Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 27th September 2023

Google was accidentally leaking its Bard AI chats into public search results. I’m quoted in this piece about yesterday’s Bard privacy bug: it turned out the share URL and “Let anyone with the link see what you’ve selected” feature wasn’t correctly setting a noindex parameter, and so some shared conversations were being swept up by the Google search crawlers. Thankfully this was a mistake, not a deliberate design decision, and it should be fixed by now. # 7:35 pm

Finding Bathroom Faucets with Embeddings. Absolutely the coolest thing I’ve seen someone build on top of my LLM tool so far: Drew Breunig is renovating a bathroom and needed a way to filter through literally thousands of options for facet taps. He scraped 20,000 images of fixtures from a plumbing supply site and used LLM to embed every one of them via CLIP... and now he can ask for “faucets that look like this one”, or even run searches for faucets that match “Gawdy” or “Bond Villain” or “Nintendo 64”. Live demo included! # 6:18 pm

Optimizing for Taste. David Cramer’s detailed explanation as to why his company Sentry mostly avoids A/B testing. David wrote this as an internal blog post originally, but is now sharing it with the world. I found myself nodding along vigorously as I read this—lots of astute observations here.

I particularly appreciated his closing note: “The strength of making a decision is making it. You can always make a new one later. Choose the obvious path forward, and if you don’t see one, find someone who does.” # 4:34 am

The profusion of dubious A.I.-generated content resembles the badly made stockings of the nineteenth century. At the time of the Luddites, many hoped the subpar products would prove unacceptable to consumers or to the government. Instead, social norms adjusted.

Kyle Chayka # 12:26 am

2023 » September