Holidays are Here Again

I’m about to head off for a few days holiday in Segovia in the north of Spain so I thought I’d leave you with some thoughts while I go off in search of culture…

Do you get as sick as I do of YouTube headlines which contain “… will change Everything”?

ChatGPT4 and other “Game Changers”

So ChatGPT 4 is going to change everything as it is now SO wonderful. No it’s not. I decided to give it a simple test:

“What is Peter Donald Scargill’s background?”

“Peter Donald Scargill, also known as Pete Scargill, is a British blogger, developer, and technology enthusiast with a background in electronics and computer science.”

“Scargill studied electrical and electronic engineering at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in computer science from the Open University.”

“Scargill has worked in a variety of technical roles throughout his career, including as a software engineer, technical author, and consultant. He has also been involved in several startups in the technology sector.”

“In recent years, Scargill has become well-known in the technology community for his blog, “Tech Scargill,” where he writes about topics related to home automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Node-RED. He is also a frequent contributor to online forums and social media groups focused on these topics, and has developed several open-source tools and Node-RED modules that are widely used by the community.”

All good except for (importantly) the second paragraph. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Hertforshire never mind earned a degree there. In fact, I left school at 16 to enter the family engineering business and never went back into full time education. I did do a spot of BTEC lecturing for a while in the Notheast of England and also attended an engineering course at a local college but that’s about it. This is well documented in my own personal blog and elswhere. So where did ChatGPT4 get this nonsense from?

Next… I developed Bigtimer which you’ll see in this blog.

“What is node-red-contrib-bigtimer?”

“Node-RED-contrib-bigtimer is a Node-RED node module that provides a graphical user interface for creating and configuring timers, schedules, and other time-based events in Node-RED. The node is designed to simplify the process of scheduling events by providing a user-friendly interface for configuring time-based triggers.

With the node, you can set up complex schedules, such as running a flow every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:00 AM, or triggering an event every hour between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM on weekdays. It also includes features such as countdown timers and time duration tracking, which can be useful for a variety of automation and monitoring tasks.

Overall, Node-RED-contrib-bigtimer is a useful tool for anyone working with Node-RED who needs to schedule time-based events in their flows.”

All good except that it DOESN’T provide a graphical user interface. Node-Red does that.

“Who is the developer of node-red-contrib-bigtimer?”

“The creator of the “node-red-contrib-bigtimer” node module is Peter Scargill. Peter Scargill is a blogger and developer based in the United Kingdom who has contributed to several open-source projects related to home automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Node-RED.”

Well, that’s not TOO far off – but I’ve not been “based in the UK” for some time – I’m actually based in Southern Spain. It turns out that as I write this, ChatGTP4 has a knowledge cut-off date of September 2021.

I previously asked ChatGPT3 to describe my village here in Spain. Depending on how I phrased the question I got “…the people in Galera are very friendly….” or “despite what you might think, the people in Galera are far from friendly”. In fact the first description is not far off – the second is utter rubbish – a bit like my supposed educational background.

And this was just a relatively harmless example of AI getting it wrong. As for “this changes everything” – I think from now on I’m just going to BIN any video that starts with that headline. It’s not so much the AI hype and generally sensational headline nonsense that worries me, it’s more that at my age I’m fully aware of how gullible much of the population are and how easily they will be taken in by anything in print – as if the tabloids in many western countries including the UK and USA aren’t bad enough.

As for the emerging MATTER protocol which I’m doing my best to learn about – don’t expect anything from CHATGPT on that…

“Matter is an important and emerging standard… Matter, formerly known as Project CHIP (Connected Home over IP), is backed by major technology companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and others…. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, several major companies had committed to implementing Matter in their products. For instance, Apple announced plans to integrate Matter into its HomeKit ecosystem, and Google pledged support for Matter in its Nest devices…”

Great but it’s mid-2023 – that info is hopelessly out of date…

That’s it for now..


5 thoughts on “Holidays are Here Again

  1. Not to mention that Hertfordshire Uiversity didn’t exist until 1992 🙂
    If it said Hatfield Polytechnic I might have fallen for it…

  2. It’s both incredible and alarming at the same time.

    Some kind of debug mode would be useful. You should be able to highlight that sentence and see the logic behind it. It’s so specific that it must come from somewhere.

  3. Agree with AI not being all mighty!

    When I googled my name it was right about me being a retro enthousiast and then completely messed up by confusing me with a Belgian show business figure with the same name. Just some web scraping and a nice enveloppe, but far from intelligent!

    1. It didn’t even confuse me with someone else as Scargill is an uncommon name and I’m fairly sure that “Peter Donald Scargill” is unique. It even referred to software that is definitely mine – but then got my education utterly wrong. Oh, well. The term “intelligent” is becoming meaningless by abuse. Good fun but I can’t see it “changing everything” as it is. Time for a holiday.

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