Boba Train #3: Life with AI, Future with AI, De-influencing Trends, Reading & Podcast Recs March 2023

Boba Train #3: Life with AI, Future with AI, De-influencing Trends, Reading & Podcast Recs March 2023
Dall-E generated image with prompt — “robot drinking matcha bubble tea sitting on Mars”

Hi 👋 folks!

Welcome to the 3rd edition of my monthly newsletter — Boba Train 🧋🚂.

The drink of choice today is a refreshing Ginger and Peach tea. I promise it’s better than it sounds!

📕 What’s in this issue?

- Integrating AI Into My Life
- Misinformation At Scale with AI
- AI Recommending Cancer Treatments
- De-influencing Trends on Social Media
- Reading Updates & Recs
- Podcast Updates & Recs
- What I Wrote This Month

🤖 Integrating AI Into My Life

March 2023 is the month when I embraced AI into my life.

After seeing all the crazy applications of AI, fueled by ground-breaking research and launches every other day, I have decided to use AI to complement my workflows, rather than be scared of it.

There was a time when it would hurt my ego to use AI when writing code, brainstorming blog post ideas, optimizing headlines, and using it instead of a search engine.

All that has changed.

Let me walk you through a few ways I am using AI to make my life easier:

  1. ChatGPT for search — For many of my search queries, I prefer an interaction style where I can filter through unnecessary information better than I can with a search engine. I still need to fact-check the information, but it’s a great way to cut down on bloat and get straight to the facts.
  2. GitHub Copilot — AI is still a very long way from creating meaningful software. Sure, it can create a React todo application for you, or implement interview questions, such as Quick Sort, in a few seconds, but it still cannot understand product requirements and develop software and applications at scale. However, one thing it can do tremendously well is to help autocomplete your code and be a helping hand in debugging sessions.
  3. Dall-E for photos — If you have been reading my writings recently, you will have seen the AI-generated image that I have been using. It’s been a lot of fun playing with prompts and coming up with creative, unique-looking photos, instead of using mainstream ones from Unsplash.
  4. ChatGPT for headlines — I absolutely suck at blog post headlines! Now I use ChatGPT to generate a few cool ones, then edit them and add some final touches before using them on my Medium blog posts.
  5. OpenAI API — I am having a blast playing around with OpenAI’s API to create some awesome apps and tools. Soon, I will start posting them on my blog and YouTube channel.

I plan on exploring a ton more using AI in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned to hear more about them in the coming weeks and months.

📰 Misinformation At Scale with AI

I have been reading, listening, and thinking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) more and more in my life recently.

It can truly revolutionize our lives in the next few years. The number of applications and use cases is boundless.

With that infinite possibilities come both blessings and curses. We can use AI for better, or worse.

Let’s start with the worse.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT is scarily good at spreading misinformation.

If left unchecked, models like these can do a dangerous job of starting internet propaganda, ruining people’s reputations, and generating false narratives.

Even outside words and essays, we are stepping into a world, where you can have AI-generated videos and audio that are impossible to differentiate from their real-life counterparts.

This realization came true recently when I was watching a Jordan Peterson clip on YouTube, only to realize it was some AI model that generated both the video and audio. For a moment I had a tough time believing what I was seeing.

I don’t think we want to live in a world where the line between fiction and reality becomes so thin that you cannot believe your senses.

Dall-E generated an image with the prompt — “researcher robot experimenting with cancer drugs”

💊 AI Recommending Cancer Treatments

I hope I haven’t scared you away with the previous story.

If you are still here, let’s talk about only one of the gazillion positive ways that AI can revolutionize everything.

Artificial Intelligence is dreaming up drugs that no one has ever seen.

The article above talks about a heartwarming story where AI helps discover a personalized drug for cancer patients that helps them go into remission and recover.

AI can help researchers automate many things to help identify drugs. It can even design cancer treatments that doctors and researchers didn’t even consider before.

I plan on researching and writing more about AI’s positive role in our lives in the coming months. The possibilities are truly endless.

📴 De-influencing Trends on Social Media

I have written extensively about consuming less, giving more, and buying only what’s necessary.

It’s great to see a similar philosophy trending on social media.

The idea is simple — instead of promoting products to buy, advertising the next magic cure, and trying to sell a solution to every problem (even created ones!), focus on consuming less.

If you are interested in this topic, I would highly recommend checking out The Story of More.

📚 Reading Updates & Recs

March has been one of my worst reading months in a while.

I have barely finished any books. I couldn’t keep up with my “read at least once a day” habit. Life got in the way, especially work.

The only book I finished:

Five Survive by Holly Jackson — 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Books that I am currently reading:

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

All the Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doer

Letters from a Stoic by Seneca

Dall-E generated an image with the prompt — “robot wearing headphones and reading a book in Mars landscape”

🔉 Podcast Updates & Recs

March has been a surprisingly productive week when it comes to podcast listening for me. I listened to a ton of great ones from diverse subjects.

Let’s start with The Data Highway Above in the a16z Podcast which talks about space as the next frontier and how it’s increasingly getting clogged with space debris. I had no idea about the different ways we are polluting our skies, so this was a very interesting listen.

Next up, A Climate Change Debate in the “What Bitcoin Did” show. It’s a debate between two people — a very vocal proponent of renewable energy sources and an engineer who specializes in fossil fuels. Most of the conversation is very level-headed and, instead of talking about extremes, the individuals talk about a world where we shift our energy demands to renewable, however, we still keep using non-renewables at a more sustainable rate.

“Tools for Hormone Optimization in Males” in the Huberman Lab show was another great listen this month. I especially found fascinating the “snip” where he talks about pornography and its role in male hormones, dopamine levels, and mindset.

Seeing what’s happening with Elon Musk and Twitter, I really wanted to learn about other social media company acquisitions from the past. “How to buy a social network, with Tumblr CEO” from the “Decoder with Nilay Patel” show was a great episode on that topic. The Tumblr CEO reveals some of the business models and challenges with content moderation and user verification that we see happening with Twitter right now.

I will end up with the most recent episode I have listened to (and enjoyed!). It was another episode from “Decoder with Nilay Patel” where the Chief Product Officer (CPO) of LinkedIn talks about things related to LinkedIn (surprise!). At one point, the CPO talks about “generative AI” and how that’s something that will explode in 2023. The episode is from December 2022, and a lot of what he talks about are things that I see happening now (a few months since the episode aired). It’s fascinating!

✍️ What I Wrote This Month

This month I transitioned to writing 2x per week (Monday, and Thursday) from 3x every week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

By doing so, I am hoping to produce more informative articles that will you folks more value. Please let me know if you have any feedback.

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The Powerful Dessert That Tremendously Improved My Health
Since making some changes to my intermittent fasting schedule, I started gaining weight very quickly. I moved up my lunchtime to 11 AM in the morning. That meant, by the time I was done with my work day (around 7 PM), I started feeling hungry again. To make matters worse,
I Started Every Morning With Lemon Water For 30 Days.
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👋 That’s a wrap, folks!

If you have made it this far, thank you so much for reading.

See y’all again in April 2023.