All those backlog updates are happening

I have started down a new path in terms of the backlog. I’m currently working on block 130 of 218 known blocks in the multi-year writing chain. All the things have been lined up to be committed to that path. That should end up yielding a pretty set of manuscripts and articles at the end of the newly minted 49 block journey. I’m going to go down the same format of yearly publishing a collection, but I should be able something else out of that process as well. We will see how that ends up going. 

In any event, all those backlog updates are happening. The first two years of writing blocks were stored in a single Google Doc. Currently blocks 105 to 218 are being worked in a second Google Doc. It would probably be possible to combine the two documents, but I don’t see a reason to do that at the moment. It creates some unwieldy document problems when you start working with hundreds of pages in a browser tab. I’ll transfer the content into a Microsoft Word document for editing into something for publication as a yearly archival manuscript.

It is interesting that my WordPress integration to Twitter no longer exists. This post could be shared out to other social media systems, but that will not be the case. No real need for that type of social media sharing exists. I’m actually curious if we will see a retreat from broader social media usage or if some other platform or communication method will spring up to fill a void that exists. Oh, immediately after writing this block of text I went out and paid for a year of Twitter paid features and then shared the post via the manual sharing option. Yes, I had to set up the manual sharing feature for every post to be able to do that and it took a couple of minutes. The only social sharing button option that I have added was for Twitter. That might change at some point, but for now that is how it is set up.

Digging into all of my Google Keep notes

A lot of opportunities exist to focus on things. Investing a bit of time into something could be part of a plan. Earlier tonight I started digging into all of my Google Keep notes.

During one of the days at the beach recently, I sat down and started making a list of topics I would like to spend some time either researching or writing about. It turns out that list was 49 total items. Right now I’m actively working on week 128 of the writing plan. That plan was designed to run within 3 years of content so far and that would be 156 weeks worth of writing. My current backlog actually runs to week 157 and an extra list of 12 topics. That means my current backlog of items before the introduction of this new list of 49 items was 169 blocks of content which would then be extended to 218 total blocks of content. That would be over 4 years of total content between what has been written and what is in the backlog. 

Having that large a backlog is not where I normally sit with things. I don’t like to have such a large and unwieldy backlog. It may be one one of those times where I’m going to have to adapt my writing schedule to help work it down to a more manageable level of content blocks that need to be written.

Ok, I ended up making an executive decision on how to manage the backlog. It was a super disruptive decision at this point in the process. I went ahead and at the week 128 point I pasted in the new list of 49 items. That means I’m going to struggle with updating the next five weeks of forward looking items on a bunch of blocks of content, but that is a solvable problem. It’s just annoying and time consuming vs. having any really problematic nature. That does mean that starting in July you will start to get the benefit of this new backlog and strictly you are going to end up waiting about a year to return to the previously structured program.

We are wholesale oversubscribed on AI related content

Thank you for tuning in to this audio only podcast presentation. This is week 123 of The Lindahl Letter publication. A new edition arrives every Friday. This week the topic under consideration for The Lindahl Letter is, “We are wholesale oversubscribed on AI related content.”

You may have noticed that the topic for the post this week changed. I called an audible and wrote a different piece of content. 

All that AI content has hit a real saturation point. We are wholesale oversubscribed on AI related content and we have not even really crossed into the situation I’m concerned about where people are using the content to flood the open internet with synthetic content. Generally given the current state of the AI excitement level and some of the fear, apprehension, and concern a lot of people are writing or commenting. All that commenting has built into a very real saturation point where AI content is literally everywhere. Sam Altman of OpenAI recently noted in a Wired article that, “the Age of Giant AI Models Is Already Over” [1]. The initial release date of ChatGPT was November 30, 2022 so the cycle on this one was no more than a 6 month explosion of hype content. You can go out to Google Trends and pretty quickly get a sense of just how fast ChatGPT spun up in December of 2022 [2]. If you went out and added a comparison term within Google Trends of auto-gpt or AutoGPT, then you would get a sense of just how much more popular ChatGPT happens to be in the wild [3]. Keep in mind that since April 11, 2023 the searches for AutoGPT have taken off exponentially [4]. 

Major things are happening in terms of ChatGPT, AutoGPT, and people expanding how agents are able to cooperate. A paper from Park et al. that was just published on April 7, 2023 shows some very interesting use cases for simulating behavior using generative agents.  

