Coding fun with ChatGPT
It’s not really coding, it’s more like being able to provide good instructions and description of the expected output.
It was fun to build the network graph with my bookmarks last week. But it was just that, fun. The chart isn’t useful for actual browsing. It could be, but that would mean more effort than I am willing to put into it.
Moreover, it doesn’t show the age of the bookmarks. So I filled it into “just for fun” and took out the idea of integrating the bookmarks manager into the site. In the old Web 2.0 there was a website called del.icio.us that was meant to manage your bookmarks and let others see what you were saving (you had an option to keep some links private). I like that idea.
So the other day I asked ChatGPT to build a “linkstream” page, where anyone can see bookmarks ordered by most recent, and filter by tags. Clicking a tag also highlights related tags so that you can see the bookmarks that intersect both of them.
The best part is that thanks to this all being open source I was able to make it a seamless part of my workflow.
The whole thing took about 2 to 3 hours to get right and it would have taken days without ChatGPT.
- ChatGPT, and probably other code co-pilots, can’t write a full app for you, but they can output pieces of it to later be integrated into the full scope.
- Someone with proper coding skills and training would have written parts of that coder faster and better.
- We’re not at the stage where AI can write your full code.
- We’re at the stage where the knowledge barrier to produce code has gone down a few pegs.
Google is in trouble
I’ve been following 404Media lately, an independent journalist-founded digital media company that does a good job of putting technology issues into plain English.
Recently, they published a piece about how Google Search is Getting Worse. The culprit is SEO spam.
After reading this, I came across a LinkedIn post by Pedro Dias about the same issue. From what I found, it’s the same paper.
“Is Google Getting Worse? A Longitudinal Investigation of SEO Spam in Search Engines” will be published here https://github.com/webis-de/ecir24-seo-spam-in-search-engines as part of the 46th European Conference on Information Retrieval.
The problem is not just SEO Spam
Pedro posted on X and there were some good points picked up by his network. Some people mentioned the slow moderation of quality content, and others highlighted that Google may have underestimated the impact of AI-generated content.
He went on to add an alert to the fact that we never see the full picture when it comes to search results.
SEO is not just about content
There are other signals that Google uses to determine a site’s ranking. Some have to do with code, others relate to the User Experience and the performance when serving pages to mobile users. This is stated in the Google Lighthouse Report Tool which points us to the documentation for Core Web Vitals.
And content is not just about text. The information architecture we apply, the ease of scanning and reading the page, the design, and the images all play a role.
Not everyone can identify spam or AI content
I once quoted “The Onion” thinking it was a real news website. Now that my skill in assessing what I am reading is better, I’m still sure it would be difficult or even impossible to identify AI-generated content.
Others without training in Public Relations are in even more trouble. I’m curious to see what paths they will find to identify good content. The pessimistic view is that they will settle for the quickest answer.
Instagram doesn’t have it easy either
Many content creators have complained about the moderation rules and how they seem biased. Some illustrations showing naked bodies or even sex acts post freely while others get banned; Sex workers and models tip-toe the border; Accounts with high numbers of followers seem treated differently.
Moderate and Curate
The underlying theme lately seems to be content moderation and curation. It’s what we saw with Substack not dealing with hate speech, it’s what is happening with Google regarding SEO spam and AI-generated content. And adding to this list, PornHub is making their verification policy more strict.
The difference between PornHub and Substack is big. Substack hinted at troubles in keeping a profit when they offered users the option to invest in the company.
PornHub is surely in a much more stable financial situation, and their move was motivated, at least in part, by Mastercard and Visa.
And with the production of content rising so fast we will need better ways to filter it out, and this is an opportunity for content curators more than content producers.
Your AI-generated Fortune Cookie this week
"Amidst the vast digital sea, wisdom lies not in amassing waves of content, but in carefully selecting streams that enrich and enlighten your journey."
Source: 4, ChatGPT
Your AI tools for this week
https://www.photoroom.com/, remove background and create product pictures.
https://designs.ai/, AI design tool for logos, videos, and mockups.
https://www.storyd.ai/, a tool to create presentations.