Free DALL-E from Microsoft, with a catch

by Dmitry Kirsanov 14. March 2024 12:51

As part of Office 365, Microsoft released Designer – basically, a service to generate images using DALL-E.

The catch is that while OpenAI doesn’t claim any rights for your images, Microsoft states, that:

“By using the Service, posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting content you are granting Microsoft, its affiliated companies and necessary sublicensees permission to use your content in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses (including, without limitation, all Microsoft Services), including, without limitation, the license rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your content; and the right to sublicense such rights to any supplier of the Services.

No compensation will be paid with respect to the use of your content, as provided herein. Microsoft is under no obligation to post or use any content you may provide, and Microsoft may remove any content at any time in its sole discretion.”

Microsoft wouldn’t be Microsoft, if it wouldn’t claim rights for what you already paid.


Another word about Rabbit R1

by Dmitry Kirsanov 7. March 2024 14:07

It’s only weeks until a revolutionary gadget to be released, so for the sake of history, let’s join the pieces of information we have regarding this prototype device. I’m saying prototype, because it’s the first of a kind, and even if it will fail, the idea behind it is what makes it a piper of new industrial revolution.

Disclaimer: I’ll quote Rabbit team below, so when I say “we” it means “they”. All of this information is first-hand and is not my opinion. It’s not necessarily true, but what the Rabbit declares as truth. It’s here to compare with reality later, when first reviews will be published.

The most commonly used example is DoorDash, U.S. food delivery service. That’s because Rabbit representatives are quite hungry until their devices become popular, take over the market and allow them to dictate the rules.

The Rabbit device, priced at only two hundred dollars, is a surprisingly affordable piece of modern technology. What's even more surprising is that there are no subscription fees attached to it. Rabbit has confirmed that they have no plans to introduce any subscription fees, although this could potentially change in the future. The reason for this affordability is the efficiency of the large action model and the Rabbit OS, which are less expensive to run than you might think. Once you purchase the device, it's yours to use without any additional charges.

There seems to be some confusion about the difference between a large language model and a large action model. Many people assume that it's just a marketing term or a large language model with a few extra features. However, this is not the case. A large language model, based on the Transformers architecture, is excellent at predicting the next token in a series of tokens, or the next word in a sentence. But this wouldn't have worked well with the Rabbit application.

What Rabbit does is convert your natural language into the action you want to accomplish, and then performs that action on a hidden operating system. Imagine using your phone to order food from a restaurant via DoorDash. Rabbit does all of that for you, figuring out how to navigate through the interface. It doesn't connect to an API, which makes it more efficient and less costly to run, hence the lack of a subscription fee.

Jesse Liu, in a podcast, explained the difference between a large language model and a large action model. He clarified that Rabbit is not creating a large language model, which is based on Transformer and requires a significant amount of GPU on the cloud to train and get things right. Instead, Rabbit works with the best language models and small language models, and potentially open-source language models in the future. They continuously monitor the performance of these models and can switch between them as needed. This is how Rabbit OS works. More...


Analytics | AI

AI job replacement: Another one bites the dust

by Dmitry Kirsanov 7. February 2024 21:08

Despite the frequent reassurances that artificial intelligence (AI) will not render our jobs redundant, there is a caveat that we must acknowledge. While AI is not going to disrupt every professional sphere, it is certainly on track to replace roles that were initially established as mundane, non-creative tasks, often performed merely to maintain status quo.

Let's explore an example of such a role More...



Chasing the Artificial Intelligence Rainbow

by Dmitry Kirsanov 5. February 2024 02:58

A recent trend that sticks out like a sore thumb in the buzzing world of tech is the splashy, high-profile marketing of 'AI' laced devices. A galaxy of household name companies (pun intended), who ironically have made minimal contributions to real AI development, are selling nothing more than illusions wrapped in layers of hyped advertising and fad appeal.

Samsung Galaxy S24 case

Let's take the Samsung Galaxy S24 for instance. The successor to the S23, Samsung heralded it as its "first AI phone". Just to be clear, as its name suggests, the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and its siblings ain't exactly lemons. They're backed by Samsung, after all. Yet, a closer look reveals trickery and shortcuts they took to roll out their 'AI' capabilities.

Well, long story short: the 'AI' built into the S24 is about as useful as a battery-less flashlight. And yes, there are few free features, like the language translator during calls but rest assured, their generosity has an expiration date much like the contents of your fridge.

These “AI functions” support features you won’t need and don’t support what you might want. Hence this can be said about all AI functions: they are “there”, but you won’t use them because they won’t fit into your scenario or “aren’t there yet”. Aren’t, and won’t be, no matter how strong your faith is. More...


