Simon Willison’s Weblog

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Thursday, 2nd May 2024

AI is the most anthropomorphized technology in history, starting with the name—intelligence—and plenty of other words thrown around the field: learning, neural, vision, attention, bias, hallucination. These references only make sense to us because they are hallmarks of being human. [...]

There is something kind of pathological going on here. One of the most exciting advances in computer science ever achieved, with so many promising uses, and we can’t think beyond the most obvious, least useful application? What, because we want to see ourselves in this technology? [...]

Anthropomorphizing AI not only misleads, but suggests we are on equal footing with, even subservient to, this technology, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Zach Seward # 7:44 pm

Printing music with CSS Grid (via) Stephen Bond demonstrates some ingenious tricks for creating surprisingly usable sheet music notation using clever application of CSS grids.

It uses rules like .stave > [data-duration="0.75"] { grid-column-end: span 18; } to turn data- attributes for musical properties into positions on the rendered stave. # 2:28 pm

We can have a different web (via) Molly White’s beautifully optimistic manifesto for creating a better web. Read the whole thing, or even better, find some headphones and a dog and go for a walk listening to the audio version. # 2:41 am

I’m old enough to remember when the Internet wasn’t a group of five websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four.

Tom Eastman # 2:40 am