Archive for AI

AIxcuse me?!

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , on May 3, 2023 by xi'an


Posted in Books, pictures, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2023 by xi'an

I got pointed out at an interesting NTY editorial of March 8, 2023, on ChatGPT written by Noam Chomsky, Ian Roberts and Jeffrey Watumull.

“we fear that the most popular and fashionable strain of A.I. — machine learning — will degrade [linguistics] and debase our ethics by incorporating into our technology a fundamentally flawed conception of language and knowledge.”

Starting with a quote of Jorge Luis Borges, most appropriately for the dystopian prospects brought by the new chatbots. And seeing the arrival of these machines as something trivial that operates in contrast with the human mind by making use of terabytesque amounts of data and (cleverly) extrapolating to suit the question. Which is to state that they are merely (?) much better interfaces at reproducing patterns found in their data bases. This remains a technical feat but given the lack of reliability of their output (cf my exam answers) and the correlated lack of uncertainty in their assessment, they are very much useless at explanations. (But sometimes usefull as typewriting monkeys for recommendation letters.)

“The crux of machine learning is description and prediction; it does not posit any causal mechanisms or physical laws.”

The second part of the tribune points out the amorality of such platforms, unable to reach a moral position. This is illustrated by Q&As about the morality of terraforming an other planet (which I cannot connect with morality if there is no sentient life on that planet). While I see the point as a fundamental distinction between humans and AIs, I would feel uncomfortable with the latter producing moral judgements as this would imply a choice of moral rules in their training, as there is no universal moral ground beyond the “obvious”… (Actually, by presenting arguments in an authoritative manner, rarely with provisions for being wrong or incomplete, ChatGPT is agreeing on lying by omission!)

“Given the amorality, faux science and linguistic incompetence of these systems, we can only laugh or cry at their popularity.”

Research fellow chAIrs in Grenoble [reposted]

Posted in Kids, Mountains, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2023 by xi'an

MIAI, the Grenoble Multidisciplinary Institute in Artificial Intelligence , is opening three research fellow chairs in AI reserved to persons who have spent most of their research career outside France. To be eligible, candidates must hold a PhD from a non-French university obtained after January 2014 for male applicants and after 2014-n, where n is the number of children, for female applicants. They must also have spent more than two thirds of their research career since the beginning of their PhD outside France. These research fellow chairs aim to to address important and ambitious research problems in AI-related fields and will partly pave the way for the future research to be conducted in MIAI. Successful candidates will be appointed by MIAI and will be allocated, for the whole duration of the chair, a budget of 250k€ covering PhD and/or postdoc salaries, internships, travels. The deadline for applications is 11 March 2023, see here for details.

anything and everything and ChatGPT

Posted in Books, Kids, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2022 by xi'an

Just another run at the veneer of logic (and LaTeX) in nonsensical replies from ChatGPT!


Klara and the Sun [book review]

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2022 by xi'an

Klara and the Sun is the latest book of Kazuo Ishiguro. I am a big admirer of Ishiguro’s books and always moved by their bittersweet exploration of humanity (or humanness?!). The remains of the day is one of my favourite books, competing with Graham Greene’s The end of the affair,  and I deeply enjoyed When we were orphans, Never let me go, and The buried giant. While this latest book exhibits the same craftsmanship in depicting human feelings and incomplete (in the sense of unsatisfactory) relations, I feel like I missed some component of the book, too many hints, the overall message… Not that I rushed through it, contrary to my habit, reading a few chapters at a time during lunch breaks. But I cannot set the separation between the subjective perception of Klara [the robotic friend], which is very clearly limited, both by her robotic sensors [lacking a sense of smell for instance] and her learning algorithm, furthermore aggravated by her wasting (?) some material to sabotage a machine, and the real world [within the novel, a vague two-tiered USA]. Because the perspective is always Klara’s. This confusion may be completely intentional and is in that sense brilliant. But I remained perplexed by the Sun central episode in the novel, which I fear reveals a side of the story I did not get. Like Джозі в якийсь момент перетворилася на робота? [Using Ukrainian to avoid spoilers for most readers!]  (In a way, Klara and the Sun is a variation on Never let me go, both dealing with a future where copies of humans could be available, for those who could afford it.)

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