Simon Willison’s Weblog


Tuesday, 31st October 2023

Microsoft announces new Copilot Copyright Commitment for customers. Part of an interesting trend where some AI vendors are reassuring their paying customers by promising legal support in the face of future legal threats:

“As customers ask whether they can use Microsoft’s Copilot services and the output they generate without worrying about copyright claims, we are providing a straightforward answer: yes, you can, and if you are challenged on copyright grounds, we will assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved.”

# 3:35 pm / microsoft, ai

I’m Sorry I Bit You During My Job Interview. The way this 2011 McSweeney’s piece by Tom O’Donnell escalates is delightful.

# 4:21 pm / funny

Our search for the best OCR tool in 2023, and what we found. DocumentCloud’s Sanjin Ibrahimovic reviews the best options for OCR. Tesseract scores highly for easily machine readable text, newcomer docTR is great for ease of use but still not great at handwriting. Amazon Textract is great for everything except non-Latin languages, Google Cloud Vision is great at pretty much everything except for ease-of-use. Azure AI Document Intelligence sounds worth considering as well.

# 7:21 pm / documentcloud, ocr

My User Experience Porting Off (via) PyOxidizer maintainer Gregory Szorc provides a detailed account of his experience trying to figure out how to switch from to pyproject.toml for his zstandard Python package.

This kind of detailed usability feedback is incredibly valuable for project maintainers, especially when the user encountered this many different frustrations along the way. It’s like the written version of a detailed usability testing session.

# 7:57 pm / packaging, python, usability

2023 » October