Park, J. S., O’Brien, J. C., Cai, C. J., Morris, M. R., Liang, P., & Bernstein, M. S. (2023). Generative Agents: Interactive Simulacra of Human Behavior. arXiv preprint arXiv:2304.03442. https://arxiv.org/pdf/2304.03442.pdf 

Rewind a little bit and I thought the key Stanford University paper would be that 214 page multi author one on foundation models.

Bommasani, R., Hudson, D. A., Adeli, E., Altman, R., Arora, S., von Arx, S., … & Liang, P. (2021). On the opportunities and risks of foundation models. arXiv preprint arXiv:2108.07258. https://arxiv.org/pdf/2108.07258.pdf 

You can get a sense from the demonstration of capability and use that occurred in that paper on generative agents just a couple years after scholars circled the wagons on foundation models just how fast the field is changing. Things are changing so fast that Sam Altman above noted that the age of giant models might have arrived and be complete between the publication of those two papers. It can make conducting research a very interesting thing to contemplate. Content at the bleeding edge of AI technology today could very well encounter a context, vibeshift, or even meaning change within months. Taking that into consideration I’m going to recognize that we are approaching the halfway point on the production of this year’s Substack content. To that end, I’m starting to ponder how to improve things and really make things better in terms of the content that is being produced. 


[1] https://www.wired.com/story/openai-ceo-sam-altman-the-age-of-giant-ai-models-is-already-over/

[2] https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=US&q=chatgpt&hl=en 

[3] https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=now%207-d&geo=US&q=chatgpt,autogpt&hl=en 

[4] https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2023-03-18%202023-04-18&geo=US&q=autogpt&hl=en 

What’s next for The Lindahl Letter? 

  • Week 124: Profiling OpenAI 
  • Week 125: Profiling Hugging Face (open and collaborative machine learning)
  • Week 126: Profiling Deep Mind
  • Week 127: Democratizing AI systems
  • Week 128: Building dreaming into AI systems

If you enjoyed this content, then please take a moment and share it with a friend. If you are new to The Lindahl Letter, then please consider subscribing. New editions arrive every Friday. Thank you and enjoy the week ahead.

A little bit more of that writing thing

Earlier this week, I sat right by the beach in Florida for six hours. The umbrella and chair helped. I did not bring my Chromebook to spend the time writing. That experience is probably going to happen again tomorrow. Oddly enough, my efforts to engage in some productive writing have been a wash during this trip. That is what I expected to have happened. Earlier in preparing for this degradation in writing time I had worked ahead by a couple of weeks on the writing plan. 

A photo of the beach

Ok, so on the Twitter front I’m still running my tweets in protected status and I gave up on paying them for Twitter Blue. They almost got me to come back yesterday with the annual prepayment discount. I’m more likely to commit to something for a year than on a monthly basis. Naturally, I’ll turn off any auto renewal so that I can make a decision on renewal at the proper time. Perhaps that is a strange conundrum of a preference for annual vs. monthly billing. It’s probably a contrarian opinion about Twitter, but I think it might have gotten worse for a bit then it got better. My feed of things in any event has turned into a better read over the last couple of months. 

News feeds overall are highly broken at the moment. As a side effect of the news based media portion of things fundamentally breaking the feeds are awash with poorly crafted content. News rooms while an imperfect gate keeping system provided a perspective and some degree of continuity. It’s a first in the pool free for all right now and just like academics at large the publish or perish mindset overshadows everything. 

AIaaS: Will AI be a platform or a service? Auto-GPT will disrupt both

Thank you for tuning in to this audio only podcast presentation. This is week 122 of The Lindahl Letter publication. A new edition arrives every Friday. This week the topic under consideration for The Lindahl Letter is, “AIaaS: Will AI be a platform or a service? Auto-GPT will disrupt both.”

I spent some time over the last couple of weeks looking for scholarly articles that reference AI as a service (AIaaS) [1]. Then I realized that things are changing so quickly in the landscape of AI these days that none of those articles even consider Auto-GPT [2]. Unless you have been on vacation and hiding from AI news recently you have been hearing about the advent of this plugin, multiagent, and task targeted implementation of a GPT model called Auto-GPT. People are using it to do things. You can see that that GitHub repository already has 50,000 stars and the demo was from March 30, 2023. In terms of open source code projects this one has taken off with rocket boosters. Right now the project has been forked almost 8,000 times. I’m trying to find a version that can be run in a jupyter notebook on Colab. This space is rapidly changing and will probably be changing  aton in the next 6 months.

What did the OpenAI ChatGPT 4.0 model spit out on this one when prompted?

