1 response

  1. James Rowland
    December 21, 2023

    A sprite was like a jpeg. If you imagine a space invader, that is a sprite or based on a sprite. Sprites are basically created in the same way that grandma embroiders flowers onto cloth in cross-stitch. You start with a grid and then you plan which pixels in the grid will be what colour in order to create the image of a star, an alien or whatever. A moving alien would be composed of more than one sprite, so video game software based on small moving images would use lots of sprites. Once you have your grid, then you would type each line of pixels out as lines of computer code representing position and colour which would look something like this: display s1dn, s2dn, s3xa,, s4xa, … to be honest I can’t remember. You would spend hours, going blind, typing this stuff and then press run and nothing would happen, then you would go back and read through pages of this code that you had originally written and compare it to what you had typed in and discover, “oh, in the 56th line I double typed a comma”. This taught a kind of persistence and an understanding that you could achieve two outcomes on your computer – nothing, or perfection. Doing this work was extremely pointless because you would put in all this time for the big ‘so what’ moment of your sprite being displayed on the screen. The effort was greatly in excess of the joy. You can tell I never went on to write the programs that could put my sprites to any practical use. As far as customisable GPT 4, I believe that there will be incredible rewards but probably also incredible obstacles. In a way it takes us back to this manual programming reality of an earlier time where you have to tell the computer what to do increment by increment. In order to have that customised legal AI experience, there will be a veritable pyramid of work to do. Some people will ultimately get to the top, and this really depends on whether the journey is fun and rewarding. As you point out, those “not what I asked for” and “curious reluctance” moments are not rewards and they raise real questions about the principles, such as truthfulness and honesty, on which the system is dealing with you.


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