AI als Infrastrukturfrage

Nico hat vor ein paar Tagen drüben bei LinkedIn die steile These aufgemacht, dass AI nicht als Abkürzung für Artificial Intelligence, sondern für Augmented Intelligence stehen sollte. Und damit hat er aus meiner Sicht komplett recht und einen wichtigen Punkt: Künstliche Intelligenz sollte „nicht in einem bedrohlichen Kontext gesehen werden“, sondern eher als „Erweiterung unserer geistigen Möglichkeiten“. Das geht dann in die gleiche Richtung wie vor 30 Jahren: Wenn es Wikiepdia gibt, warum sollte man noch irgendwas auswendig lernen – man muss nur wissen wo es steht.

Victor hat dann das Thema Infrastrukur in die Diskussion eingebracht, die ich sehr spannend finde. Es sind ja im Moment die Modelle wie OpenAI und Bard, die mit ihrer Leistungsfähigkeit für Aufmerksamkeit sorgen – aber die Implementierung in den Business Kontext (wenn er das meinte) sehe ich noch nicht. Ja, Microsoft bringt natürlich mit Azure eine 0365 nahe Entwicklerplattform mit sich – und Copilot integriert OpenAI in verschiedene Officetools. Aber ist das dann schon das gelobte Land? Viele Unternehmen werden sich fragen:
1. Was passiert mit dem ganzen Silowissen in den Datenbanken, FAT Applikationen. Wie kommt es da raus und wird für meine Mitarbeitenden und Kunden nutzbar gemacht?

2. Wie sieht das Interface aus? Ist es wirklich der Chat, der als virtueller Assistent „neben“ mir steht?

3. Wie messe ich die Performance der AI im Unternehmen?

4. Wie stelle ich den Wahrheitsgehalt fest und mache ihn transparent?

5. Gibt es genau EIN LLM das zu mir passt?

6. Und wie integriere ich die Business-Prozesse mit der AI?

Denke, da ist noch Platz für viel Infrastruktur um Augmented Intelligence für Unternehmen wirklich sinnvoll nutzbar zu machen.


Why I moved to barefoot running

I’ve been an avid runner since years, doing some races, marathons and triathlons. I would say, that in general I am aging well, but since I became 42 or so, my knees started to hurt when moved in awkward ways. It’s not always but from time to time it hurts so much, I can’t do another step.

Some month ago I came across the book „Born to run.“ It’s about some south-american tribe, which up until today are running barefoot like 120 miles a day 😳. It’s not a classic runners book, more like a novel, and it gets to the point, that running barefoot is the „natural“ way of running (like in ancient days, chasing an anthilope to death), using the architecture of our body as a natural „spring“. They say it prevents injuries and typical achers in the achilles heel and so.

So I got myself a pair of these:

Vibram fivefingers kso evo

Yes, they look stupid. They look stupid when I wear them. But they feel sooooo good while running. Not in the beginning though – but step by step:

  1. My first run was about 15 minutes and my calves were exploding.
  2. My second run was 25 minutes – and my calves were exploding.
  3. My third run was 75 minutes – and I felt nothing than pure pleasure!

Running „feels“ so more light and natural; with every step you sense the underground.

I’ve now been running the fivefingers since 3 month and don’t want to go back. Seriously, it changed my whole running stile. I am more aware of and in the run, my heartrate is way lower. I am bit slower though, and especially on bigger gravel I have to watch out where I set my foot (it helps to set smaller steps).

From time to time I am in my nikes, but they feels clumsy and awkward now. (btw.: Nike invented the „cussion“ running shoe, to sell more pronation-correcting sportshoes, leading to more injuries – „true“ story 😉

Pro tip: as you run barefoot in your barefoots: vinegar and shampoo in the sink give wonderful results regarding the „smell“ effect 🙂

Main Picture by Guttorm

Article picture by Zalando


Moments that change life

Today 5 years ago I was driving on the german Autobahn A5 at 05.30 in the morning, when a sleepy van driver changed onto my lane unexpectedly I had to dodge it and crashed into a lorry nearly unbreaked.

Thankfully I was not injured but my car was totally destroyed as I had hit the lorry with about 130km/h.

A moment that changed my life. This is what I took from it:

  1. Big german cars save lifes – literally 😉
  2. Always expect the unexpected
  3. At a certain speed, physics is just physics – no software or hightech can help. When life hits, every mm crumple zone counts

After the crash I was not driving for 4 weeks. I was too afraid. Eventually I got back into the cockpit and there is no anxciety anymore. But my average speed is down significantly.

life Music

Listening to spotify music – on your iPod classic

The other day I was drawn into the retro wave and got out my old iPod classic. I still love the iconic interface which set new boundaries.

I especially like that is has no internet connection and thus no notifications or other connectivity which distracts from – well, just listening to music.

