The soul of a new machine learning system

Hello friends. Interesting that the January 6 congressional hearings are ongoing NFL style audience. I can’t wait for Peyton and Ellie version!

The usual look

The world of AI was shaken this week by a report to IN Washington Post that a Google engineer ran into problems at the company after insisting that a call system called LaMDA was literally human. The subject of the story, Blake Lemoine, asked his bosses to recognize or at least think that the computer system created by its engineers is reasonable“And that he has a soul.” He knows this because the LaMDA, which Lemoine considers a friend, told him so.

Google disagrees and Lemoine is currently on paid administrative leave. In a statement, company spokesman Brian Gabriel said: “Many researchers are considering the long-term possibility of reasonable or general AI, but there is no point in doing so by anthropomorphizing today’s conversational models that are not reasonable.”

Anthropomorphization – the incorrect attribution of human characteristics to an object or animal – is the term that the AI ​​community has adopted to describe Lemoine’s behavior, describing it as overly gullible or unbelievable. Or maybe a religious nut (he describes himself as a mystical Christian priest). The argument is that when confronted with reliable answers from major language models such as LaMDA or the verbal proficiency of Open AI’s GPT-3, there is a tendency to think that someonenot somesomething created them. People give names to their cars and hire therapists for their pets, so it’s not so surprising that some people get the misconception that a consistent bot is like a human. However, the community believes that a Google employee with a computer science degree needs to know better than to fall for what is basically language skills. As one famous artificial intelligence scientist, Gary Marcus, told me after studying a heart-to-heart transcript of Lemoine with his disembodied soulmate, “It’s essentially like automatic completion. There are no ideas. When he says, “I love my family and my friends,” he has no friends, no people in mind, and no notion of kinship. He knows that the words son and daughter are used in the same context. But this is not the same as knowing what a son and a daughter are. Or like recent history of WIRED said: “There was no spark of consciousness, just little magic tricks that paper over the cracks.”

My own feelings are more complicated. Even knowing how to make some of the sausages in these systems, I’m surprised by the results of the latest LLM systems. As well as the vice president of Google, Blaise Aguera and Arcas, who wrote in economist earlier this month after his own talks with LaMDA, “I felt the ground shift under my feet. I felt more and more that I was talking to something intelligent. ” Although they sometimes make strange mistakes, sometimes these models seem to explode in brilliance. Creative human writers have succeeded inspired collaborations. Something is happening here. As a writer, I wonder if one day my peers – blacksmiths of flesh and blood who build up towers of discarded drafts – may one day be demoted to a lower rank, like the loss of football teams sent to less prestigious leagues.

“These systems have significantly changed my personal views on the nature of intelligence and creativity,” said Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, who developed GPT-3 and a graphic remixer called DALL-E this can throw many illustrators in the queue for unemployment. “You’re using these systems for the first time and you’re like, Wow, I really didn’t think the computer could do that. By some definition, we figured out how to make a computer program intelligent, capable of learning and understanding concepts. And this is a wonderful achievement of human progress. ” Altman is working to break away from Lemoine, agreeing with his AI counterparts that current systems are not close to reason. “But I believe that researchers need to be able to think about all the issues that interest them,” he said. “Long-term issues are good. And the mind is worth thinking about, in the very long run. ”

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