Bespoke, up-to-date weather discussions for your trip
Powered by GPT-4 Turbo.
Our previous forecast of Thanksgiving TSA checkpoint numbers has held up reasonably well, with Wednesday’s 2.74 million travelers ending up in the 52nd percentile of our estimates. Thanksgiving Day did come in below the 5th percentile of our forecast, but our Prophet model still gives Sunday nearly a 50% chance to set a new screenings record (and the same 1 in 5 chance to reach 3 million).
But as the above-linked post suggested, we’ll mostly be using this space to update readers on what we’re building. So what’ve we been hacking on this last week? We think it’s something that’s especially relevant as travelers start to look ahead to their Thanksgiving return flights. Give us the airports you’ll be traveling from, to and via; and we’ll distill our much-loved forecast discussions from the National Weather Service using OpenAI’s GPT-4 Turbo.
We’ll share product improvements here. Subscribe for free!
Some readers might draw parallels to earlier iterations of this newsletter, when we were writing mostly about weather. While those posts could be quite practical, we struggled to provide ample coverage relative to all the airports a traveler might transit (and by the time we had finished writing, some information could already be stale). This distillation delivers much of the utilitarian value that our outlook posts provided, with the benefit of encoding the most recent information and a geographical focus tailored to your travels. You could almost consider it an on-call Tim.
We’ve experimented some with how we prompt the model, but—here especially—we welcome feedback: a broad cross-section of outputs will help us more scientifically tweak how we guide the model in its task. We’ve asked it to overweight the contents of the forecast discussion’s aviation section, avoid jargon or highly technical concepts, and highlight uncertainty. If you’re seeing summaries that are not consistent with this prompt engineering, please pass it along! Finally, we’ve initially designed this product with the mobile experience prioritized, but as we iterate on this new tool alongside our months-ahead forecasts, we’re likely to deliver some desktop improvements.
A beta version is available at close-in.aerology.ai; no credentials are required. Smooth travels!