On the other hand its annoying, that you have all these subscriptions: Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and can’t download the songs to your iPod directly. Enter python and spotdl.

Once you download it, and install ffmpeg addiotionally, you feed it a link to either a spotify song, album or playlist and it translates this to a youtube music link. ffmpeg then grabs the link and meta data like album art and converts it to 128kBit mp3 on your HD.

Is this legal? I am not sure. And I don’t care. As I do have all these subscriptions and don’t share the downloaded mp3, I see it as just another channel on accessing what I am paying for.



I was using LittleSnitch years ago and installed it again yesterday. LittleSnitch is like a neat little firewall (basically it’s a socket filter for macos) – but it also now has this neat map in a great design showing at a glance, where your data is going to geographically:

Where is my data going to?

Its funny to see, how some apps are even sending data home where they were not supposed to. I don’t get why deepl, my favourite AI translator, hosts its data in the US, wheras its just a kilometer away from my office in cologne. They should not.

LittleSnitch comes in a „silent mode“ which by default allows all traffic, but sends you a notification as soon as a „new“ connection is established – and you can then decide if you want to allow or forbid that.


Getting better at SQL with ChatGPT or: the lazy mode for complex queries.

As I mentioned previously, ChatGPT is quite good (but not only at) at SQL. I think its a great opprotunity to really learn to code (if you want to call SQL querying „coding“ but that’s another discussion). I mean, only this information is SO valuable, I would have searched stackoverflow for hours finding the reason for my SQL bug:

I now can change the query or update mysql.

So here is my lazy setup to create complex SQL queries:

  1. I am using the graphical query builder of metabase for all the complex joining of data

2. I then review the result and convert the results to SQL.

3. For the lazy mode I then paste the sql to ChatGPT, and asking it to add modifications, adjust it – and all in natural language.


White lotus: the instagram style series of our time

Having binged The White Lotus season 1 I have to say, it reminds me of a long-format Instagram movie. Filters being applied to the scenery are just beautiful, but I find them sometimes a bit too much. The soundtrack, though, is incredible. It got 10 emmys recently.

Update: I found series 2 even better than series 1 – it’s more complex and the ending is…. 😉


ChatGPT and SQL

ChatGPT and SQL seem to be a natural ally: one can write queries in natural language using ChatGPT and then getting the SQL code to edit in your favorite SQL editor. In my case, I am a keen user of Metabase for doing any kind of BI stuff directly in the database and from there modifying the queries with ChatGPT. What I find _very_ special is, that ChatGPT makes mistakes – and bluntly apologizes for it and corrects itself. That’s amazing. 

ChatGPT apologizing and correcting itself
IT life

Does it make sense to have both a private and a computer for work?

I am in front of my computer most of the day. I am using a Macbook Pro with Studio Display, Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard. My Software setup is as follows:

  1. I am using Apple Mail since ages – its fast and I really love the search function
  2. I recently switched to Visual Studio for coding due to the discontinuity of Atom
  3. Google Workspace for most Office related stuff
  4. Excel for calculating things
  5. I am fully in Safari, embracing the deep integration of KeyChain
  6. Apple Calendar and Reminder for ToDo stuff
  7. SmartGit for the Versioning
  8. Jira and Freshdesk for Ticketing
  9. Mastonaut for Posting on Mastodon
  10. Whatsapp Desktop Client
  11. and Slack for keeping it al together

    Thing is – when I want to switch to „private“ mode and use the computer e.g. to make music with Logic Pro or Edit my Photos in Lightroom, there’s always the feeling of „work is too close“. I know I can have mulitple users on the machine, but it „feels“ work.

    Therefore I am thinking of adding a private machine, so that I can put the Macbook aside on weekends or holidays and „enjoy“ private computer time on… a mac mini? How is your setup? Do you have a separate machine for work and private stuff?


    Should we use Generative AI like ChatGPT in Journalism, schools or communication?

    As it comes out, CNET has been using Generative or Assistive AI for month to create articles or better said, to „assist their authors“ in writing articles.

    Together with the recent announcement of Microsoft integration ChatGPT into their suits (namely Outlook etc.) we will step into an age of text not only being created by humans exclusively anymore. 

    In my opinion we will still find differences and nuances in solely AI generated texts and human generated text – but the assistive function of AI will have an impact on the style and especially length of texts, as long format will become vogue again due to a higher writing efficiency of AI Assistants. 

    When using Microsoft Githubs Copilot, my writing of code also increased, and I can imagine a similar effect when writing ChatGPT powered texts in e.g. Word. We already have that since years in the Google Search suggestion box, and we all love it, albeit this will expand to whole text blocks.

    Generative AI as an Assistant to enhance writing productivity – it compares to me like the calculator in school: I can calculate in my mind, but the calculator does it better and faster. Nonetheless I still need to figure out, what should be calculated.