June 2, 2023
Tech Enthusiast Weekly Issue 243 Chatting with Confucius AI.webp

Tech Enthusiast Weekly (Issue 243): Chatting with Confucius AI

The reason why this post seems so long is because over 17 people write this content for our viewers. so enjoy

Here is a record of the technology content worth sharing every week, released on Friday.

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cover picture


Sichuan Jinyang Wind Power Plant is 3,500 meters above sea level. It needs to transport the 75-meter-long generator blades to the top of the mountain along the Panshan Highway. The scene is very thrilling. (via

Topic of the Week: Chatting with Confucius AI

Since the beginning of this year, the most sensational IT product is ChatGPT none other than.

It is an AI chatbot where users can ask various questions and it answers like a scholar.


Its principle is to use an algorithm model to analyze a large amount of corpus, obtain the statistical rules of word distribution, and then generate text that conforms to human thinking.

According to the above principle, it is not difficult to imagine that,If the trained corpus is related to a certain topic, then a chatbot on that topic can be generated,For example, chatbots for law or biology.

Furthermore, if the topics trained are all related to a certain person, can’t that person’s chatbot be generated?

In fact, some people have already done this. In September 2022, two former Google employees released a program called Character.ai The website allows users to create a “role”, upload information related to the role, and the website will automatically use AI to analyze the information, generate a chat robot for the role, and then users can chat with it.

Now, the Character.ai website has thousands of characters that can be used as chat partners.Its apps are all on the shelves, called“Hello, History”(Hello History)。


Among these chat partners, there is actually Confucius, and I don’t know who created it, and uploaded an irrelevant avatar.


A reporter from an online magazine in China tried to chat with Confucius.Below is the partchat recordpublished in their magazine, the original dialogue was in English and translated into Chinese.

Take a look, do the following words sound like what Confucius said?

Reporter: How do you evaluate Traveling Around the World?

Confucius: My travels to spread ideas and philosophies have been fruitful. I met many different people, exchanged knowledge, listened to their stories, and discovered different perspectives on life. Through these encounters, I developed a deep understanding of human nature and gained insight into how individuals and societies interact. The time away from my hometown also gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own thinking and better understand why I stick to my original intention.

Reporter: When traveling around the world, what is the biggest challenge you have encountered?

Confucius: One of the biggest challenges is dealing with prejudice and resistance to our thinking. While many are enthusiastic about learning from me, some simply don’t want to hear it. However, instead of getting discouraged, I continued to push forward with resilience and confidence.

Reporter: Do you know philosophers from other countries?

Confucius: I am familiar with the works of philosophers from many different countries, including ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as well as Roman philosophers Cicero and Seneca. I am very interested in their thinking because they all emphasize justice, knowledge and advice.


I think this robot is of a very high standard, and it sounds like Confucius’ tone, which makes you really feel like chatting with him.

This made me wonder, since it can generate a chatbot for Confucius, can it generate a chatbot for me?

There are millions of words I have written. Can the model use these materials to train a “Ruan Yifeng Chatbot”?

In the future, if someone wants to know me, just talk to this robot.

Of course, there are not many people who want to know me, and my chatbot should have little commercial value. However, it might not be the same for a celebrity. for example,If “Luo Yonghao chat robot” comes out, I guess many people are willing to pay to chat with this robot.


This matter is already technically feasible, it depends on who is the first to eat crabs. If the first chatbot to hit the shelves sells well, it could later become another way for celebrities to make money.

This also highlights the importance of keeping more relevant materials and recording more of your own ideas. Otherwise, if you want to build a chatbot for your loved ones in the future, you won’t be able to find training materials. In fact, the same is true of Confucius. If his disciples hadn’t compiled and published the class notes, it would be impossible to make his chat robot today.

Technology dynamics

1、ban on short-haul flights

France has passed a law, in order to protect the environment, stipulating that if there is a direct train between the two cities, and the train journey does not exceed 2.5 hours, then the plane flight between the two cities will be banned.


This is to encourage more use of trains and less use of energy-intensive planes. Many large cities in France will be affected, such as Paris to Bordeaux, Paris to Lyon, Lyon to Marseille, and flights may be cancelled.

