Simon Willison’s Weblog


377 items tagged “projects”


AI counter app from my PyCon US keynote. In my keynote at PyCon US this morning I ran a counter at the top of my screen that automatically incremented every time I said the words "AI" or "artificial intelligence", using vosk, pyaudio and Tkinter. I wrote it in a few minutes with the help of GPT-4o - here's the code I ran as a GitHub repository.

I'll publish full detailed notes from my talk once the video is available on YouTube. # 18th May 2024, 3:49 pm

llm-gemini 0.1a4. A new release of my llm-gemini plugin adding support for the Gemini 1.5 Flash model that was revealed this morning at Google I/O.

I'm excited about this new model because of its low price. Flash is $0.35 per 1 million tokens for prompts up to 128K token and $0.70 per 1 million tokens for longer prompts - up to a million tokens now and potentially two million at some point in the future. That's 1/10th of the price of Gemini Pro 1.5, cheaper than GPT 3.5 ($0.50/million) and only a little more expensive than Claude 3 Haiku ($0.25/million). # 14th May 2024, 8:32 pm

LLM 0.14, with support for GPT-4o. It's been a while since the last LLM release. This one adds support for OpenAI's new model:

llm -m gpt-4o "fascinate me"

Also a new llm logs -r (or --response) option for getting back just the response from your last prompt, without wrapping it in Markdown that includes the prompt.

Plus nine new plugins since 0.13! # 13th May 2024, 9 pm

Ham radio general exam question pool as JSON. I scraped a pass of my Ham radio general exam this morning. One of the tools I used to help me pass was a Datasette instance with all 429 questions from the official question pool. I've published that raw data as JSON on GitHub, which I converted from the official question pool document using an Observable notebook.

Relevant TIL: How I studied for my Ham radio general exam. # 11th May 2024, 7:16 pm

Weeknotes: more datasette-secrets, plus a mystery video project

I introduced datasette-secrets two weeks ago. The core idea is to provide a way for end-users to store secrets such as API keys in Datasette, allowing other plugins to access them.

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Blogmarks that use markdown. I needed to attach a correction to an older blogmark (my 20-year old name for short-form links with commentary on my blog) today - but the commentary field has always been text, not HTML, so I didn't have a way to add the necessary link.

This motivated me to finally add optional Markdown support for blogmarks to my blog's custom Django CMS. I then went through and added inline code markup to a bunch of different older posts, and built this Django SQL Dashboard to keep track of which posts I had updated. # 25th April 2024, 4:34 am

Weeknotes: Llama 3, AI for Data Journalism, llm-evals and datasette-secrets

Llama 3 landed on Thursday. I ended up updating a whole bunch of different plugins to work with it, described in Options for accessing Llama 3 from the terminal using LLM.

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Options for accessing Llama 3 from the terminal using LLM

Llama 3 was released on Thursday. Early indications are that it’s now the best available openly licensed model—Llama 3 70b Instruct has taken joint 5th place on the LMSYS arena leaderboard, behind only Claude 3 Opus and some GPT-4s and sharing 5th place with Gemini Pro and Claude 3 Sonnet. But unlike those other models Llama 3 70b is weights available and can even be run on a (high end) laptop!

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llm-gpt4all. New release of my LLM plugin which builds on Nomic's excellent gpt4all Python library. I've upgraded to their latest version which adds support for Llama 3 8B Instruct, so after a 4.4GB model download this works:

llm -m Meta-Llama-3-8B-Instruct "say hi in Spanish" # 20th April 2024, 5:58 pm

llm-reka. My new plugin for running LLM prompts against the Reka family of API hosted LLM models: reka-core ($10 per million input), reka-flash (80c per million) and reka-edge (40c per million).

All three of those models are trained from scratch by a team that includes several Google Brain alumni.

Reka Core is their most powerful model, released on Monday 15th April and claiming benchmark scores competitive with GPT-4 and Claude 3 Opus. # 18th April 2024, 3:17 am

AI for Data Journalism: demonstrating what we can do with this stuff right now

I gave a talk last month at the Story Discovery at Scale data journalism conference hosted at Stanford by Big Local News. My brief was to go deep into the things we can use Large Language Models for right now, illustrated by a flurry of demos to help provide starting points for further conversations at the conference.

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Three major LLM releases in 24 hours (plus weeknotes)

I’m a bit behind on my weeknotes, so there’s a lot to cover here. But first... a review of the last 24 hours of Large Language Model news. All times are in US Pacific on April 9th 2024.

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Extracting data from unstructured text and images with Datasette and GPT-4 Turbo. Datasette Extract is a new Datasette plugin that uses GPT-4 Turbo (released to general availability today) and GPT-4 Vision to extract structured data from unstructured text and images.

