Pinokio is a browser for AI applications

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Article from Issue 283/2024

Pinokio gathers open source AI apps from the fields of audio, image generation, and animation under a shared interface for easy installation.

AI is a buzzword on the world's lips, and technology enthusiasts are eager to try out the new tools. Eventually, however, your wallet or the available hardware could reach a limit. Linux AI tools tend to be easy on the wallet, but they sometimes demand a high level of technical understanding, especially if the installation involves a visit to the command line. Linux users can quickly reach their limits due to the mess of Python tools and unfulfilled dependencies (Figure 1). The AI browser Pinokio [1] was created to help the user manage that complexity. (We were unable to verify whether the name is an ironic reference to the fact that AI sometimes fails to tell the truth.)

In this case, the term AI browser does not mean that Pinokio is for surfing the Internet. Instead, the goal is to help the user browse through various AI tools. The tools were not developed by the Pinokio project, but Pinokio serves up some of the leading open source AI applications on a silver platter for easy testing. Pinokio currently has 86 tools that you can install with just a few clicks. However, the software also has its weaknesses.

A disclaimer is appropriate at this point. Pinokio is a one-person project by a developer who wishes to remain in the background. Although the software, which is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows, is currently updated on a weekly basis, it could just as easily be discontinued tomorrow. Not all the tools work on all operating systems at all times, and the fact that this is a solo operation limits the capacity for extensive security checking. It therefore makes sense to find an environment for Pinokio that will limit the damage caused by any unforeseen problems. Even when accounting for this caveat, Pinokio is an interesting tool that lets you conveniently explore the possibilities of various AI tools.


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