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I'm a bit of an eclectic mess ๐Ÿ™‚ I've been a programmer, journalist, editor, TV producer, and a few other things.

Love mobile development, AR/VR/XR, and all forms of digital creativity where you use AI to generate art, text, and music.

I post about #Coding, #Swift, #SwiftUI, #MachineLearning, and #DeepLearning stuff and also might occasionally post #AIArt that I generate. I'll also talk about #Technology, #Gadgets, #Movies, #TV, #Writing and a few other things as the fancy strikes ...

Lived in: ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Edited 10 days ago

The racism behind chatGPT we are not talking about....

This year, I learned that students use chatGPT because they believe it helps them sound more respectable. And I learned that it absolutely does not work. A thread.

A few weeks ago, I was working on a paper with one of my RAs. I have permission from them to share this story. They had done the research and the draft. I was to come in and make minor edits, clarify the method, add some background literature, and we were to refine the discussion together.

The draft was incomprehensible. Whole paragraphs were vague, repetitive, and bewildering. It was like listening to a politician. I could not edit it. I had to rewrite nearly every section. We were on a tight deadline, and I was struggling to articulate what was wrong and how the student could fix it, so I sent them on to further sections while I cleaned up ... this.

As I edited, I had to keep my mind from wandering. I had written with this student before, and this was not normal. I usually did some light edits for phrasing, though sometimes with major restructuring.

I was worried about my student. They had been going through some complicated domestic issues. They were disabled. They'd had a prior head injury. They had done excellent on their prelims, which of course I couldn't edit for them. What was going on!?

We were co-writing the day before the deadline. I could tell they were struggling with how much I had to rewrite. I tried to be encouraging and remind them that this was their research project and they had done all of the interviews and analysis. And they were doing great.

In fact, the qualitative write-up they had done the night before was better, and I was back to just adjusting minor grammar and structure. I complimented their new work and noted it was different from the other parts of the draft that I had struggled to edit.

Quietly, they asked, "is it okay to use chatGPT to fix sentences to make you sound more white?"

"... is... is that what you did with the earlier draft?"

They had, a few sentences at a time, completely ruined their own work, and they couldnt tell, because they believed that the chatGPT output had to be better writing. Because it sounded smarter. It sounded fluent. It seemed fluent. But it was nonsense!

I nearly cried with relief. I told them I had been so worried. I was going to check in with them when we were done, because I could not figure out what was wrong. I showed them the clear differences between their raw drafting and their "corrected" draft.

I told them that I believed in them. They do great work. When I asked them why they felt they had to do that, they told me that another faculty member had told the class that they should use it to make their papers better, and that he and his RAs were doing it.

The student also told me that in therapy, their therapist had been misunderstanding them, blaming them, and denying that these misunderstandings were because of a language barrier.

They felt that they were so bad at communicating, because of their language, and their culture, and their head injury, that they would never be a good scholar. They thought they had to use chatGPT to make them sound like an American, or they would never get a job.

They also told me that when they used chatGPT to help them write emails, they got more responses, which helped them with research recruitment.

I've heard this from other students too. That faculty only respond to their emails when they use chatGPT. The great irony of my viral autistic email thread was always that had I actually used AI to write it, I would have sounded decidedly less robotic.

ChatGPT is probably pretty good at spitting out the meaningless pleasantries that people associate with respectability. But it's terrible at making coherent, complex, academic arguments!

Last semester, I gave my graduate students an assignment. They were to read some reports on labor exploitation and environmental impact of chatGPT and other language models. Then they were to write a reflection on why they have used chatGPT in the past, and how they might chose to use it in the future.

I told them I would not be policing their LLM use. But I wanted them to know things about it they were unlikely to know, and I warned them about the ways that using an LLM could cause them to submit inadequate work (incoherent methods and fake references, for example).

In their reflections, many international students reported that they used chatGPT to help them correct grammar, and to make their writing "more polished".

I was sad that so many students seemed to be relying on chatGPT to make them feel more confident in their writing, because I felt that the real problem was faculty attitudes toward multilingual scholars.

I have worked with a number of graduate international students who are told by other faculty that their writing is "bad", or are given bad grades for writing that is reflective of English as a second language, but still clearly demonstrates comprehension of the subject matter.

I believe that written communication is important. However, I also believe in focused feedback. As a professor of design, I am grading people's ability to demonstrate that they understand concepts and can apply them in design research and then communicate that process to me.

I do not require that communication to read like a first language student, when I am perfectly capable of understanding the intent. When I am confused about meaning, I suggest clarifying edits.

I can speak and write in one language with competence. How dare I punish international students for their bravery? Fixation on normative communication chronically suppresses their grades and their confidence. And, most importantly, it doesn't improve their language skills!