I put together a video demo of the plugin in action today, and posted it to the Datasette Cloud blog along with screenshots and a tutorial describing how to use it. # 9th April 2024, 11:03 pm

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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datasette-import. A new plugin for importing data into Datasette. This is a replacement for datasette-paste, duplicating and extending its functionality. datasette-paste had grown beyond just dealing with pasted CSV/TSV/JSON data—it handles file uploads as well now—which inspired the new name. # 6th April 2024, 10:40 pm

s3-credentials 0.16. I spent entirely too long this evening trying to figure out why files in my new supposedly public S3 bucket were unavailable to view. It turns out these days you need to set a PublicAccessBlockConfiguration of {"BlockPublicAcls": false, "IgnorePublicAcls": false, "BlockPublicPolicy": false, "RestrictPublicBuckets": false}.

The s3-credentials --create-bucket --public option now does that for you. I also added a s3-credentials debug-bucket name-of-bucket command to help figure out why a bucket isn't working as expected. # 5th April 2024, 5:35 am

llm-command-r. Cohere released Command R Plus today—an open weights (non commercial/research only) 104 billion parameter LLM, a big step up from their previous 35 billion Command R model.

Both models are fine-tuned for both tool use and RAG. The commercial API has features to expose this functionality, including a web-search connector which lets the model run web searches as part of answering the prompt and return documents and citations as part of the JSON response.

I released a new plugin for my LLM command line tool this morning adding support for the Command R models.

In addition to the two models it also adds a custom command for running prompts with web search enabled and listing the referenced documents. # 4th April 2024, 5:38 pm

llm-nomic-api-embed. My new plugin for LLM which adds API access to the Nomic series of embedding models. Nomic models can be run locally too, which makes them a great long-term commitment as there’s no risk of the models being retired in a way that damages the value of your previously calculated embedding vectors. # 31st March 2024, 3:17 pm

textract-cli. This is my other OCR project from yesterday: I built the thinnest possible CLI wrapper around Amazon Textract, out of frustration at how hard that tool is to use on an ad-hoc basis.

It only works with JPEGs and PNGs (not PDFs) up to 5MB in size, reflecting limitations in Textract’s synchronous API: it can handle PDFs amazingly well but you have to upload them to an S3 bucket yet and I decided to keep the scope tight for the first version of this tool.

Assuming you’ve configured AWS credentials already, this is all you need to know:

pipx install textract-cli
textract-cli image.jpeg > output.txt # 30th March 2024, 7:01 pm

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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Wrap text at specified width. New Observable notebook. I built this with the help of Claude 3 Opus—it’s a text wrapping tool which lets you set the width and also lets you optionally add a four space indent.

The four space indent is handy for posting on forums such as Hacker News that treat a four space indent as a code block. # 28th March 2024, 3:36 am

llm-gemini 0.1a1. I upgraded my llm-gemini plugin to add support for the new Google Gemini Pro 1.5 model, which is beginning to roll out in early access.

The 1.5 model supports 1,048,576 input tokens and generates up to 8,192 output tokens—a big step up from Gemini 1.0 Pro which handled 30,720 and 2,048 respectively.

The big missing feature from my LLM tool at the moment is image input—a fantastic way to take advantage of that huge context window. I have a branch for this which I really need to get into a useful state. # 28th March 2024, 3:32 am

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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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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GitHub Public repo history tool (via) I built this Observable Notebook to run queries against the GH Archive (via ClickHouse) to try to answer questions about repository history—in particular, were they ever made public as opposed to private in the past.

It works by combining together PublicEvent event (moments when a private repo was made public) with the most recent PushEvent event for each of a user’s repositories. # 20th March 2024, 9:56 pm

Weeknotes: the aftermath of NICAR

NICAR was fantastic this year. Alex and I ran a successful workshop on Datasette and Datasette Cloud, and I gave a lightning talk demonstrating two new GPT-4 powered Datasette plugins—datasette-enrichments-gpt and datasette-extract. I need to write more about the latter one: it enables populating tables from unstructured content (using a variant of this technique) and it’s really effective. I got it working just in time for the conference.

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llm-claude-3 0.3. Anthropic released Claude 3 Haiku today, their least expensive model: $0.25/million tokens of input, $1.25/million of output (GPT-3.5 Turbo is $0.50/$1.50). Unlike GPT-3.5 Haiku also supports image inputs.

I just released a minor update to my llm-claude-3 LLM plugin adding support for the new model. # 13th March 2024, 9:18 pm

datasette/studio. I’m trying a new way to make Datasette available for small personal data manipulation projects, using GitHub Codespaces.

This repository is designed to be opened directly in Codespaces—detailed instructions in the README.

When the container starts it installs the datasette-studio family of plugins—including CSV upload, some enrichments and a few other useful feature—then starts the server running and provides a big green button to click to access the server via GitHub’s port forwarding mechanism. # 10th March 2024, 3:03 am

llm-claude-3. I built a new plugin for LLM—my command-line tool and Python library for interacting with Large Language Models—which adds support for the new Claude 3 models from Anthropic. # 4th March 2024, 6:46 pm

Datasette 1.0a12. Another alpha release, this time with a new query_actions() plugin hook, a new design for the table, database and query actions menus, a “does not contain” table filter and a fix for a minor bug with the JavaScript makeColumnActions() plugin mechanism. # 29th February 2024, 11:56 pm