Tag Archives: bloomberg

If you want to get a better understanding of generative AI, it pays to see what the New York Times and Bloomberg are up to

One of the problems with generative AI like ChatGPT is it makes you think it is magical. You type in some prompt, it comes back with a complex answer, the next thing you know, you are thinking this thing is smarter than a human. It doesn’t help that there is so much hype surrounding the technology. All of this can make you think it’s supernatural.

Well, it isn’t. It’s simply good IT. It consists of data, hardware and software, just like any other IT. To get a better appreciation of the ordinary nature of that, it helps to look at two recent examples: the AI the New York Times recently built and the AI Bloomberg just built.

It’s best to start with what the Times built. They used software called nanoGPT (karpathy/nanoGPT: The simplest, fastest repository for training/finetuning medium-sized GPTs) and took the works of Jane Austen, Shakespeare and more to build a chatGPT-like program on their laptops. Then they walked through the steps of getting it working, here: Let Us Show You How GPT Works — Using Jane Austen – The New York Times. It works pretty well after much much training. Obviously it is not as massive or sophisticated as ChatGPT, but after reading the article, you will have a better sense of how this technology works, and why it’s impressive but not magical.

After that, I recommend reading more about BloombergGPT. Their press release states:

Bloomberg today released a research paper detailing the development of BloombergGPT, a new large-scale generative artificial intelligence (AI) model. This large language model (LLM) has been specifically trained on a wide range of financial data to support a diverse set of natural language processing (NLP) tasks within the financial industry.

You can find a link to that research paper, here:  BloombergGPT: A Large Language Model for Finance. What I liked about that paper is it walks through the approach they took, the data they used, and the technology deployed to make their model. Even better, they talk about how it is currently succeeding and what some of the limits of it are.

I’m happy that both these companies have been good about sharing what they are doing with this technology. I might even try and use an old laptop to build my own AI. I mean who wouldn’t benefit from tapping into the genius of Shakespeare or Jane Austen.

For more on what Bloomberg is doing, see this: Bloomberg plans to integrate GPT-style A.I. into its terminal



On supply chains, using one tiny widget’s journey through North America

You may have a view of trade as being straightforward: one country either buys or sells a product to another country. However as this older piece shows, it’s never quite that simple: One Tiny Widget’s Dizzying Journey Through the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

That’s not to say all products are like that. As we learned during the pandemic, all it takes is for a shutdown of one country and suddenly we can’t get a product. But for many products, the journey isn’t from A to B. It’s from A to B to …Z? It’s complex. And if there is a disruption along the way, disaster can occur.

One thing for sure, given how the pandemic disrupted supply chains, I expect many companies are countries are going to be revisiting how they get products and how they can better protect themselves against not being able to get it in times of emergency.

Instragram = advertising

Each social media has an implicit purpose. The stronger ones have a purpose that is clear. Facebook: stay connected to family and friends; LinkedIn: connect with employees/employers. For Instagram, the purpose is advertising. For most people, it is advertising your life. For certain people, with many many followers, it is advertising products.

To get a sense of how much Instagram is about advertising, see this: Confessions of an Instagram Influencer – Bloomberg. While many of us are amateurs at advertising on Instagram, this article will show you how the pros go about it.

I have often looked at people Instagram proposes I follow and I have wondered why people take the photos they do. This article helps explain that. It also helps one understand why some people’s photos look nothing like yours.

ICYMI: What is code, by Paul Ford

Happy Monday! Are you affected by code at work? Of course you are! Do you code at work yourself? Very likely, even if it is to use formulae in a spreadsheet program like Excel (which, years ago, would have required been considered coding). However code affects you, I highly recommend you read this:
Code. It’s a very rich piece on code (i.e. software) and what it means to you (and everyone else).

Among other things, it is brilliantly designed. Lots of hard work went into this piece. If you can’t get started yet this week at work, read this as a research project.

Reasons to be optimistic (and pessimistic) about climate change

As this article shows, The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever – Bloomberg Businessthere are a number of reasons to be optimistic about the way we use energy. Improvements in solar power and energy efficiency are just two reasons to be optimistic.

However, we are still emitting too much CO2 and that is going to cause the temperature of the earth to rise far too high, according to experts. In the long run, we may be ok, but in the next century there are going to be significant consequences.

Read the piece and get a sense of where things are heading.