Mike Cartmell’s blog

Thoughts from a software engineer in Singapore.

AI Ethics: Steering Humanity Towards Immortality or Extinction

Ever since I started to take notice of the recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI), from Dall-E and Stable Diffusion to GPT-3, I’ve had this “end-of-the-world” kind of feeling that I couldn’t quite explain. Not like the world is literally ending, but that humanity has discovered something so profound it will change the world forever. In this post I’ll explore what I think AI could mean for the future of human life, and why I think ethical AI research could make all the difference....

April 2, 2023 · 6 min · Mike Cartmell

Sudden Hearing Loss

Something weird happened to me just over a week ago: I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). I’ve just about fully recovered now, but it was quite scary and very different to what I thought it was going to be like. It started on Monday 20th February. I had just taken a shower and my ear felt strange, quite similar to the pressure from an airplane flight or some kind of blockage....

March 6, 2023 · 5 min · Mike Cartmell

Discovering New Music Using Spotify and Discogs APIs

Lately I’ve been in the mood for discovering new music. I had mostly been relying on Spotify for this, either looking for new material by bands I already know, or by using the Radio feature, or by searching public playlists. None of these were very satisfactory - I feel like Spotify tends to recommend you the same few bands, even though their library is vast. So I thought, OK, I’ll try searching myself....

September 24, 2022 · 4 min · Mike Cartmell

Self-hosting a cloud drive with Rclone

For a long time I had been using Google Drive to store all my important documents. It worked extremely well - always accessible no matter where I was, synced across all my devices, and never had to worry about my files being unavailable or deleted. Ultimately though, it didn’t feel like it was mine, and I didn’t like the idea of depending on Google. When searching for an alternative, I considered full-blown cloud solutions like Nextcloud/ownCloud, but they seemed overly complex to me....

September 17, 2022 · 5 min · Mike Cartmell

Trying Out iPhone

I decided to try switching over to an iPhone, as I mentioned in a previous post. The main reason is that it’s the final step in de-Googling myself, which is an achievement that I’ve been wanting to unlock for a while. I don’t really know if it’s any better for privacy than Android, but it should at least not be worse when configured properly. My phone of choice is an iPhone 7, which I got a good deal on from Carousell a while back, for the sole purpose of setting up an Apple Watch....

September 4, 2022 · 3 min · Mike Cartmell