hungry. She wanted bread, croissants, sausage, cheese and cola. No problem of course, but I do need to know. It is now on my list, so maybe I will pass by the supermarket his afternoon.

[07:50] The garage door is stuck. It won’t go up and it won’t go down. It is impossible to get the car out, and Ana has an important meeting, so we take a taxi to the hospital. From there I take the bus to my work. I was lucky that Ana had a couple of extra masks in her purse because in the taxi, and in public transport these are still a requirement.

[08:55] Work, half an hour later than normal, but I arrived, and I think the delay was not that bad.

[08:56] Punch in

[16:56] Punch out. Head home. Finally it’s Friday. I do have to head home with the bus, so I will be on my way for a while.

[18:30] It took a long time getting home with the bus. First wait half an hour for it to arrive, stand the entire trip home, and walk half an hour to my home.

[19:00] The garage door was fixes, so I could get the car and do some last minute shopping.

[20:00] Ana was in ‘el viento’ with the kids. They were playing with their friends. It is almost a tradition, every two weeks we go to the park on Friday, where the kids play with Diego’s kids. After a couple of hours of playing we usually go to Diego’s apartment where the kids eat a pizza, and the adults this evening drink a bottle of wine with some cheese and sausage. Not very good for my weight, but a very pleasant ending of the week..
A book that was anticipated book for a long time has finally arrived! Months ago I pre-ordered ‘What if 2‘ on Amazon, and it is finally here. The first ‘What if‘ was a fantastic book, so I am sure I will enjoy this new one.

[23:30] Home again. Teeth, bathroom, pyjama’s and we all went to bed.

One week challenge: Thursday

This is a post for my one week challenge.

[07:00] Again the same ritual. Wake up, kids, car, work.

[08:15] Punch in

[16:15] Punch out. Head home.

[17:00] AliExpress packages have arrived. One package with nine lotus seeds which I will plant in the aquarium with the shrimp. Two of the nine seeds I put in water directly, to see if they sprout. The rest of the seeds I will probably give away. The other package contained a new tribal bracelet for me.

[17:30] Alan his second English class! His first class at his new higher level. It went ok. I went on a short run, 5km.

[18:30] End of class so we head back home together. On the way back we passed by the hairsalon and we made an appointment with our hairdresser, Jeremy. Next week on Friday our hair will be cut. Alex, Alan and me. I am thinking about cutting my hair radically short, just like my father Kees used to have (not like he has it now, because that would leave me with almost no hair).

[19:30] Alex English (online).

[20:30] Alex’s class finished. The kids head over to grandma’s house (next door) for their dinner. In the meanwhile I will prepare their milk. After eating they will brush their teeth, put on their pyjama’s, and head to bed.

[22:30] Shower, some exercise, and to bed

One week challenge: Wednesday

This is a post for my one week challenge.

[07:00] The same ritual. Wake up, kids, car, work.

[08:20] Punch in

[16:20] Punch out. Head home.

[16:25] Pass by the local supermarket.

[17:30] Tennis! The kids have their weekly tennis lesson. On hour, close to our home. During their class I go and have a short run in a park nearby. I forgot to bring cash. The tennis club only accepts cash for paying for the classes. I did not expect that to still be possible, but I suspect they have their reasons.

[19:30] Cook some food! The first two days of this week I had the pig from tgtg for lunch. Today I had leftover pasta from last weekend, but now there is nothing left, so I will make my more or less standard food. Rice with turkey and some vegetables. The rice is steamed to perfection in the Thermomix. First some water, the basket with the rice and some salt and oil, and on top some frozen beans. 19.30 minute, 110 degrees, and that’s it. The rice will be steamed and be just about ready. Some hard bits, but heating it up in the microwave i the next couple of days should make it perfectly eatable. The turkey I will bake with some onion, paprika, garlic and then add a can of Tikka Masala. Divide everything over a couple of tuppers and I have my lunch for the next couple of days.

[20:xx] After weighing myself I learned that I lost another half kilo! I now weigh 75.3 kilos, so I’m heading in the right direction. The biggest advantage I have is that we have no more beer, cheese and nuts at our home. I simply stopped buying them. Now, when I arrive home and feel a bit hungry there is no more option to get some cheese or some nuts, so I will eat a banana or an apple. If I’m thirsty I just get a small bottle of water. I think this helps a lot.

[21:30] The kids are already asleep. I showered and did almost half an hour of exercise.

[22:30] Cool down, relaxing a bit and sleep. Good night!

One week challenge – Tuesday

This is a post for my one week challenge.

[07:00] Again the same ritual. Wake up, kids, car, work. This is exactly the same as yesterday, except for an additional stop at the hospital where I drop off Ana for her work. Yesterday there was no need, because the day before yesterday she has a 24hour shift, so she was already there.

[08:20] Punch in

[12:50] My daily cappuccino was a bit of a disappointment. I suspect that someone before me tried to use a recyclable capsule. These are capsules that you fill up yourself with coffee, and afterwards you clean it and you can use it again. Much better for the environment, but at the same time much worse for the machine (and much worse for the next person, in this case me). The ‘dolce gusto’ injects the water into the capsule with quite a bit of pressure, and the recyclable capsule could not handle this pressure and this resulted in the entire machine covered in old coffee grounds. My cappuccino was likewise covered with a bit of these coffee grounds. Well, at least we had a good laugh and my coffee was only visually affected. It still tasted pretty good as usual.