If I were teaching rhetoric and comp it might be different. But not THAT different. I'm a scholar of neurodivergent and Mad rhetorics. I can't in good conscience support Divergent rhetorics while supressing transnational rhetoric!

Anyway, if you want your students to stop using chatGPT then stop being racist and ableist when you grade.

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Fahim Farook

"Saba Nayagan" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt27610443) is an interesting string of love stories by (and about) the same guy.

It kind of reminds me of the Vikram-Vetal stories in a way, but it also makes me nostalgic for the days when you were young and consumed by love.

The humour's good too โ€” some great laugh out loud moments ๐Ÿ™‚

Didn't expect much from the movie but was sitting there with a smile on my face at the end.

#Movies #Tamil #SabaNayagan #LoveStories
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The entire and team, including me, just got laid off. :( :( :( :( :(

Anybody out there looking for an ML or software engineer with >30 years total experience and ~20 years in the industry?

I have extensive experience with and frameworks, particularly , and I've worked on and both in the workplace and in personal open source projects. My resume is available here:

https://hosford42.github.io/

I'd love to work for a or non-profit, if that's a possibility, but I'm open to other options.

If you work in this industry or know someone who does, please boost for reach.


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Fahim Farook

"Animal" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13751694) is a weird one.

Thereโ€™s a core story that I like so far (an hour in), but it's wrapped in all sorts of nonsense that I dislike โ€” ideas about alphas, stupid senseless stunts with planes, not seeing the reality but talking about a father who can do no wrong ...

There's just too much disavowal of reality and just weird posturing for me to really like the character. The movie? I'll know when I finish ๐Ÿ™‚

#Movies #Hindi #RanbirKapoor #Animal
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Fahim Farook

Looks as if Karl Guttag will be reporting in detail about his experiences with the Apple Vision Pro ๐Ÿ™‚

https://kguttag.com/2024/01/20/updates-ces-ar-vr-mr-la-sid-conference-apple-vision-pro-ordered/

Iโ€™m looking forward to this since Karl has good insights on AR/VR and while Iโ€™m not really looking at the Apple Vision Pro at the moment, based on Karlโ€™s experience, I might change my mind.

In the above post, Karl also mentions the new Sony MR headset. That had only been in the periphery for me but given what he notes about the passthrough camera placement and the weight distribution of the headset, I might need to take another look.

#AR #VR #MR #AppleVisionPro
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Fahim Farook

I've been a bit busy the last few months โ€” family health issues, work, a possible move on the horizon etc. and havenโ€™t really had much time to be on here.

Probably not going to get a lot more time for the next month or so either, but trying to get back to writing about stuff that interests me again โ€ฆ

#PersonalUpdate
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Fahim Farook

"Three of Us" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt23804378) is a wonderful, sometimes melancholic, movie.

It starts off with this air of melancholy that kind of persists throughout the movie. It might feel a little slow at times, but I loved the feel of nostalgia and, sometimes, whimsy that the movie evoked.

The actiing was brilliant โ€” not just words, but emotions evoked through a gesture, or a glance.

I always notice Jaideep Ahlawat when he appears in a movie, but afterewards, i can't remember the movies themselves. Swanand Kirkire was great too, but the standout performance here was by Shefali Shah. Absolutely brilliant!

#Movies #Hindi #Bollywood #SliceOfLife #QuietReflections
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Fahim Farook

I generally like Nani's movies, but some of his recent ones have been especially good.

"Hi Nanna" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt25433734) has to be at the top of that list as far as I'm concerned.

At first, it felt a bit like "How I Met Your Mother", but there is a turning point and once you hit that point, there is no looking back. I just had to finish the rest of the movie.

It was heartfelt and moving. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride of expecting something to happen and have something totally different happen.

One central premise might seem a bit unlikely, but it made the overall movie work.

Definitely recommended! ๐Ÿ™‚

#Movies #Telugu #Nani #HiNanna
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Fahim Farook

I used to develop apps for my own use and then distribute it as freeware.

Then life got busy, I stopped writing apps for personal use โ€” just developed for the App Store.

I'm back full-circle now โ€” coding apps for my own use ... but I don't release them in any form, just too much work/hassle.

How things change?

Or maybe we've become too used to centralized distribution points?

I don't know ...

All I know is that suddenly, after a long gap, at least a couple of my most-used apps are developed by me.

#Coding #SoftwareDev #PersonalProjects
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Fahim Farook

"12th Fail" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt23849204) is an inspiring story โ€” a story of striving against all odds, against corruption, against classism, against hundreds of thousands to gain a coveted position.

This is more true-to-life than a lot of recent Hindi movies and so far I love every minute of it. I've lived some of it and I do understand where the people are coming from. Makes me nostalgic but also makes me want to stand up and cheer!

