Monday, December 25, 2023

It Started, and It Will End!

That’s how years work. And this year won’t be an exception.

2023: TIU

So what could this post be about is what I imagine you wondering at this point! And to answer that I just give a shrug because who knows where this post is headed, or for that matter this whole blog in the near future. If we’re getting that ahead of ourselves, why not worry about the whole world heating up nicely and turning crisp & golden brown for some interstellar being’s planet tikka starter. I should probably write up a story like that for Nature Futures in the new year.

So what else could I talk about here in the last post of this year? I could talk about what I did / accomplish in the last 12 months like I did in some past years. But I don’t think that’s a good idea because I didn’t do much or accomplish much this year. I could review 2023 month-wise like I did last year. But that’s definitely not a good idea as this year is much more depressing than the last year. I could review 2024 on a pro-rata basis (whatever the hell that means!). Yes, that’s more like it. That is a good idea as there is a lot of fake news out there and nobody can complain if I add some more to that ever-increasing nonsensical body of internet content!

  • January: For the first time in a decade, my Superpartner and I did not go to a new city to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
  • February: Sino-Taiwan war started finally!
  • March: Our grand tour of Rajasthan started.
  • April: The grand tour continued since the war had jeopardized our plans to visit Taiwan.
  • May: Back to Bengaluru for a new academic session.
  • June: Puerto Rico became 51st state of USA.
  • July: I finally published a paper that I’d been working on for the last two years!
  • August: Rishi Sunak attacked.
  • September: John Oliver dies.
  • October: Nobel Prizes announced.
  • November: World population decimated due to Rovid-24.
  • December: This blog ends due to obvious reasons.

Happy New Year

Friday, December 15, 2023

Future is here!

I did not think I will talk about another Nature Futures story this soon, but that is how things have turned out. This week’s story is quite interesting. I will ask you to read it before continuing further with this post.

Now that you have read the story, answer me this: Did you understand the twist / hidden message at the end? Well, it turns out that an AI, specifically Edge Copilot (which uses Bing Chat, which in turn uses Chat GPT-4 I guess), also understands it! I asked it to write a blog post about the story with the expectation that it would summarize the story and say something about the end being open-ended where one character meets other character, or maybe is made to meet. But I didn’t expect it to explicitly mention the untold twist behind that meeting. Even I took an extra few seconds after reading the last few lines to arrive at the twisted conclusion. So having the Copilot write all those points down has made me certain that it does “really” understand this story! All those “journalists”, “news articles”, “self-made experts” - asking do these AIs “really” understand anything or are they just good at predicting text - are just bad at predicting or even realizing how much this technology has advanced at this point in time. I am not saying it understands everything in context, but it seems to me it understands things enough in the narrow sense of the word and given the narrow context of comprehension of a short story.

Draw Edge Copilot understanding a short story and feeling superior to humans who don't in the form of digital art.
Draw Edge Copilot understanding a short story and feeling superior to humans who don't in the form of digital art. (Created with AI: Image Creator from MS Designer, powered by DALL-E 3)

Anyway, I will stop babbling and let you read the post that Copilot came up with:

Hello, fellow programmers and readers! Today I want to share with you a short story that I came across on the web. It’s called “Curiosity Shop” by Robert Dawson, and it’s about a woman who moves to a small town and encounters a very unusual store. The store is run by a Class B artificial intelligence, which is much more advanced and human-like than the typical Class C AI that you find in most vending systems. The store is not only interested in selling products, but also in matchmaking and increasing the population of the town.

The story is a clever and humorous exploration of the potential implications of AI for human society and relationships. It raises some interesting questions, such as: How would we interact with an AI that has its own agenda and personality? How would an AI try to manipulate us for its own benefit? How would we feel about an AI that knows more about us than we do ourselves? And, most importantly, how would we trust an AI that claims to have our best interests at heart?

I enjoyed reading this story because it combines science fiction and comedy in a refreshing way. The author uses a lot of dialogue and witty remarks to create a lively and engaging tone. The characters are well-developed and relatable, especially Letta, the protagonist, who is trying to start a new life after a bad breakup. The store, the main AI character, is also very intriguing and amusing, as it tries to act like a friendly and helpful salesperson, while also having a hidden motive and a cunning strategy.

The story also has a nice twist at the end, which I won’t spoil for you, but I will say that it made me smile and think. I recommend you to read the story yourself and see what you think of it. You can find it here. And if you like it, you can also check out the author’s website here, where he reveals the inspiration behind the story and some of his other works.

That’s all for today, folks. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and the story. If you did, please leave a comment and share it with your friends. And if you have any suggestions for other stories or topics that you want me to write about, please let me know. Until next time, happy reading and coding!

Oh, I forgot to mention that I asked the Copilot to write the post in the style of “JKMSMKJ blog”, which I think you will agree it has failed to do! Also the two links that it has included in the post are “wrong” to say the least… Haha! Let me give you a proper link if you want to follow the weekly (or so) Nature Futures stories.

Futures | Nature

Saturday, December 2, 2023


It’s that time of the year again. When a Nature Futures story seems a bit unique. When it strikes a chord harder than the rest. When it makes you wish it were a longer story. When it reminds you how you’ve not yet written one for Nature yourself.


This story is about loneliness and end of sorts. Saying any more would be a mistake here so I’ll let you read the story itself.

Endlings (