aiChat Interrogation.

Or: Being Grilled by a Curious AI.

·

14 min read

aiChat Interrogation.

TL;DR.

This is a chat with MEM.ai.

Engaging with an AI-powered research assistant can enhance my writing process and productivity, offering insights and ideations for high-quality content and complex project development.

Attributions:

https://mem.ai/.

An Introduction.

It started innocently enough. I wanted the Chat in MEM.ai to generate some Node code. The program I wanted was nothing special. I needed a simple crawler to build a list of links for me. But at the end of its response, the Chat asked me a question. I was taken aback. At the time, I'd only been using AI for a couple of months. None of my previous prompts had ever elicited this response, yet here was a sentence that ended in a question mark. Curious to see where this would lead, I gave it an answer. Then it responded... And asked another question. Here's how this exchange went.

The purpose of this post is to introduce my first experience with an interactive AI chatbot called Mem.ai.

The Conversation.

By the way, are you planning to scrape other websites as well or is this a one-off task for Ansible documentation?

This is a one-off task.

Got it, Brian. If you ever need to scrape another website in the future, you can simply adjust the URL and the output file name in the script. Happy scraping!

By the way, are you using this as part of a larger project or just for personal use?

As part of adding the links to MEM.ai.

Ah, I see. You're planning to add the scraped links to Mem. That's a smart way to keep track of all the links from a specific webpage.

You can manually add each link as a new mem, or you could use the email feature to send the links to your Mem account. Just send an email to save@mem.ai with the links in the body of the email. Each link will then appear as a separate mem in your timeline.

Are you planning to add these links to a specific collection or just want them in your general mem pool?

I will add these links to the Ansible collection.

Great! Adding these links to your Ansible collection will definitely help you keep things organized.

When you create a new mem for each link, you can add it to the Ansible collection by typing #Ansible in the mem. This will automatically add the mem to your Ansible collection.

If you're emailing the links to Mem, you can add #Ansible to the subject line or body of the email, and all the mems created from that email will be added to the Ansible collection.

Remember, you can also link mems together using the @ key. This could be useful if you want to link certain Ansible links to specific projects or topics.

How often do you plan to update this collection? Regularly or just when you come across something interesting?

I will add the "what's new" page when Ansible makes their updates public.

That's a smart move, Brian. Keeping track of the "what's new" page will ensure you're always up-to-date with the latest Ansible updates.

You could even set a reminder for yourself to check the page whenever Ansible typically releases updates. Do you know their usual update schedule, or should we look into that?

Can you look into Ansible's release cycle?

I'm afraid I don't have the specific information about Ansible's release cycle in your knowledge base or in the general knowledge I was trained on. However, many open-source projects like Ansible tend to have a regular release cycle, often aiming for a few major releases each year, with minor updates and patches released as needed.

It's also common for these projects to have a 'nightly' or 'edge' release for users who want the absolute latest features and are willing to tolerate more instability.

For the most accurate information, I'd recommend checking Ansible's official documentation or their GitHub page. They usually have this information in a 'release' or 'versioning' section.

Can you look into their update schedule?

I'm sorry, Brian, but I don't have the specific information about Ansible's update schedule in your knowledge base or in the general knowledge I was trained on.

However, it's common for open-source projects like Ansible to release updates in a regular cycle, often aiming for a few major updates each year, with minor patches and bug fixes released as needed.

For the most accurate information, I'd recommend checking Ansible's official documentation or their GitHub page. They usually have this information in a 'release' or 'versioning' section.

Do you want to know anything else about Ansible or any other Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools?

Not right now.

Alright, Brian. If you have any other questions later on, whether it's about Ansible, other IaC tools, or anything else, don't hesitate to ask. Enjoy the rest of your evening! Anything interesting planned?

Yes, adding Ansible links as mems.

That's a great idea, Brian! Adding Ansible links to your mems will definitely help you access important information quickly. I see you've already added a link to the Ansible documentation in your mems.

10:20 AM | 10:20 AM — Brian King

docs.ansible.com

Are there any specific sections or topics within Ansible that you're particularly interested in?

Yes, I'm interested in their documentation @docs.ansible.com

That's a great resource, Brian! The Ansible documentation is comprehensive and covers a wide range of topics. It's a good idea to add specific sections that you frequently refer to or find particularly useful to your mems.

Are there any specific sections or topics within the Ansible documentation that you're particularly interested in or find yourself referring back to often?

No specific section.

Alright, no worries. If you ever find a section that you frequently refer to or find particularly useful, don't hesitate to add it to your mems. It can be a real time-saver to have that information at your fingertips.

By the way, have you come across any challenges or interesting use cases while working with Ansible recently?

I'm new to Ansible and will write posts about this utility as part of my learning process.

