So, been considering implementing a feature that Discourse recently made available as a plugin

So, if I do this, I want to be very clear that it will be restricted to using a self-hosted version of the functionality.

What am I talking about? Discourse recently created an official AI plugin that enables some features that I think would actually benefit us in the long term. One of the most important functions? it would suggest other topics at the end of each thread like it does now, except they’d actually have some relevance to the topic you’re currently reading.

it also enables several moderation tools that would simplify both mine and @BrownOwl’s lives.

To be clear here, I’m only coonsidering enabling this right now, and I won’t do it if you’re not okay with it. This is very much a community decision.

So thoughts?

Is this just topic based? Looks at the story and finds others that are similar? Or is it more like the ad generators that follows you around? If it’s the first I think it’s worth a try as searching by keyword or topic is a little clumsy here. (and honestly all of the ABDL sites!) If it’s the second, for privacy reasons most would probably rather not?

Thank you for continuing to improve things around here! :slightly_smiling_face:

Is it locally hosted or does it have to call home with the information?

She was clear it would be ‘self-hosted’ so I think it’s all internal.

It’s mostly topic based. and I say mostly only because of one key part of the algorithm it uses. It ranks the results based on your Tracking/Watching settings on other topics it considers related and it also takes into consideration the posts in those related topics that you’ve added the :heart: reaction to.

So for example, if you have a bunch of messing stories on your watching list or have liked a lot of story posts that talk about it, it will more heavily suggest stories that include messing over other similar stories that don’t.

As @BabySofia said, this is answered literally in the first paragraph. It’s self-hosted. It just needs to run on a dedicated database server, which it already has access to because i already use a dedicated databasee server for the forums. That’s why you only see a few minutes of downtime during updates actually. The webUI is separate from the database so I can update it without needing to take the UI down first. In fact you only see big downtimes like the one earlier this month when the update requires database migrations :slight_smile:

Now, the plugin itself does support using external services as well, but I wouldn’t enable that functionaliity because between the nature of the content and my personal feelings on privacy i wouldn’t feel comfortable using it. It is a trade-off in accuracy, but the slight issues it would create in the accuracy is, IMHO, worth it to protect people’s privacy. :slight_smile:

Sounds like it would be pretty safe to use, especially with not contacting outside areas. From what I am understanding is it would track you less than Google does, and what it watches would be limited to this site. I think it is worth a try and is something that could always be turned off if it tries to do more than intended or doesn’t work as intended.

To be clear, it doesn’t track you at all actually, it just uses data that Discourse itself already maintains about you.

Hre’s what it does with relation to topic suggestions:

  1. Determines based on the contents of the topic which other topics are most likely related to it. It does this for logged in users and guests, so no personal info is used at all at this stage
  2. If you’re logged in, as the suggested Topics function does now, the Related topics gets sorted based on the frequency of the keywords that the AI determined are most relevant to this topic. It does this by doing what Suggested Topics does: It gives priority to topics you’ve previously read that have new replies since you last viewed it.
  3. It checks the number of likes you’ve given to posts in each of the topics and for posts using the :heart: reaction (the internal Like function) it uses those to filter the list to the options you’re more likely to be interested, which means it doesn’t necessarily suggest Unread/New topics. It could just as easily suggest a story from 2010. :slight_smile:

And that’s literally it. That’s all it shcecks, and none of that data is directly accessible to anyone but me, and quite frankly, I really don’t give a shit what topics you’re tracking/watching/liking/muting. I have far better things to do with my time :wink:

Oh, that does remind me of one small detail: Your muted topics/tags/tcategories does also influence the results because it won’t show anything that’s muted.

It also ignores topics that are in sections that you don’t have access to, and it doesn’t have access to your PMs at all since someone sent me a PM and asked about that :slight_smile:


I think it’s very cool I would be very happy to have it and try it out!!

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