#Movies #Hindi #Bollywood #AgainstTheOdds
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Fahim Farook

"Parking" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt28184712) is an interesting story about how a small incident can blow up to become a big issue due to egos, misunderstandings, and due to the opinions of others affecting our actions.

Maybe this is a (South) Asian thing, but I totally understand how the two characters came to be in the situation that they ended up in ...

A lot of us just rely way too much on what others think/say about us than just living life the way we want to.

#Movies #Tamil #Parking #RealLife
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Fahim Farook

I get so tired of movies where people know what happens (deja vu, time loop etc) and know that certain things will happen due to their actions and still do the same thing expecting to stop the events.

How does that make sense at all? If your actions cause a chain reaction, shouldn't you stop?

It's so annoying when they persist despite knowing what will happen instead of trying a different course of action ... Or not doing anything at all?

#Movies #Plot #Writing #DejaVu #TimeLoop
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Fahim Farook

Watching "Kho Gaye Hum Kahan" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15434074) I felt this strange sense of connection to both "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" and "Dil Chahta Hai" โ€” it was almost like a journey across the years with different lives ...

KGHK brings home the fact how different things are in the digital age and how much things have changed since the other movies, which were like 10 years apart.

I was quite surprised to realize that itโ€™s been 20+ years since โ€œDil Chahta Haiโ€. Where has all the time gone?

I liked the depiction of social media reliance in KGHK and how it probably is true for some and while I can understand the culture, I still feel like an outsider looking in on strange creatures ๐Ÿ˜›

What will it be like 10 years from now? Interesting to ponder ...

#Movies #Hindi #Bollywood #DigitalAge #Change
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I have interviewed 100s of candidates for software engineering positions.

Iโ€™ve done take-home tests, in person challenges, pair programming with the candidates.

All of them were awful experiences for me and especially for the candidate.

I can only think of a single instance where a code challenge exposed a poor software engineer and I could definitely have made the same assessment just by talking to them.

Lately Iโ€™ve stopped doing any software or mental puzzles.

I donโ€™t do any of that when I interview designers or QA people or HR people, so why would I be particularly toxic towards software engineers during the hiring process?

Instead, I actually read their resumes (which is significantly quicker than doing interviews, asking them to repeat the same information), and then I ask them questions like:

- Where do you get your tech news?
- How do you learn about new technologies?
- What do you most appreciate in your coworkers today?
- What is a perfect workday like for you?

I specifically avoid trap-style questions like โ€œwhat is your greatest weakness?โ€ or โ€œwhy are you leaving your current job?โ€

I recommend that you make a plan for what you want to learn about the candidate, e.g. โ€œare they good at acquiring new skills?โ€ or โ€œdo they share the same values as the team?โ€ and then structure the interview around that.

Be a non-toxic manager. Make your company look good during the interview process. Get better candidates.

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Fahim Farook

"The Family Plan" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt16431870) was much better than I expected ๐Ÿ™‚

In fact, I think the only other Marky Mark movie that I enjoyed more than this was "The Big Hit" and that was way back in the 90s.

Mostly good fun, a few stupid bits, but overall good family entertainment!

#Movies #English #Hollywood #MarkWahlberg
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Iโ€™ve spent the past couple days battling with SwiftUIโ€™s transferable protocol and ShareLink to export images to iMessage while retaining the gps data and I havenโ€™t cracked it. Does anyone have experience with this?

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Fahim Farook

"Dhootha" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt19868374) has an interesting concept but is marred by poor execution.

The characters over-explain everything and Naga Chaitanya has just one expression. I'm not sure he can make the main character believable ...

I'm still on the first episode and am on the fence about continuing, but I guess Iโ€™ll continue to watch just to see how the episode ends.

#TV #Telugu #Thriller #SuperNatural?
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Fahim Farook

"Candy Cane Lane" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt21328106) is an OK enough Christmas movie, but I expected something special/magical from it.

Just didn't get that feeling. It was just a run-of-the-mill kind of story with a little bit of heartwarming family-stuff thrown in.

Just didn't have that โ€œsomethingโ€ which makes you care about the characters โ€ฆ

#Movies #English #Christmas #CandyCaneLane #EddieMurphy
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Fahim Farook

"Label" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt25965602) continues to impress with each episode. The story is interesting, has at least one poignant moment in each episode that also makes you think about people in general, and has interesting twists.

Well worth watching ...

#TV #Tamil #Legal #Gangster #Label
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Fahim Farook

Exchange from "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters":

"Cryptozoologist, what's that?"

"He studies animals that don't exist."

If he studies animals that don't exist, isn't the correct term "hallucinating"? ๐Ÿ˜›

I believe it's more correct to say that he studies animals that aren't yet proven to exist?

#TV #Monarch
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