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Thursday, April 25, 2024


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The loss of trust is what Daniel Dennett said about how AIs can hurt civilisation. It goes further, but destruction of trust is central to his argument: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20240422-philosopher-daniel-dennett-artificial-intelligence-consciousness-counterfeit-people


It never ceases to amaze me how some people persist with this bullshit, using a LLM as a substitute for Google or as a database for factual information. Especially when the LLM in question is an outdated model and running an old application that doesn't even have web search capabilities, nor RAG for grounding. By the way, Copilot Precise, as a search engine assistant, found your definition and quoted it verbatim, even providing a link to the source.

Mitch Wagner, instead, provided also a few examples of what (even) ChatGPT is actually useful for (and there are many more) and correctly said it's not reliable as information source. That "ANN/LLMs hallucinate" is know since forever. Also a LLM with few billion parameters can't physically hold a 15 trillion token dataset. It's incorrect to label hallucinations as lies, though: "they lie" implies an intentional act of deception, whereas LLMs fill in the gaps with "hallucinated" information. Do you lie when your brain reconstructs what your blind spot can't see, based on the average surroundings?

Also I find it interesting that Mitch Wagner said 'ChatGPT was faster' than getting information from Google. Sometimes, when searching for technical or obscure information, you have to rummage through numerous search results and websites. GPT-4, which powers Copilot Precise, might already have a decent idea of what the solution is, maybe a lacking one, but it knows what to search for, then it uses its search tool and finds it or at least puts you on the right track. Also you can ask for something more complex than trivial plain searches. Copilot and Perplexity saved me quite a bit of time, multiple times.

You might be interested in an example of multi-search for Second Life: "What are the most trendy Second Life female mesh bodies as of 2024? Please list them and for each of them search for their respective inworld store in secondlife.com Destinations." In few seconds, Copilot Precise correctly listed Maitreya Lara and LaraX, eBody Reborn, and Mesbody Legacy, found their stores in Destinations and linked them. You can also ask it to make a comparative table. It's not always perfect, but it's pretty handy.

I won't take ChatGPT and its old GPT-3.5, as the state-of-the-art, let alone use it as a benchmark to evaluate the current advancements in AI research. Today, even compact models like PHI-3 and LLama 3 8b, which can run locally on a laptop or a high-end smartphone, are nearly on par with GPT-3.5 in many tasks. In the meantime, while GPT-4 continues to be helpful for coding, models like Gemini 1.5 Pro and Claude 3 Opus seem better than GPT-4 in generating (and writing) fiction ideas or brainstorming. Gemini has a huge context window and can write a critique of a novel. Llama 3 400b is about to be released and it looks like OpenAI is releasing a new model this year.

It's improving and improving. I don't think they would be on par with a senior software engineer or a professional writer or poet until we develop an actual strong AI or AGI (or at least a good introspection, the labs are working on planning at least), but vice-versa I won't say they are useless either or only focus on the negative.

Of course GPT-3.5 powering ChatGPT hasn't been updated: OpenAI, obviously, wouldn't waste millions to retrain that older model, even less for just minor facts that aren't repeated enough times in the training dataset and can't be fit inside its limited amount of parameters anyway, let alone for the sake of the wrong use in the wrong application... when their newer models (or even GPT-3.5 itself) are already doing that on better suited applications such as Perplexity or Copilot.

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