AI | Analytics

Design Language Is Not Design, by Bill Buxton, 2012

by Dmitry Kirsanov 12. December 2023 01:25

A speech by Bill Buxton in Dublin in 2012, which is worth reading even today, as most ideas about design are rather timeless, and so are some books. Enjoy!

It's been a while since I last visited Dublin or Ireland, with my last visit dating back to 1982. I remember climbing Carentoon Hill during that trip. Now, let's dive into the topic at hand.

In a recent survey, we asked how many of you are designers and how many are developers. But what about the rest of you? Are there any architects, students, CEOs, or management executives among you? How many of you are involved in the business or finance side of things? Ideally, we should have an equal representation of people from design, technology, and business disciplines. These are the three pillars necessary for any business enterprise in today's world.

Now, preparing for this talk was a bit challenging, not because I had nothing to say, but because I was trying to figure out what would be worth saying. I first used a computer in 1971 to compose music for a film soundtrack. That computer had a mouse, real-time sound synthesis, computer graphics, two-handed input, music notation, and a piano keyboard. It was easy to use, and I've spent the rest of my life trying to recreate that simplicity.

My first published work on pen-based input was in 1978, and we were working on multi-touch technology by 1984. This long history in the field has made me realize the importance of getting things right. We are on the cusp of a major change, with a new generation of technologies about to launch. The game is changing from simply making things work to creating smooth, elegant experiences. The challenge now is not just about making things, but deciding what to make and how to make it. More...


Stories | Other

Functional Testing: The Unsung Hero of the Testing Spectrum?

by Dmitry Kirsanov 11. December 2023 04:00

Functional Testing is like Eagon Spengler, the brains behind the Ghostbusters team, often overshadowed by more flamboyant characters but indispensable for their success. That accomplished yet humble individual belies the very essence of functional tests. Just like him, functional testing plays a crucial yet understated role in the software development process.

In the world of software testing, we are so often enamoured by the technological characters: UI testing with its flashy complexities, API testing with its mysteries of wire protocols and data payload formats. Yet, the quietly diligent and most dependable hero - functional testing - is often left in the shadows. More...



Demystifying API Testing

by Dmitry Kirsanov 6. December 2023 04:00

In the realm of software systems, the concept of application programming interfaces (APIs) is commonplace. Often, you'll find services or components in these systems that are deployed with over-the-wire APIs. But, what do these APIs entail? Are they exclusive to backend services instructed by various user interfaces via some remote access protocol such as HTTP? Not quite. The term "API" may typically be used in this context, but it isn't necessarily limited to it. In this exploration of API testing, we are defining an API as a remote backend service that is an integral segment of a software system. More...



Converging Test Automation and UIs

by Dmitry Kirsanov 5. December 2023 04:00

Software testing has undergone a dramatic evolution over the years. It has metamorphosed from mundane, manual tasks to a truly dynamic and automated process. Specifically noteworthy is the potent concept of automated testing via the user interface(UI) realized through the advent of profoundly adept modern technologies.

In contrast to traditional unit tests that primarily perforate lines of code and evaluate their intended functionality, automated tests foster interaction and inspection of the application in its full glory. They robustly scrutinize the complete assembled system via its UI. Consider the tests as an intrepid globetrotter, navigating through the labyrinth of web applications, smart devices, virtually or physically, Android or Apple. The main idea is to simulate real user interactions and accurately replicate user experience. More...



The Role of Unit Testing in Modern Software Development

by Dmitry Kirsanov 29. November 2023 04:00

As we glide forward on the cutting edge of the technological era, software development practices mature and evolve. Among the myriad of practices that mark the life-cycle of software development, unit testing forms a cornerstone. This indispensable process, intertwined with the act of writing code itself, has been fundamental in shaping this industry.

Reflecting on the incipient stages of my career, at the dawn of the digital age, I recall a time when the concept of unit testing was nascent, untapped, and devoid of the supportive tools or libraries that we now take for granted. The process, though cogent in theory, was far from being systematized. Diligent developers would carefully write small code snippets, run them to make sure they functioned as desired, and repeat this process incrementally. It was a time-consuming and monotonous task, demanding exactness, but it was critical for assuring the essential functionality of the code. More...



Talk from the Tech Trenches: Test Surface Tactics

by Dmitry Kirsanov 24. November 2023 04:00


Purpose, Perspectives, and Principles of Test Automation

We are embarking on a thrilling journey into the inner sanctum of testing, with a keen focus on the marvel that is test automation. So, fasten your seat belts, ensure your trays are in an upright position, and prepare for take-off, as we glide through the vast expanse of this intriguing and highly relevant topic. More...