paint-brush
Advanced Linux Shell with AI-powered Featuresby@abhisek
4,233 reads
4,233 reads

Advanced Linux Shell with AI-powered Features

by Abhi RajJune 15th, 2021
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

A programmer has created an AI-powered Linux shell that can generate commands based on what you write and execute. It can take your command in plain English and convert it into the Linux command and perform actions on it. With good speech-to-text capabilities, this could be the beginning of a usable voice assistant for Linux. The shell is not perfect, and its commands may not do the right thing or may do something harmful or unwanted, like sending an email to the wrong person or deleting the wrong files.

Company Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
featured image - Advanced Linux Shell with AI-powered Features
Abhi Raj HackerNoon profile picture

At some point in our lives, we have fantasized about having an AI assistant for ourselves which can calm one's curiosity, answer any of our questions, or do our typical boring internet stuff for us, very much like Jarvis from the Iron man movie.

Recently a programmer [River] made a Linux shell that can generate proper Linux commands based on what you write and execute. Now, if this doesn’t excite you, God knows what will.

This Linux shell was created in python; it can take your command in plain English and convert it into the Linux command and perform actions on it. 

You can also see how this Linux shell works in the video below.

This Ai-powered Linux shell was created with the help of the OpenAI GPT-2 language model. For those new to the AI world - OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research laboratory co-founded by Elon Musk (which should not be surprising to anyone).

OpenAI has launched a Generative Pre-trained Transformer 2 (GPT-2), a language model that can predict the next word very accurately, and it can also translate text into programmatic Linux commands.

What works with this shell?

Some features of this AI-powered Linux shell are file management, creating ASCII text, sending email to someone, and other small online tasks.

What doesn’t work?

Although it’s fascinating to watch, just like other AI projects, it is still not perfect. It gets confused easily and sometimes fails to do complex things. For example, in response to "generate an image of three giraffes", it just created a blank image.

Also, it failed to download country GDP or population data on request and failed on commands like "sort data.csv by the last column descending".

And sometimes, it even makes things up, which doesn’t even exist. for example, in response to 

~> download IE5dom.exe

It comes up with this:

<~ wget http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/4/1/3419d6e5-d0e4-4fde-b0e5-5b6a9c4d8e2d/IE5DOM.EXE

which seems like a valid download link, but if you visit the link, you will get a “404 Not Found Error”, which technically means it’s a fake link.

According to the programmer, This Linux shell is not perfect, and its commands may not do the right thing or may do something harmful or unwanted, like sending an email to the wrong person or deleting the wrong files. Hence it’s not ready to be used. However, those who are interested in trying this Linux shell can visit here

For now, OpenAI is not available to everyone due to its lengthy review process and pricing model. You would need an OpenAI API key, which is not free, and you would have to join the OpenAI private beta waitlist to get the key, or you can download and run a GPT-2 model offline on your computer to try it.

With some improvement, it can be extremely useful for people who are new to Linux. With good speech-to-text capabilities, this could be the beginning of a usable voice assistant for Linux.

Previously published at https://riveducha.onfabrica.com/openai-powered-linux-shell