AI: chatGPT alternatives

By | February 14, 2023

GPT means Generative Pre-trained Transformer

It’s been the buzz since Fall 2022, and AI is slowly creeping in our lives. I have even used ChatGPT a few times to ask questions on Python code or regular expression usage with sed.

This 18min YouTube video “The AI wars: Google vs Bing (ChatGPT)” mentions 2 other AI “GPT” sites:

. The AI Search Engine You Control
. Conversational AI for everyone (site for data collection, not answers. See details at


I had asked ChatGPT the following question:

Can you explain in plain English the strem editor and regular expression that follows: sed 's/(.)/\1\n/g'

The ChatGPT answer was 1/2 page long and correctly explained. The You.Com answer was a lot more complicated even though it provided a lot of interesting information, with some added sarcasm! It first said: “It’s a bad example; you shouldn’t follow it.” But then it provided a long tirade on how it actually works, even though the style was not as “smooth” as that of ChatGPT.

But I learned a new word: “sigil” which was use to describe the / separator, then indicating that any character can be used as a sigil, providing an example using @ instead: `

sed -e 's@^[.]/@@g'

One of the sarcastic comment was about the / separator (sigil) that has to be escaped as \/ because the symbol is used both as a sigil and as a character in the formulaes. Here is the verbatim sarcasm given by

Any character can be used as a sigil, and the person who chose to use / for this expression was, to be charitable, not thinking about what they were doing very hard).

In explaining the trailing g in the command (which I always assumed meant “global” so that all matches are changed, not just the first one – which is true within vi or vim) wrote (I add italics to highlight…)

  • g in the flags section indicates that more than one replacement can happen each line. In conjunction with ^, this has no meaning, since there can only be one beginning-of-the-line per line; further evidence that the person who wrote your example wasn’t thinking much.

It seems that these answers are rehashed from sites like Stack Overflow, even though I cannot find the original with Google. The first answer was:

Asked Jun 11, 2015 • -2 votes 2 answers
I’m studying Bash programming and I find this example but I don’t understand what it means: In particular the argument passed to sed after ‘-e’.

filtered_files=`echo "$files" | sed -e 's/^\.\///g'`

The origin of the answer remains elusive.

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