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🐶 How to use LLMs as your personal research assistant

PLUS: Amazon has launched Amazon Q

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Howdy, happy Thursday, AI family! 🐶

🧵 Here’s some useful AI news and tools I gathered today:

  • 💡 How to use LLMs as your research assistant

  • 🤌 14 Cool AI/Tech updates

  • 🔍️ + new AI Tools, Resources, and other news

Ready, Set, Go: Today’s read should be about a 3.5-minute read.


💡 How to use LLMs as your research assistant

The first and most important rule is this:

Never ask an LLM for information you can't validate yourself or to do a task that you can't verify has been completed correctly.

The one exception is when it's not a crucial task. For instance, asking an LLM for apartment decorating ideas is fine.

Bad: "Using literature review best practices, summarize the research on breast cancer over the last ten years."

This is a bad request because you can't directly check if it's summarized the literature correctly.

Better: "Give me a list of the top review articles on breast cancer research from the last 10 years."

This is better because you can verify that the sources exist and vet them yourself, and of course, they are authored by human experts.


It's pretty easy to ask an LLM to write code or find relevant information for you, but the quality of the responses can vary widely. Luckily, there are things you can do to improve the quality.


  • Tell the LLM explicitly what information it should be using

  • Use terminology and notation that biases the LLM towards the right context

If you have thoughts about how to approach a request, tell the LLM to use that approach.

"Solve this inequality."

"Solve this inequality using the Cauchy-Schwarz theorem, followed by an application of completing the square."

These models are much more advanced in language than we might think.

Even extremely vague guidelines can be helpful.


This isn't Google. You don't have to worry about whether there's a website that discusses your exact problem.

 "How do I solve a simultaneous equation involving quadratic terms?"

 "Solve x=(1/2)(a+b) and y= (1/3) (a^2+ab+b^2 for a and b" for a and b"


Take advantage of the flexibility of LLMs to format the output in the way that's best for you, such as:

  • Code

  • Mathematical formulas

  • An essay

  • A tutorial

  • Bullet points

You can even ask for code that generates:

  • Tables

  • Plots

  • Diagrams

Once you have the output of an LLM, that is only the beginning.


This includes:

  • Finding inconsistencies

  • Googling terminology in the response to get supporting sources

  • Where possible, generate code to test the claims yourself

LLMs often make weird mistakes that are inconsistent with their seeming level of expertise.

For instance, an LLM might mention an extremely advanced mathematical concept yet fumble over simple algebra.

This is why you need to CHECK EVERYTHING.


  • If you see an error or inconsistency in the response, ask the LLM to explain it

  • If the LLM generates code with bugs, cut and paste the error messages into the LLM window and ask for a fix


LLMs are random. Sometimes simply starting a new window and asking your question again can give you a better answer.


I currently use Bing AI, GPT-4, GPT-3.5, and Bard AI, depending on my needs. They have different strengths and weaknesses.

In my experience, it's good to ask GPT-4 and Bard AI the same math questions to get different perspectives.

Bing AI is good for web searches. GPT-4 is significantly smarter than GPT-3.5 (like a student at the 90th percentile vs. the 10th percentile) but harder to access (for now).


References are an especially weak point for LLMs. Sometimes, the references an LLM gives you exist, and sometimes they don't.

The fake references aren't completely useless. In my experience, the words in the fake references are usually related to real terms and researchers in the relevant field. So googling these terms can often get you closer to the information you're looking for.

Additionally, Bing AI is designed to find web-references, so it's also a good option when hunting for sources.


There are a lot of unrealistic claims that LLMs can make you 10x or even 100x more productive. In my experience, that kind of speedup only makes sense in cases where none of the work is being double-checked, which would be irresponsible for me as an academic.

However, specific areas where LLMs have been a big improvement in my academic workflow are:

  • Prototyping ideas

  • Identifying dead-end ideas

  • Google searches

One final word of advice: Be careful not to get sucked into side projects. The sudden increase in productivity from these tools can be intoxicating and can lead to a loss of focus.


Traditional website builders often promise simplicity, but making a sleek, professional website can be far trickier than expected. Navigating through design choices and dealing with complex code can be daunting.

But with AI platforms like Mixo, with just a simple prompt you can create an impressively professional multi-page website in seconds.

What's more, editing the design and content is straightforward with the help of the integrated AI editor.

This smart tech manages not just the content and structure of your website but also oversees customer subscriptions, SEO, and more, saving you time and leaving you to focus on launching your business idea.

Curated updates

  1. OpenAI just updated its website. It looks pretty good.

  2. Amazon has launched Amazon Q, a generative AI assistant designed for developers and businesses.

  3. An internal email revealed that Microsoft invested in OpenAI partly because it was “very, very worried” about falling behind Google.

  4. Open Gemini anywhere in Chrome by typing “@”. It’s that easy.

  5. AI video throwdown: OpenAI’s Sora vs. Runway and Pika.

  6. Google just announced Med-Gemini for medical tasks. It beats GPT-4 on all benchmarks.

  7. Yelp is launching an AI chatbot to help consumers connect with relevant businesses. The chatbot uses OpenAI's LLMs and Yelp's data to understand user problems and provide relevant professional suggestions.

  8. Crypto is back. Stripe will start supporting global stablecoin payments this summer. Transactions instantly settle on-chain and automatically convert to fiat.

  9. Reviews of both The Humane AI Pin and Teenage Engineering’s Rabbit R1 are not positive.

  10. Airbnb Dives Into Pop Culture With New Home and Experiences Category Called ‘Icons’.

  11. Anthropic launches Claude 3 AI-powered iPhone app to compete with ChatGPT.

  12. Eight newspapers owned by Alden Global Capital’s MediaNews Group are reportedly suing Microsoft and OpenAI, alleging that the tech companies used the newspapers’ content to train artificial intelligence (AI) models.

  13. Pinterest says its AI-powered collages are now more engaging than Pins.

  14. ByteDance releases Hyper-SD! This brings high-quality image generation with Stable Diffusion down to a single inference step.

Useful AI Links

🔍️ Trending Tools

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  • Synthesia - New AI Avatars can blink and have realistic expressions

  • Iris Fun - Quickly snap an image to discuss anything on your screen.

  • Your Online Dressing Room - Try on any outfit you want instantly with AI

  • Braudit - A personal career guide for your career journey

  • Journable - Chat your way to health & fitness: AI-powered tracking

🤗 Free Goodies

  • Get key takeaways from a YouTube video using OpenAI and save it to Google Sheets

  • How to use Phantombuster to automate stuff.

🤗 Good Videos

1/ Did AI just end Music?

2/ The Possibilities of AI.

😮 Trending Posts on X

1/2 OpenAI is building AGI no matter what.

2/2 No caption is needed!

100% completed

That’s all for today

Thanks for reading. See you next time! Uff uff 🐶

💡 Help me get better and suggest new ideas at [email protected] or @heyBarsee

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Written with 💚 by Barsee (me) and Jet (my 🐶 )

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