AI as your assistant

January 05, 2024

With all the talk of AI will be taking your job and articles like you don’t need to learn coding AI will do it all for you. I’ve been playing around with AI, decided to try to see how much of what AI can be done for me.

I use AI generical throughout the post and not which of the various AI technologies that was used, since this isn’t a review of how each preform works, just what was experienced in general.

Here’s a couple of examples of what I’ve used AI for

Used AI to write up a page of text needed for a website, it was an upcoming event, and I didn’t have much time, there was less than a week and needed it up in a couple of hours. Gave AI the overall basic info, didn’t give it time, place. What I got back was great it even marked out the areas that needed to be added inside like: [insert time]. Overall, I had only a few small changes AI did about 95%+ of everything needed and saved me a lot of time from looking up samples and then writing it out and editing.

I’ve also used it to generate images for some simple things, most AI areas will give you back a sampling of like 4 images, fewer if you’re going with precious prompts. In most cases you can easily remove 2; for one example I needed an image of Santa replying to letters in his office. The two I was able to get rid of was one had him typing on the wrong side of his typewriter, the other was it was snowing inside his office. A small issue all four of the images had a lot of cookies all over the office, AI has connected Santa, with having to have cookies everywhere, I mean everywhere, stacks of books, on the shelves, everywhere.

Creating a simple HTML web page, I kept hearing, most likely since I’m in programming and get various emails about coding, of with AI you don’t need any coding just tell it basically what you want, and it will do all the coding itself. An HTML page is very basic coding, thinking AI shouldn’t have any issues with a simple page I told it the basic setup and it should put it all together for me. First round it was ok, but there was no mobile, my mistake everything is coded for responsive but learned needed to tell AI I needed that. Added the prompt, needs to be mobile ready. When I opened the file it looked mostly right, a couple of things didn’t match as I was hoping but that would be easy to fix. Some of the issues might be I didn’t read up on the correct prompts to use for a HTML code, if there are any. It had added different types of HTML throughout, some Flex, a little bootstrap(?), then a simple JavaScript to change something to mobile that would have worked with a simple bit of CSS. I asked it to change things this way or that, quickly learned that when you ask it to change something after the 2nd prompt it might go back to the first version of the code and change it and forget the other changes you’ve asked for. Overall, it took more hours than if I did it from scratch, I also ended up just redoing parts of it and cleaning up some code in others, you don’t need an item inside 3 blank div wrappers.

With the playing around I’ve done with AI the last couple of months a few things I’ve learned:

• Talk to AI like you would a 5-year-old, simple language and exactly what you want and like a 5 year old you could get back something not what you asked for, a few times you could get back even more than you expected (this is not the norm).

• Use AI as a helper not a trusted employee, you need to always read over what it brings back and be ready to rewrite/redo parts of it, it helps you get a start. Let it be a surprise if you don’t have to change much. Never use it without looking it over first, it’s still your name and company that is on it, people won’t let you get by with ‘well AI wrote it’.

•Learn the prompts needed for it this will give you a better chance to get back what you are wanting.

• Don’t use it as a learning tool, it could teach you wrong concepts.

• If you don’t get what you expect the first time ask it again before rewriting your prompts. Each time you can get back a totally different answer, keep re-asking till either you get what you want or know that you’re never going to get then move on.

I use and see AI as an assistant that is there to help but don’t fully rely on it. AI can do amazing things but can also give you back something totally wrong, also known as hallucination. As the technology gets better it will give you back better and more precise answers to what you’re wanting.

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