In Opinion | NYTimes Chomsky, Roberts, & Watumull: The False Promise of ChatGPT

In the News, Technology
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March 8, 2023 | Professors of linguistics Dr. Noam Chomsky (MIT/University of Arizona) and Dr. Ian Roberts (University of Cambridge), and Dr. Jeffrey Watumull Oceanit’s director of artificial intelligence, offered their thoughts on OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Sydney in a guest essay published in the New York Times.

In the opinion piece, Chomsky, Roberts, and Watumull argue that the ChatGPT is not like the human mind at all, but rather a “a lumbering statistical engine for pattern matching, gorging on hundreds of terabytes of data and extrapolating the most likely conversational response or most probable answer to a scientific question.”

With the recent hype around ChatGPT, Bard, and Sydney, the world has been abuzz with the possibilities and opportunities that AI can afford humanity. However, Chomsky, Roberts, and Watumull warn that this style of machine learning AI offers only a black box of memorization without explanation. They argue that, “such programs (as ChatGPT) are stuck in a prehuman or nonhuman phase of cognitive evolution. Their deepest flaw is the absence of the most critical capacity of any intelligence: to say not only what is the case, what was the case and what will be the case — that’s description and prediction — but also what is not the case and what could and could not be the case.” That capacity – the ingredients of explanation, they contend, are the mark of true intelligence.

Read the full article on the NYTimes, here.

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