Simon Willison’s Weblog


5 items tagged “drewbreunig”


A Plea for Sober AI. Great piece by Drew Breunig: “Imagine having products THIS GOOD and still over-selling them.” # 19th May 2024, 12:47 am

A POI Database in One Line (via) Overture maps offer an extraordinarily useful freely licensed databases of POI (point of interest) listings, principally derived from partners such as Facebook and including restaurants, shops, museums and other locations from all around the world.

Their new "overturemaps" Python CLI utility makes it easy to quickly pull subsets of their data... but requires you to provide a bounding box to do so.

Drew Breunig came up with this delightful recipe for fetching data using LLM and gpt-3.5-turbo to fill in those bounding boxes:

overturemaps download --bbox=$(llm 'Give me a bounding box for Alameda, California expressed as only four numbers delineated by commas, with no spaces, longitude preceding latitude.') -f geojsonseq --type=place | geojson-to-sqlite alameda.db places - --nl --pk=id # 19th April 2024, 2:44 am

Buzzwords describe what you already intuitively know. At once they snap the ‘kaleidoscopic flux of impressions’ in your mind into form, crystallizing them instantly allowing you to both organize your knowledge and recognize you share it with other. This rapid, mental crystallization is what I call the buzzword whiplash. It gives buzzwords more importance and velocity, more power, than they objectively should have.

The potential energy stored within your mind is released by the buzzword whiplash. The buzzword is perceived as important partially because of what it describes but also because of the social and emotional weight felt when the buzzword recognizes your previously wordless experiences and demonstrates that those experiences are shared.

Drew Breunig # 5th March 2024, 7:56 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! # 27th September 2023, 6:18 pm

When trying to get your head around a new technology, it helps to focus on how it challenges existing categorizations, conventions, and rule sets. Internally, I’ve always called this exercise, “dealing with the platypus in the room.” Named after the category-defying animal; the duck-billed, venomous, semi-aquatic, egg-laying mammal. [...] AI is the biggest platypus I’ve ever seen. Nearly every notable quality of AI and LLMs challenges our conventions, categories, and rulesets.

Drew Breunig # 8th May 2023, 11:14 pm