Houjun Liu


Why is building a to-do list app so darn hard?

Last edited: October 10, 2023
Why are Todo Lists (a.k.a. personal productivity systems) so hard to build well? I’m genuinely curious. I was listening to the last episode of Cortex, and one of the hosts (CGP Grey) brought up a similar point regarding personal productivity platforms. OmniFocus, the reigning champion of the industry for professionals looking for a deeply customized system, has been staggering in their ability to ship the next version of their application. Much of the market consists of various different packagings of the same offering.

Make Models Go Brrr: Model Parallel Whisper Training

Last edited: October 10, 2023
Happy Monday friends. The deliverable of the week was to make the a ASR model for Batchalign. Essentially, most copies of Whisper is pretty bad at Language Sample Analysis (LSA), because they mostly don’t work in terms trying to actually capture the things that people doing LSA want to capture (disfluencies, stuttering, etc.). OpenAI even acknowledged in the paper that they filtered out the disfluencies from their gold transcript to prevent Whisper from writing down too much of them.

Welcome to the Fireside

Last edited: October 10, 2023
Fireside a series of articles that I’m writing to consolidate my learning. I have always dreamed of blogging. I have even tried once called 20MinuteRants. They worked quite well as a basic format whereby I can write about things in a fairly efficient manner (hence the 20 minutes), and be able to reflect about the things I’m up to. The problem with the project is that I rarely had the motivation to do one.