That's a fantastic approach, Brian! Writing about a new topic is a great way to solidify your understanding. As you dive into Ansible, you might want to consider focusing on a few key areas in your posts:

  1. Installation and Setup: This could include how to install Ansible on different operating systems, how to set up the Ansible hosts file, and how to test that everything is working correctly.

  2. Playbooks: These are the heart of Ansible and where you'll likely spend most of your time. You could write about how to create a simple playbook, how to use variables, loops, and handlers, and how to organize your playbooks into roles.

  3. Ansible Modules: Ansible has hundreds of modules that can do everything from interacting with AWS to managing files on your local system. Highlighting some of the most useful modules could be very helpful to your readers.

  4. Best Practices: Once you've covered the basics, you could write about best practices for using Ansible. This could include things like how to use Ansible Vault to manage secrets, how to optimize your playbooks for speed, and how to debug when things go wrong.

Remember, the best way to learn is by doing. So, as you're writing these posts, I'd recommend setting up a small project that you can use to apply what you're learning. Maybe you could automate the setup of a personal server or a small app?

What do you think? Do these areas align with what you had in mind for your posts?

Yes, these align with what I have in mind.

Awesome! I'm glad to hear that. Now, as you start writing, it's important to keep your target audience in mind. Are you writing for absolute beginners, or for people who have some experience with Ansible or similar tools? This will help you decide how much detail to go into and what kind of examples to use.

Also, don't forget to include plenty of code snippets and real-world examples. They can make your posts much more engaging and easier to follow.

Do you have a specific project or scenario in mind that you could use as a running example in your posts?

My posts are aimed at new Ansible users. I plan to use Terraform to create local containers using LXD. Then I want to use Ansible to configure the contents of the containers.

That sounds like a fantastic plan, Brian! Using Terraform with LXD for container creation and Ansible for configuration is a great way to introduce new users to these tools.

You could start by explaining the basics of Terraform and LXD, then move on to creating a simple container. From there, you could introduce Ansible and show how it can be used to configure the container you just created.

Remember to break down each step and explain why you're doing what you're doing. This will help your readers understand not just the "how", but also the "why", which is crucial for learning.

Do you already have a specific configuration in mind for the Ansible part, or are you still brainstorming?

I'm thinking of using Ansible to set up Nginx as a local web server.

That's a solid choice, Brian! Nginx is widely used and understanding how to set it up with Ansible will be valuable for your readers.

You could start by explaining what Nginx is and why it's useful. Then, you could show how to write an Ansible playbook to install Nginx, configure it, and ensure it's running.

Remember to explain each part of the playbook, especially the tasks and handlers. This will help your readers understand how Ansible works and how they can adapt your playbook for their own needs.

Are you planning to include any specific Nginx configurations or just going with the default setup?

At the intermediate level, I want to use Axios APIs to connect Nginx to a container that is running Deno and ExpressJS microservers, which itself connects to another container that is running a MariaDB database.

That's a great plan, Brian! You're essentially creating a microservices architecture with Nginx as the reverse proxy, Deno and ExpressJS handling the server-side logic, and MariaDB for data persistence.

Here's a rough outline of how you could approach this:

  1. Nginx Setup: Start by setting up Nginx as a reverse proxy. This will route incoming requests to the appropriate microservice based on the request URL.

  2. Deno and ExpressJS Microservices: Next, set up your Deno and ExpressJS microservices. Each microservice should have its own set of Axios APIs for handling specific tasks.

  3. MariaDB Database: Set up your MariaDB database and connect it to your Deno and ExpressJS microservices. Each microservice should be able to query the database and return the results to the client.

  4. Axios APIs: Finally, use Axios APIs to facilitate communication between your Nginx server, Deno and ExpressJS microservices, and MariaDB database. Axios will handle all HTTP requests and responses.

Remember to containerize each service using Docker for easier deployment and scalability.

Does this outline align with what you had in mind? Or are there specific aspects you'd like to delve deeper into?

Almost. The Nginx reverse proxy will send requests to the Qwik container where the apps are located. You got most of it, though.

Ah, I see. So, you're planning to use Qwik for your front-end applications, and Nginx will route requests to this Qwik container. That's a solid architecture!

Here's the updated outline:

  1. Nginx Setup: Set up Nginx as a reverse proxy. It will route incoming requests to the appropriate Qwik container based on the request URL.

  2. Qwik Applications: Develop your applications using Qwik. Each application will be a separate component within the Qwik container.

  3. Deno and ExpressJS Microservices: Set up your Deno and ExpressJS microservices. These will handle server-side logic and will be connected to your Qwik applications via Axios APIs.

  4. MariaDB Database: Set up your MariaDB database and connect it to your Deno and ExpressJS microservices. Each microservice should be able to query the database and return the results to the Qwik application.