If the high-speed rail is calculated at 300 kilometers per hour, the journey of 2.5 hours is equivalent to 750 kilometers, which is equal to the distance from Beijing to Xuzhou. Only after this distance can you take a plane.

2、household mushroom grower

A British start-up company has launched a household mushroom growing device, which turns mushrooms into bonsai and toys, and can also be harvested and eaten.


Users need to buy different bacteria blocks and put them into this device.


When the switch is turned on, LED lights provide illumination, and the mushrooms grow in seven to 10 days.


There is also a small electronic paper screen on the side of the device, which is used to control the lighting, display the internal temperature in real time, and the growth of mushrooms, and can also be viewed remotely on the mobile app.



3、subsea generator

A Japanese company has created undersea generators, each the size of a Boeing airplane and weighing 330 tons.


The fuselage of the generator is connected to two turbofans, and floats on the seabed through a pull rope, relying on deep ocean currents to drive the turbines to generate electricity.


The advantage of this kind of generator is that the power is relatively stable, unlike solar or wind power which will come and go. The disadvantage is that the current power generation capacity is too small, and the prototype can generate about 100 kilowatts of stable power, which is far from enough to cover the cost.

In addition, seawater is corrosive, and subsea equipment is difficult to maintain, so its operating cost is very high, and it does not make economic sense unless the power generation is increased by dozens of times.


1、“The first person of Chinese botanical painting” Zeng Xiaolian(Chinese)


Before retiring, Zeng Xiaolian was a professor-level engineer at the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He drew more than 2,000 drawings for books such as “Flora of China” and “Flora of Yunnan”. The picture above is his drawing of the pitcher plant.

2、I found a code bug with ChatGPT(Chinese)


There is a bug in a piece of Java code of the author. He asked ChatGPT to check it for him. The latter not only found the bug, but also suggested modification. (@niumoo post)

3、The end of localhost(English)


The author puts forward a point of view that the history of localhost for local development will come to an end. Because more and more developers are turning to cloud coding, they can debug directly in the cloud.

4、Uber’s development infrastructure(English)


This article is an official Uber article, introducing the development infrastructure they built to accommodate employees working remotely from all over the world. The code of all engineers is placed in a single warehouse.

5、The beauty of Unix pipes(English)


This article cites the Unix pipe operator (|) and why it embodies the Unix philosophy. This article can be used as a tutorial for pipeline operations.

6、The Palo Alto Research Center Story(English)


A long article in IEEE Spectrum magazine introduced the rise and fall of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the 1960s and 1970s.

This research center has produced many epoch-making technologies, such as graphical interfaces, Ethernet, laser printers, etc. Students who like the history of science and technology can read it.

7、 Free space required for macOS upgrade(English)


Apple computer system upgrade packages are getting bigger and bigger, requiring more and more hard disk space. This article summarizes the size of each upgrade package over the past few years.

8、Why I’m Optimistic About the Future of JavaScript(English)


This paper proposes three use cases for JavaScript: browser, server, and edge computing. The only language that can be used in these three situations is JavaScript.

AI related software

Now all kinds of software have added AI-related functions, calling OpenAI’s API at the bottom layer.

The following are works submitted by netizens.


1、Popup translation


A word translation tool. When a word is selected, it invokes a native WebView window in which the results of the translated website are returned. (@fzdwx post)

2、night vision goggles


A free app for iOS, using the iPhone’s laser lens to scan and detect distances in a completely dark environment, the code is open source. (@luoxuhai post)


Microsoft’s Bing publishes wallpaper pictures every day, and this script allows Mac computers to randomly choose one of them as the desktop at regular intervals. (@xiqishow post)



An open source Web sketchpad, based on canvas. (@LHRUN post)

5、Static Mastodon server


Mastodon is a distributed social network. The author demonstrates that you can let others see your dynamics with only static files. SeeIntroductory article。(@DejavuMoe post)



An AI music generator, the user specifies what kind of music is needed, and it will automatically generate it. This is a paid service, and the music generated is quite nice.



A JS library that provides easy-to-use natural language processing (nlp), but currently only supports English.



oneopen sourcenetwork encrypted clipboard. It generates a pair of keys for each user, and other people can only see what you post if they get the public key (you gave them).



Some cafes and hotel Wi-Fi only allow connection to ports 80 and 443 of external servers, and other ports cannot be used, which is very inconvenient, so the author wrote this tool.

