AI-Powered "Second Brain" – Insights from Uphill Conf 24

In today's information overload, it's becoming increasingly important to manage and utilize knowledge efficiently. A "second brain," a system for storing and linking information, can be a great help.

In an interview with Katrin Horn, a developer at Glue Software Engineering, learn about her exciting experiences from the UpHill Conf 2024, which we sponsor every year. Discover in this step-by-step guide how anyone can develop such a "second brain" using open-source tools and artificial intelligence (AI). Here's the interview with Katrin:

Hello Katrin! Which presentation did you like the most at UpHill Conf 2024?
Katrin: The UpHill Conf 2024 was a fantastic experience. My personal highlight? That's hard to say. Definitely, the opening talk by Joshua Starmer on "Neural Networks: Where they are now, where they came from, and where they might go" impressed me. He explained a complex neural network step by step in a simple and understandable way. But Lisa Carpenter, Lead Data Science & AI Instructor at Digital Futures, also gave an outstanding presentation on a new topic. She talked about "Unlocking the Potential of Large Language Models: RAG – Augment LLMs With Your Specific Data and Knowledge". The idea of giving AI context to improve the quality of responses and explore new applications is simply logical. If we give our bodies high-quality food, they function better; the same is true for artificial intelligences.

What do you take away from UpHill Conf for your daily life?
Katrin: When it comes to daily application, whether for personal learning or work, the talk by Marc Herren on strategies for improved personal knowledge management was particularly relevant. He explained in a short time how to use AI to essentially train a "second brain". This means being able to query your notes with AI and access them even if you've long forgotten something. This talk was essentially the practical application of Lisa Carpenter's theory.

How do I build my personal "second brain"? Could I do that too?
Katrin: Yes, it is really applicable and suitable for everyone, even without IT knowledge. It's not that complicated. Here is an example of possible tools with Logseq, Ollama-Logseq, and Quivr:

Step 1: Collect and organize knowledge with Logseq
• Capturing information: Note down ideas, thoughts, insights, links, and other relevant information in Logseq.
• Using Markdown: Format notes with Markdown to keep them structured and clear.
• Linking notes: Create bidirectional links between notes to build knowledge networks.

Step 2: Add AI support with the Ollama-Logseq plugin
• Installing the Ollama-Logseq plugin: This plugin enables the integration of AI features in Logseq.
• Using natural language input: Create notes and tasks using natural language input, which is interpreted and processed by the AI.
• Receiving intelligent suggestions: Get suggestions from the AI for relevant links, tags, and categories.

Step 3: Expand knowledge with Quivr
• Importing notes into Quivr: Upload your Logseq notes and relevant documents to Quivr.
• Using the RAG framework: Train the AI with data and knowledge to improve it for specific tasks.
• Asking questions to your second brain: Search for information in your second brain by asking the AI questions in natural language.
• Visualizing your knowledge: Use Quivr's visual interface to explore your knowledge networks and discover new connections.

A second brain offers many applications beyond pure knowledge management. It supports effective project management, fosters creativity, facilitates knowledge sharing, and helps reduce stress. By collecting and linking information in a structured way, you not only increase your productivity but also improve your creative thinking and pursue your personal goals.

The beauty of this method lies in its accessibility to everyone. With a "second brain," we can ensure that what we have learned once is also available to us in the future. This way, we fully harness the potential of our brain and continuously develop our knowledge.

That sounds incredibly useful and exciting! Thank you for the interview, Katrin!
Katrin: You're welcome, thanks for having me!