Slotting in: welcome to Liverpool, Arne!

Written on 8 June 2024, 08:22pm

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Since 1st of June 2024, Arne Slot is the new head coach of Liverpool. He follows Jurgen Klopp, who won all the possible trophies with Liverpool in the last eight years. Unlike Klopp in 2016 (who won the Bundesliga twice and played a Champions League final), the dutchman comes with a relatively modest background, winning the Dutch league and playing the inaugural Conference League final. Stepping into big shoes is an understatement.

Here’s what Ted Lasso had to say about it:

Well, folks, I reckon Liverpool just hit the jackpot! Slot’s joining the club and it’s like finding the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle under the couch cushions – just the perfect fit. He’s gonna slide right into place, bringing that fresh energy and a whole lot of heart. Now, I know what you’re thinking – what’s in a name, right? But let me tell you, this guy’s a perfect fit, like peanut butter and jelly or a well-worn pair of boots. Coach Slot’s got a knack for finding just the right place for everyone, and I mean everyone. We’re talking about a new era here, so roll out the welcome mat, break out the biscuits, and get ready to see some real magic on the field. We’re in for a heck of a ride with Slot at the helm, folks! 

Ted Lasso, interviewed by ChatGPT

Slot inherits a structure and a squad that, like the Artificial Intelligence nowadays, has a huge potential, plenty of opportunities but also comes with considerable risks.

Let’s take these one by one.


The structure around the first team is now radically different. Michael Edwards is back, and so is Julian Ward. Slot will certainly be involved in recruitment, but the decision-making process will now also involve Edwards, Ward and the newly recruited sporting director Richard Hughes.
The squad also looks much improved compared to what Klopp inherited back in 2016. It is now full of young talent – Trent, Quansah, Kelleher, Elliott, Bradley, Gravenberch to name a few, with others like Carvalho or Morton coming back from loans. There are established leaders – Alisson, Virgil or Salah – and others who clearly have the potential to become world-class players: MacAllister, Szoboszlai or Diaz. In particular, there is a lot of excitment at the prospect of MacAllister playing in a more advanced role and Nuñez finding his rhythm.
The Kirkby training center was recently modernized, the stadium was also upgraded to over 61.000 places and Anfield remains one of the most difficult places to play for all the teams.


With all this structure in place, there is a clear opportunity for Slot’s Liverpool to match, if not exceed Klopp’s performance. Surely he will be given time, and he also has the advantage that he’s not been given the job to improve on perfection: what he’s inherited is not Liverpool’s team from 2019-2020, but one making slow starts, lacking composure in the final third and having difficulties closing out the games. So there’s clearly plenty of work ahead, but Slot will have the new leadership structure in place to help him sorting it out.
There are also plenty of opportunities when it comes to developing youngsters. Liverpool’s academy is full of talent waiting to be polished, and Slot might find the next Trent, Gerrard or Owen right in the back yard.
From a financial perspective, the club is currently on a very solid foundation. Unlike other clubs, Liverpool is not forced to sell anybody and is no danger of breaching the PL’s profit and sustainability rules (with only £6M loss over the last three seasons, well below the £105M limit). This means there is an opportunity to strengthen the squad and build for the future.


Slot inherits of course also plenty of risks. As the last 4-5 seasons showed, the risk of injuries is constantly looming over Liverpool’s squad. Whether this was down to the intensity and demands of Klopp’s training, the quality of the medical department or simply bad luck – we will probably never know. But Slot will have a fresh start, and perhaps, together with the new medical department, he will find a way to improve the players availability.
There are also three important contracts that Slot needs to sort out: Trent, Virgil and Salah. Granted, this is more of a job for Edwards and Ward, but this will require coordinated input from all the leadership roles, including Slot. Trent and Virgil, in particular, are players that Liverpool simply cannot afford to lose.
Slot will also need to find a way to improve Nuñez, who will be desperate to prove that he still has a place in the Liverpool starting XI. There might be players looking for a new challenge, such as Kelleher or Diaz – and Slot will have to deal with that too in his first weeks at the club.
One of the key risks in recent seasons was Liverpool constantly leaving themselves short in key departments. Not reacting to the defensive injury crisis in January 2021 or failing to address the glaring midfield issues back in the summer of 2022 were some of the most inexplicable mistakes. Hopefully Slot (together with Edwards & co) will find a way to address that too, with a new center back and defensive midfielder being the absolute minimum required this summer.
Game management was also one of the weak points in the last few seasons under Klopp. Slow starts and inability to get over the line – in particular against the Top 6 teams – were one of the reasons for the disappointing end of last season. Slot will have to improve this record sooner rather than later.
The supporters are one of the club key assets. I have no doubts that they will be 100% behind Arne, but the club will have to improve their communication with the supporter groups. As we saw just a few months ago, a badly managed situation – when the club announced the intention to increase the prices by 2% – created a toxic atmosphere in the stadium before the quarter final against Atalanta. More recently, the club’s intention to play home games away from Anfield shows a certain disconnection between the club and supporters, and causes an unwanted distraction for Slot.


As I said, there won’t be many expectations for Slot in his first season. Personally I would be happy seing the start of some good football, keeping the players healthy and avoiding the mistakes of the past.

In short, make us hope.

Prompt improvements

Written on 20 April 2024, 06:33pm

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Here’s the structure of an effective prompt recommended by the SANS Institute in their ‘Introduction to AI and Leveraging it in Cybersecurity‘ course:

context + the question (the task) + instructions

An example in the screenshot below, with the 3 paragraphs below following this structure:

A few more tips to improve the prompt results:

  1. be polite
  2. add emotional stimuli to your prompts
  3. use affirmative directions instead of negative (“do” instead of “don’t”)
  4. instruct the LLM to think step by step
  5. if you need to understand a complex topic, ask the LLM to ELI5 (“explain like I’m 5”)
  6. assign a role to the LLM

We observed that impolite prompts often result in poor performance, but overly polite language does not guarantee better outcomes. The best politeness level is different according to the language. This phenomenon suggests that LLMs not only reflect human behavior but are also influenced by language, particularly in different cultural contexts.

Our automatic experiments show that LLMs have a grasp of emotional intelligence, and their performance can be improved with emotional prompts (which we call “EmotionPrompt” that combines the original prompt with emotional stimuli). The implementation of EmotionPrompt is remarkably straightforward and requires only the addition of emotional stimuli to the initial prompts:

We present 26 guiding principles designed to streamline the process of querying and prompting large language models. The more precise the task or directive provided, the more effectively the model performs, aligning its responses more closely with our expectations. This suggests that LLMs do not merely memorize training data but are capable of adapting this information to suit varying prompts, even when the core inquiries remain constant. Therefore, it proves beneficial to assign a specific role to LLMs as a means to elicit outputs that better match our intended results.

Two things about modern-day journalism

Written on 27 March 2024, 09:50pm

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  1. It’s increasingly difficult to get informed, but much easier to be fed narratives
  2. The politicians are not supposed to be the story.

So, while this book is a love letter to the West, this chapter is a plea from the heart to journalists – please stop fucking with the media. It is not yours to co-opt or use to spread propaganda. You are merely stewards of the industry.

Konstantin Kisin: An Immigrant’s Love Letter to the West

Notice anything? 
Where’s the policy? Politicians are supposed to be vectors to solve our problems. They’re not supposed to be the story. We are supposed to be the story.

Brian Klaas. The Death of Serious Politics