AI can be both a platform and a service, depending on how it is implemented and used. The distinction between the two is not mutually exclusive, as AI applications often span across various domains and industries. Let’s explore each concept:

  1. AI as a Platform: An AI platform provides the infrastructure, tools, and libraries necessary for developing and deploying AI applications. These platforms enable developers and data scientists to build, train, and manage AI models without having to start from scratch. Examples of AI platforms include TensorFlow, PyTorch, and OpenAI’s GPT series. In this context, AI serves as a foundational technology upon which various solutions can be built.
  2. AI as a Service (AIaaS): AIaaS refers to the delivery of AI capabilities as a service, usually through APIs or web services. Companies that offer AIaaS provide access to pre-built AI models, which clients can use without having to develop their own AI capabilities. This allows organizations to leverage AI technology without investing in infrastructure or expertise. Examples of AIaaS include Google Cloud AI, IBM Watson, and Amazon Web Services’ machine learning services.

In conclusion, AI can function both as a platform and a service, depending on its implementation and usage. Many companies and developers use AI platforms to create AI services, which can then be integrated into various applications and business processes.

I thought it might be fun to follow up and prompt to see who was the best at AIaaS… 

It is difficult to definitively say who the “best” AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS) provider is, as different providers excel in different areas and offer varying services that cater to specific use cases. However, some of the most prominent and reputable AIaaS providers include:

  1. Google Cloud AI: Google offers a comprehensive suite of AI services, including natural language processing, computer vision, and machine learning. Its offerings, such as Google Cloud Vision API, Dialogflow, and AutoML, are widely used and respected for their accuracy and ease of use.
  2. Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS provides a range of AI services, including machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing. Some popular offerings are Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Lex, and Amazon SageMaker.
  3. IBM Watson: IBM’s AIaaS platform, Watson, offers various services, including natural language processing, machine learning, and chatbot development. Watson Assistant and Watson Discovery are among its popular services.
  4. Microsoft Azure: Azure offers a suite of AI services, including machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. Key offerings include Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning, and Azure Bot Service.

The “best” AIaaS provider for your specific needs will depend on several factors, such as the required AI capabilities, pricing, ease of integration, and the level of customization needed. It’s essential to research and evaluate each provider based on your unique requirements to make an informed decision.


[1] https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C6&q=AIaaS&btnG= 

[2] https://github.com/Torantulino/Auto-GPT 

What’s next for The Lindahl Letter? 

  • Week 123: Considering open source AI
  • Week 124: Profiling OpenAI 
  • Week 125: Profiling Hugging Face (open and collaborative machine learning)
  • Week 126: Profiling Deep Mind
  • Week 127: Democratizing AI systems

If you enjoyed this content, then please take a moment and share it with a friend. If you are new to The Lindahl Letter, then please consider subscribing. New editions arrive every Friday. Thank you and enjoy the week ahead.

A multitude of paths forward exist

A multitude of paths forward exist. We elect to use the time we have in different ways. 

  • Keep producing weekly research notes
  • Build independent study literature reviews
  • Consider what a return to teaching some online classes would require
  • Conduct quantitative research aimed at journal article publication
  • Refine my yearly manuscript creation process

All of that consolidated effort could flow together. Nothing within that packaging would conflict. Right now I’m sitting within content staged until the end of June. Working ahead was a good strategy to allow me to review closely where I’m going and what I’m doing within the framework being used to push things forward. All of that output and effort has to be geared toward building something. It’s part of an overall research trajectory that paths toward something. Outside of that it would be no more than a sustained effort to muddle through the habit of writing. Output would be achieved, but collectively it would have no momentum toward anything. Objectives have to stand just outside the reach of the moment and some even beyond the next range of possible achievements.

Considering an independent study applied AI syllabus

Thank you for tuning in to this audio only podcast presentation. This is week 121 of The Lindahl Letter publication. A new edition arrives every Friday. This week the topic under consideration for The Lindahl Letter is, “Considering an independent study applied AI syllabus.”

My initial take on writing an independent study based syllabus for applied AI was to find the best collection of freely available scholarly papers that somebody could read as an onramp to beginning to understand the field. That I think is a solid approach to helping somebody get going within a space that is very complex and full of content. It’s a space that is perpetually adding more content than any one person could possibly read or consume. Before you take that approach it is important to understand that one definitive textbook does exist. You certainly could go out and read it. 

Russell, S. J. (2010). Artificial intelligence a modern approach. Pearson Education, Inc.. 

