Two-way conversations and AI

The adventure continues

Two-way conversations and AI

The reason for writing a blog is to share thoughts and ideas with other people. The whole nature of sharing is about trying to have a two-way conversation so that what is shown reflects the interests of the viewer and reader as much as the producer or contributor. Many people are happy to consume and leave involvement to things involving their work or home life. Reading the blog might be a temporary escape from the rigours of daily decision-making and contribution. Life is about choice, and that’s what I want to provide. Considering that a blog is made up of words, pictures and videos doing 2 things. Firstly, it informs or communicates thoughts and experiences of the places that we visit.

To break that down a little further, apart from sharing the visual, geographical and cultural experiences of new destinations. I hope to add in an educational component as well. That might be in the form of providing tips, lists or information that make a similar journey for someone else a little bit easier. Additionally, because of my education background using technology with teachers and students. I want to share some of the how-tos that are associated with my use of software and hardware to provide these stories.

Of course, My contributions and Helen’s are only our own opinions. Let’s use the example of taking a bunch of photographs of the location on a day. There will be the so-called “SOTD” or shot of the day which is the one out of many, that we might think is the best one. The one I like may be different to the one that Helen likes and the one that you like. Because I take a lot of photographs. It would be unfair of me to ask you to rank or pick your selection for the shot of the day from possibly 200 photographs.

Although I may be able to provide that option. For most people, though, seeing 5 or 7 pictures on the screen and clicking just one as their favourite while they scroll through is possibly doable. I am currently working on a solution that will be easy for me to collect a set of 9 thumbnails that we like and with one click you can choose the one that you like. That just means we can be guided by you and maybe take more of those kinds of pictures.

I am also keen to hear back from you in the comment section of the blog providing me with either places you think we should go to, places you would like to go to or questions you might have about our journey. With some of the posts so far I haven’t gone into detail regarding specific companies, especially in relation to financial matters. But after some informal discussions with a person who had read my blog, I think I need to be brave and call out companies where the experience could actually be detrimental.

Collaboration and Interaction

One of the collaboration ideas is an adaption of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” primarily for students who might be interested in a mix of real-life travel and fictional adventure. You can try out this live version which is a mixture of the original in Google Earth. My idea is to create something similar based on our destinations. So we could ask clues from people in Santiago, which would then guide us to Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. Even though it seems like a lot of work, it provides a challenge for me to research some of the geographical and cultural information relating to our current and next destinations.

Another positive way of collaborating… here I am embedding a quiz that will result in what’s called a word cloud. If you click on the link below you will be asked to enter a word or phrase which describes South America. As more people complete this work cloud will form. That will be embedded below the link to complete your entries for the word cloud. It is anonymous and if nobody collaborates then we will have an empty word cloud. So if you get a chance try it out.

  • Step 1. Click the hyperlink below
  • Step 2. Add in up to three words that you think of when you think of South America
  • Step 3. It is totally anonymous and actually, anyone can add words, so please keep it nice
  • Step 4. Check out the changing word cloud below. (I don’t know if you will need to refresh the screen to view your additions. (To contribute your word/s)

The Results

What about Artificial Intelligence?

At this stage, you’re probably thinking there’s not very much. AI or artificial intelligence in this blog post. This is where I want to introduce you to a software solution called DALL e which is a combination of the words Salvador Dali and Wall E. Using words and sentences you create this application can generate an artistic image reflecting those words. This is not patching together bits of clipart found on the web, this is actually interpreting the words, understanding them and generating from scratch and image. The best reflects what those words represent.

I saw this in action out at Berry Springs primary school being demonstrated by Brett Salakas from HP. The net effect was teaching English to children while having an extreme amount of fun. The phrase that the classroom collaboratively generated was something along the lines of a dragon riding a mono cycle at a circus in the clouds. Some of the images produced by DALL e were good enough for you to print and hang on your wall. The free version offers some very interesting but cutdown features which are worth exploring and integrating into your classroom. Although I probably won’t be using it in this blog, I certainly will be introducing the concept to any educators both here in Australia and in South America who might be interested in this approach and application, which is quite comfortable in not only English but Spanish as well.

To sign up for the word-based version which requires a little more reading and engagement, go here. To jump straight to the image creation part you can go to This is what was created when I typed in “a dragon riding a monocycle in a circus in the clouds”

It is important to remember here that these pictures had been created from scratch, from the words I typed. While it may not win an award. It is certainly better than anything I could draw and I can share it here copyright free.These images created out of words can be transformed into stories by students. I’m going to try it on the words that you put into the word cloud, so please be descriptive.

More pre-trip administration

we are scheduling our Covid shot number 4 for early October to hopefully ensure maximum efficacy during the early stages of our South American trip. We believe the finance side of things is sorted with a sufficient combination of online and plastic cards to assist us on our way around the world.

It is important to keep track of any notices that may be coming out regarding vulnerabilities on websites or devices. For instance, in the last day or so, an update to iOS devices has been flagged as quite important due to a security vulnerability. If you see messages like that, it is important to either update your device or be cautious when using it in public Wi-Fi environments.

We are still procrastinating over the main backpacks that we will be taking. However, we are working on the notion that to 40 L backpacks combined with 2 extra light fold-up backpacks of about 12 L each plus the laptop bag, and two bum packs. When reading advice on the Smart Traveler website, apart from expected advice regarding bag snatching and muggings, the warning that stood out to me was people having their bags or contents from their bags stolen while they slept on intercity bus journeys.

We will be travelling on buses and small planes. This is where we can use the smaller 12 L packs to store items needed to survive (also valuable items) in case the larger bags become lost. We certainly don’t want to be carrying 40 L backpacks with us everywhere we go and we hope this will be a sensible compromise to allow portability, security and flexibility.

GoPro 11

The GoPro 11 was launched on the 14th of September and I immediately purchased directly from GoPro. It would appear that it will arrive on 21 September giving me an opportunity to try it out at the APAC Adobe education Summit In Sydney, as well as capturing some beautiful pictures of my 2 lovely grand nieces, one of whom I will be seeing in person for the first time.

The GOPRO 11 ships with the new enduro battery. You can never have enough battery life.

It features a larger sensor, 10-Bit colour video, new ultra-wide ‘HyperView’ field of view, HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilization, Although when I am flying my plane, I believe in keeping the blue bits up and the green bits down the new full 360° horizon lock will keep the horizon stable. Even if I am inverted. No plans of doing that.

As a GoPro subscriber for the first time I will be able to (depending on Wi-Fi availability) to enjoy automatic cloud backup and highlight videos sent to my phone.

I have also just purchased the medium mod for the GOPRO 9 which I believe will also fit onto the GOPRO 11.

iOS 16

iOS 16 has been released and although it has many features one feature which might be handy if you don’t have photoshop or access to Adobe express handy is the ability to remove the background from an image. This allows you to select an object or subject a photo with a long press and then after the photo has been analysed in the background removed. You can drag and drop the photo to another app to share it or you can lift your finger and tap either the copy or share button.

Clearly, I’ve still got work in my mind because I am including too much related to tech. As the trip draws closer, do not fear there will be more about llamas, piranhas, pumas and penguins than Linux or photoshop. Stay well.


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