Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 16th August 2023

Datasette Cloud, Datasette 1.0a3, llm-mlc and more

Datasette Cloud is now a significant step closer to general availability. The Datasette 1.03 alpha release is out, with a mostly finalized JSON format for 1.0. Plus new plugins for LLM and sqlite-utils and a flurry of things I’ve learned.

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Running my own LLM (via) Nelson Minar describes running LLMs on his own computer using my LLM tool and llm-gpt4all plugin, plus some notes on trying out some of the other plugins. # 10:42 pm

An Iowa school district is using ChatGPT to decide which books to ban. I’m quoted in this piece by Benj Edwards about an Iowa school district that responded to a law requiring books be removed from school libraries that include “descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act” by asking ChatGPT “Does [book] contain a description or depiction of a sex act?”.

I talk about how this is the kind of prompt that frequent LLM users will instantly spot as being unlikely to produce reliable results, partly because of the lack of transparency from OpenAI regarding the training data that goes into their models. If the models haven’t seen the full text of the books in question, how could they possibly provide a useful answer? # 10:33 pm

llama.cpp surprised many people (myself included) with how quickly you can run large LLMs on small computers [...] TLDR at batch_size=1 (i.e. just generating a single stream of prediction on your computer), the inference is super duper memory-bound. The on-chip compute units are twiddling their thumbs while sucking model weights through a straw from DRAM. [...] A100: 1935 GB/s memory bandwidth, 1248 TOPS. MacBook M2: 100 GB/s, 7 TFLOPS. The compute is ~200X but the memory bandwidth only ~20X. So the little M2 chip that could will only be about ~20X slower than a mighty A100.

Andrej Karpathy # 4:13 am

Introducing datasette-write-ui: a Datasette plugin for editing, inserting, and deleting rows. Alex García is working with me on Datasette Cloud for the next few months, graciously sponsored by Fly. We will be working in public, releasing open source code and documenting how to build a multi-tenant SaaS product using Fly Machines.

Alex’s first project is datasette-write-ui, a plugin that finally lets you directly edit data stored inside Datasette. Alex wrote about the plugin on our new Datasette Cloud blog. # 1:48 am

Welcome to Datasette Cloud. We launched the Datasette Cloud blog today! The SaaS hosted version of Datasette is ready to start onboarding more users—this post describes what it can do so far and hints at what’s planned to come next. # 1:46 am