MyHub Editors can now chat to ChatGPT about their Hubbed notes

Launching the MyHub/ChatGPT free trial amid Bullshit, Botshit & Bubbles

Mathew Lowry
4 min readFeb 9, 2024

AI’s future is more nuanced than its boosters and critics would like you to believe. A couple of recent posts by Cory Doctorow help explain why.

Reposted and edited from my latest newsletter, sent earlier this week.

Earlier this week I launched the free trial of MyHub/ChatGPT integration for MyHub.ai early adopters. The trial runs until the budget runs out, so sign up if you’d like to kick the tyres (if you have your own OpenAI API key, you’ll get the integration for free for at least a year).

But this is not another breathless “this will change everything” announcement. I’ve been chatting with ChatGPT about my Hubbed notes for six months, and think AI’s future is more nuanced than its boosters and critics would like you to believe. Fortunately for me, a couple of recent posts by

helped me understand why.

Latest experiments

(My experiments with MyHub/ChatGPT integration are summarised in posts “I Do tagged #myhub AND #chatgpt AND #experiment”, and shared in full on https://experiments.myhub.ai/.)

Since my last newsletter, which focused on “visualising knowledge” (experiments 2–4), I’ve been combining and applying the various prompts I’ve tested on content as diverse as excerpts from a LinkedIn Live interview I did with PR/Comms company ZN and the first 5 resources I curated this year. Along the way I’ve had ChatGPT:

What I found explains why I was relieved to recently read:

Bullshit, Botshit and Bubbles

Cory Doctorow introduces a word I think we’ll be hearing a lot this year:

“there’s a huge difference between producing a plausible sentence and a good one. After the initial rush of astonishment, the stench of botshit becomes unmistakable” — Cory Doctorow

From my notes: the ubiquity of botshit stems from the fact that so many people benefit from it — not just the tech’s purveyors (obviously), but also:

  • critics: “doomsayers who form an unholy alliance with AI companies by parroting their silliest hype in warning form
  • users like me who, “when the bot fails [them]… manufacture their own botshit, assuming they must be bad at prompting
  • and tech boosters who — like me — are integrating AI into their products and trying to hype them as they “quietly hire legions of humans to pick up the botshit it leaves behind

Except I’m not a tech booster. Yes, I’m exploring the How and Why of integrating ChatGPT into MyHub.ai. But, as you’d see from my posts and experimental notes, I’ve yet to find a truly convincing, knock-your-pants-off application. I’m still looking, and I’m opening the free trial to see if anyone else can find one, but I’m not selling botshit to anyone.

I’ve yet to find a truly convincing, knock-your-pants-off application… I’m opening the free trial to see if anyone else can find one, but I’m not selling botshit to anyone

Because that’s how hype cycles work: there’s a splash of excitement; a surge of content as everyone hops on the bandwagon to build followers and sell books and courses; a plunge of disenchantment when the Easy Wins promised don’t materialise; … and then, eventually, those who stuck with it without riding that rollercoaster figure out where the actual value lies.

Which brings me to another post by Cory:

From my notes:

  • The cost of each AI query includes “a massive primary energy bill… [another] for the chillers, and a titanic wage bill for the specialized technical staff. Once investor subsidies dry up, will real-world … applications cover these running costs?
  • No, because most of the applications driving the sky-high valuations we see are high-value only if they’re risk-tolerant. However, the “risk-tolerant applications are almost all low-value; while nearly all the high-value applications are risk-intolerant”. Uh-oh
  • So what will be left? “smaller models… run on commodity hardware… [with] communities … formed around them”, pushing their limits “far beyond their original manufacturers’ beliefs about their capacity”.

If you dig deep into experiment 10 you’ll find me asking myself something similar:

“while the GPT4 outputs were clearly better, I’m not sure they are 100x better, while GPT4 costs 100x more.” — experiment 10

So while I’ll continue these experiments, Cory’s last point about open source (above) reinforces my original conviction for MyHub (see How Artificial Intelligence will finance Collective Intelligence, which needs an update). Expect to see more on open-source / local AI in the future, perhaps using GPT4’s blog post about it as a starting point.

There’s plenty more bullshit where that came from

There are currently three more articles in my Hub tagged #AI and #Bullshit, while if you look for just the bullshit you’ll find 16, covering everything from bullshit jobs, bullshit productivity tricks to bullshit Presidents and Prime Ministers.

It’s just one word, but it explains a lot. Which is why I suspect those numbers will grow in 2024.

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