Simon Willison’s Weblog


Series: How I use LLMs and ChatGPT

Posts about ways I'm using LLM tools such as ChatGPT in my own work.

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A Datasette tutorial written by GPT-3

I’ve been playing around with OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model playground for a few months now. It’s a fascinating piece of software. You can sign up here—apparently there’s no longer a waiting list.

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How to use the GPT-3 language model

I ran a Twitter poll the other day asking if people had tried GPT-3 and why or why not. The winning option, by quite a long way, was “No, I don’t know how to”. So here’s how to try it out, for free, without needing to write any code.

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Using GPT-3 to explain how code works

One of my favourite uses for the GPT-3 AI language model is generating explanations of how code works. It’s shockingly effective at this: its training set clearly include a vast amount of source code.

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AI assisted learning: Learning Rust with ChatGPT, Copilot and Advent of Code

I’m using this year’s Advent of Code to learn Rust—with the assistance of GitHub Copilot and OpenAI’s new ChatGPT.

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Over-engineering Secret Santa with Python cryptography and Datasette

We’re doing a family Secret Santa this year, and we needed a way to randomly assign people to each other without anyone knowing who was assigned to who.

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I built a ChatGPT plugin to answer questions about data hosted in Datasette

Yesterday OpenAI announced support for ChatGPT plugins. It’s now possible to teach ChatGPT how to make calls out to external APIs and use the responses to help generate further answers in the current conversation.

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AI-enhanced development makes me more ambitious with my projects

The thing I’m most excited about in our weird new AI-enhanced reality is the way it allows me to be more ambitious with my projects.

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Running Python micro-benchmarks using the ChatGPT Code Interpreter alpha

Today I wanted to understand the performance difference between two Python implementations of a mechanism to detect changes to a SQLite database schema. I rendered the difference between the two as this chart:

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How I make annotated presentations

Giving a talk is a lot of work. I go by a rule of thumb I learned from Damian Conway: a minimum of ten hours of preparation for every one hour spent on stage.

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Now add a walrus: Prompt engineering in DALL‑E 3

Last year I wrote about my initial experiments with DALL-E 2, OpenAI’s image generation model. I’ve been having an absurd amount of fun playing with its sequel, DALL-E 3 recently. Here are some notes, including a peek under the hood and some notes on the leaked system prompt.

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Exploring GPTs: ChatGPT in a trench coat?

The biggest announcement from last week’s OpenAI DevDay (and there were a LOT of announcements) was GPTs. Users of ChatGPT Plus can now create their own, custom GPT chat bots that other Plus subscribers can then talk to.

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Claude and ChatGPT for ad-hoc sidequests

Here is a short, illustrative example of one of the ways in which I use Claude and ChatGPT on a daily basis.

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Building and testing C extensions for SQLite with ChatGPT Code Interpreter

I wrote yesterday about how I used Claude and ChatGPT Code Interpreter for simple ad-hoc side quests—in that case, for converting a shapefile to GeoJSON and merging it into a single polygon.

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llm cmd undo last git commit—a new plugin for LLM

I just released a neat new plugin for my LLM command-line tool: llm-cmd. It lets you run a command to to generate a further terminal command, review and edit that command, then hit <enter> to execute it or <ctrl-c> to cancel.

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Running OCR against PDFs and images directly in your browser

I attended the Story Discovery At Scale data journalism conference at Stanford this week. One of the perennial hot topics at any journalism conference concerns data extraction: how can we best get data out of PDFs and images?

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Building files-to-prompt entirely using Claude 3 Opus

files-to-prompt is a new tool I built to help me pipe several files at once into prompts to LLMs such as Claude and GPT-4.

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