More AI experiments

I love exploring AI.

A FEW WAYS I USE AI

I explored Midjourney and image-creation for a while, although I don’t seem drawn to it these days, perhaps because I am more familiar with the limitations. What comes out of it is a kind of average of what it has been trained on, which is to be expected and fine, and it also makes it a bit boring for me in the long run.

Some weeks ago, I created an AI chatbot for this website, trained on the articles posted here. It came up with decent results but the results were not quite interesting enough to make it public, and also not of high enough quality to make it useful. I used Botpress to create it, the AI is from ChatGPT 4o, and it took just minutes to set it up. See below for some chatbot examples.

These days, I use AI (ChatGPT 4o) to create a plant database for Barichara and for the web interface. I use it to fill in the preliminary data (in Google Sheets), which will be checked and updated by humans later. I use it for programming the web interface (Google Scripts App). And I use it for ideas. It’s like working with a decent to good assistant. I find I need to be quite systematic and pedagogical in how I interact with it and give it clear instructions and good examples, and then it does a good job.

In a few days, I filled in the database for around 140 plants and dozens of fields for each. (Origin, natural and cultural history, drought resistance, sun requirement, nutritional value, time to maturity, agroforestry layer, succession stage, and much more.) It would have taken weeks and likely months to do it normally.

The programming is generally easier with the help of ChatGPT, although I need to supervise closely. (It sometimes forgets parts of the existing code, especially if I have just asked it a question related to something else. If the dialog is too long, it seems to make more mistakes and I need to start afresh in a new dialog. It sometimes changes things it shouldn’t change and re-inserts earlier mistakes. The code sometimes contains syntax errors. It is often single-tracked when it comes to troubleshooting, so I need to nudge it on a different track. And so on.)

I also use ChatGPT 4o in daily life anytime I have a question about something: What are some good strength training exercises using only body weight? What’s the difference between permaculture and syntropic agroforestry? What are the stages of ecological succession? How do you feed a butterfly? (That has lost its wing.) If it’s important that I have accurate info, I always check it with reliable sources.

HOW I SEE AI

How do I see AI? I understand more or less how they work (I have a background in programming and have studied neural networks and machine learning on my own and at university), so I don’t have any illusion of AI being “intelligent” and even less that it’s somehow “conscious”.

I suspect that most of the AI skepticism comes from a lack of understanding of how it works, and the gap is filled in with imagination fueled by the term “artificial intelligence” and sci-fi movies. In reality, it’s based on statistics. It’s predictive text, image creation, programming, music-making, and so on.

The term “artificial intelligence” is sexy and good marketing, but it’s not accurate.

It’s a tool like any other. It will reduce the need for some jobs (especially some semi-creative and less skilled jobs), and it will create a lot of other jobs. It will be used like any other tool. It’s an assistance.

A FEW MYSTERY OF EXISTENCE CHATBOT RESPONSES

I thought I would include a few responses from the Mystery of Existence AI chatbot I created, trained on the articles here. I have included my own comments in italics after each of the chatbot responses.

What’s the best music? 

According to one perspective, all music is equally spiritual, as all phenomena – including music – is seen as God, Buddha Mind, Existence expressing itself. This view suggests that Bach, Sting, an Indian chant, heavy metal, and even a song made up by a five-year-old are all complete and perfect manifestations of God in the present

However, the website also lists specific music preferences, which include:

  • Carlos Nakai: Carry the Gift, Island of Bows, Earth Spirit, Journeys, Feathers Stone & Light, Canyon Trilogy, Sanctuary
  • Arvo Part: Te Deum, Passio, Arbos, Miserere, Alina, Orient & Occident
  • Meredith Monk: Facing North, Book of Days, Mercy, Do You Be, Turtle Dreams, Dolmen Music
  • Philip Glass: Akhnaten, Satyagraha, Symphony no. 2, Glassworks, Dracula
  • Steve Reich: Different Trains, Music for 18 Musicians
  • John Adams: Shaker Loops
  • Sting: Nothing Like the Sun, Ten Summoner’s Tales, Mercury Falling, Brand New Day
  • Kate Bush: Aerial, Hounds of Love, The Sensual World
  • Laurie Anderson: Big Science, Home of the Brave
  • Peter Gabriel: Passion – Music for the Last Temptation of Christ

These preferences suggest a variety of music that the website considers good, ranging from new age and ambient to contemporary and classical. 

