Shop Talk: 2023-03-13

The Recording

The Panelists

  • Kevin Feasel
  • Mala Mahadevan
  • Mike Chrestensen

Notes: Questions and Topics

Exponential Moving Average in T-SQL

The first topic of the night came from Mala, as we talked about an article on financial modeling via T-SQL. Along the way, I shared one of my favorite “don’t do this but I love it” scenarios in T-SQL, an outstanding Gail Shaw blog post on using genetic algorithms within T-SQL to solve the knapsack problem. These are the types of things that I find interesting, though for “proper” use, I’d definitely pick a different language.

ChatGPT and the AI Bubble

Mike and I had a mini-debate for this topic. While we were talking about the topic, I included this explanation of ChatGPT. Personally, I am very pessimistic on the idea of using ChatGPT for anything other than enjoyment at the clever way in which it puts together words. It is a language model, not a truth model: there is no concept of truthfulness in its responses and there is no ghost in the shell. My response to this comes from three places. First, a strong agreement with the thrust of Charlie Stross’s post about this being a rather fishy time for a bunch of ChatGPT-related endeavors to pop up, just in time to soak money after the last bubble. Second, I’ve heard some really dumb ideas involving ChatGPT, like having it write academic papers or code. And third, because I am a strong believer in the weak AI theory (quick note: I misspoke and said “hard” and “soft” AI when I meant “strong” and “weak” AI). As I mentioned in the video, I’m obviously not able to prove that there will never be a strong AI, but I’m quite skeptical of the notion and if I had to put money on it, would be more comfortable with the “never” bet than it actually occurring before any specific time frame.

Mike, meanwhile, talked about some of the practical things he was using ChatGPT for, and he also accidentally exposed a weakness in ChatGPT to old information when asking a question about PASS Summit.

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