Weird Prices

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Should Computers Decide Prices?

Colin Horgan | Walrus | 14th August 2023

In theory, personalised or algorithmically-determined pricing is better. By using consumer profiling data, prices should be more responsive to market forces, more efficiently determined, and tailored to individual buyers' means. In practice, increasingly collusion and an overwhelming motive to maximise seller profit at all times means that prices for goods online tend to go up, not down (1,380 words)

Catching Up On The Weird World Of LLMs

Simon Willison | 3rd August 2023

Text of a talk about large language models. Interesting throughout. These models, such as ChatGPT, are "unintuitively difficult to use". Knowing more about them, such as the date at which their training material ends, helps. So does putting in hours of trial and error. "Getting the best answers requires a lot of intuition — which I’m finding difficult to teach to other people" (9,960 words)

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