Edgecase 2023: A.I. on the kubernetes edge - Eelko de Vos

Tags: kubernetes, ai

(One of my summaries of the 2023 Dutch edgecase k8s conference in Utrecht, NL).

Artificial intelligence is all the rage nowadays. Mostly due to chatgpt being introduced a year ago.

According to Eelko, we are now living in the “alchemy area” of AI: we know it works, but we don’t know why/how it works. And we don’t know what it is capable of. “It is science, it is alchemy. The science behind AI is yet to come.”

What we previously thought AI would do: robotic house chores, transportation, creativity. “Transformers” are the newest revvolution. LLMs are a subset of transformers. Transformers are now used for languages, images, video, 3d modelling, etc.

On the one hand you’re currently apparently absolutely professionally required to use AI while coding. Chatgpt, github copilot, codewhisperer, etc. They aid developers in terrific ways. You program 10x as quickly. (Personal note: a 10x improvement was mentioned in Fred Brooks’ no silver bullet…)

On the other hand, LLM’s can’t necessarily be trusted. Hallucinations. They lack understanding of multi-layered concepts. And sometimes they generate code based on generated code… So don’t trust it per se. You can use it for simple questions.

LLMs are based on text. They are aimed at telling a story. If you ask it to solve an equation, it will give a well-worded wrong answer.

Eelko encourages everyone to use tools like github copilot: they’re great. It is good at explaining code in regular English or in flow diagrams. But always triple check the code if you generate something.

Now on to kubernetes. Chatgpt understands the main kubernetes concepts. Something to look at:

  • k8sgpt: scanning and diagnosing your cluster’s errors.

  • D2iQ: AI chatbot.

  • OpenLLM’s containerised LLM support.

They did an experiment with an AI bot that tried to fix a faulty cluster via chatgpt. No success, as the regular method of fixing a problem was to delete the resource. Or even the entire deployment: something that isn’t there doesn’t produce errors, so “success”!

Now, what does AI have in store for us? We don’t really know. Sometimes, with a size increase, an LLM suddenly can do things it couldn’t do before. They sometimes really surprise us. He thinks new LLM models will be smaller faster and cheaper. There’s no real threath, AI at the moment is just an aid. Complex systems will stay out of reach for now.

He thinks education will change a lot. Critical thinking and continous learning will be a major skill. As well as mental and emotional health. Continuous learing, as what you’ve learned will be out of date once you’ve learned it.

Personal notes

  • On that last point, I don’t think it will be like that. The laws of physics won’t change from under your feet. The structure of the human body will be the same after you finished your education. Napoleon will still have been emperor.

  • If I can trust my daughter who studies AI, we know exactly how chatgpt works theoretically. Scientifically it is “just” a “large language model” which is a known technology within AI. Chatgpt is well-marketed, though. Oh, and it is probably producing prodigious amounts of CO2. And it is not open and it is based on years of inherently biased content.

  • Yeah right, I’m probably an old fossil, destined for the dustbin of history…

  • Anyway, that’s better than thinking we humans will be overtaken by AIs in six years time. “In a few years AIs will be superior and we will be like ants to them. They won’t exterminate us, though, we’re useful to them.” Yeah right… I hope that last comment (in response to a question) was intended as a joke. It probably was and I’m probably getting a bit too grumpy.

  • There’s an AI conference in Groningen this november: https://aigrunn.org/ . “The AI tech event for software professionals”. I normally go to the pygrunn python conference by the same organisers: always good and well-organised and relaxed. I’m going to this one, too. I have to learn more about AI :-)

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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