You could find the first edition, second edition, or third edition for sale on eBay or somewhere else if you wanted a physical copy of the book. The book is currently in a 4th edition run, but I don’t have a copy of that edition yet. It’s used by over 1,500 schools so a lot of copies exist out in the wild [1]. The authors Stewuart Russell and Peter Norvig have shared a PDF of the bibliography for that weighty tome of AI insights as well [2]. Even with 35 pages of bibliography nobody with the name Lindahl made the cut. On a side note you can find the name Schmidhuber included twice if that sort of thing is important to you. 

Let’s reset for a second here. If you are brand new to the field of AI or want to read a textbook based introduction, then you should seriously consider buying a copy of the aforementioned textbook. That is a really great way to start which has worked for tens of thousands of people. My approach here is going to be a little bit unorthodox, but it works for me. My last run at this type of effort was, “An independent study based introduction to machine learning syllabus for 2022” and you can find it out on Google Scholar [3]. This outline will be the basis of a similar type of work that will end up getting crafted in Overleaf and shared out to the world. 

Searching for just pure introductions to artificial intelligence is really hit or miss. A lot of different introductions to various fields exist. In this case, I’m trying to zoom out a little more into a larger evaluation of content instead of focusing on any one field. Nothing I ran into during my search had the number of citations or impact of the Russel and Norvig textbook. I’m going to endeavor to structure and organize 70+ articles into a syllabus. To give you an idea of the kind of things that are going to get pulled together here are 5 different papers. 

Oke, S. A. (2008). A literature review on artificial intelligence. International journal of information and management sciences, 19(4), 535-570. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/document?repid=rep1&type=pdf&doi=f4dfcfe3f132b1079d054e2db29adc063fab0007 

Contreras, I., & Vehi, J. (2018). Artificial intelligence for diabetes management and decision support: literature review. Journal of medical Internet research, 20(5), e10775. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0004370218305988/pdfft?md5=ec6948d3f66efe5e57d1336a54d1604d&pid=1-s2.0-S0004370218305988-main.pdf 

Hosny, A., Parmar, C., Quackenbush, J., Schwartz, L. H., & Aerts, H. J. (2018). Artificial intelligence in radiology. Nature Reviews Cancer, 18(8), 500-510. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6268174/ 

Ghahramani, Z. (2015). Probabilistic machine learning and artificial intelligence. Nature, 521(7553), 452-459. https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/1810/248538/Ghahramani%25202015%2520Nature.pdf?sequence=1 

Jiang, F., Jiang, Y., Zhi, H., Dong, Y., Li, H., Ma, S., … & Wang, Y. (2017). Artificial intelligence in healthcare: past, present and future. Stroke and vascular neurology, 2(4). https://svn.bmj.com/content/svnbmj/2/4/230.full.pdf 

Obviously, working out of a textbook format will help provide a better structured introduction and that is why I plan on mentioning that in the paper and I have noted it here. On a scholarly basis I understand the need to dive directly into source papers and really get a sense of what is happening within the applied side of AI research in the last 10 years. That is why I want to spend some time preparing the independent study based syllabus for others as well as it being a good solid effort for me to learn more rapidly with an extreme degree of focus. 

What did ChatGPT 4.0 model come up with?

An independent study applied AI syllabus will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to develop practical AI solutions. Below is a suggested 14-week syllabus to guide you through the essential topics and resources.

  • Week 1: Introduction to AI and Machine Learning
    • History of AI
    • Overview of machine learning, deep learning, and reinforcement learning
    • Common machine learning algorithms
  • Week 2: Python for AI and Machine Learning
    • Basic Python programming
    • NumPy, pandas, and matplotlib
    • Setting up a Python environment for machine learning
  • Week 3: Data Preprocessing and Exploration
    • Data cleaning and transformation
    • Handling missing data and outliers
    • Feature engineering and selection
  • Week 4: Supervised Learning – Regression
    • Linear regression
    • Ridge and Lasso regression
    • Decision trees and random forests for regression
  • Week 5: Supervised Learning – Classification
    • Logistic regression
    • k-Nearest Neighbors (k-NN)
    • Support vector machines (SVM)
  • Week 6: Unsupervised Learning
    • k-Means clustering
    • Hierarchical clustering
    • Principal component analysis (PCA)
  • Week 7: Neural Networks and Deep Learning
    • Introduction to neural networks
    • Activation functions and backpropagation
    • Convolutional neural networks (CNNs)
  • Week 8: Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) and Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM)
    • Introduction to RNNs and LSTMs
    • Time series forecasting
    • Natural language processing (NLP) applications
  • Week 9: Reinforcement Learning
    • Introduction to reinforcement learning
    • Q-learning and Deep Q-Networks (DQNs)
    • Policy gradients and actor-critic methods
  • Week 10: Transfer Learning and Pretrained Models
    • Introduction to transfer learning
    • Fine-tuning pretrained models
    • Pretrained models for NLP and computer vision
  • Week 11: Natural Language Processing
    • Word embeddings and Word2Vec
    • Text classification and sentiment analysis
    • Text summarization and translation
  • Week 12: Computer Vision
    • Object detection and recognition
    • Semantic segmentation
    • Image-to-image translation
  • Week 13: Generative Models
    • Introduction to generative models
    • Variational autoencoders (VAEs)
    • Generative adversarial networks (GANs)
  • Week 14: Ethics and AI Deployment
    • Ethical considerations in AI
    • Bias and fairness in machine learning
    • Deploying AI models

