Making the Most of New AI

By: Trey English

An age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has arrived, brought on by a recent invention called the Large Language Model (LLM) that gives computers mastery of everyday human speech. LLM AI software is both already amazing and improving at a breathtaking clip. Large and capable companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta are competing to make powerful new products easy to use. This article will guide you on how to understand, run, and use the latest and best.

The LLM is a recent invention. Google published a key breakthrough in 2017, and it became famous with the software ChatGPT, made by the company OpenAI in 2020. ChatGPT, whose technology the company called GPT-3, shocked users because it felt like conversing with a person. It was great with facts and good with words, succeeding at tasks that had not been automated before, like describing history, explaining science, and writing letters.

GPT-3 was followed by GPT-3.5 in 2022 and the much-improved GPT-4 in 2023. These upgrades had better language skills and the added ability to both understand photos and, through integration with other tools, create images. GPT-4 could converse with users through voice using a headset or microphone.

GPT-4 was in turn followed by current variants, GPT-4 Turbo and GPT-4o. And competing software came from many directions: Google’s Gemini, Microsoft’s Copilot, xAI’s Grok, Meta’s Llama, and Anthropic’s Claude, among others. These use different programming, training data, memory sizes, and censorship approaches to give unique features and strengths. They represent the complex, fast-paced, and fantastically funded world of AI. AI will not have one form, but many forms that serve separate purposes, and these will improve quickly as they integrate with our lives.

If you have not yet tried this software, you should. And you should try more than one. A good way to start your personal AI journey is by visiting the latest AI leaderboards that score and rank the software options. A good one can be found at Leaderboards also give links, describes the companies behind the models, and gives the knowledge-cutoff date—the last date of data used for training.

We will go through installing and using two examples: 1) ChatGPT with GPT-4o and 2) Venice AI. GPT-4o is technology developed by OpenAI, the company mentioned above that launched the LLM phenomenon with ChatGPT. It excels in many areas. GPT-4o, though, stores your input and may censor output. The other interface, Venice AI, leverages decentralization to improve privacy and flexibility. It serves as a helpful alternative to GPT-4o when you want to discuss something sensitive or controversial.

GPT-4o can run on either a computer or a smartphone. For a computer, go to and sign up. If you do not sign up, the interface uses GPT-3.5, which is not as good. Consider paying for a Plus account, which gives more time, includes image generation, and gives early access to new features for $20/month. Or you can install the ChatGPT application on your iPhone or Android phone by going through the App Store or Google Play. If you register on one device, that works on other devices. Using it on a smartphone can be better because it allows voice interaction on the go and easy picture taking.

Consider also adding Venice AI for its privacy and freedom. It will answer edgier questions—like how to break into a car, say—and will create more images, including, for example, those with famous living people. You can have it make a picture of Ron DeSantis jumping into the surf on Fort Myers Beach, if you want. Venice AI can be accessed through a Web browser on your computer or your smartphone via the URL A paid subscription gives more daily queries and improved censorship avoidance for $49/year.

To get the best results from AI, communication needs to be, as with a person, clear and detailed. The best way to do this is with back-and-forth dialog. You can ask a general question first, then make it more detailed based on the initial response. Do this multiple times. You might, for example, start with a request like, “Did Thomas Edison make any inventions in Fort Myers.” The answer will mention battery research, and you can follow up with, “Tell me more about his battery research.” You’ll learn about his work on batteries for electric vehicles. Then you can ask, “How are his car batteries used today?” to learn how they are in fact still used to support wind and solar power.

But LLM AIs can do much more than historical investigation. Here are 12 ideas for GPT-4o:

  1. When walking or driving, use it in voice dialog mode instead of a podcast to learn about a new subject.
  2. When struggling with a text or e-mail, use it to rewrite.
  3. Use it to learn a foreign language by asking it to teach you and talk to you as a student.
  4. Give it photos to help identify plants and animals.
  5. Take a photo of a broken personal item to find out how to fix it or order a new one.
  6. Ask for a summary of the latest news.
  7. Give bullet points for it to write a formal letter, and have it ask you questions that will improve the letter.
  8. Have it read and summarize a long document.
  9. Tell it to convert disorganized data from a PDF into an Excel spreadsheet.
  10. Have it proofread something you write.
  11. Ask it to explain something that happened in a popular movie (it has seen most of them).
  12. Give it a screen shot of hard-to-use software or a website and ask for advice.

Once you start using AI for these and other everyday tasks, you will return to it often, and your skill in instructing it will grow. AI has transcendent knowledge and a way with words. Any task you can think of that leverages these capabilities can be handed off, making you more efficient in work and play.

As a closing point, this new technology can also write software. LLM AIs know many programming languages and are good with them just like they are with English. And even if this may not sound like a way you want to use it, appreciate the revolutionary importance of software that can write software. This ability will launch a virtuous circle of improvement in the years ahead. Try and use AI now, become proficient, and stay up with the latest as this new technology improves and finds broad application in increasingly powerful ways.


Trey English is the former President of Energid Technologies Corporation. Current freelance software business strategist and a fifth generation resident of Alva.

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