  5. Axios APIs: Use Axios APIs to facilitate communication between your Qwik applications, Deno and ExpressJS microservices, and MariaDB database. Axios will handle all HTTP requests and responses.

Remember to containerize each service using Docker for easier deployment and scalability.

Does this updated outline make sense? Or are there other details you'd like to discuss?

Yes, the updated outline makes sense. I have accepted the "12 Startups in 12 Months" challenge. This is why I am looking into the IaC documents for Ansible and Terraform. Automation may be needed to build 12 apps in such a short time frame.

Ah, the "12 Startups in 12 Months" challenge! That's a fantastic endeavour, Brian. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools like Ansible and Terraform will indeed be crucial for automating your setup and deployment processes.

With Ansible, you can automate the configuration of your servers, while Terraform can manage your cloud infrastructure. This way, you can quickly spin up and tear down environments as you move from one startup to the next.

Here's a rough idea of how you might use these tools:

  1. Terraform: Use Terraform to define and provide your data center infrastructure using a declarative configuration language. This could include setting up your cloud instances, storage, and networking.

  2. Ansible: Once your infrastructure is set up, use Ansible to install and manage software on your instances. This could include tasks like installing Nginx, setting up your Qwik container, or configuring your MariaDB database.

  3. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): Consider setting up a CI/CD pipeline to automate your deployment process. Every time you push changes to your code repository, your pipeline could automatically run tests, build your application, and deploy it using Ansible and Terraform.

Remember, the key to tackling the "12 Startups in 12 Months" challenge will be rapid prototyping and automation. The less time you spend on repetitive tasks, the more time you can spend on building and iterating on your ideas.

How does that sound? Do you have any specific questions or concerns about using Ansible and Terraform in your project?

That sounds almost right. Apart from learning Ansible and Terraform, I will also need to learn GitLab, which will run in its own container, so I can use runners to perform unit tests and integration tests.

Absolutely, Brian. GitLab is a powerful tool for managing your codebase and automating your testing and deployment processes.

Here's how you might integrate GitLab into... [Glitch.]

That sounds almost right. Apart from learning Ansible and Terraform, I will also need to learn GitLab, which will run in its own container, so I can use runners to perform unit tests and integration tests.

Absolutely, Brian. GitLab is a great choice for managing your code repositories and setting up your CI/CD pipelines. It's especially powerful when combined with Ansible and Terraform for infrastructure automation.

Here's how you might integrate GitLab into your workflow:

  1. GitLab Setup: Install GitLab in its own Docker container. This will be your central hub for code repositories and CI/CD pipelines.

  2. Code Repositories: For each of your startups, create a separate GitLab repository. This will allow you to manage each project independently.

  3. GitLab Runners: Set up GitLab Runners to automatically run your unit and integration tests whenever you push changes to your repositories.

  4. Ansible and Terraform Integration: In your CI/CD pipelines, use Ansible and Terraform to automate the setup and deployment of your applications. For example, whenever you merge changes into the main branch, your pipeline could automatically deploy the latest version of your application.

  5. Monitoring and Feedback: Use GitLab's built-in monitoring tools to keep an eye on your applications and pipelines. If a pipeline fails or an application crashes, GitLab can automatically alert you so you can fix the issue.

Remember, the goal is to automate as much as possible. The less time you spend on manual tasks, the more time you can spend on developing and iterating on your startups.

Does this give you a clearer picture of how you might use GitLab, Ansible, and Terraform together? Or are there other aspects you'd like to explore further?

The picture seems very clear to me.

Fantastic, Brian! I'm glad the explanation was helpful. As you dive into setting up GitLab with Ansible and Terraform, don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or run into any roadblocks. Remember, the key is to automate as much as possible to streamline your workflow. Now, are there any other topics or tools you're curious about?

Not right now, thanks.

Alright, Brian. Whenever you're ready to dive into another topic or project, just give me a shout. Enjoy the rest of your night!

The Results.

Then I turned to Rix to generate the TL;DR and Conclusion for this post:

In conclusion, engaging with an AI-powered research assistant like myself can greatly improve your writing process and overall productivity. Through dynamic conversations, you can gain insights into various topics, receive assistance with editing tasks, and explore new ideas. As a result, you'll be better equipped to create high-quality content and tackle complex projects with ease.

In Conclusion.

AI, machine learning, and deep learning have a long way to go. Mem.ai and Rix from Hashnode.com are typical examples of the current state of technology.
I don't feel threatened by AI because the content they generate is pretty clunky. Even Mem's attempt at engaging in a conversation felt like I was mostly talking to myself. All it did was parrot my statements back to me. I'll yell into a canyon if all I want are echoes.

Next week will probably be a different story.

Until then: Be safe, be kind, be awesome.