Key resources to study these topics include popular textbooks, online courses, blogs, and tutorials. Some notable resources include:

  1. “Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn, Keras, and TensorFlow” by Aurélien Géron
  2. “Deep Learning” by Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio, and Aaron Courville
  3. “Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction” by Richard S. Sutton and Andrew G. Barto
  4. Online courses like Coursera’s “Machine Learning” by Andrew Ng or fast.ai’s “Practical Deep Learning for Coders”
  5. AI research papers from sources like arXiv.org, NeurIPS, and ICML
  6. By following this syllabus, you will gain a solid foundation in applied AI and be well-equipped to pursue more advanced topics or specific application domains.


[1] https://aima.cs.berkeley.edu/adoptions.html 

[2] https://aima.cs.berkeley.edu/Bibliography.pdf 

[3] https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C6&q=An+independent+study+based+introduction+to+machine+learning+syllabus+for+2022&btnG= 

What’s next for The Lindahl Letter? 

  • Week 122: Will AI be a platform or a service?
  • Week 123: Considering open source AI
  • Week 124: Profiling OpenAI 
  • Week 125: Profiling Hugging Face (open and collaborative machine learning)
  • Week 126: Profiling Deep Mind

If you enjoyed this content, then please take a moment and share it with a friend. If you are new to The Lindahl Letter, then please consider subscribing. New editions arrive every Friday. Thank you and enjoy the year ahead.

Considering some application building

I sat down to do a little bit of writing before going to sleep tonight. The next twenty minutes are going to be devoted to putting a few thoughts down in writing. For better or worse that is the plan at the moment. You could just as easily ask ChatGPT to produce 1,000 words of nonsense, but that would be less novel than my musing probably will end up being. It would be a good idea to  spend some time with the new models trying to produce some code. It is entirely possible that the newer code generating models would allow me to work out a couple of the things that had drawn my interest twenty years ago. Some of that would be as easy as turning the pseudo code into actual code and seeing what happens. Maybe I’ll even turn some of that into some Android applications that people could download.

So much stored data

This weekend I spent a few minutes trying to figure out what to do with all the old data that resides on my computer. Most of it is backed up to the cloud. I need to spend some time just deleting blocks of data that are no longer required. I’m probably not the only person in the boat of having stored so much data that is probably not needed or useful. At this point in time, I imagine that so much just unwieldy data has been stored and forgotten by a multitude of people. It’s probably a mind boggling number to consider how many photographs that Google has backed up over the years on devices all over the world.

Strictly speaking this is not a captain’s log

Apparently, during the course of sailing around the ocean it is a good practice to keep a captain’s log for navigation and maintenance reasons. It’s entirely possible that I have been keeping a functional journal about my writing practices for both navigation and maintenance reasons. None of my journaling has been about the ocean in any way shape or form. I don’t really even use analogies or metaphors that are sea inspired. I guess that covers that and we are ready to move on to something else here during this writing session. 

My PSA of the day is to give blood if you are able to complete a donation. I try to give blood several times a year. They don’t have a method to make synthetic blood at this time. Donations are an important part of keeping the system running. 

Interesting observation after a few days of flipping my tweets to private mode… it turns out that setting has not really changed my Twitter application usage. A few people won’t get my responses, but that is fine in the long run. We could follow each other if some type of actual communication on Twitter was warranted. 

My recent writing efforts have involved sitting down with the Pixelbook Go on a more regular basis and just writing whatever comes to mind at the time. That is not always a recipe to yield the productive generation of prose, but it has been good in terms of general writing productivity. Right now I’m watching the Dallas Stars and Seattle Kraken play hockey and just typing away.