As long as you install its server on your server and run the client locally, you can run various tools on it and connect to various ports of the server through the web port.



A Chrome extension that claims to automatically unlock CAPTCHA tests like the one pictured above.



A website for sharing mathematical formulas. You enter the formula with LaTex and Markdown, and it will generate a URL that you can share with others.


1、Writing a Compiler by Hand: An Interactive Guide


This website teaches you to write the simplest compiler, each step is explained in detail, and there are code demonstrations.

2、moon map


Made using the full moon image released by Chang’e-2, the resolution can reach 7 meters, and it can search and locate various craters, place names, and the positions of man-made objects. (@greensea post)

3、street view wonders(Wonders of Street View)


This site collects a lot of interesting photos from Google Street View, showing one randomly at a time. (@kxxt post)



This site collects various CSS effects and components. (@ZiYi0414 post)

5、These sneakers do not exist


The sneakers on this site, all AI-generated, don’t actually exist.


1、AI screen upgrade for old games

Foreign netizens use AI models to upgrade the screen of old games from the last century, and the effect is surprisingly good.







2、Humanoid Town

There is a small town called Centuripe in Sicily, Italy, located on a hill. Due to terrain constraints, the shape of the town is very irregular.


When a photographer was shooting at night, he accidentally discovered that this small town is like a person lying on the ground.



1、How do independent software contractors charge?

Years ago, I quit my job and became an independent software contractor.


I accept client commissions and develop software for them as required.

However, I didn’t know how to quote, so I went to a friend with business experience and asked her for advice.

She said, you first set an acceptable hourly price, no matter what the price is, you double the price.


I didn’t quite buy the advice, but decided to give it a try, doubled down on the offer, and got my first contract.

Later, I figured out that a friend’s suggestion is actually a method of inquiry. If you don’t know whether the fee you charge is too little, or what the reasonable price in the market is, you can double the price.

If you can still get the contract, try to increase the price steadily until you can’t get the contract. Only in this way can we know where the real price ceiling is.

However, you have to remember that if you charge a high fee, your customers will have higher expectations. I have some quotes under $100/hr which is not a lot but I am willing to accept as the client is not very demanding either.

If the quote is $200/hour, the client will have a lot of picky demands, asking you to do this and that. Although I have received more money, I may prefer to terminate the contract. The customer’s concept is “you get what you pay for”, and if you fail to meet their requirements, the relationship between the two parties will be in trouble.

If you offer a high price and the customer is willing to accept it, you can break into the high-end market segment. that is a good place!

Anyway, the old saying goes, if you double your offer and only lose half of your customers, then you win.



I actually don’t understand why some people like to have dark mode enabled on their monitors when they’re working in a dimly lit space. It can feel so languid and gloomy.

Hacker News Reader


Physicist Fermi once posed a famous paradox: The universe is so big, why haven’t we seen any signs of other intelligent life?

I’ve talked to several scientists who think the answer might be that (civilization creates) a warmer climate that makes it impossible to survive in the long run. The natural lifespan of a civilization may be only a few thousand years, while the lifespan of an industrial civilization may be only a few hundred years.

“Uninhabitable Earth”


Humans, like all mammals, are a heat engine, needing to acquire heat for survival and constantly dissipating it. Normally, air acts as a refrigerant, drawing heat away from the skin so the body can function properly. If the temperature and humidity of the air are too high, which affects heat dissipation, the human body will experience heat exhaustion.

“Uninhabitable Earth”


Developing a social product is not a technical issue. It’s a marketing issue, a political issue, and a social issue.

Facebook and Twitter have large numbers of completely savvy users. How you reach such users and get them to use your product has nothing to do with a deep understanding of technology.

Hacker News Reader


We are like butterflies, flying for only one day, we think it is eternity.

Carl SaganAmerican science writer

this week in history

The future of handhelds(2022 #196)

How should online classes be taught?(2021 #146)

Know how to manufacture, but also know how to sell(2020 #94)

The Consequences of “Thesis Only” Orientation in Colleges and Universities(2019 #44)

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Ewen Eagle

I am the founder of Urbantechstory, a Technology based blog. where you find all kinds of trending technology, gaming news, and much more.

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