Posted on Mon 20 March 2023

models of language vs models of reality

It is essential to realize that these technologies [large language models, currently called AI] do not answer questions about a model of reality, but about a model of language.

The utterances that they produce are statistically good at being plausible conversation related to the input prompt. Any relationship to reality is basically coincidental. Our tendency to view it as meaningful is a product of anthropomorphism and the social conventions of our culture.

People who use tools are responsible for their actions.

(I first wrote a slightly altered version of the above on the XBBN mailing list on January 30, 2023, in response to a query from Candy Sidner.)


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