Archive for February 2, 2023

Thursday, February 2, 2023

ChatGPT Plus

OpenAI (Hacker News):

The new subscription plan, ChatGPT Plus, will be available for $20/month, and subscribers will receive a number of benefits:

  • General access to ChatGPT, even during peak times
  • Faster response times
  • Priority access to new features and improvements

Johan Lajili (via Hacker News):

Whereas you might think “well, if it’s not broken don’t fix it”, I believe the web as a way to access information is getting worse by the day. Content generated with GPT-3 is going to start to show up for every long tail search under the sun, whereas regular content is going to get even heavier with SEO keyword to survive. The web is going to get worse and worse, and the only way to get good information is with a system that can extract the signal from the noise, a.k.a ChatGPT.

Arvind Narayanan and Sayash Kapoor (via Hacker News):

The philosopher Harry Frankfurt defined bullshit as speech that is intended to persuade without regard for the truth. By this measure, OpenAI’s new chatbot ChatGPT is the greatest bullshitter ever. Large Language Models (LLMs) are trained to produce plausible text, not true statements. ChatGPT is shockingly good at sounding convincing on any conceivable topic. But OpenAI is clear that there is no source of truth during training. That means that using ChatGPT in its current form would be a bad idea for applications like education or answering health questions. Even though the bot often gives excellent answers, sometimes it fails badly. And it’s always convincing, so it’s hard to tell the difference.

Yet, there are three kinds of tasks for which ChatGPT and other LLMs can be extremely useful, despite their inability to discern truth in general:

  1. Tasks where it’s easy for the user to check if the bot’s answer is correct, such as debugging help.

  2. Tasks where truth is irrelevant, such as writing fiction.

  3. Tasks for which there does in fact exist a subset of the training data that acts as a source of truth, such as language translation.


Twitter to Charge for API

Twitter Dev (Hacker News):

Starting February 9, we will no longer support free access to the Twitter API, both v2 and v1.1. A paid basic tier will be available instead.


We’ll be back with more details on what you can expect next week.

At present, I would pay a reasonable fee to keep using Twitter with NetNewsWire and IFTTT. That may change if the people I follow continue to leave the platform. And I think this may be shortsighted in that a free API encourages people to do things that make the platform more valuable.

As with other recent Twitter changes, it’s rude to announce this with so little notice—and no details.

Nick Heer:

As usual for the new Twitter, there are no details about what this means and no coordination among what is left of its teams — its developer site proudly still says it permits “free access”.

Eric Schwarz:

Although third-party clients have been gone for awhile, this will most likely kill automated posting tools. That’s been used for years on this site and it’s just not worth the money to pay for API access. It’s also a pretty bold move for Twitter to think that publications, especially smaller ones, should pay to generate content for their site even if it ultimately brings eyeballs to the destination sites. In addition to that, tools that allow you to delete your tweets or create things outside of simple posting will also go away.

Jeffrey Zeldman:

Here comes the punchline: one day Twitter emailed me to say that my Twitter Blue account was being discontinued, but I would soon have the opportunity to pay for an exciting new version of Twitter Blue.

Then Twitter emailed me inviting me to roll over my credit card so as to become a member of the new Twitter Blue. Which made me wonder: do I continue to go by the principle of paying for software I use, even when I disapprove of the direction in which a new owner is taking the platform? Or do I register my dislike of that direction by refusing to pay, even if it accelerates the death of the platform? (Whereas I was still hoping for the platform to survive and right itself, no pun intended.)

In the end, and I know I’ll lose many of you here, I decided to keep paying. And now the promised punchline: Twitter was unable to accept my credit card, and the subscription failed.


Update (2023-02-03): Ged Maheux:

Just amazing how far Musk has moved the goal posts so that giving Twitter devs a single week’s notice before their app/service is rendered inoperable is now considered an “improvement”. 🤬

Elon Musk:

Yeah, free API is being abused badly right now by bot scammers & opinion manipulators. There’s no verification process or cost, so easy to spin up 100k bots to do bad things.

Just ~$100/month for API access with ID verification will clean things up greatly.

If that’s the real motiviation, they should make the read-only parts of the API free.

Thomas Reed:

Musk is teaching a mastery-level class in how not to manage relationships with third-party developers.

Michael Love:

Twitter blocking Movetodon over unspecified violations[…]

Update (2023-02-13): Twitter Dev (last week):

We’re excited to announce an extension of the current free Twitter API access through February 13.


Paid basic access that offers low level of API usage, and access to Ads API for a $100 monthly fee.

A new form of free access will be introduced as this is extremely important to our ecosystem – limited to Tweet creation of up to 1,500 Tweets per month for a single authenticated user token, including Login with Twitter.

Twitter Dev:

There has been an immense amount of enthusiasm for the upcoming changes with Twitter API. As part of our efforts to create an optimal experience for the developer community, we will be delaying the launch of our new API platform by a few more days.

They still haven’t said anything about read access.

Ben Ubois:

A lot of customers have asked about the future of Twitter support in Feedbin. Even with today’s update there’s still not enough information to make a decision.

Feedbin’s priority is to keep the stuff that you subscribe to up-to-date, so the plan is to continue to use the API. However, it also depends on what the price ends up being[…]