[16:20] Punch out, head home.

[17:30] Alan has his very first English class! (Just like Alex at Tiny Tots)

[18:30] Alan finishes his first class, and he left the class pretty happy. During the class I went running. We head back home. I take a shower and wash all the running sweat off me.

[19:30] Alex Engels (at Tiny tots)

[20:30] Alex finishes his class. Head home. I did not run again, but instead I went for a walk.

[20:50] Home again. Ana informed about Alan at his English class (Ana indicated in a subtle manner that Alan has lots of contact/experience with different languages. He understands Dutch, and speaks it a little bit. He understands English, because everything he watches on TV/YouTube is in English, so we expect Alan to dominate his English class without even breaking a sweat), and the was pomptly promoted to a higher level! After only one class. Very good! Kids eat, pyjama’s, brush teeth, bathroom, review homework, another mini massage for Alan, and to sleep.

[22:15] Take a shower. Update this blog. A little exercise, read a bit of reddit, give my trail installation of publisher a test, and to sleep.

One week challenge – Monday

This is a post for my one week challenge.

[07:00] The weeks starts as usual with my alarm early in the morning. I get up, get dressed, brush my teeth, and start preparing. Milk for the kids. Milk for Ana and a small drinkable yogurt for me with a hefty dose of vitamin C and a multi vitamin. Then I prepare the school uniforms. Wake up the kids, dress Alan. Feed the gamba’s. Raise the curtains and make the beds.

[07:45] Daily comute. It takes me about half an hour to get from home to work. Light traffic normally, except when there is some kind of accident, then there are no alternative roads, and my small commute can take a very long time.

[08:15] I park the car and walk to the office, I punch in and get ready for my first coffee. The office is a big open area with about 80 or 90 people working. I currently work on maintaining/improving an API used by a mobile app.

[12:15] At the office our entire department eats their lunch. I have rice, with coliflour and pieces of fried pig, left over from last week. After lunch I get a nice capuccino.

[16:15] I punch out and head on home. I might be just in time to pick up the kids from our front door and drop them off at their music school for their piano/keyboard classes.

[16:xx] After/during music I go to do some required shopping at a nearby supermarket. Every week we need milk for the kids, and various other stuff. I will also get my turkey which I usually eat during my lunch together with rice and some vegetables. With the shopping done I load everything in the car and head home.

[17:30] Music classes are finished for this week. Ana will take the kids home.

[18:30] Everybody is home again. The kids are going next door to eat their dinner with grandma. In the meanwhile we orden the house. I clean a few mirrors, the roomba, we was a set of clothes. I used an old tshirt to clean the floor and I collected a lot of dust. Much more than usual. I figured maybe the roomba needed cleaning, and I was right. It was filled to the brim with dust. The roomba is programmed to clean every workday (when we at all working) but it was so full of dust that I suspect it was unable to clean anything. After emptying and cleaning the roomba it should be good for at least a week.

[18:xx] Alex was doing his homework, and he noticed movement outside his window. One of his plants was covered in caterpillers. We removed all the caterpillers except the fattest one, so there will be enough food for the one to grow into a pretty monarch butterfly.

[20:00] Around eight I make the milk for the kids.

[21:10] Kids are asleep. The clothes are outside, they will dry during the night. Alan is sleeping after a little massage. Normally I read three jip and jannekes, but today he preferred a mini-massage. Alex read a chapter in his book and went to sleep as well.

[22:00] Shower. In bed. I will do a little of exercise, to hopefully reduce a bit of the size of my belly. Read a bit of reddit, and sleep. Tomorrow another day.

One week challenge

You might have noticed that the usage of this blog has gone up a bit. After years of having little time and frankly little interest in blogging my interest has once again increased, and I feel like I have things to share. I like sharing my opinion about all kinds of things, but I also wanted to try something new.

I will be doing the one week challenge. Now-a-days lots of things are framed like a challenge, and why not. I made a challenge myself and that is that I challenge myself to write daily for one week on this blog. Even if there is nothing to say, or it is a boring day.

I will start on Monday (tomorrow), so the challenge will run from Monday, October 3rd till Sunday, October 9th. I will tell you what I do each day, and I will add a daily picture.


Tides!High or low tide? I really don’t have a clue, and because it changes every couple of hours, and is influenced by the moon and even the sun (I think) it is very difficult for lots of people to know if it is low or high tide. Luckily there is an app for that. It has the fitting name ‘Tides‘ and it will show the current water level as well as the past and future levels. Great information to review before heading to the beach.

The app itself costs around two euros. Actually, the app is free, but removing the advertisements costs the mentioned two euros. This is one of the few app’s where I did not even think about it. Two euros for such a good and useful app is a bargain.

With low tide the kids directly know the drill. We will head to ‘la Laja’ and search/explore the tide pools. If it is high tide there are more options. The woods, a park or hiking a track.