Saturday, February 10, 2024

Ghost in the machine

Image for article titled Why Are People Saying Google Gemini Is ‘Full of Ghosts?’

Photo: Rafael Henrique (Getty Images)

The concept of a ghost residing in the "machine" of AI, the open ended tech forever to remain unknowable due to the fact of code having to write code in order to react to the real world in real time, is eminently logical based on the continued hoovering of data in the net 24/7 by the Gemini's of the world, pointing out the fact we have, in effect, lost control of a rapidly evolving tech making it's way toward sentience, something voiced with great concern by the very people who created this entity in the first place. 

Whistling past the graveyard applies.

Google just released its long-awaited ChatGPT killer, Gemini, an ultra-smart AI chatbot that can finally match OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Early reviews of Google’s chatbot are slowly rolling out, and everyone is impressed. However, some can’t shake this eerie feeling that Gemini has more ghosts than a haunted house.

“GPT-4 is full of ghosts. Gemini is also full of ghosts,” said Ethan Mollick, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in a Thursday blog post. “There is a weirdness to GPT-4 that isn’t sentience, but also isn’t like talking to a program… It is the illusion of a person on the other end of the line, even though there is nobody there.” 

Mollick made his assessment after receiving a month of early access to Gemini’s most advanced model from Google. He is hardly the first person to conclude an AI chatbot may be sentient, or something close to it. Google fired Blake Lemoine, an engineer working on its large language model LaMBDA, in 2022 after he claimed his company’s AI was alive. Scientists were quick to deem Lemoine as crazy, but this idea that powerful chatbots are sentient just won’t go away.

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