Notes: The “all music is equal” introduction is quite beautiful and how I see it. The music suggestions come from an old page on this site, and it’s only a small part of a much longer list with more varied and international music.

What’s the best color? 

My nature is the absence of color that allows color, forms itself into color, and is within any experience of color.

Notes: Yes, accurate enough.

How can I explore my relationship with the universe? 

To explore your relationship with the universe, you have several options:

  1. Find healing for any emotional issues that create a sense of separation and lack of connection. Take the time to investigate the views and beliefs that contribute to this sense of separation, whether it’s with yourself, others, nature, or the universe as a whole.
  2. Shift your perspective on your relationship with nature and the universe. Recognize that you are an integral part of the seamless living planet. You are the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings of the universe.
  3. Engage in practices that allow you to experience yourself as the capacity for the world. Consider trying out the headless experiments, the Big Mind process, or Atma Vichara. These practices can help you see that the mystery of existence is what everything arises from and as.
  4. Allow attachments to thoughts to unravel. Inquiry processes like Byron Katie’s can facilitate this process. By questioning your thoughts, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationship with the universe.
  5. Explore systems views and integral maps to gain a comprehensive understanding of the wholeness of Earth and the universe.
  6. Connect with like-minded individuals who share your interest in deepening their relationship with the universe. Learning from others and engaging in meaningful conversations can be incredibly enriching.
  7. Recognize that as humans, we are the awareness organs for the Earth and the Universe. Through our awareness, the Earth and the Universe become more aware of themselves.
  8. Embrace ecospirituality as a way to see the universe awakening into awareness of itself through its awareness organs, including human beings.
  9. Take small actions that reflect your understanding of being part of a larger ecological system. Simple acts like recycling, using dishwater for plants, and limiting consumption can make a difference.

These approaches can help you deepen your understanding and experience of your relationship with the universe.

Notes: Yes, good pointers in general. A little off in the details, but that’s OK.

What’s a good quote? 

“If you embrace what lies within you, it has the power to save you. But if you neglect what lies within you, it has the potential to destroy you.” – Gospel of Thomas, verse 70. This profound quote suggests that recognizing and expressing our inner potential, truths, and qualities can lead to salvation or a deep sense of fulfillment. On the other hand, suppressing or disregarding these inner aspects can result in destruction or a profound sense of loss. It serves as a reminder to cultivate self-awareness and authenticity, emphasizing that personal growth and well-being are closely tied to embracing our true selves.

Notes: Yes, generally accurate although I would phrase it slightly differently.

How can I explore dreams? 

To delve into the realm of dreams, you have a few options:

  1. Reflect on what the dream symbolizes in your waking life.
  2. View each element of the dream as a reflection of different aspects of yourself.
  3. Explore any intriguing insights or dynamics that the dream presents.
  4. Tune into your emotions and associations upon waking to gain a deeper understanding of the dream.
  5. Engage in a dialogue with the elements or beings in the dream, or even try assuming their roles to uncover new perspectives.
  6. Capture the essence of the dream in a simple sentence that serves as a reminder, and observe how incorporating it into your daily life feels.
  7. Approach the exploration of the dream through your senses and emotions, even though it will ultimately be expressed in words.

Notes: Again, generally good pointers, although I would phrase it slightly differently.

What is freedom? 

Freedom can be understood in various ways:

  1. It is the sense of freedom that arises when one realizes oneself as formless awareness, separate from the world of phenomena. This awareness allows us to choose how we relate to different situations.
  2. Freedom is also found in our ability to allow experiences to arise as they are, including our own reactions to these experiences.
  3. There is freedom from certain types of identifications, or at least from blindly believing in them.
  4. Freedom can be experienced as being the capacity for the world, for anything that arises in the present moment.
  5. It involves the freedom to fully and consciously allow what is already allowed, which is the experience that is already here.
  6. Freedom is also related to recognizing the nature and limitations of thoughts, which allows for a more fluid relationship with them.
  7. However, as human beings, we also encounter restrictions and limitations that coexist with our sense of freedom.

In this context, freedom is both the inherent capacity to experience and allow all that arises, as well as the recognition of our nature beyond the content of experience. It is also the understanding that while there is a sense of choice and fluidity, there are also inherent limitations within the human experience.

Notes: I think this is taken from one or two articles I wrote on the subject, and it’s generally OK but I would phrase it slightly differently.

The image is created by me and Midjourney

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