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What Kind of Mind Does ChatGPT Have?

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illustration of a box with a simple wire speaking and listening device.

ChatGPT is amazing, but in the final accounting it is clear that what has been unleashed is more automaton than golem.

Credit: Nicholas Konrad / The New Yorker

With GPT-3, OpenAI made a significant leap forward in the study of artificial intelligence. But once we have taken the time to open up the black box and poke around the springs and gears found inside, we discover that it does not represent an alien intelligence with which we must now learn to coexist; instead, it runs on the well-worn digital logic of pattern-matching, pushed to a radically larger scale.

It is hard to predict exactly how ChatGPT and similar large language models will end up integrated into our lives, but we can be assured that they are incapable of hatching diabolical plans and are unlikely to undermine our economy.

From The New Yorker
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